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What Are The Pros and Cons Of The Keto Diet?

Written by:

Obi Obadike

Obi Obadike

Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert, CFT, SFN, M.S. Founder & CEO – Ethical Inc.
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What are the pros and cons of the Keto diet? Some of the cons of the Keto diet are that it’s very strict and it’s not a heart healthy diet because of the amount of fats you have to consume. And this high amount of fat can increase your cholesterol level while putting you at high risk for heart disease.

What are the pros and cons of the Keto diet? Photo credit: iStock-pamela_d_mcadams

There are some symptoms that come with being on a Keto diet and that is:

  • Brain Fog
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty Sleeping

The breakdown of nutrients of the Keto diet is low in carbohydrates, moderate protein and high in fat. A sample macronutrient breakdown is:

  • 70 to 80% fat
  • 10 to 20% protein
  • 5 to 10% carbohydrates

Keto is an extreme reduction of carbs, and this is what induces ketosis. And this is when your body doesn’t have enough glucose to convert into energy. And it must use fat as its primary energy source because there is not enough glucose because of a lack of carbs.

Some of the pros of the Keto diet is it can possibly improve brain health. There was a small study in 19 people in August of 2016 and it showed that people’s memory improved as well as visual attention.

There are also some research studies that reveal that it can help manage neurological issues like Alzheimer’s disease and migraines. What most people don’t know is that the diet was created to help manage epilepsy in patients.

People have lost weight and body fat on the Keto diet.  But it wasn’t because they were in ketosis, it was because they were in a caloric deficit.

To be in the ketosis state you need to consume 50 grams of carbs or less per day. According to the Cleveland Clinic if you fall out of ketosis without a proper transition period it can lead to:

  • Increased appetite
  • Sugar addiction
  • Bloating
  • Weight Gain
  • Blood sugar spikes

Here are some foods that are keto friendly.

  • Chicken
  • Fatty fish like sardines, tuna, and salmon
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and nut butter
  • High fat oils like coconut oil, olive oil and MCT oil.
  • Yogurt
  • Meats

Here are some of the sugar/starch foods you want to avoid on a keto diet. And that is:

  • Sugary foods like candies, cakes, cookies, and soda
  • High carbs fruits like bananas and grapes
  • Whole grain wheat products such as rice, bread, and pasta
  • Legumes like beans, lentils, and peas.

If you have a goal of limiting your saturated fats and want to consume a more plant based keto diet, then here are some plant-based foods you can eat:

  • Spinach
  • Bell pepper
  • Green Peas
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Artichoke
  • Cabbage
  • Radishes

“People have lost weight and body fat on the Keto diet.  But it wasn’t because they were in ketosis, it was because they were in a caloric deficit.” Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert Obi Obadike

The Bottom Line is the Keto diet isn’t for everybody because it is extreme in nature because of how low the carbs are and how high the fats are. There are positives and negatives to being on a keto diet. You just have to figure out if it fits your everyday lifestyle. The keto diet is ok on a short-term basis to experiment with but it’s not sustainable from a long-term perspective.

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References

  1. Cleveland Clinic- https://health.clevelandclinic.org/how-to-smoothly-transition-off-the-keto-diet/
  2. Neurotherapeutics- McDonald, T.J.W., Cervenka, M.C. Ketogenic Diets for Adult Neurological Disorders. Neurotherapeutics 15, 1018–1031 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13311-018-0666-8
  3. Pyschopharmacology- Ota, M., Matsuo, J., Ishida, I. et al. Effect of a ketogenic meal on cognitive function in elderly adults: potential for cognitive enhancement. Psychopharmacology 233, 3797–3802 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-016-4414-7
  4. The Journal of Nutrition- David S Ludwig, The Ketogenic Diet: Evidence for Optimism but High-Quality Research Needed, The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 150, Issue 6, June 2020, Pages 1354–1359, https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/nxz308
  5. Shilpa J, Mohan V. Ketogenic diets: Boon or bane? Indian J Med Res. 2018 Sep;148(3):251-253. doi: 10.4103/ijmr.IJMR_1666_18. PMID: 30425213; PMCID: PMC6251269.
  6. Harvard T.H. Chan- https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-weight/diet-reviews/ketogenic-diet/

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