Everything you need to Know about the Keto Diet

Recently, the Ketogenic diet has been under the spotlight as a quick way to lose weight. Yet despite the recent trend, it is not something new. Based on the Harvard health blog, KD has been used for hundreds of years to treat epilepsy, mainly in children. Throughout the years, other fad diets included a similar approach for weight loss.

What is KD?

It’s a very low or no-carb food plan that forces the body into a state of ketosis, which is when your body burns fat for energy instead of carbs to survive.

KD is rich in proteins and usually bad quality saturated fats including plenty of meats, eggs, processed meats, sausages, cheeses, fish, nuts, butter, oils, seeds, and fibrous vegetables, tea coffee, water, and broth, with a carbintake of 50

grams, ideally below 20 grams per day which is only equivalent to a small slice of bread.

Pros:

  • Many studies show that KD does the following:
  • Results in the most weight loss among many plans.
  • Aids in appetite control.
  • Reverses diabetes type 2 and improves insulin levels.
  • Improves blood pressure.
  • Aids in epilepsy symptoms and possibly Parkinson’s disease.
  • Help reduce bloating
  • Enhances endurance and physical performance.

Cons:

  • You will probably experience symptoms at the beginning like headaches, fatigue, dizziness, light nausea, dehydration, constipation, deficiencies, difficulty focusing, lack of motivation, and edginess as a withdrawal to sugar.
  • In general, Keto diets involve a high intake of animal products, which contain a lot of saturated fat and animal protein a risk factor for kidney and heart problems.

Who should avoid KD?

  • Breastfeeding or pregnant women
  • Patients taking medication
  • Those with kidney problems or other medical cases

Conclusion

Despite the successful short-term (14 days) weight loss, the Keto needs scientific research on the long term effects. Remember that ,“yo-yo diets” increase mortality. Instead of following the next popular crash diets that would last only a few weeks to months, try to engage in a long term plan. A balanced, unprocessed diet, rich in colorful fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish, whole grains, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and lots of water seems to have the best evidence for a long, healthier, and vibrant life along with exercise.

Remember: Always refer to your doctor before beginning a new diet or lifestyle plan.

(Credit: Nathalie Djabrayan, Licensed Dietitian)

References:
Harvard.edu 2018
Experimental & clinical cardiology journal 2004
“Int J Environ Res Public Health’2014
Annals of international medicine 2014