Is the Ketogenic Diet just another fad diet? If you mean, is it a diet that promotes fast weight loss and is not sustainable for a healthy, balanced life then…yes! Keto sure is a fad diet. Is it a good diet for you? Well, that really depends on what your goals are and if your body is able to handle the diet. How do you know if it’s right for you? Read on for the 8 things you need to know.
But first let’s talk about what a ketogenic diet is. The ketogenic diet is high in fats while limiting carbohydrates and proteins. The ketogenic diet is the lowest of the low carb diets. You are limited to 50 grams (or less) of carbohydrates a day. Not for potato lovers! Usually 70% of daily calories are for fats. Doesn’t that seem like a lot of fats?! It usually takes about 3 days to get into ketosis where your body is burning ketone bodies instead of glucose. Basically, ketogenic diet is a fancy word for sugar starvation.
On a ketogenic diet you would have to avoid some foods you might not expect. An apple alone could max out your carb intake. There are healthy foods that you would want to avoid like these:
- Kidney Beans
- Pinto Beans
- Sweet Potatoes
- Butternut Squash
If all those foods are avoided on the diet because of the high carbs, guess what that means for that gluten-free bagel? Step away from the gluten-free bagel. But….before you give it up, what do you need to know?
8 Things You Need to Know About KETO
Sugars are important for the body
Sugar itself is a simple carbohydrate. Our body needs it to operate. Every cell in our body needs sugar to operate. We need it to create energy and it helps brain function. The brain needs sugars to keep it functioning.
Sugar is one of the best foods to drive us if we are getting it from fruits and vegetables that also have lots of nutrients. Not the sugar in processed foods, white sugar and grain.
Puts a lot of stress on the kidneys and the body
This is not a diet that fits everyone because it puts a lot of stress on the kidneys as it makes the blood more acidic and can cause the formation of kidney stones.
The ketogenic diet is putting your body in an extreme state. Yes, the body can survive in an extreme state, but not for long and you need to make sure your body is able to handle it. You need to get tested to make sure that metabolically your body will respond. It’s important to make sure your body will function with the added stress and eliminate properly so test metabolic processes, liver function, and kidney function. If you don’t know where to get tested contact one of The Wellness Way Clinics.
Medical benefits for some
While it adds a lot of stress to the body there are some benefits to going to the extreme of a ketogenic diet. The diet was originally developed in the 1920’s as a recommendation for epilepsy when the patient does not respond to medication.
This type of extreme can be helpful if you have an infection that is bacterial or viral. If you have a virus, bacteria, fungus or other illness that thrives in an acidic, sugary environment, you can starve the illness when you go into ketosis.
If sugar isn’t why you are fat keto won’t help
High sugar diets are often the reason for weight gain, but they are not the only reason for weight gain. Hormonal imbalance, depression, adrenal problems, thyroid problems, inflammation, and illness can all be reasons for weight gain.
Just because a ketogenic diet helped your cousin down the road doesn’t mean it is the diet for you. That’s another reason to get tested, so you can find out why you have gained weight.
Can cause muscle loss
If you are into weight training or working out, like I am, the ketogenic diet won’t work for you. When you’re training and have used up all your sugar stores, your body is looking for fuel. With an intense workout it is looking for the fastest, easiest fuel. At that time fat is not easy fuel and with no sugar available it will go for the muscle. Why muscle? Because its molecularly closer to sugar than the fat, making it much easier to convert. Who wants to lose muscle?
Exogenous ketones are stupid
Exogenous ketones are when people are drinking ketones their friend recommended to get them into ketosis. You will find that you pee out ketones but it’s not because you’re in ketosis it’s because you drank a bunch of them. So, you just wasted money on ketones and a test.
You can’t put yourself in a true ketosis by drinking ketones. It’s an artificial state. You have to starve the body of sugar otherwise it will always go for the preferred source of energy. That preferred source of energy is sugar not ketones.
Your keto diet might be filled with allergies
Food allergies can lead to a multitude of problems including hijacking your gut health and adding lots of pounds in the way of inflammation. If you don’t get your food allergies tested, you might be triggering them even worse. What if you have a beef or coconut oil allergy? So much for your “healthy” fats.
It is not sustainable
With the stress on your kidneys and the body, even if you have been tested to see if you can handle it, you should not remain on the ketogenic diet for long. A week is the longest I would recommend being in the ketogenic diet before going back to homeostasis. If you stay in it a long time you will keep going but parts of your body will begin to shut down like the kidneys and the brain. Important parts!
What does your body deserve?
If you do choose the ketogenic diet, make sure it is for the right reasons. It can be beneficial if you are doing it because of an illness that the ketogenic diet can rectify, and you are under medical supervision. If you are doing it for weight loss make sure you are fully aware of how your body is functioning and have been tested properly. Go in with eyes WIDE open.
The best diets are the diets that teach you how to properly fuel your body. Putting your body in an extreme state doesn’t teach you how to properly fuel your body. It doesn’t help you build muscle and a nutritious lifestyle that will sustain you for years to come.
Also, ask yourself why you are considering the ketogenic diet. Is it for weight loss or is it for health? Isn’t health the ultimate goal? Other diets are better equipped to prepare you for health and your body deserves something more than feeling like a fad.
Written by Dr. Jason Nobles