With a plethora of diet plans circulating the web these days, it is sometimes hard to decide which ones are good for you, or which ones work at all. To start your journey into understanding the popular diets, let’s first talk about the Keto diet, its benefits and risks.
What Is the Keto Diet?
The Keto diet, also known as the Ketogenic diet, revolves around the state of our body called ketosis. As we decrease the intake of carbohydrates to less than 50g a day, our body enters ketosis and starts using up fat for energy.
The easiest way for your body to enter ketosis is by fasting or not eating anything, but this approach isn’t sustainable. That is why keto diet remains a safer way to enter ketosis while still giving your body enough nutrients it needs to operate.
Benefits of Keto Diet
The first and the biggest benefit of the keto diet is weight loss. Your body needs to burn more calories when converting fat into energy than when using carbs as a primary energy source.
Keto diet makes you burn glucose more quickly, causing your body to produce less insulin, which may help protect you against some forms of cancer. Lower levels of insulin also make your body produce less cholesterol. High cholesterol levels lead to high blood pressure, hardened arteries and heart failure. With that said, reducing cholesterol levels reduces the risk of heart diseases.
The Keto diet has also been known to reduce acne breakouts, it can help reduce seizures caused by epilepsy, and can even help with some other nervous system disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and sleep disorders.
Risks Concerning the Keto Diet
On the other hand, entering ketosis can be rough on your body, especially kidneys, as it can lead to the formation of kidney stones.
Keto diet is not suitable for people with type 1 diabetes since burning fat for energy produces compounds called ketones. Ketones are created when your body uses up fat as an energy source and, while a healthy person won’t be affected by the build-up of these compounds, too many of them can be life-threatening for a person with diabetes.
Other side effects can include constipation, mildly low blood sugar, high levels of acid in your body (Acidosis) and even lead to a series of symptoms commonly referred to as Keto flu. These symptoms include irritability, weakness, headache, bad breath and fatigue.
While there are some health benefits connected to the Keto diet, more research needs to be done on its effects on the human body. Keto diet should be used as a short-term diet with a focus on weight loss. If you decide to give it a try, consult your doctor before starting out.