The Scoop on the Keto Diet: Should you try it?
It’s been at least a couple years since the Ketogenic diet, better known as the Keto diet, hit airwaves among family dinner tables, social media and the weight loss world all around.
People have sworn by it when they do the diet long-term, and there are, of course, many success stories. But, like all diets, it’s always important to take a step back and think about whether this diet is something that is good for you and if it’s something you can commit to long-term.
The Keto Diet has an odd history. The diet came about from epilepsy research, according to AFPA Fitness. The term “ketogenic” didn’t exist until the 20th century. But, doctors dating back to Ancient Greece used fasting and diet restrictions for treating many health problems. It was specifically a major treatment for those with epilepsy.
The first study was recorded in 1911 in France. The study found that epilepsy patients who consumed low-calorie diets combined with periods of fasting experienced fewer seizures and had fewer health issues from the condition.
Now, at first this seemed pretty impressive. But, people still have to eat. So, when the patients returned to their regular diet, they found their symptoms returned. So, doctors began experimenting with restricted diets. So, they discovered that some epilepsy patients had fewer seizures when their blood sugar was lowered from eating a high-fat low-carb diet. Thus created the Keto diet.
According to 310 Nutrition, one of the main things to know about the diet is that it is low carb. This includes foods like starchy vegetables, beans, grains and high carb fruits. When you eliminate most of these foods, you also spike your fat intake. This focuses on the healthier fatty foods, but you are actually supposed to eat a lot of them. It is the essential factor in how Keto works.
This diet is named for the process it puts your body in: Ketosis. This is a state where your body no longer burns glucose for fuel. Instead, your body starts to burn ketones for fuel. This causes you to burn more daily fat.
This process will not happen overnight, however. It can take up to a month to fully enter this process.
One of the first benefits of the diet is that it helps you eat cleaner. This involves following the diet correctly, and eating “real” foods over packaged and processed foods. Again, you are cutting out sugar and highly-refined carbs–and eating a lot of fat instead. This can be tough at first, because many of us are addicted to sugar. But, once its out of your system it can be easier to kick.
The diet is also supposed to provide some serious control of cravings. The high-fat foods you will be eating will help you stay full throughout the day.
Balance Your Blood Sugar
All those carbs they ask you to eliminate apparently cause some serious fluctuations in your blood sugar levels. But, eating all the extra protein helps balance your levels and avoid those fluctuations. It also helps stabilize your energy levels and even increase your energy.
Fast Weight Loss
The Keto diet is known for fast and steady weight loss. This happens because you are literally burning your stored fat as energy once your body has entered ketosis.
When you are on a diet that is high in carbs, it causes your body to release inulin–which is the fat-storing hormone. When you follow the Keto Diet, you shut off that hormone.
Feeling like Crap
Some of the cons of the diet include digestive issues. This often happens because when you reduce your carbs, you need to make sure you are getting enough fiber. This means that the carbs you eat (and are supposed to eat) ned to be rich in fiber. Otherwise, you may experience constipation. Keto meal replacement shakes also help with this problem.
It was previously thought that saturated fats were connected to heart issues, but studies have disproved that. With that in mind, balance is important. So, eating too many of these fats can hurt your health if you’re not careful.
Like we said, the body takes time to hit ketosis and needs some time to adjust. So, when you’re body is getting used to all these changes, it does some detoxing. This period of time can feel like the flu, which is why it’s known as Keto Flu. Symptoms also include strong sugar cravings, irritability and trouble sleeping. These symptoms will pass, but it can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
So, is the Keto diet good or bad? Well, it depends on who you talk to. But, you should never dive into anything without knowing the whole story and making sure you do it right.