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Is the Keto Diet a Good Idea?

Celebrities such as Halle Berry, Kourtney Kardashian, and Vanessa Hudgens have praised the high-fat, low-carb diet as an effective way of losing weight. The query “What is keto?” was determined to be the second most inquired-about health issue on Google in 2019.

One style of ketogenic diet emphasizes decreasing carbohydrate intake and increasing dietary fat intake to get your body to utilize fat for energy, states Scott Keatley, RD, of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy. This dietary regimen is generally formulated like this: around 60 to 75 percent of your caloric intake should come from fats, 15 to 30 percent from protein, and 5 to 10 percent from carbohydrates. This entails consuming a maximum of 50 grams of carbohydrates per day, yet numerous individuals reduce their intake to as low as 20 grams.

During the first seven days of being on the low-carb diet, your body is not accessing very much sugar. This means that it must get energy from fat stores instead, as pointed out by Keatley.

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This can bring notable reductions in body fat and body weight for many individuals (which is brilliant)! Some dieters and professionals have expressed caution that the keto diet may be difficult to maintain in the long-term and can cause some negative reactions, such as low levels of alertness, reduced mental clarity, and low energy.

So, is the keto diet a good idea? Well, that depends.

You Could End up Yo-Yo Dieting

Jenna Jameson, previously an advocate for the ketogenic diet, has recently discussed the difficulties associated with it. She commenced the ketogenic diet in April 2018 and supposedly dropped 80 pounds. By the end of 2019, she had abruptly ceased sharing updates about her progress. She declared in a post on Instagram that she had chosen to be done with the #keto diet and experience a carby lifestyle to the fullest. She confessed to her supporters that putting on 20 pounds was an unintentional outcome. “The weight came back fast and furious. I agree with many individuals that adhering to the keto diet is challenging to stick to, and after eighteen months, I can attest to that fact. Jenna asked herself if she should completely reinstate her previous diet or simply observe her caloric intake.

Since that time, the model has increased her nutrition plan, admitting that it is more tricky to stay with it a second time. People who adhere to overly restrictive diets frequently cycle on and off them, says Juliana Shalek, a Registered Dietitian at The Nutrition Suite. If you make a mistake, it is likely that the weight you lost will come back quickly. When we cut out certain carbohydrates such as bread and pasta and reintroduce them, we often eat too much of these foods, according to Shalek. People who initially lost 12 to 15 lbs saw those pounds come back when they started consuming carbs, in addition to some extra weight.

Having Super Low Energy Is a Common Side Effect

Carolynn Tulluck, age 29, experienced a depletion of energy while following a low-carbohydrate diet. The fitness and food blogger from Seattle, Washington began the keto diet in January 2017. She had the aim of maintaining a 20-gram-carbohydrate allowance on a daily basis in an effort to shed the 25 pounds she had put on recently.

Carolynn dropped fifteen pounds in just one month, but when April came, she stopped losing and started to experience tiredness and a lack of energy when doing exercise. She stopped doing the regular cardiovascular and strength training exercises she was accustomed to and put a break on her ketogenic diet habits. She resumed her dieting efforts a year later, once she had regained the weight, however eventually ended up craving carbohydrates, to the point she had to eat a honey straw to revitalize her energy. And that’s when she realized keto was not sustainable.

Keatley claims that fatigue is a prevalent consequence of the diet. Many of his customers have expressed grievances of feeling exhausted and lack of energy. “You’re not burning that sugar quickly anymore. Keatley states that one must wait for the body to break down fat in order to gain energy.

Carolynn discovered that she was unable to cope with the lack of energy. She now describes herself as a “flexitarian,” meaning she’ll occasionally eat red meat, but will generally stick to plant-based and vegetarian food. She expresses feeling much more relaxed due to no longer having to worry about keeping track of her carbohydrate intake as precisely. I’m not concentrating much on macro nutrients and just aiming to consume food that is good for me.

Keto can also trigger disordered eating in some

Shalek states that when people deny themselves of carbohydrates, they often tend to overindulge in them afterwards. This is a key point to consider for those with a previous record of compulsive overeating. Dr. Matthew Weiner of A Pound of Cure suggests that his patients focus on replacing processed foods with natural ones instead of eliminating entire food categories as the keto diet entails. This helps with weight loss without encouraging restrictive eating.

You may feel like you have the flu

Dr. Amy Rothberg from the University of Michigan has observed that many of her patients who have attempted the ketogenic diet have encountered the keto flu, a series of unpleasant symptoms which make them feel ill. Everyone is feeling unwell, as though they have the flu — with headaches, vomiting and difficulty with bowel movements, according to Rothberg. Plus, you may also experience vitamin deficiencies. Keatley asserts that eliminating grains from your diet will significantly reduce your intake of B vitamins.

However, these indications are usually seen during the first seven days of the eating regimen when the body is adapting to the change in energy sources and lessening of carbohydrates. As you become increasingly accustomed to eating less, they usually diminish. If you would like to slim down over a longer period of time and not experience the “keto flu” symptoms and other uncomfortable reactions from your body, Keatley suggests increasing your carb intake to between 45 and 60 grams.

Low Carb vs. Keto

Two prevalent dietary regimens, low carb and keto, focus on cutting back on carbohydrate consumption. Which diet is superior: low carbohydrate or ketogenic?

Even with their similarities, low carb and keto have significant real-world differences:

  • Low-carb diets usually range from 20-100 grams per day.
  • Keto usually ranges from 0-25 grams of daily carb intake.
  • On low-carb diets, protein, and fats are fair game.
  • A keto diet requires that you get 75-85% of your calories from fat and only 15-25% from protein. 

Due to the focus on fat, the ketogenic diet works in a distinctive way, brings about diverse sensations, and usually results in an altered physical appearance compared to low-carb regimens.

What’s a Low-Carb Diet?

A low-carb approach to eating limits the amount of carbohydrates consumed to between 20 and 50 grams each day. Foods such as grains, desserts, and drinks with a lot of sugar should be lessened in one’s diet.

Most low-carb diets have only a small percentage of their caloric intake coming from carbohydrates, which is much less than the usual diet typically consumed in the United States. Low-carb diets typically replace the carbohydrates by increasing the amount of fats and proteins. By cutting out high-calorie processed foods, low-carb diets can often result in fewer calories consumed, helping to encourage weight loss.

Studies have suggested that eating a diet that focuses on low carbohydrate intake can provide beneficial results to one’s health. Research has indicated that these techniques are particularly beneficial for those who have diabetes or are dealing with obesity. A type of low-carb diet that permits just a modest amount of carbohydrates to be consumed is the infamous Atkins regimen.

Other upsides of a low-carb diet include the following:

  • Flexibility
  • Sustainability
  • Fewer restrictions than keto
  • Easier to adapt to (no keto flu)

Would it be possible to reduce the net carbs even further? Eating plans that provide fewer than ten percent of their overall calories from carbohydrates are often referred to as Very Low-Carb (VLC) diets. Limiting carbohydrate intake to an extreme level brings about a powerful metabolic reaction known as ketosis.

What’s a Keto Diet?

The keto diet has become widely accepted in recent times and consists of an extremely reduced carb intake with an increased amount of fats.

The ketogenic diet, commonly referred to as ‘keto’, encourages the body to maximize its burning of fat through the production of ketones.

Ketosis offers benefits that go beyond merely lowering the intake of carbohydrates. Epilepsy can be alleviated by it, losing weight can be done quickly with its help, and the spread of certain types of cancer can be suppressed.

The primary intention of following a ketogenic diet is to achieve nutritional ketosis. Once you start consuming fewer than 50 grams of carbohydrates each day, you can enter into a unique physiological condition. Your liver will create ketone bodies from the fatty foods you consume when it becomes aware it does not have enough carbohydrates. The ketones supply a continuous stream of fuel for both the physical body and cognition.

To adhere to the dietary requirements of a keto diet, the majority of fruits and vegetables are not allowed. Plants consist of carbohydrates, which become glucose (sugar) when they are digested. Your physique has no way of distinguishing between a head of lettuce and a candy lollipop. Additionally, keto is often practiced for its anti-inflammatory benefits. Vegetable products contain a large amount of plant toxins and nutrients that could negatively affect your wellbeing.

Some people find the keto diet restrictive. No fruits and veggies? No starches?

If you consider discipline to be key in gaining freedom, then the keto diet may be what you are seeking. Other benefits of keto include:

  • Epilepsy management 
  • Improved insulin sensitivity
  • Reduced appetite
  • Improved blood lipid levels

A Shared History

Humans have been eating foods with a low carbohydrate content since the dawn of history.

In the past, it was not as easy to obtain food as it is now, and our predecessors had to do without the option of quickly popping out to the supermarket to purchase their next meal. It was typical to go back and forth between periods with lack of resources and times of abundance. When there was a great deal of food, such as when a hunting expedition went well, it usually came in the shape of species that are high in calories. It was difficult to come by sources of carbohydrates, usually only achievable after expending a lot of energy.

In other words, our forebears had a habit of consuming minimal amounts of carbohydrates…with extended periods of fasting. The original paleo diet? It was also ketogenic.

Our body composition gives us insight as to how normal a keto diet is. Humans are composed of 73% fat, 25% protein, and a small amount of carbohydrates (2%). Our brains are 60% fat, too. Why not eat according to these ratios? Fat serves as a vital agent to engender positive effects – it safeguards our nerves, offers a defensive shield to our essential organs, and ensures hormones remain in a state of balance.

In the 1920s, ideas associated with Western medicine started gaining acknowledgement. Researchers from Johns Hopkins University began to utilize fasting as a way of attending to people suffering from seizure problems and diabetes. The scientists had no knowledge why abstaining from food could create this result, particularly as the circumstances had nothing to do with each other.

However, they began to explore if there was a sustenance regimen that could imitate the effects of abstaining from food. Following numerous attempts and missteps, they eventually discovered the ideal diet plan to be the keto diet! Individuals who had been obligated to go without food could again start to consume food and nevertheless maintain a state of not experiencing seizures or diabetes.

Why Fat is the Perfect Fuel

Foods from both the animal and plant kingdoms contain fats, which are part of many of the things people consume. Fats are not just a source of energy; they provide far more than that. Dietary fats:

  • Make your meals more filling
  • Regulate hormones and immunity
  • Help you absorb fat-soluble vitamins (K, D, E, etc)
  • Maintain healthy skin, hair, and nails

Do not let medical beliefs deter you from realizing the importance of fat in diet. It is not true that saturated fats are linked to a higher risk of heart disease or cardiovascular disease.

Take it from these doctors:

For the past three decades, people have given advice to consume low-fat diets, only to discover that it was an incorrect assumption. It has not been demonstrated that there is a link between saturated fats and cardiovascular disease.

– Fredrik Nyström, Professor of Internal Medicine, Linköping

“It’s time to face the facts. There is no connection between saturated fats and CVD”.

– Peter Nilsson, Professor of Cardiovascular Research, Lund

For the time being, just recognize that fat is an abundant, beneficial, secure form of energy that people have been ingesting for centuries. We’ll go over all of the specific information later.

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