The ketogenic diet minimizes carbs, provides a moderate amount of protein and is high in fat. So, in a nutshell, your days macronutrients look like this: 70% fat, 25% protein and 5% carbs. What you are essentially trying to do is purposefully stop the body burning carbohydrate as its main fuel source and switch the bodies metabolism to metabolising fat as its main source. In the absence of carbs your body will generate compounds called ketones which circulate in the blood and they can be used as energy sources.
- Most obvious and probably why it has gained so much recent popularity is the main symptom of ketosis is fat loss and this is why the diet is gaining popularity. People on a ketogenic diet may initially experience rapid weight loss. It is an appetite suppressing diet due to high fat and protein and it increases thermogenesis (rate in which body burns calories).
- Raise your awareness of how much the Western world diet tends to be extremely carbohydrate heavy, so it allows us to mindfully notice how much we have actually been consuming when we take it away.
- The effects of ketone body metabolism suggest that mild ketosis may be therapeutic for a variety of different common and rare diseases. Including neurological disorders, like epilepsy, dementia, traumatic brain injury, acne, cancers and metabolic disorders.
- It’s very low in fibre which can lead to weight gain, poor digestive health and poor blood sugar control.
- It’s a very hard eating style to maintain in a busy lifestyle.
- It’s hard to do correctly. Being in the state of ketosis can be tricky, so you potentially could have a lot of self-control and still not get the results you really endeavored to gain.
- It has been known to cause constipation.
Science is certainly revealing a lot of great (and surprising) benefits about the keto diet, but in my professional opinion I don’t believe a drastic elimination of carbohydrates is typically a sustainable method of reaching optimal wellness, it is not a permanent lifestyle change due to its restrictiveness and I’m always looking at the long game. A realistic set of eating rules to me would be the Mediterranean diet and 80/20 rule for a more balanced long-term choice. Some might consider the keto diet to be quite an extreme diet and I would have to agree. Listen to your body, simply try it and see. If the Keto diet isn’t right your unique body, your body will certainly try to tell you – trust it!
If you have a pre-existing medical condition it’s always best to consult with your doctor first before trying keto. Long term effect of keto diet studies are currently limited for it being a very new diet. What I can suggest is keeping a food / symptom / mood diary and letting someone know you are currently trialling it.