How Healthy is the Keto Diet?

The Keto diet limits many of the important foods like carbohydrates, that the body needs to maintain the important balance of nutrients. While you may lose weight, at what cost is it to your health?

How Healthy is the Keto Diet?

Just about everyone has heard of the latest advertised “Keto Diet”, but should it be considered a healthy diet? Many dietitians and other nutrition experts have their concerns about its safety. They cringe at yet another fad diet for weight loss on the market. It is considered a fad diet because as a diet it is not balanced in the recommended distribution of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. The other problem with this diet is that it does not allow eating in moderation; you cannot do it one day and then stop the next. The reason for this is that the diet is designed to place your body in a metabolic state called ketosis where it doesn’t feel hunger. However, there are adverse effects of being in a state of ketosis such as:

  • nausea
  • fatigue
  • constipation
  • low blood pressure
  • elevated uric acid – a body waste produced, released in urine
  • stale, foul taste in the mouth
  • kidney issues
  • gout

Because of these side effects the diet tends not to be sustainable.

If you have read about the Keto diet you know that it is basically a high fat, moderate protein diet with an extremely low intake of carbohydrate containing foods. A typical intake of carbohydrates in an average diet should be at least 100 grams per day, the keto only recommends between 20-30 grams per day. Carbohydrates provide the body with glucose, a sugar found in fruits and vegetables which most people consider to be healthy foods packed with vitamins. Carbohydrates are also found in grains foods such as pasta, bread, crackers, etc. which some consider not as healthy especially if they are trying to lose weight. Another food group that is limited in the Keto diet is the dairy group, except for high fat cheeses and heavy cream. No milk or yogurt is included because even though they have varying amounts of fat, they also are a source of carbohydrates. But without eating carbohydrate foods the dieter is not getting enough glucose or the needed vitamins, minerals, and fiber which are vital to their health.

The glucose from eating carbohydrate foods (fruits, vegetables, milk and grains) gives the body energy. Without carbohydrate sources, our bodies must break down fat for energy. Because fats do not break down completely, they are not the body’s preferred source of energy. In fact, if we use fat for energy our body goes into a metabolic state called ketosis, hence the name “Keto” Diet. Many of the adverse effects from the ketosis are outcomes in the body as mentioned in the list above. Some individuals think that ketosis is the key to losing weight, but when studies compared the Keto diet to a typical weight loss diet, they both will produce a reduction in weight. However, if you are eating the Keto diet way once you stop you will begin the terrible cycle of weight loss and weight regain often at an even higher level of the initial pounds lost. A diet for weight loss containing the suggested food groups is more sustainable to keep the weight off for the long term.

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