The Ketogenic Diet or “Keto Diet” is a very high fat, low carb diet, that is taking the internet by storm as the new diet trend. Celebrities like Halle Berry, Vanessa Hudgens, Megan Fox, Kourtney Kardashian and many more who have joined the Keto Diet lifestyle have expressed positive experiences with it. But there are some pros and cons that are very important to understand if you are considering partaking in the new diet craze.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the Ketogenic Diet? Health Fitness Revolution did the research and put together 5 pros and 5 cons to help you sort it out.
Detoxing your body and choosing to do the ketogenic diet can provide significant benefits. The initial reason why many people choose the ketogenic diet is to lose weight, but there are many other benefits that you may or may not know about.
- Can help you lose weight
The ketogenic diet has been around since the early 1900s and has become a very popular diet for weight loss because of its ability to oxidize fatty acids in the liver. This fat oxidation produces ketones, which suppress appetite. A study approved by the Austin Health Human Research Ethics Committee had over 50 overweight or obese non-diabetic men and postmenopausal women participate in the keto diet for 8 weeks. At the end of the 8 weeks, there was a significant mean loss of 13% initial body weight.
- Can help manage diabetes
When addressing type 2 diabetes, targeting the root cause of it is essential to improving insulin levels. Much of this is related to the type of food you intake. A high-fat and low-carb diet can help diabetics maintain a good blood glucose level range. A 10-week study done on 232 overweight or obese people with type 2 diabetes resulted in 36% of participants no longer needing insulin therapy at all, while 51% significantly lowered their dose.
- Can help cure chronic migraines
The ketogenic diet has been used for decades as a therapeutic tool for children with epilepsy, and many of those episodes are caused by sterile meningeal neurogenic inflammation, which triggers nerve pain in the brain. A study by Giulio Sirianni indicates that overweight individuals have higher incidences of migraines, but the rate decreases significantly while on the keto diet.
This diet method has the capability to metabolize glutamate and convert it to glutamine, which converts to GABA. As a result, migraine imbalances are alleviated and cause a decrease in brain cortical excitability.
- Can treat traumatic brain injury
The keto diet is widely known for its original use for patients with different traumatic brain issues. It has been shown to help patients who are recovering from a traumatic brain injury. A study that was done on rats shows a recovery in rats, with the potential for similar results in humans.
- Can increase fertility in women
The issue of fertility among women is an ongoing problem, with research indicating that 12% of American women ages 15 to 44 have problems conceiving or carrying the pregnancy to term. The ketogenic diet has been suggested as a cheaper and holistic way to treat fertility issues. The benefits of weight loss and diabetic prevention, which are major contributions to fertility issues, make the keto diet ideal if weight and insulin levels are a factor in fertility. The keto diet can also help with PCOS and obesity, which in turns heals reproductive hormones.
Studies show that when the keto diet is maintained for too long, it will cause your body to produce high levels of blood acids. This can cause individuals to be hospitalized. Dr Shah and Dr Isley from the Mayo Clinic noticed that one of their 51-year-old female patients was hospitalized several times during the keto diet and needed IV fluids and insulin. This patient was not diabetic and had no family history of it. When she was placed back on a regular diet with carbs, the episodes stopped.
The ketogenic diet is not something that should be done long-term. Your body goes through a shock phase of fatigue because the keto diet eliminates or drastically reduces carbohydrates, which the body breaks down into sugars and uses as energy. Your body gets used to the shock after some days, but the initial stages can be very hard and dangerous because your body is adjusting to the carb restrictions, which results in central fatigue.
- Kidney stones
Several reports were indicated about individuals who were on the keto diet for several months and developed abdominal pain and kidney stones. The formation of kidney stones is a big side effect to the ketogenic diet, as indicated during a research that was done on a 5-year-old girl who was placed on the diet for seizure treatments. After three months on the diet, she developed severe abdominal pains, nausea and vomiting.
Iron-deficiency Anemia is a late-onset side effect of the keto diet and important to know if you either have a family history of anemia or are currently battling with low iron. When partaking in any diet that restricts certain nutritional intakes, it is important to monitor your body regularly.
- Not for long-term weight loss
It is important to understand that the keto diet is not meant for long-term use, as it can place you at risk for different types of side effects listed above. If you are looking to change your diet completely, it is important to consult with a dietician or your doctor to help you understand the right diet for you.
Understanding the pros and cons of any diet that you decide to implement is very important to your health. Do not push your body to do something that it cannot do. Our bodies will always give us signs when it has reached its maximum capacity of what it can take, and it is very important to adhere to these signs.