Low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diets are the belle of the ball in dieting circles these days so much so that its attributed mystical properties in some circles. But, nothing in life is perfect, and neither is keto.
In this article we’ll discuss the keto diet and its pros and cons.
What is a Keto Diet?
The ketogenic diet is an very low carb, high fat diet originally developed in the 1920s as a medical treatment employed by doctors to treat children with epilepsy. The doctors noted that when removing essentially all carbohydrates from the diet, the children experienced significantly reduced occurrences of seizures.
So, how did a diet that was used purely in the clinical setting become the fad diet phenom it is nowadays?
Let’s begin to answer that question by highlighting some of the pros of the keto diet.
Keto Diet Pros
Increased Satiety, Less Hunger
By far, the biggest upside to embracing the ketogenic lifestyle is the incredibly high satiety that accompanies high-fat dieting. The increased dietary fat intake reduces the urge or need to snack in between meals.
Quick (temporary) Weight Loss
One of the most encouraging signs new disciples of the ketogenic lifestyle experience is fast weight loss. Now, it should be noted that this initial poundage drop is mostly short term as it is your body dropping a bunch of water weight due to the decreased glycogen stores present in the body due to the lack of carbohydrate consumption. Once this water weight drop is over, “meaningful” weight loss (i.e. losing body fat) occurs at a much slower rate.
Keto Diet Cons
The Keto Diet all but eliminates carbohydrates, removing countless nutrient-dense foods from the diet that are also tasty. Additionally, many individuals do not consume adequate protein on this plan due to the fear of gluconeogenesis.
As the body transitions from a primarily glucose burning one to that of a fat-fueled one, there is a bit of transition period dieters go through where they experience “flu-like” symptoms, sluggishness, and brain fog. This can be battled with proper water + electrolyte intake, sufficient rest, and adequate calorie intake.