You may ask yourself "will keto diet work for me?"
It's known that ketogenic diet is the best weight-loss tool, but this eating plan can also come with some risks.
Just because a keto diet is trending or your friend/coworker/family member says it worked for them doesn’t mean it’s the right fit for you.
In the world of weight-loss diets, low-carbohydrate and ketogenic diet often are of high interest. While it also has been tried for weight loss, it is not certain that this diet works in the long term.
How Keto Diet Works?
The idea behind the diet is to switch your body from a carb-burning to a fat-burning one, a state called ketosis. Though it was originally developed as a diet for children with epilepsy, it has expanded into potentially treating other health conditions, including type 2 diabetes.
The keto diet aims to force your body into using a different type of fuel. Instead of relying on sugar (glucose) that comes from carbohydrates (such as grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits), the keto diet relies on ketone bodies, a type of fuel that the liver produces from stored fat.
Burning fat seems like a great way to lose weight, but for liver to get ketone bodies is not that easy. This is why:
- You need to consume less than 20 to 50 grams of carbs per day
- It normally takes a few days to reach a state of ketosis.
- Eating too much protein can get you out of ketosis.
Risks with keto diet
As any other diet, keto diet has also some risks. Some of them include:
Nutrient deficiency: If you're not eating a variety of vegetables you may be at risk for deficiencies in micronutrients, including selenium, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamins B and C.
Kidney problems: The kidneys help metabolise protein, and the keto diet may overload them. That’s because a high intake of animal foods can cause your blood and urine to become more acidic, leading to increased excretion of calcium in your urine.
Digestive issues: Since the keto diet restricts carbs, it can be difficult to meet your daily fiber needs. Fiber can be found in high carb fruits, starchy vegetables, whole grains, and beans, which are eliminated on the diet because they provide too many carbs. As a result, the keto diet can lead to digestive discomfort and constipation.
Too low blood sugar: Even though keto diet has been shown to improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes, they may also increase your risk of low blood sugar especially if you have type 1 diabetes.
Does keto diet work?
It is known that keto diet leads to significant amounts of weight loss. The question though is if people can keep that weight off and follow keto long-term. Not everyone can keep keto diet as part of their lifestyle. If you can do it, then perfect, if not, keto diet can work only short term in case you want to reach some goal, such as weight loss.
Many health professionals worry about the extreme nature of the diet, which limits carbs to less than 50 net grams per day and can often lead to nutritional deficits.
Who shouldn't try keto?
There are several groups of people who should NOT do keto:
- people who want to lose weight fast without having a plan on how to maintain the weight loss long-term
- anyone with disorder eating patterns
- elite athletes
- anyone with pancreatitis, liver failure, kidney disorder, or other fat metabolism disorders
- diabetic patients who have been diagnosed with diabetic ketoacidosis
- children and pregnant or breastfeeding women
Overall, keto has many benefits. It helps people get off the blood sugar roller coaster, it improves mental focus and fat loss. But if you feel like you're not getting results, step back and assess how you can tweak this plan to experience the maximum benefit.
Don't force yourself to sticking to the diet, try different plans (including intermittent fasting) and see how you feel. Remember, it's important to listen to your body and find what works for you.