The Keto Diet Is Popular, but Is It Good for You?
When it comes to choosing our diet plan, we tend to gravitate towards the one which is popular at the time. Keto diet is quite a popular choice among people now. So what is a Keto Diet? It’s a high-fat, low-carb, low-to-moderate protein diet. By dramatically reducing carbs in your diet, the body will enter and sustain a metabolic state called Ketosis, where the body burns a highly efficient alternative fuel called ketones.
Not only does Keto Diet help with weight loss, but it’s also very good for heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, cancer, and alzheimer’s disease. To meet the specifications of the diet, you need to cut-out major groups of foods such as grains, legumes and dairy, and even certain nutrient-rich vegetables. Here is a small list of Food items that should not be consumed while following a Keto Diet:
- Sugary foods: Soda, smoothies, fruit juice, cake, ice cream, candy.
- Fruit: Basically all fruits– except small doses of berries like strawberries.
- Root vegetables and tubers: Potatoes, carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, etc.
Now, what about the food items that are included in a standard Keto Diet? Here are some examples:
Meat: Red meat, steak, sausage, ham, bacon, and chicken.
Fatty fish: Like salmon, tuna, trout, and mackerel.
Cheese: Unprocessed cheese like cheddar, goat, blue or mozzarella.
Nuts and seeds: Almonds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, etc.
Low-carb vegetables: Most green veggies, onions, tomatoes, peppers, etc.
Keto Diet: When it Can Be Bad For Your Health
Keto diets usually work best in the short term and can be unhealthy if followed for long. According to dietitians, once your body enters ketosis, you begin to lose muscle and become extremely fatigued. Which eventually leads you into starvation mode. From that point, it actually becomes even harder to lose weight. The beginners can experience side effects in the first week of following a keto diet. The primary reason being due to sugar and carbohydrate withdrawal. You can experience side effects such as headache, fatigue, constipation, nausea, sugar cravings, etc. Keto diet is not advisable to people who have conditions involving thyroid, liver, pancreas.
Kidney damage is another side effect. If you include too much meat in your Keto diet, especially processed meats, it increases the risk of kidney stones and gout. High intake of animal proteins increases the acidity of your urine and also calcium and uric acid levels. This unfavorable combination makes you extremely susceptible to kidney stones, while high uric acid can increase the risk for gout.
‘Keto flu’ is also included in the list of side effects caused by the keto diet. The symptoms of Keto flu are fatigue, dizziness, brain fog, vomiting, nausea, and stomach pain. Your body, when it switches from burning glucose to burning fat, is subjected to changes. This transition period makes your body vulnerable to Keto flu, and it expresses it through the symptoms mentioned above.
As mentioned earlier Keto diet is responsible for muscle loss. This is due to the fact that protein alone is less productive for muscle building than the combined effect of protein and carbohydrates.
While Keto Diet is an effective method for short term weight loss, it’s not advisable to continue for a longer period say, above one month. The weight loss you may achieve comes at the expense of many health problems. And it’s not proven that it will be able to provide a sustainable weight loss.