Keto diets sound too good to be true. It somehow doesn't make sense that you're allowed to eat meat and fat and yet lose weight at the same time.
The reasoning behind this common logic is your years of guilt from eating tons of pork, beef, and other types of meat. The truth is fat-laden food does not make you fat. Sugar-laden food makes you gain weight because of their higher calorie count. These include sweetened snacks, and your favorite iced coffee.
When you're on a keto diet, you'll have to get rid of anything with too much sugar. In fact, you'll have to live in meat heaven for your time on the diet. However, will eating meat and fat consistently really help you lose weight and make you healthier?
What is Keto?
The ketogenic diet, more popularly known as the keto diet, was a diet that Minnesota's Mayo Clinic proposed for epileptic patients in the 1920s. Most of these patients suffered from high blood sugar and protein deficiencies.
The doctors discovered patients with lower blood sugar had fewer incidents of seizures. Upon this discovery, they created a diet that lowered blood sugar levels while providing proper sustenance to the body.
In percentages, the ketogenic diet's proportions look like the following:
- Fat: 60-75%
- Protein: 15-30%
- Carbs: 5-10%
Lead researcher Russel Wilder discovered that the diet helped epileptic patients break down fat into energy-giving ketones. Without carbs, the body thinks it is "starving" and begins to use ketones to produce energy and burn fat in the process.
If it sounds like magic or a natural miracle, it definitely is. The best thing about it is it works.
Decades after, in a study of 83 male and female patients undergoing ketogenic diets for 16-24 weeks, researchers found that the diet reduced triglyceride, LDL cholesterol, and blood glucose. It also increased "good" HDL cholesterol in the process.
Pros: You Can Eat Tasty and Fatty Dishes
Ketogenic diets are sustainable diets because you get to eat all the tasty and fatty dishes you want. Protein increases satiety which reduces your cravings. With less carbs, your body begins to burn your body fat.
Additionally, keto diet's heavy reliance on protein will help you build muscle. Protein is a key factor in muscle building, which can help your physique.
Cons: Lack of Food Variety
As much as we all love to eat steaks and pork cuts, it gets repetitive and bland over time. If you love eating steaks with your vegetables for months and weeks, then you'll definitely have no problem with keto diets.
However, if you are craving for some dessert after you eat, then you'll have to hold out. You're only stuck with pork, meat, and protein-heavy veggies such as tofu, spinach, kale, and others on the side.
Is Keto Dieting for Everyone?
Individuals with stable energy will need carbohydrates. In that case, they may not undergo keto diets unless their doctors advise otherwise. These include the following individuals:
- Pregnant women
- Individuals with diabetes and blood sugar ailments
- Sufferers of thyroid disorder or adrenal fatigue
- Underweight people
- Nutrient-deficient individuals
- People at risk of kidney diseases
Can You Stay on a Keto Diet Forever?
No diet is perfect, and this is true for keto diets.
Keto diets can increase your risk of developing kidney stones. The reason for this is keto diets increase calcium levels in the body. So, even those who are not at risk of kidney diseases should limit their calcium intake when keto dieting.
If done right, you can stay on a keto diet for as long as you live. Inuit Indians have adapted themselves to a high-fat diet, which led them to have extended mortality rates.
Keto’s Differences with Atkins and Low-Carb Diets
The Atkins diet requires you to undergo four phases that change your fat, protein and carbohydrates proportions every time you lose weight. In addition, it has specific protein-heavy sources for carbohydrates such as nuts, cheese, and yogurt.
Keto is simpler because you just have to eat fat and proteins without additional phases. Low carbohydrate diets follow the same keto diet principles of higher fat and protein proportions. However, it does not cut too low on carbohydrates. As a result, low-carb diets do not introduce ketosis and produce more ketones.
Instead, you lose weight because low carb diets require you to eat carbs from healthy sources such as whole wheat foods, vegetables, and nuts.
Ketosis will definitely help you lose weight and make you healthier. If you want to lose weight and eat majority of the food you love, then keto is definitely your diet of choice! However, make sure to consult your doctor for a safe journey to personal wellness.