The Pros and Cons of the keto diet: should you try it?

The Pros and Cons of the keto diet: should you try it?

The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, moderate-protein, and high-fat diet. This diet has recently gained massive popularity because of its evidence-based, fast results. People have lost hundreds of pounds following the keto diet.

Like any diet, the keto diet also has its benefits and risks. Before you jump on the keto bandwagon, you must weigh both pros and cons of it. We make your research simple by discussing the pros and cons of the keto diet here.

Pros and Cons of Diet Diet

How Does Keto Diet Work?

The ketogenic diet works on the principle of “ketosis”. Ketosis is when the body uses fat instead of carbs for its primary energy source, and the liver converts fat into ketone bodies.

Instead of a carb-rich diet, you eat a high-fat diet which shifts the body’s metabolism from stored glycogen to reserved fat. It’s like turning your body into a “fat-burning machine." The body uses fat reserves for all the activities, and you get into your best shape.

The ketogenic diet was first formulated for Epilepsy kids in the 1920s, but this diet has been used for losing weight since the 1980s.

Pros of the ketogenic diet

1. Rapid Fat loss:

The ketogenic diet is the fastest way to lose fat, especially the stubborn fat around the abdomen! The Keto diet preserves muscle mass, and you lose purely fat. This is the healthiest weight loss.

Keto diet - rapid weight loss

In the first two weeks, you can experience weight loss of up to 15 pounds. This sudden weight loss is water weight. 1g glycogen holds up to 4g water in the body. When glycogen reserves are depleted, the body loses weight. You find your clothes getting loose around the waist. It's a good sign that your body is responding to the keto diet!

Later, the body uses reserved fat around the thighs, abdomen, and neck, and you lose weight. Fat mobilizes from its stores and provides energy for daily activities.

Studies suggest that low-carb diets are much better at losing and sustaining weight loss than low-fat and low-calorie diets. Research proved that a ketogenic diet can help lose "weight regain" after bariatric surgery.

The Keto diet is recommended as an alternative to a low-fat diet before weight loss surgery. Research shows better recovery and hospital stay in patients following the ketogenic diet compared to those on a low-calorie diet.

2. Increased Satiety:

You mostly never feel satiated on a diet. Conventional diets limit calorie intake where we rely on low-calorie food that does not keep us full for longer. We are always hungry, and binge eat while messing up our diet. A ketogenic diet solves this problem and keeps you full.

Your body takes time to digest protein. They are not easily digestible like carbs. Fat promotes satiety. The ketogenic diet is also found to decrease levels of Ghrelin (hunger hormone) in the blood. This suppresses hunger and the desire to eat.

3. Lowers Blood Sugar Levels:

Diabetes affects almost 90 million people around the globe. Many more suffer from prediabetes. The ketogenic diet has promising results in the treatment of diabetes. In diabetes, blood sugar levels are alarmingly high. High blood sugar eats away each organ of the body, from constricting kidney vessels to forming plaques in heart vessels; high sugar can cause heart, kidney, bone, and infectious diseases.

Lowers Blood Sugar Levels

Research has shown tremendous improvement in type 2 diabetes patients following a ketogenic diet for 10 weeks. At the end of the study, the patient’s hbA1c (a blood test that tracks blood sugar for the past 3 months) was lower.

A pilot study compared two groups of diabetic patients following a ketogenic diet and “plate method," respectively. After 32 weeks, patients following the ketogenic diet lost more weight, reduced hbA1c, and reduced LDL compared to the control group.

PCOS, a gynecological condition affecting 8-21% of women of reproductive age, results from insulin insensitivity due to obesity and high sugar levels. The ketogenic diet can improve PCOS conditions by lowering inflammation markers and blood sugar.

Cons of the ketogenic diet:

The Keto diet carries some Cons. Some people quit keto even after losing weight. They can't sustain it or get a disease because of their carelessness. Being vigilant on keto is very important. Don't fall into the trap of "dirty keto."

Dirty keto means eating high-fat, low-carb food that is highly deficient in nutrition, like chicken nuggets or beef burgers. Dirty keto can help you lose weight at first, but it has more harm than good in the long term. Stick to healthy keto. Be mindful of your fat choice. Avoid vegetable oil, canola oil, ghee, or margarine. Let's look at the Cons of the keto diet and how you can avoid them.

1. Keto Flu:

When your body is transitioning from a high-carb to a low-carb diet, you can experience some symptoms known as keto flu. Experiencing headaches, fatigue, laziness, dizziness, and irritability is usual when you start keto.

Keto Flu

Your body is taking its time. Sometimes keto flu is so strong that you end up quitting keto. Believe me, it's a lot easier after keto flu.

You can avoid or lessen the symptoms of keto flu. Keeping an eye on your hydration and electrolytes intake is the key to avoiding keto fluid. Take bone broth or salt water daily to keep up with electrolytes and micronutrients. See our keto electrolytes guide for more information on electrolytes. We also recommend checking out the Groovy Keto range of keto electrolytes powder to keep up with your electrolytes intake. Instead of using store brought bone broth, try making yourself as it would be healthier. The more information, check out our guide on the keto flu.

2. Nutritional deficiency:

The Keto diet offers limited food choices. It eliminates all grains, beans, legumes, starchy vegetables, fruits, milk, and milk products. These food groups contain essential nutrients and micronutrients your body needs for normal development.

The long-term keto diet can cause a deficiency of vitamin C, vitamin D, calcium, and fiber. Lack of fiber upsets gut health, leading to chronic constipation. Fiber helps regular bowel movements and also lowers cholesterol. Adding a multivitamin or fiber supplement with a ketogenic diet can help combat nutritional deficiencies.

3. Rebound weight gain:

Rebound weight gain still stays a big con of the keto diet. People leave the keto diet and return to their old eating habits. Remember, we are the conclusion of our daily habits. People heap up on sugar, fried food, processed carbs, packaged food, and whatnot.

All the lost weight comes back. This time carbs hold water more than before, and it’s hard to lose fat the second time. Even if you get off the keto, take low-carb meals to stay healthy.

4. Expensive and inaccessible:

The Keto diet is not a conventional diet where you eat bread, pasta, vegetable oil, or convenient food. You need to invest a lot in your groceries.

The grocery budget reaches the sky, especially when you add coconut oil, almond flour, keto sweetener, salmon, avocados, cream cheese, etc., to your diet. Moreover, not all the ingredients are available everywhere. This majorly affects your diet. Stick to a simple keto diet and always do groceries in bulk to avail discounts.For more advice on keto foods, check out our keto shopping list.

The Keto diet has both its merits and demerits. It's your choice to give it a go after weighing its pros and cons. Always consult your doctor before starting any new diet regime.

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