Every year (or few months so it seems) there is a new diet fad going around the block. At the moment, it is the Keto Diet. There’s a few things that I really want you to know before thinking about being Keto. But before I get to that, I want you to understand exactly what the Keto Diet is all about.
The Keto diet is a very low carbohydrate diet that induces ketosis. Ketosis is a normal metabolic function within the body. Carbohydrates are broken down in the body into glucose, which the body uses as its main energy source. When the body is deprived of carbohydrates (and therefore glucose), it begins to break down the stored fat and turns it into glucose. This is the process of ketosis.
You might be thinking, “Great, amazing! That’s what I need!” But while the Keto diet does have some amazing benefits for some people, it is still a diet.
And yes, some diets work, but only while you’re on them.
The Keto diet is not sustainable long term and therefore will not offer long term benefits to most people. It also comes with a fair amount of drawbacks, which I will outline below.
Negatives of the Keto Diet
One. The Keto Diet is very high in animal protein, putting an extra strain on the kidneys.
Protein is an essential macronutrient for the body, however too much of a good thing isn’t a good thing.
Two. The Keto Diet limits vegetable intake.
Vegetables contain complex carbohydrates and are therefore limited in this diet. Another reason why I say that it isn’t sustainable long term. Vegetables contain vital nutrients and phyto-compounds like antioxidants that should be eaten in abundance. Any diet that restricts vegetable intake is not ok by me.
Three. The Keto Diet is a restrictive diet.
As with most diets, the Keto diet is very restrictive. Restricting food has a negative impact on mental health, and can trigger emotional or binge eating in many people. Hence the reason why many people jump from one diet to another. The first one doesn’t work, they feel sad both because they have failed the impossible diet but also failed to lose weight. And so they jump onto another diet trend and on and on the cycle goes.
Four. Glucose is necessary for brain function.
The brain require glucose as its main source of energy. When glucose is low you can feel yourself feeling slow and struggling to concentrate. This is not ideal in the busy life that most of us live.
Positives of the Keto Diet
It wouldn’t be completely fair if I shared my thoughts on the Keto diet without giving you the benefits. The Keto diet has been studied and shown to help improve a number of health conditions including not only metabolic diseases like diabetes and obesity, but it has been shown that it could be beneficial for the treatment of Epilepsy, Bipolar, Alzheimers and Parkinson’s.
BUT, and this is a big but. Here is the thing. This diet should only ever be undertaken under the care and supervision of a trained and certified Nutritionist or medical professional.
And if you are someone that has tried several diets, then I definitely recommend that you seek out a Nutritionist to consult with. Diets do not work. Diets do not work because once the diet is over most people revert back to their original way of eating and living. A Nutritionist can help you to make lifelong dietary and lifestyle changes that mean you won’t ever have to diet again.
If you want to learn more about why diets don’t work, read this article, Why Dieting Will Make You Gain Weight.