What is a ketogenic diet?

A ketogenic diet is one in which you are required to consume low amounts of carbohydates and large amounts of fat. Generally a keto diet consists of 75% fats, 20% proteins and 5% carbohydrates. Due to this reduction of carbohydrates in the body, the body undergoes a metabolic process called ketosis. During ketosis, your body begins to burn fats for energy. Due to this there is weight loss- which is the main reason keto diets have gained so much popularity nowadays. However, there are both advantages as well as disadvantages to the keto diet. Let us tell you.

What are the advantages of following a keto diet?

There are several advantages to following a keto diet. These include the following:

  1. The first and the most popular reason is that the keto diet aids weight loss and can take you one step closer to achieving a fit body
  2. Surprisingly, consuming this high fat diet can actually help increase the amounts of “good cholesterols”(HDLs). This in turn can help prevent heart diseases and hypertension.

    A healthy heart is one of the greatest advantages of a keto diet. (source:trickytruths.com)
  3. Some studies have shown that a keto diet can help tackle certain types of cancers. For this reason, it is being used as an adjunct to chemotherapy in many areas.
  4. Keto diet has also been said to reduce neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. In this way, it keeps your brain protected for a long time.
  5. Keto diets also help prevent seizures and epilepsy.
  6. It reduces blood sugar and insulin levels and can help diabetic patients in keeping their blood sugar in check.
  7. The keto diet helps to protect you against the development of metabolic syndrome. (Metabolic syndrome consists of five components- high triglycerides, low HDL levels, elevated blood sugar, elevated blood pressure and abdominal obesity.)

What are the disadvantages of a keto diet?

Along with the multitudes of advantages, the keto diet does not come without its own disadvantages. These disadvantages include:

  1. Following the keto diet for prolonged periods of time can lead to the formation of renal stones.

    Kidney stones can occur as a result of following a prolonged keto diet. (source: clevelandclinic.org)
  2. Ketogenic diets can also lead to metabolic acidosis which can lead to and acid imbalance in the blood.
  3. Severe and extreme weight loss which may be life threatening
  4. Keto diet can lead to low blood pressures
  5. It may also cause constipation
  6. Long term dieting can also cause muscle degeneration
  7. Fatigue and nausea can also occur
  8. If not done under moderation, hunger, headaches, irritability and “brain fog” may also be seen

Is a keto diet worth it?

Although ketogenic diets are wide-spread today, it is not for everyone and one must not just blindly being following it. This diet can be very advantageous to obese people and diabetics. However, it is not suitable for those trying to do extensive muscle-building. However, before following this diet, it is mandatory to consult your doctor or your trainer in order to keep away from the disadvantages and reap the benefits.