You may have been hearing about the Keto Diet across the web, with various celebrities such as LeBron James to Megan Fox trying it and getting amazing results. So, you may wonder what exactly is this diet, how does it work, what can and can't you eat, and does it work? Let's take a look.
It's simply a high-fat, extremely low carb diet with a sufficient amount of protein included in it. This type of dieting isn't new and was developed around the 1920s. So the goal of this keto diet is to keep your body in a metabolic state called ketosis. Normally, our bodies will burn carbs for energy, but when you limit your intake of carbs, your body will begin to break down stored fat which creates molecules called "ketones" to use for energy.
There are many different versions of this keto diet, but normally it's 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbs for your daily calorie intake. That means you only should be having about 50g of carbs. So what exactly can I eat?
For this diet, you can eat meat, poultry, seafood (especially fatty fish like salmon), eggs, cheese, butter, cream, and other full-fat dairy. You can also have avocados, nuts, vegetables such as greens, tomatoes, onions, and peppers.
Mainly anything with a lot of carbs. You should avoid bread, pasta, grains, sugar, beans, legumes, starchy vegetables such as peas, corn, carrots, potatoes, and other root vegetables. You will also not eat most fruits, processed foods, and alcohol. Not too hard right? Haha.
Initially yes. Your body will need some time to adapt to this diet and depending on how your diet was previously can significantly affect how your body will react to this low carb diet. A few common symptoms are feeling dehydrated, dizzy, fatigue, constipated, and your breath will smell bad. Around the 4-6 week mark of your keto diet you should be feeling better and more energetic.
There are also some health concerns regarding this diet. One of them is nutritional deficiency, you may be missing out on essential vitamins and minerals that you'd normal get from certain foods that you aren't eating. This in turn can put you at a higher risk of kidney stones, gallbladder issues, bone fractures, and heart disease.
It is very likely that you can achieve weight loss through this diet. Research has shown that the keto diet can also help lower blood sugar levels, with a growing number of studies showing that it may also be beneficial in treating certain type of diseases.
It's definitely good to do much research to see if this diet is for you. If your main goal is to lose weight and you think you can handle and stick rigidly to this strict diet, then you will probably lose weight. However, because this diet is so extreme and you tend to not feel so good as your body adapts to this diet initially, this is not an easy diet to sustain long term.
In addition, although this diet does not appear to be harmful, it does not necessarily mean that this diet is healthy or good for our bodies. It may be wise to reconsider the pros and cons as well as the long-term effects before jumping into any extreme diet.