Over the years, we’ve seen a number of fad diets come and go. Some have been moderately successful and healthy, whereas others have been absolutely ludicrous. There are some however, that have withstood the test of time and have proved to be hugely popular and successful, and the keto diet is certainly a prime example of that.
Ever since the Atkins diet came to prominence in the 1980s, low carb diets have seemingly been in and out of fashion like clothing and hairstyles. It’s only since the last couple of decades however, that ketogenic diets have proved popular.
The keto diet is not only designed to promote weight loss, it can also offer numerous health benefits too, but it is not without its drawbacks. As a result of this, there is some uncertainty regarding the safety of the diet, which is what we want to look at today.
Below, you’ll find a quick overview of what the keto diet is, before we take a look at the benefits and potential health risks.
What is the keto diet?
The keto diet, which is not to be confused with the Atkins diet, is a low carb, moderate protein, high fat diet that is designed to promote weight loss, increased energy levels, and improved cognitive function.
The idea behind this diet is that you replace carbohydrates as your primary energy source with enzymes produced in the liver known as ketones. In order for ketones to be produced however, fat must first be metabolized and utilized by the body.
By restricting carbohydrates, your body is forced to look elsewhere for energy and eventually it taps into your body fat stores and uses fat to produce ketones. This can only be achieved once the body has reached a state of ketosis. This is why you lose weight on a keto diet because you are literally fueling your body with fat.
What are the benefits of keto diets?
There are a number of benefits associated with ketogenic diets. Some of the most prominent benefits include:
- Fat loss
- Increased energy levels
- Improved cognitive function
- Reduced risk of dementia and cognitive decline
- Can improve type-2 diabetes symptoms
- May help reduce LDL cholesterol
- May improve symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease
- Can reduce seizures in epileptic children
- May improve immunity
Things to know before starting keto
If you are looking to start a ketogenic diet, here are some things to know
There will be side effects
For the first 2 – 5 days as your body transitions into ketosis, you will feel unwell. You’ll feel tired, you may get a headache, you’ll feel nauseous, and you’ll simply want to sleep. you may even suffer with ‘Keto Flu’ which is basically a term given to describe the many side effects.
Once you reach ketosis however, you’ll feel fantastic and all of the previous side effects and symptoms will be gone.
You will need to purchase urine test strips
In order to tell when you’re in ketosis, you can detect ketones in your urine. To do this, we recommend will need to purchase urine test strips such as Mido. The Mido test strips and analysis app detect ketones in your urine and let you know whether or not you’re in ketosis.
Keto is not a quick fix
Another thing to remember about keto diets is the fact that they are not designed to be fad diets or quick fixes. You will lose weight week by week, but results will slow down so you need to be committed. Keto is more of a lifestyle than a diet, so just remember that.
Keto is healthy if done right
If you follow the keto diet correctly and make sure to eat healthy keto-friendly foods, the diet is indeed healthy and can provide plenty of health benefits.