The ketogenic diet is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet that has been popular over the past few years.
Moreover, this diet offers many health benefits for those who suffer from heart diseases, diabetes, asthma, cancer, etc. It also helps with weight loss. However, there are still criticisms about its potential harmfulness for health.
Let’s jump right into this post about the keto diet for beginners.
What is the keto diet?
The keto diet is based on the reduction of carbohydrate consumption in favour of fat. This high-fat diet is largely similar to the Atkins and low-carb diets.
In this way, limiting all carbohydrates and favouring fats aims to reduce glycogen reserves (source of energy) in order to produce ketones (alternative of energy source in the keto diet). Fat is henceforth used as an alternative energy source.
This diet is extremely strict as it’s needed to eat very little carbohydrate and much fat. More precisely, the keto diet is organized in several quantities to respect: about 70 to 80% fat, 20 to 25% protein and 5 to 10% carbohydrates.
Furthermore, it exists several versions of the keto diet in which the quantities of carbs, protein and fat vary.
The pros of the keto diet
This diet is really helpful to lose weight. In fact, it’s explained by the state of “ketosis” which causes a marked decrease in appetite, which helps to reduce the amount of food consumed. Although this diet does not focus on counting calories, those who follow it actually absorb fewer calories because they are not hungry, and this leads to weight loss.
As mentioned above, the main positive point of the keto diet is the sensation of satiety and the absence of caloric restriction.
Furthermore, type 2 diabetes or prediabetes can be improved thanks to the boost of insulin sensitivity as you lose fat.
Finally, this high-fat diet can treat different health troubles such as heart diseases (reduce risks of blood pressure, blood sugar, high cholesterol levels, etc), cancer, epilepsy, neurological diseases (Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s diseases, etc), and many more.
The cons of the keto diet
Nevertheless, the keto diet has significant side effects. High fat intake can aggravate cardiovascular health problems and make the liver heavier. People with liver disorders should avoid this diet. Nutritional ketosis can be accompanied by nausea, fatigue and headaches for four to five days. Lack of fibre can cause constipation, and lack of vitamins, minerals and electrolytes can cause kidney stones. It therefore essential to consult your doctor before starting this strict diet.
On top of that, this diet refers to specific amounts of carbs, protein and fat. And it’s thus hugely difficult to follow to the letter. In this respect, it isn’t compatible with a flourishing social life and the pleasure of eating (because of little food diversity).
Overall, the first weeks contain unpleasant effects (nausea, fatigue, headaches). However, it’s often a transition period so that your body can adapt to this new diet.
The keto diet has been largely introduced in the plates of many people. For good reason, it considerably helps with weight loss. But also in reducing many diseases such as heart diseases, diabetes, neurological diseases, cancer, etc.
On account of little carbs and high-fat, the keto diet brings the sensation of satiety and the absence of caloric restriction.
Nonetheless, the keto diet remains a strict and tough diet to follow every day. In fact, it doesn’t contain a huge variety of meal and can above all brings serious side effects like fatigue, headaches, nausea, etc.
Before starting the diet, it’s essential to make sure that your body will support the severe change by asking your doctor.
Sources and further readings
Main photo the keto diet for beginners by Foodie Factor on Pexels.
Photo of What is the keto diet? by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.