While the ketogenic diet is becoming one of the most popular diets around, this low-carb, high-fat way of eating got started in the 1920s. Originally developed to help children and adult patients with epilepsy, today, it’s hailed as an excellent way to lose weight. There are even several variations on the standard keto diet that you can choose from depending on your lifestyle.
We’ll look here at the pros and cons of the keto diet so that you can enjoy your keto journey, armed with knowledge and practical tips.
Why the Keto Diet Can Be Beneficial?
Here is a list of reasons to help you understand better all the benefits offered by the Keto Diet.
Top at the list of keto pros has got to be weight loss. Contrary to many other diets out there, people report feeling less hungry on the keto diet. This is because fat takes longer for the body to break down.
No portion control or calorie counting
Yes, you have to keep track of your carbs, but you generally don’t have to worry about portion control or knowing how many calories are in each meal.
Once you’ve got your list of low-carb foods so that you know what to eat, it’s relatively easy to plan meals.
Plus, you won’t have to buy low-fat foods anymore – which for many people is enticing. Tasty foods such as fish, meat, cheese, and butter are all permissible on the keto diet (within reason). No low-fat cottage cheese in this diet!
When done right, a keto diet can provide health benefits. Recent studies have shown that the high amount of fat in a ketogenic diet can help improve brain function, which makes sense, given that the brain is mostly fat. Some research even suggests that elevated levels of ketones (the substances secreted by the liver when you follow a ketogenic diet) can help improve cognitive functioning in adults with memory disorders (such as Alzheimer’s).
Some research also shows improved blood sugar levels and a lower frequency of seizures in epileptic patients (some of them children).
Why the keto diet can be difficult and demanding?
Although the keto diet is a powerful one, there are some negatives of the keto diet to consider.
You need to know your fats
Not all fat sources are the same – and the risk of the keto diet is that some people start to overeat foods that contain too many trans fats: Bacon, deep-fried foods, etc.
The best fats to eat when you are on a keto diet are unsaturated fats, such as those found in nuts, seeds, olive oil, lean chicken, and fish.
If you look at the keto diet as a license to eat red meat daily, you’ll probably find your cholesterol levels climbing, with a greater risk for cardiovascular disease.
So if you already have high cholesterol levels, you may want to consult your doctor before beginning a ketogenic diet.
You need a variety of nutrients.
Any restricted diet requires a bit of knowledge to make sure you’re still getting a variety of vitamins and minerals. For example, because most calories on a keto diet come from fat, some people can miss out on fiber, vitamin C, calcium, zinc, magnesium, vitamin D, and some B vitamins.
A common complaint on the keto diet is constipation – though this is easily remedied. Know what fiber-rich foods you can add to your diet that are low in carbs, such as flaxseed, chia seeds, dark leafy greens, broccoli. blackberries, raspberries, avocados, and almonds.
You may experience keto flu
The keto flu is a temporary discomfort that some people experience in the initial stages of severe carbohydrate restriction. The symptoms can be nausea, headaches, and fatigue, or ‘brain fog.’ While these discomforts usually go away in a few days, they might be cause for concern if they continue for too long.
Having said that, such symptoms aren’t necessarily unique to starting a keto diet: Any sudden changes in diet can cause similar challenges as your body adjusts to a new way of eating.
You can ease these symptoms by ensuring you stay hydrated and get enough sleep for your body to rest and cleanse itself.
What you can do to make the keto diet easier on yourself?
Take the time to find recipes you really enjoy
There are many straightforward keto recipes out there – it’s well worth the time it takes to find your favorites. The more that you are able to enjoy your food, the more likely you’ll be to stick to your diet for the long term.
Learn dirty (or lazy) keto
One of the best ways to make the keto diet easier is to learn how to make lazy keto meals. Doing so can help save you a lot of time. The principle of lazy keto is that you focus solely on counting your carbs – making sure you’re not eating more than 20-25 grams of carbs per day – and not worrying about how much protein or fat you’re eating.
Also, you don’t need to worry about avoiding processed or otherwise unhealthy foods. As long as you’re observing your carbohydrate limit, you can eat whatever you like.
Make lots of keto treats.
Just because you aren’t eating a lot of carbohydrates doesn’t mean skipping dessert! Find some recipes for keto sweet treats, fat bombs, etc. You can also buy ready-made keto chocolate, cookies, and other goodies online so that you’ve always got something sweet yet low-carb in the house.
If you prefer savory foods, try making these keto air-fried onion rings to go with your main meal. You can also buy snack puffs, keto crackers – the sky’s the limit, what with so many people following a keto diet!