The Pros and Cons of the Keto Diet: What You Need to Know
The ketogenic diet has gained a lot of attention recently – and for good reason. This high-fat, low-carb eating plan has been shown to promote weight loss and have positive effects on insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. However, as with most things in life, the keto diet also comes with its fair share of pros and cons. Let’s take a look at what you need to know before going keto.
What is the Keto Diet?
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carb diet. It forces your body into a state known as ketosis, which is the process during which your body uses fat as its primary source of energy instead of carbohydrates. In ketosis, you’ll convert fat into small molecules known as “ketones” which are used as energy. These “keto-friendly” foods have fewer carbohydrates than other foods and will help you enter and maintain a state of ketosis.
How does the Keto Diet Work?
The keto diet is a low carb, high fat (LCHF) diet that has become increasingly popular for weight loss and management of type 2 diabetes. It is a fairly drastic change from the nutrition guidelines (“eat less saturated fats, eat more whole grains, etc.) that have been in place for decades. This can be a challenge for many people who are not ready to completely change the way they eat. It can also be quite challenging to understand and follow the diet, especially if you’ve never been on a very low carb diet before. The theory behind the ketogenic diet is that by eating fat, you will naturally reduce the amount of carbohydrates you eat each day. When you deprive your body of carbohydrates, it will start to use up its stored glycogen (the sugar that’s stored in your muscles and liver) and then turn to the next source of energy: fat. When your body burns fat for energy, by-products called ketones are produced.
Pros of the Keto Diet
The ketogenic diet has many benefits, and one of the biggest is that it’s known as a great way to lose weight. This diet requires you to be very careful with the amount of carbs you eat each day, since carbs are usually the things that make us gain weight. This diet can also help improve your cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of diabetes, reduce the risk of heart disease, help with certain neurological disorders, and even help with certain cancers.
Cons of the Keto Diet
While the benefits of the diet are clear, nothing is without its downsides. The ketogenic diet requires strict adherence, a high level of motivation, and a willingness to make drastic changes to your current eating habits. The diet also requires a high level of self-discipline and education. In order to follow the diet correctly, you will need to learn about portion sizes, what foods are best to eat, and what foods to avoid.
Is the Keto Diet right for me?
Who should not go on the Keto Diet?
Some people have certain conditions that may not allow them to be on a ketogenic diet. If you have diabetes, are pregnant, breastfeeding, have serious kidney disease, or have a high level of blood cholesterol, you should not go on the ketogenic diet. These people should consult their doctor before making any major changes to their diet. However, they may find that they can follow a modified version of the diet that takes their medical conditions into consideration.
The ketogenic diet is a powerful way to lose weight, reduce your risk of diabetes, and improve your health. However, this diet requires you to be very strict and disciplined in your eating habits. It also requires a great deal of education and self-monitoring to ensure that you’re following the diet correctly. For these reasons, the ketogenic diet is not for everyone. However, if you are committed to following a high-fat, low-carb diet, it can be very rewarding.
Take our goal setting quiz and get FREE customized recommendations for diet and exercise that suit your unique body type and lifestyle.