Everybody’s doing the keto diet. It’s a cultural craze that’s captured our attention!
With its recent popularity as a way to lose weight and improve energy levels, the ketogenic “keto” diet has historically been used to show positive benefits in people with epilepsy. The keto diet is high in fat, moderate in protein, and low in carbohydrates. The diet includes meat, fish, eggs, cheese, vegetables, butters and oils.
So what happens to our bodies when we follow this diet? The keto diet changes the way our bodies undergo metabolism. During normal metabolism, carbs are broken down into glucose. This glucose is stored in our gut, and is then later stored in the liver which is to be used by the body for energy. When we follow this diet, however, the body is forced to use fat instead of glucose for energy.
The keto diet has shown to result in rapid weight loss – even more than a typical low-fat diet! Reasons include increased feelings of fullness, changes in hormones that control our appetite, and an increase in metabolic rate.
So is this diet of anyone? Although weight loss is highly appealing, the keto diet comes with many possible side effects, and can include:
- Dehydration due to electrolyte changes,
- GI issues,
- Headaches and muscle cramps, and
Additionally, many nutrient deficiencies result because the diet is so restrictive and limited when it comes to consuming grains, legumes, fruits and veggies. Those on the diet also tend to choose unhealthy fats such as saturated and trans.
So what’s the best option? The ketogenic diet can be very hard to maintain in the long run. More research continues to be conducted on the long term effects. Until then…the best choices for all of us is a balanced diet filled with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats!