The ketogenic diet, or just keto for short, is a high-fat, low-carb diet. The idea is to use the body’s natural fat burning system to lose a significant amount of weight.
The keto diet is becoming popular due to its many health benefits. But does this diet plan have any side-effects? Are you fully familiar with the benefits of a keto diet and the main keto diet risks?
This article will answer some common questions related to this diet.
What Is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a state that your body goes into when there is not enough glucose in your bloodstream. That’s when molecules called ketones start building up in the bloodstream.
When blood sugar levels are low, ketosis happens, which means your body breaks down fat and uses it for energy. It is clear why so many people choose to encourage ketosis by eating very few carbs.
The Benefits of a Keto Diet
The keto diet is known for its weight loss benefits. In this study, more than 19,000 patients lost significant amounts of weight in a short amount of time. A few side-effects were found but none of them were significant. It is reported that patients lost 10.2 kilograms on average after 2.5 cycles of the keto diet.
Aside from its impact on weight loss, the keto diet is found to help treat moderate epilepsy symptoms in children.
Its other benefits include tackling Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. As we can see in this study, the ketogenic diet is proclaimed safe for obese people. It can help people with type 2 diabetes, but diabetics are advised to consult with a doctor first to avoid any complications.
The Risks of a Keto Diet
Critics of this diet worry about its long-term effects.
According to Lisa Cimperman, a clinical dietitian at the University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, the diet only works in the short term. Once your body enters ketosis, it starts losing muscle and becomes fatigued. She says that your body will eventually enter starvation mode, which will only make losing weight harder.
Some nutritionists warn that the keto diet can damage the heart, as it impacts all muscle mass. People who have kidney problems are also warned not to use this diet.
Keto Diet Tips
Now that you can answer the question “what is a keto diet”, you should know a few diet tips.
If you decide to go on the ketogenic diet, you have to limit or completely eliminate foods that are high in carbs. Those foods include the following:
- Sugary foods – ice cream, candy, soda, fruit juice, etc.
- Low-fat products
- Alcohol, etc.
On the other hand, foods that you should base the majority of your meals on include the following:
- Meat – red meat, poultry, etc.
- Fish – salmon, tuna, mackerel, as well as seafood in general
- Coconut oil
It is best to base your diet on single-ingredient foods when making your keto diet plan. Additionally, increased physical activity can help induce ketosis.
Should You Try the Keto Diet?
Most credible studies suggest that the keto diet is safe, but you should consult with your doctor before deciding to go with it. If you do decide to start with the keto diet, monitor your progress and see how you feel once the initial side effects pass. If you’re not satisfied with the results, there are many other diets you can try.