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Is the Keto Diet Worth it?

Hearing the term “keto” float around in conversation might trigger your curiosity, even seeing people on social media rapidly drop a significant amount of weight. What is the hype about eating a ketogenic-based diet? Eating strictly keto has been the go-to for people that want to lose weight due to consumption of only high fat and low carbohydrates. Meal preparation has to be particular to keep your body in a state of ketosis.

What is ketosis? Affecting the body’s metabolism, the process of ketosis involves burning fat for it energy because of lack of carbohydrates. When the body is in ketosis, it creates ketones and turns to the body’s fat for fuel. Within a week of eating on a low-carb diet under 40 grams of carbohydrates, the body will undergo ketosis. High-carb foods such as breads, pasta, bananas, starchy vegetables, and legumes will impact this metabolic state, thus stopping ketosis. 

There are numerous positive effects of eating a low-carb diet aside from manipulating weight loss. Medical professionals suggest that children that struggle with managing their epilepsy eat less carbohydrates. According to the Epilepsy Foundation, children with seizures are typically put on a keto diet when they fail to respond to medications. Epilepsy conditions such as Rett syndrome, infantile spasms, and Dravet syndrome can be managed with a ketogenic diet. When suggested and prescribed for epilepsy management, this particular diet is heavily monitored by a dietitian.

Keto influenced dieting can also maintain and lower glucose levels in people with Type 2 diabetes. Improvement in sugar sensitivity with low-carb eating restrictions might be reason enough for people with diabetes to go “keto”. According to Healthline, the weight loss attributed to the keto diet can improve the health of people with Type 2 diabetes. Heart healthy fats are recommended as high-fat foods are encouraged for this diet, and it’s important to differentiate between which foods are harmful. 

Unfortunately, there are some downsides to the ketogenic diet that often aren’t marketed and considered. While the body is transitioning to ketosis, you may be susceptible to developing flu-like symptoms. Keto flu is accompanied by headaches, nausea, and brain fog due to drastically cutting out carbs. Gut health may also be affected being that most fruits and grains contain the fiber needed to maintain normal bowels. 

Another downside of keto is not being able to eat ice cream, cakes, pasta dishes, and delightful fruits. Undergoing withdrawals when eliminating most of the carbs eaten on a daily basis could influence you to surrender to cravings. Most of us lack the discipline needed to follow through with keto; cutting out most of your favorite foods isn’t ideal for the average person. 

Although the ketogenic diet has numerous benefits, it’s crucial to do your own research on whether this lifestyle is suitable for you. If you are epileptic or struggle with maintaining Type 2 diabetes, please consult your doctor before adhering to these dietary restrictions. 

Featured photo by Shutterstock

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