How effective is keto?
Weight gain and loss have always been essential aspects of a human’s life. Weight influences a person’s health and lifestyle, and it is also a considerable part of one’s confidence and appearance. In a world where the pandemic makes it challenging for people to access a gym or find the motivation to do home workouts, gaining weight is not surprising. However, many people incredibly uncomfortable with this situation and want to rid themselves of the excess weight as fast as possible.
Many approaches help combat the effects of weight gain or fluctuation, diets being one of the most familiar. Although some diets have proven beneficial, many of the more popular ones do not have much data to back up their effectiveness. A good example would be The Ketogenic Diet.
What Is The Keto Diet and How Does It Work?
“Keto” stems from the word ketone or ketosis. Ketone bodies referrer to energy produced by the liver using stored body fat. The Ketogenic diet’s primary focus is to consume no more than 20-50 grams of carbohydrates daily. Doing so forces the body to use a different kind of fuel aside from the type produced by using glucose from carbohydrates. Known as ketosis, this process causes the body to burn fat and lose weight rapidly.
This diet also requires a higher fat consumption. Some examples of foods allowed to eat while following a Keto Diet:
- Meat: Organic and grass-fed are the healthiest options. However, excess consumption can cause the protein to convert to glucose.
- Fish and Seafood.
- Natural Fat (butter, coconut/olive oil).
Keto Diet Pros
The Keto Diet became popular due to the rapid decrease in weight it offers. However, there are a few more reasons why starting a Keto Diet might seem beneficial.
- Less Constriction on Fatty Foods: Since the Keto Diet relies mainly on foods high in fat, many people find they do not feel too constricted or guilty about eating their favorite fatty foods, such as red meats, cheese, butter, and nuts.
- Prevent Cancer: Some studies have shown a link between low-carb diets and preventing cancer.
Keto Diet Cons
Despite the benefits of the Keto Diet listed above, few studies and information have backed up these findings. Keto diets are a common and effective way of treating epileptic seizures in children; however, only short-term results have been analyzed in adults, leading to mixed findings.
To add to this, Keto Diets are high in fat, potentially leading to heart disease. Other risks include:
- Liver Problems: A person with existing liver conditions can worsen their state by starting a Keto Diet; this is because of the large amounts of fat in their system needing metabolization.
- Constipation: Unfortunately, the Keto Diet does not call for much fiber (such as grains and legumes), increasing constipation chances.
- Nutrient Deficiency: Certain kinds of vegetables, fruits, and grains contain carbohydrates, making it challenging for people to eat the appropriate variety and amount their body needs. Failure to consume these foods can lead to micronutrient deficiencies, such as vitamins B & C, magnesium, selenium, and phosphorus.
- Mood Swings: Low-carbohydrate diets may cause irritability and mood swings since the brain requires healthy sugars from carbs to function correctly.
- Kidney Problems: Kidneys help metabolize protein. The Keto Diet requires its participants to consume a more considerable protein amount, which may overwork the kidneys.
- Menstrual Changes: In women, there is a chance they will experience irregularities or a complete halt to their menstrual cycle due to cutting too many calories and losing weight too quickly.
A person should consult their doctor before deciding to start the Keto Diet, especially those with high blood pressure, diabetes, or breastfeeding.