Is The Keto Diet Right For You?

 
Keto Diet
 

If your genes call for a high-fat, low-carb approach to eating, you might think the ketogenic (keto) diet is your answer.

Here’s how it works.

The keto formula is comprised of high amounts of fats, moderate amounts of protein and low amounts of carbohydrates.

After three-to-four days of consuming no more than five percent of your total calories from carbohydrates (this translates to 20 to 50 grams per day), ketosis is typically reached. Ketosis is when your body switches from using glucose as its primary energy source to ketones. Ketones are produced when the body starts breaking down its fat stores.

Most cells prefer to use sugar, which comes from carbohydrates, as the body’s main source of energy. This is why you may crave a cookie or a slice of bread when you’re feeling tired. Once you reach ketosis, most cells will use ketones to make energy until you re-introduce and increase your carbohydrate intake.

Is the keto diet good for you?

Despite its popularity, the keto diet is not new. In fact, it has been used for nearly 100 years to treat drug-resistant epilepsy, especially in children. [2] In the 1970’s Dr. Atkins introduced his version which was focused primarily on weight loss. Today, modifications of this diet continue to hit the market.

Proponents of the keto diet tout a whole host of health benefits including hormone and insulin balance, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, cancer fighting properties and the elimination of skin and digestive issues.

However there is no long-term research to support these outcomes or the keto diet’s long-term effects. Researchers speculate that this is probably because the diet is so restrictive, and hard to stick with, that it can’t be maintained for long periods of time. [2]

The keto diet keeps you feeling fuller, longer

The main reason most people are drawn to the keto diet is its promise of quick weight loss. Yet some doctors and health experts say that, over the long term, the keto diet is no more effective than other diets, like the Mediterranean Diet. And many find it worrisome because it encourages foods high in saturated fat which have been linked to heart disease, and restricts nutrient-rich foods supported by decades of research like beans, fruits, starchy vegetables and whole grains. [3]

On the other hand, Dr. David Ludwig, an endocrinologist at Harvard Medical School, asserts that one of the benefits of carb restriction is that blood sugar levels remain stable after a meal.

“By lowering insulin levels, fewer calories from the meal may get stored in fat cells, leaving more to fuel metabolism and feed the brain. As a result, you may feel fuller longer after eating,” he said. “While whole grains, starchy vegetables and tropical fruits are more healthful than processed carbs, they can still cause swings in blood sugar and insulin after a meal, and that can be particularly problematic for people with diabetes.” [3]

The keto diet can give you the “flu” & more serious side effects

As with any prescription, whether dietary or pharmaceutical, there are side effects you’ll want to consider and discuss with your doctor before going keto.

For most, the side effects are short-term and not serious. You might experience constipation, low blood sugar or indigestion.

You may also come down with the keto “flu" when your body shifts into ketosis. These symptoms can include headaches, fatigue, weakness, irritability, fatigue and nausea. You may also have a bad taste in your mouth. [1]

Some of the other side effects can be more serious. When your body burns its stores of fat, it can be hard on your kidneys. In some cases, low-carb diets can lead to kidney stones or high levels of acid in your body (acidosis). If you have kidney disease, this diet could worsen your condition.

In addition to kidney issues, other long term health risks of the keto diet include liver disease and deficiencies of vitamins and minerals. To limit carbs, many nutrient-rich vegetables and fruits are cut out. Thus, intakes of vitamin A, C, K and folate usually are low. [4]

Starting a keto diet—or going back to a normal diet afterward—can be tricky if you’re overweight due to the other health issues you may be managing such as diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure. If you have any of these conditions, make dietary changes slowly and only with the guidance of your doctor. [2]

However, regardless of your starting weight, you will likely experience significant rebound weight gain when you reintroduce carbs into your diet. This is where the term “yo-yo” diet comes from. Because the carb stores in your muscle tissues have been depleted, the reintroduction of carbohydrates refills this store. These refills carry additional water that can quickly offset any previous weight loss and cause weight gain.

Should I go keto?

Because it eliminates carbohydrates, a keto diet is rich in proteins and fats. It typically includes meats, eggs, dairy, fish, nuts and seeds, butter, oils and green vegetables. Most starchy vegetables and fruits, due to their natural sugars, are not allowed.

One of the main criticisms of keto diet is that many people tend to eat too much protein and poor-quality fats from processed foods, with very few fruits and vegetables. However, one of the benefits is that people on the keto diet eliminate the simple carbs like baked goods and white bread.

In addition, the high fat nature of the keto diet is very controversial. A considerable body of research has shown that diets high in saturated fat may increase the risk for heart disease and other chronic health problems. The risk that keto dieters might be taking with regard to their long-term cardiovascular health has not been fully studied. [4]

Therefore, our science says that it’s best to rely on your genes to determine if a high fat, low carbohydrate diet is compatible with your body.

Instead of looking to the latest diet fad that may not be sustainable or result in a permanent lifestyle change, consider adopting a nutrition plan that is built from your DNA and for your body.

A balanced, unprocessed and nutrient rich approach to food will give your body the fuel it needs to thrive—and to protect itself.

Order your report now and unlock the power of personalized nutrition.

 
 
 
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