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Pros And Cons Of Keto Diet: What You Should Know In 2023
The ketogenic diet, commonly called the keto diet, has gained popularity in the last ten years or so due to claims that it can help people manage their weight. So what are the pros and cons of the keto diet?
Imagine being told you could have cheese, bacon, avocados, nuts, peanut butter, rich cream, full-fat yogurt, and dark cocoa and still shed some pounds.
You can go on a ketogenic diet, but there is a price. You must significantly cut your carbohydrate intake to follow the diet. That entails avoiding all processed carbohydrates, little to no fruits, and no legumes, whole grains, potatoes, or rice.
Further concerns about the diet are raised by the keto diet’s unusually high fat and animal protein levels, which contradict decades’ worth of recommendations from medical experts and health organizations like the American Heart Association.
As you may be aware of the advantages of a ketogenic diet, what are the cons of a keto diet, and is it safe? Let’s find out.
Pros And Cons Of Keto Diet
Before beginning the ketogenic diet, it is important to analyze its disadvantages and health risks. While your body enters ketosis, you may suffer unpleasant side effects, including the flu, constipation, and a weakening effect from dietary inadequacies.
The Keto diet food list might include many meats and meals filled with saturated fats. These may raise cholesterol, which frequently raises the chance of developing heart disease.
Your athletic performance may suffer if you follow this diet. However, a diet rich in carbohydrates often leads to increased energy and performance.
What Is A Keto Diet?
High-fat and low-carb diets are the focus of the ketogenic diet. It is primarily intended for rapid weight loss, accomplished by removing most carbs from meals. By doing this, it induces ketosis in your body weight, which causes it to burn fat for energy then you can lose weight.
The keto diet encourages the human body to use body fat as its primary source of energy, which can help people lose weight.
Cons Of Keto Diet
The “keto flu” has become one of the well-known side effects of a keto diet.
When someone begins the ketogenic diet, they may experience several symptoms known as the “keto flu.” These symptoms typically only last a few days to a few weeks and are minimal. The keto flu can include headaches, nausea, exhaustion, and vomiting.
The body experiences these symptoms as it adjusts to using fewer carbs and reaches a condition of ketosis. Temporary abnormalities in the body’s energy supply, insulin, and minerals cause these symptoms.
Constipation is a common complaint when pursuing the keto diet because it can be restrictive and difficult to maintain. It’s not a big surprise if you’re on the ketogenic diet and have less frequent bowel movements, as the diet lacks items high in fiber that promote bowel regularity.
Foods high in soluble and insoluble fiber, some foods to help relieve constipation such as fruits, cereals, and starches, are essential for ensuring regular bowel movements. However, a substantial portion of the ketogenic diet excludes fiber-rich foods, increasing your risk of constipation.
Fiber consumption is essential. Water is absorbed by soluble fiber, which facilitates the passage of food through the gastrointestinal system. Insoluble fiber serves as a boosting agent. Your gut flora may change if you consume less fiber. Because the diet lacks fiber, more than fifty percent of people who follow it may experience constipation.
Every time someone begins a ketogenic diet, they are advised to be aware of the consequences on their hearts. The concern is that eating a diet that is extremely rich in fat, moderate in proteins, and very low in carbohydrates can cause your cholesterol levels to soar, increasing your chance of developing heart disease.
On this diet, you consume up to 80% of your daily calories from fatty acids and limit yourself to 20–50 grams of net carbohydrates.
Depending on the types of fat and quality of carbohydrates taken, keto may raise cholesterol levels.
Elevated LDL cholesterol levels are associated with the consumption of high-fat foods, cholesterol levels, and trans fat. Decreased LDL cholesterol levels are linked to increased unsaturated fat consumption.
The ketogenic diet is full of saturated fats, so it can increase cholesterol levels in people.
Numerous nutrient-dense foods, including fruits, vegetables, and grains, must either be “cut out or significantly reduced” when following the ketogenic diet. Over time, this may cause deficits in micronutrients (such as vitamins and minerals).
The ketogenic diet restricts plenty of high-fiber, nutrient-rich fruits, starchy vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. As a result, you may need a few vitamins and minerals essential for good health may need to be present in sufficient amounts.
Deficits in vitamins D, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus have been discovered in studies on the keto diet. In addition, this can frequently cause constipation and may even harm beneficial gut bacteria if one doesn’t take precautions to eat sufficient leafy plants and cruciferous foods. One can also consider adding, some of the best multivitamins for the keto diet.
Limited Food & Drink Choices
One of the keto diet’s most common daily drawbacks is that it is challenging to maintain for an extended period.
Many people find it too restricting to cut out many fruits, vegetables, and other carbohydrates for an extended time. As a result, this makes the keto diet often difficult to maintain.
The diet is made even more challenging by the requirement that you rigorously follow the diet to stay in ketosis. Thus, “cheat days” are fully eliminated. Many dieters find it difficult to maintain such an all-or-nothing mindset, which can occasionally cause stress or desertion.
The ketogenic diet can cause kidney stones.
The ketogenic diet can cause kidney stones in certain individuals. You may be more likely to develop kidney stones if you regularly consume high-fat animal meals that are a staple of the ketogenic diet.
High consumption of animal meat can make your blood and urine more acidic, increasing the elimination of calcium in the urine.
According to some research, eating ketogenic diets may also lower the quantity of citrate excreted in your urine.
Dehydration is one of the most typical adverse consequences of the ketogenic diet.
People who enter ketosis urinate more frequently, which leads to dehydration. During this shift, your body weight uses glycogen, a stored carbohydrate. Since your body’s glycogen is attached to water molecules, when it is consumed, water is released.
In addition, because you take fewer carbohydrates when you follow the ketogenic diet, the body releases less insulin, a hormone that aids in absorbing glucose from your blood. A decline in insulin levels might impact sodium and potassium, important electrolytes for hydration.
Keto Diet Advantages And Disadvantages: How It Affects The Body
The popularity of the ketogenic or “keto” diet comes at the cost of being excessively restrictive and challenging to follow. The body enters a state of ketosis.
A metabolic adaptation known as ketosis helps the body endure times of starvation. Instead of using glucose and sugar from carbohydrates, your body will use ketone bodies, a form of power the liver creates from fat.
The heart, kidneys, and other organs like the brain can all be powered by the ketone bodies instead of glucose. A ketogenic diet is “a partial fast,” according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Safety Tips For Going On Keto
- Discover your macronutrients to determine how much protein, fat, and carbohydrate to consume. Use an online macro calculator. The key is to limit carbs because doing so will help you reach the ketosis state, which burns fat.
- Get appropriate electrolytes and water – Hydration is key no matter what you eat, but it’s more crucial when following a ketogenic diet. Consuming enough electrolytes may prevent keto flu, a transient but preventable condition.
- Eat only when you are truly hungry. The ketogenic diet has the unavoidable effect of making you feel fuller and faster.
- Emphasize growth rather than perfection. Start gently if that makes it easier for you, and don’t be too hard on yourself if you experience failures. Keep trying!
- Depending on your feelings, increase your daily fiber intake from 15-20 grams. Before trying supplements, consume as much fiber as you can from vegetables, seeds, etc., while following a ketogenic diet for beginners.
The ketogenic diet has gained favor, mostly as a weight-loss strategy. The keto diet has benefits and drawbacks, like anything else.
It’s crucial to remember that the keto diet has only recently begun to resurface in popular media. As a result, gathering enough evidence to ascertain its long-term consequences will take some time.
To minimize consequences, it’s important to choose a lot of healthy fats (such as coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, tree nuts, and seeds), high-quality meats, and low-carb/high-fiber vegetables. This is because ketosis can be difficult to maintain, and the ketogenic diet may carry some health risks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Due to the strict nature of the keto diet and significant dietary deficits, there are questions about its long-term safety. It is typically advised to adhere to the diet under the direction of a healthcare practitioner and to think about including nutrient-dense meals and the proper supplementation to reduce the dangers.
When beginning the keto diet, the keto flu is a typical side effect. It may involve signs like nausea, vomiting, exhaustion, and headaches. As the body becomes accustomed to using fat for energy, these symptoms, which are typically transient, should go away.
The keto diet’s high-fat content, especially its focus on saturated fats, may cause some people to have higher cholesterol levels. Heart disease risk may rise as a result of this. It’s crucial to routinely check your cholesterol levels and seek out individualized guidance from a healthcare provider.
Constipation is a common complaint among those on the ketogenic diet, yes. This problem may be exacerbated by a lack of high-fiber meals, which are prohibited on the regimen. To prevent constipation, it is advised to consume appropriate amounts of fiber through low-carb, high-fiber foods and to maintain hydration.
Some people who follow a ketogenic diet may have an increased risk of getting kidney stones. This danger may be increased by a high intake of animal products and a probable drop in citrate excretion in the urine. If you have a history of kidney stones or other kidney-related conditions, it is advisable to speak with a healthcare provider.
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- Bostock, S., Kirkby, K.C., Taylor, B.V. and Hawrelak, J. (2020). Consumer Reports of ‘Keto Flu’ Associated With the Ketogenic Diet. [online] 7. doi:https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2020.00020.
- Yang, J., Wang, H., Zhou, L. and Xu, C.-F. (2012). Effect of dietary fiber on constipation: A meta analysis. [online] 18(48), pp.7378–7378. doi:https://doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v18.i48.7378.
- Ji Yeob Choi, Ji Hoon Song, Jae Il Shin, Heung Soo Kim, Myung Kyum Kim and Jae Sung Lee (2010). Renal Stone Associated with the Ketogenic Diet in a 5-Year Old Girl with Intractable Epilepsy. [online] 51(3), pp.457–457. doi:https://doi.org/10.3349/ymj.2010.51.3.457.