What is a Keto Diet?
Short for Ketogenic, a keto diet is not really a new concept but rather has been around as early as the 1920s. It is a term given for a low-carb diet, which is especially popular among health and fitness enthusiasts. With a keto diet, you cut back from any food that is high in carbohydrates while relying more on fat and adequate protein for your daily caloric intake. Despite being originally designed to help reduce seizures among pediatric patients with epilepsy, the diet has now gained significant popularity for its effective weight loss benefits. In fact, a keto diet has also shown promising effects against diabetes, epilepsy, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. However, with a strict diet like the keto diet, there is bound to be some negative effects on the body.
But before we get into the pros and cons of the keto diet, here is what you have to know. When you drastically reduce your carbohydrate intake and replace it with fat, your body switch from burning glucose to burning fatty acids, or ketones for energy, a metabolic process known as ketosis. While this may be beneficial for burning fat and losing weight, too much of it can be harmful to health. That is why this article highlights some of the common pros and cons of the keto diet and whether it is actually safe to follow it. So read on to find out all there is to know about it.
Pros of a Keto Diet
1. Treats Epilepsy
Reducing seizures and treating patients with epilepsy was the main intention of a ketogenic diet in the first place. Since its introduction in the year 1921, the ketogenic diet had gained significant popularity and was widely considered a “therapeutic diet” for treating epileptic patients for years. It was only with the introduction of antiepileptic agents in the later years that it began to steadily lose its name and popularity, which remained so until the modern-day resurgence –mainly for its weight loss benefits.
2. Supports weight loss
One of the main reasons behind the ketogenic diet’s insane popularity is its rapid weight loss benefit. Cutting back on all things carb and starchy foods will eventually deplete you of your glycogen content –making you burn fat for energy instead. This, in turn, will make you shed a good amount of water weight. While this may be quick and effective, the results can vary from person to person. Nonetheless, several studies have suggested that a keto diet can make you feel less hungry and make you eat less, which in turn, also helps with weight loss.
3. Manages blood sugar
Several studies have suggested that a ketogenic diet may be beneficial in lowering blood glucose levels and improving insulin sensitivity –both of which are incredibly crucial for people with type-2 diabetes or pre-diabetes. A diet high in carbs can lead to high blood sugar. However, with a low carb diet like the keto diet, you eliminate all those carbs, which in turn reduces insulin secretion and makes your blood glucose level drop significantly in the process.
4. Combats acne
By eliminating carbohydrates and sugar, a keto diet has been known to control or stabilise the rise and fall of blood sugar levels, as well as the gut bacteria balance, both of which can lead to severe skin problems, including acne breakouts. Hence, a keto diet somehow proves to be beneficial for improving acne conditions.
5. Gives you energy
Consuming too much carbs and sugary foods can make you feel sick or low in stamina and energy. However, with a keto diet, you cut back on all these unwanted carbs and sugar, which can make you feel a lot more energetic and help you experience lesser hunger pangs throughout the day.
Cons of a Keto Diet
6. Nutrient deficiency
A diet like ketogenic restricts you from eating anything rich in carbohydrates, starch or sugar. This includes a wide range of fruits, legumes, vegetables and whole grains that are rich in essential vitamins, minerals and fibres. Hence, because of this, people on a keto diet are susceptible to nutrient deficiency, which in turn makes them feel tired, as well as constipated due to lack of fibre intake.
7. Not easy to sustain
It would not be wrong to say a keto diet is not practical and easy to sustain in the long run –considering all the stringent restrictions and tracking of foods one has to endure. This is also one of the reasons why many people find it difficult to stick to it. Moreover, being on and off a keto diet can lead to unhealthy eating habits, which can increase mortality.
8. Heart disease risk
Since a keto diet inclines toward a high-fat diet while cutting back any high-carb foods, an alarming increase in lipid or fats in blood has become one of the major concerns among people on a keto diet. A high intake of saturated fats on a keto diet has been shown to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as harm the overall heart health.
9. Kidney failure
Several studies have shown that a keto diet increases the risk of requiring dialysis, especially for patients with kidney disease, due to the excess ketones that their renal system has to process. On top of this, due to a low glycogen level in the body, people on a keto diet are also prone to constant dehydration, which may affect their kidney health and function over time.
10. An unhealthy obsession with food
A ketogenic diet, unlike other healthy weight loss diets, constantly makes you monitor every detail of your food intake, which often leads to a development of an unhealthy obsession with food in the long run. This includes emotional or stress eating, binge eating, and so on, which can derail you from your weight loss goal.
What You Need To Know
Restrictive diets like the keto diet may show some promising results and benefits but the negative impact on health often seems to outweigh the positive ones, which are quite evident with the above-given pros and cons of the keto diet above. If you are looking for a healthy and effective way to manage your weight, working with a nutritionist or a dietician can help you figure out the best suitable plan for you without having to endure stringent restrictions. And speaking of healthy weight loss, natural herbal supplements are the way to go when it comes to natural healthy weight loss.
Nutrixgold Juice and Turmlitegold Capsules from Preserva Wellness are the ideal solutions for this. Formulated using potent Ayurvedic ingredients, both products are packed with natural antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, as well as essential nutrients that help suppress appetite, boosts metabolism and support a faster and more effective fat burning process naturally. They are 100% vegetarian with real natural ingredients, completely safe for consumption.
Disclaimer- This article is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your healthcare provider in case of any health complications