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Is the Keto Diet Right for You?
Are you interested in losing weight? Are you tired of diets that advocate low or no fat and crave high fat meats? Maybe you’re thinking about switching to a keto diet, the new kid on the block. Endorsed by many celebrities including Halle Berry, LeBron James and Kim Kardashian among others, the keto diet is the subject of much debate among nutritionists and doctors. Wondering if the keto diet is safe and right for you?
What is a ketogenic diet anyway?
You must be aware that the body uses sugar in the form of glycogen to function. The keto diet, which is extremely sugar-restricted, forces your body to use fat for fuel instead of sugar because it isn’t getting enough sugar. When the body doesn’t get enough sugar for fuel, the liver is forced to convert the available fat into ketones, which the body uses for fuel – hence the term ketogenic.
This diet is a high fat, moderate protein diet. Depending on your carbohydrate intake, the body will reach a state of ketosis in less than a week and stay there. Because the body uses fat for fuel instead of sugar, weight loss is dramatic without any supposed calorie restriction.
The keto diet is that you should aim to get 60-75% of your daily calories from fat, 15-30% from protein and only 5-10% from carbs. This usually means you can only eat 20-50 grams of carbs per day.
What can you eat on this diet?
The diet is a high-fat diet that is somewhat similar to the Atkins diet. However, more emphasis is placed on fats, usually “good” fats. You can have on a keto diet
Grass fed beef
Full fat cheese
You can also get a variety of snacks that are designed for keto followers. As you can see from this list, fruit is limited. You can have a limited amount of low sugar fruits (mostly berries) but you will have to give up your favorite fruits because they are all sweet and/or starchy.
This diet includes no grains of any kind, starchy vegetables like potatoes (and all tubers), no sugar or sweets, no pastries and cakes, no beans and lentils, no pasta, no pizza and hamburgers, and very little alcohol. This also means no coffee with milk or tea with milk – in fact no milk and ice creams and milk desserts.
Many of them have solutions, as you can get carb-free pasta and pizza, you can have cauliflower rice, and now there are even restaurants that cater to keto enthusiasts.
What are the benefits of the keto diet?
If you are wondering if this diet is safe, its proponents and those who have achieved their weight loss goals will certainly agree that it is safe. Among the benefits of the keto diet you can expect:
Reduced or no sugar spikes
Seizure control effect
In patients with high blood pressure, blood pressure normalizes
Reducing migraine attacks
Patients with type 2 diabetes on this diet may be able to reduce their medication
Some benefits for those suffering from cancer
Apart from the first four, there is not enough evidence to support its effectiveness or otherwise in other diseases, as much more research is needed in the long term.
Does this diet have any side effects?
When you first start a keto diet, you may suffer from what is known as the keto flu. These symptoms may not occur in all people and usually appear a few days after the diet when your body is in a state of ketosis. Some of the side effects are:
Cramps and abdominal pain
Diarrhea and/or constipation
Dizziness and poor concentration
Cravings for sugar and carbohydrates
It can take up to a week to wear off as your body adjusts to the new diet. You may also suffer from other problems when starting a keto diet – you may find that you urinate more, which is why it’s important to stay well hydrated. You can also suffer from keto breath when your body reaches optimal ketosis and you can use mouthwash or brush your teeth more often.
Usually the side effects are temporary and should go away once your body acclimatises to the new diet.
How safe is the keto diet?
Like any other diet that restricts foods in certain categories, the keto diet is not without its risks. Since you don’t eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, beans and lentils and other foods, you may be deficient in many essential nutrients. Because the diet is high in saturated fat, and if you indulge in “bad” fats, you can have high cholesterol, which increases your risk of heart disease.
In the long term, the keto diet can also cause many nutritional deficiencies because you can’t eat grains, many fruits and vegetables, and you lack fiber, as well as important vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants, among others. You may suffer from gastrointestinal problems, reduced bone density (no dairy and other sources of calcium), and kidney and liver problems (diet increases the burden on both organs).
Is the keto diet safe for you?
If you are willing to give up your usual diet basics and really want to lose weight, you may be tempted to try the keto diet. The biggest problem with this diet is poor patient compliance due to carbohydrate restriction, so you need to be sure you can live with your food choices. If it just seems too difficult to follow, you can switch to a modified keto diet version that offers more carbohydrates.
However, the keto diet is definitely effective for weight loss. According to a recent study, many obese patients were able to lose weight. Any problems they faced were temporary. If you have no significant health problems other than obesity and are unable to lose weight after any conventional diet, the keto diet may be a viable option. You must be absolutely committed to losing weight and be prepared to follow a restricted diet as indicated. Even if you have any health problems, you can take the advice of your doctor and nutritionist and stick to this diet.
Another study that was conducted over a longer period of time showed that the keto diet is beneficial for weight loss and also lowers cholesterol by lowering bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol.
Is the keto diet safe for you? Most doctors and nutritionists agree that the keto diet is good for short-term weight loss. More studies are needed in the long term. Keep in mind that obesity is not a good choice as it comes with its own risk of health problems.
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