I talked about the vegan diet, and intermittent fasting,
So I thought today I’d dive into the ketogenic diet, aka Keto diet review. There is a lot of hype surrounding this type of food, and there has been talked about a lot of benefits.
So let’s talk a little bit more about what this kind of diet consists of, what you’re allowed to eat. The benefits, the side effects, everything!✓
First thing first: Keto Diet Review
All diets consist of certain macronutrients, aka macros. Believe it or not, I didn’t start counting my macros until recently because my fitness coach asked me to track them during my 1month fitness plan.
In general, all diets consist of 3 macros: Protein, Fats, and Carbohydrates.
A healthy diet is said to consist of:
- 20% protein
- 30% of fats
- 50% carbohydrates
is quite different from a keto diet in which your primary source of energy comes from fats and protein.✓
- 30-35% protein
- 55-60% fat
- 5-10% carbs
You are basically limited to up to 50g of carbs PER DAY and some even go beyond to 20g max.
So what happens to your body when you decrease your carb intake this much?
- Another excellent work for making glucose (sugar) from scratch. Your body can get glucose (sugar) from your diet like carbs, or it can make its own in the liver through this process.
- Because sugar is the main thing that stimulates the release of insulin, and insulin also stimulates fat and glucose storage. This low carbohydrate state reduces fat storage and helps lower blood sugar.
- Once the body cannot make glucose fast enough for the energy requirements of the body, it starts to produce ketones.
- Just a fancy word for “making ketone bodies,” aka keto diet. These ketone bodies produce more energy than regular sugar, so it been called a kind of super fuel.
So what are a few of the BENEFITS of this kind of diet?
- Fat loss while preserving lead body mass
- It can improve symptoms in patients with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), including mental health-related signs.
- Low carb and low protein diets may reverse diabetic neuropathy (diabetic nerve pain).
- Can improve glycemic control in obese patients with type 2 diabetes
- Low carb diets can also improve blood pressure
What about some SIDE EFFECTS? Well, it can include mild symptoms known as the Keto-Flu, which usually get better within a few days or weeks. This includes:✓
- Difficulty in exercise tolerance
Other side effects include:
- If you do have type 2 diabetes, it can cause hypoglycemic events (low glucose), especially if taking sulfonylureas like metformin. So make sure you consult your doctor before starting this kind of diet. Your glycemic control and the type of medication you’re on may affect your response to it, so don’t just jump into this kind of diet without guidance and observation from your doc.
Those were just some short term effects. What about more long term effects?
- Fatty liver
- Kidney stones
- Mineral deficiencies
- LDL (bad cholesterol) might increase (which is odd because another study showed it might improve.. basically, we can’t be too sure).
Questions you might ask yourself:
- What happens if you stay ketogenic long term?
- There was a study where obese participants maintained a keto diet for 24 weeks. It turns out that there were huge benefits to their BMI, total cholesterol, bad cholesterol decreased while good cholesterol increased. Blood glucose decreased too.
- DISCLAIMER = since the study was done among obese participants, we cannot extend these results to non-obese participants.
- Is this diet right for you?
- Any diet that can cause the before mentioned side effects is not sustainable, so if you react well or only have these for a short amount of time, then why not.
- You’re considering doing this diet, what should you do?
- Go see your doctor and get checked out. If you have any medical issues made worse with fatty meals, then a diet high in fats should probably not be adopted.
- If you’re an overall healthy person, should you do this diet?
- If you want to give it a try and see what happens, why not? If you have medical conditions, consult with your doctor first! Actually, consult with your doctor anyway whenever you’re starting a new diet.
- Did you guys know that colostrum: the first milk that is let down in breast milk, is ketogenic? This means that all newborns can survive and survive well-nourished on a ketogenic formula, but remember that colostrum production switches to regular milk production about day 4. Definitely nothing like a longer-term ketogenic diet, but still a fun fact, in my opinion.✓
Like any lifestyle change, it can be difficult to sustain this kind of diet. It is safe for otherwise healthy patients to try this type of diet from 2-3 weeks and even up to a year. Just make sure you follow up with your doctor so he can monitor you and your health while you’re on it. Also, remember that tapering OFF the diet is important. What does that mean? Don’t be keto for weeks, and suddenly start eating foods high in carbs again. Make sure you gradually transition from keto to regular diet.
The bottom line is, we know the short-term effects of this type of diet, but the long-term effects are less known. Although there is good evidence to show that it is good for rapid weight loss that can be maintained for up to 2 years afterward and that it can help with glucose control in type 2 diabetics and even help reverse the diabetic nerve pain if the protein is also restricted; anything beyond that is something we just don’t know at this time, which is probably why it is not recommended by doctors.✓
Whether or not you have followed or will follow a keto diet, I hope you learned something new!
If you have any questions, feel free to comment or just follow me on IG and let me know!
I currently don’t have any plans of trying KETO, but if that ever changes, I will definitely let you know and let you follow along just as I did with the vegan diet.
Stay safe! Stay healthy! And always stay curious!