The Keto diet is an extremely hot topic at the moment. So many people are boasting its benefits, and therefore it seems like a pretty good thing to get around. However, before you jump on this bandwagon it is worth the time to consider the research and make a decision that is right for you and your body.
The Keto diet is one that emphasises a diet that is high in fat. It was primarily used for people suffering from epilepsy, not for weight loss. The modern interpretation has been one of weight loss, by reducing calories in peoples diets due to the elimination of many foods high in carbs and reducing protein.
Below is a list of pros and cons associated with Keto designed to help you further understand whether this diet is right for you.
Pro #1: Weight Loss
In a typical western diet, your body uses carbohydrates as the primary fuel sources for energy. However, once you start restricting carbohydrates consistently, after a few days your body will start to burn fat to use as energy instead. This makes you lose body fat and fluid at a faster rate. Furthermore, the Keto diet’s process of increasing foods that contain more fat can help eliminate feelings of hunger as well as cravings.
Con #1: Eating Less Carbs Is Not Necessarily a Healthy Thing
Some people, such as athletes, require a high carb diet to ensure their bodies can maintain a high intensity of effort during their exercise routines. Therefore the Keto diet can result in less endurance and energy in athlete, particularly in the short term.
People can often suffer from constipation, body odour and severe fatigue on this diet as it takes longer and is harder to extract the right nutrition and energy from this diet.
Pro #2: It Can Be Helpful for Days Spent at the Desk
If you are not an athlete, you may not engage in too much intense exercise. Many people spend more of their time at work in front of a computer. In such cases, the body doesn’t require as many carbs and could function on a low carb diet such as Keto, however due to the focus on fat, the gut may not tolerate this particularly for those that are desk sitters.
Con #2: Your Body Might Not Be Getting Enough Sugar
Carbs and sugar boost performance in exercise and in mental focus. If you focus on quality carbohydrates such as vegetables, whole-grains, fruit and yogurt you are likely to perform at your peak, for as long as you need.
Pro #3: It May Help Prevent Cancer
Some research has indicated that there may be a link between cancer prevention and very low carb diets. However, this evidence is limited and likely linked to diet quality rather than carbohydrates in general.
Con #3: It May Negatively Impact Heart Health
A lot of the food associated with the Keto diet is high in saturated fats and meats. These have the potential to increase cholesterol particularly in those with a family history of heart disease. In additional not all fats are equal. If we compare bacon with olive oil, which is healthier? Which would you choose for heart health? The keto diet does not discriminate the quality.
When the results are stacked up next to each other, the Keto diet can seem like a good idea in the short term but if you are simply looking to lose weight and improve your diet, try focusing on removing some poor quality carbs like those rice crackers and squares of chocolate.
It is imperative that you consult your doctor before undertaking this diet to ensure whether the lifestyle changes are really right for you.