You are unique and so is your body! Before starting any new health routine, always be sure to talk with your doctor to make sure it is right for your needs.
It’s been years since the keto diet first made its splash into mainstream culture. While it continues to be popular and claims to help with everything from weight loss to decreased appetite, you may be wondering if it’s all it’s cracked up to be.
What is the Keto Diet Again?
Quick refresher: “keto” is short for ketogenic and refers to a state where your body uses primarily fat (instead of carbohydrates) for energy. The keto diet is considered a low-carb diet, and it emphasizes dietary fat (cheese, butter, some nuts, etc.) and moderate protein (meat, fish, eggs, etc.).
What is Great About the Keto Diet
Many people try out the keto diet in hopes of losing weight. Much of the research suggests notable outcomes within the first 2-3 weeks, and reports show benefits for up to 6-12 months. Possible benefits could include:
- Potential weight loss
- Increased satiety at mealtime
- Reduced hunger between meals
- More home-cooked meals
- Can reduce abdominal fat
What is Not So Great About the Keto Diet
Because this diet focuses on keeping carbs low, many people find it hard to sustain as it restricts grains, legumes, most fruit, veggies, milk, etc. In addition, due to these restrictions, some healthcare professionals have also raised concerns about nutrient deficiencies like vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate and dietary fiber.
When starting out on the keto diet, people complain of initial symptoms known as the “keto flu” which include bad breath, headaches, muscle cramps, nausea, and constipation. Other downsides include:
- Hard to sustain
- Contraindicated for people with certain conditions
- Concerns about the long-term impact on heart health
- Can be expensive
Is the Keto Diet Here to Stay?
Long-term risks of the keto diet are still unknown and more research is needed to determine if this diet is safe for everyone and for long-term use. As always, if you are considering trying this diet out, be sure to talk with your doctor or a nutritionist first to ensure this approach is safe for you.
If you try the keto diet out and find that it is too hard to sustain, you may also consider other recommended eating plans like the Mediterranean diet or a plant-based diet. Your healthcare provider will be able to give you resources and point you in the right direction.
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