Among the many diet trends that only seem to come and go, one of the few ones that have successfully amassed a loyal following is the keto diet. Essentially, this weight loss program requires the consumption of healthy fats and protein, while intensely limiting carbs.
The science behind the keto diet is that by minimizing carbs, you are also limiting the entry of sugar into your system. Since the body burns sugar first, but your reserves have been depleted, it will then turn to fat instead to break it down for energy. This process called ketones means that the body is now running on energy produced by the breakdown of fat. And that’s how you lose weight.
Many people think that keto is very easy to do, and is actually fun! After all, you get to eat all the steaks and barbecue you want! However, this is a very simplistic and misguided perception of what the keto diet really entails. There are, in fact, quite a good number of rules and considerations that you must follow if you really want it to be effective.
So is going keto dangerous? Done correctly, it should be safe. However, it may not be ideal for individuals with certain conditions like type 1 diabetes, kidney damage, those at risk for heart disease, those with pre-existing pancreatic or liver conditions, pregnant women, as well as those who have had their gallbladder removed.
As with every diet program, the keto diet also has its own pros and cons. Check them out below:
Those who are prone to acne breakouts could benefit from the keto diet. Because carbs intake is minimized, gut health and blood sugar levels, which do impact skin health, are better balanced.
May promote heart health
Apart from the weight loss, the keto diet is also possibly good for the heart. Because it promotes the consumption of healthy fats, like avocados, it reduces cholesterol, which is good for the heart.
May promote brain function
Studies have found that the ketones generated during the diet may offer protection to the brain. This means that it could minimize the risk or help manage neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s.
May reduce cancer risk
Studies have found the potential of the keto diet to aid in cancer treatment. Because the diet limits sugar intake, it is believed that it also helps better control insulin, which controls the blood sugar levels and is believed to be related to the development of cancer.
This term was coined to identify a variety of symptoms that occur in the keto diet, especially for those who are just starting the program. This includes headaches, sluggishness and fatigue, constipation, low blood sugar, nausea, vomiting, and more.
Other health risks
Other health risks related to keto include excessive protein in the blood, fat buildup in the liver, kidney stones, and deficiencies in vitamins and minerals daily requirement.
Is eating keto healthy? As you can see from the pros and cons above, it can be a healthy and successful weight loss program, but only if you do it right. So make sure to consult first with your primary doctor if you’re seriously considering this option. Doing your research and joining communities for people who are on a keto diet should also help you safely achieve your weight and health goals.