The keto diet trend is currently in full swing, but is it healthy?
These days it seems like everyone and their mother is on the ketogenic, low or no carb diet. There are photos of carb-less meals all over Instagram, and I can’t tell you how many of my girlfriends are sharing their progress on Facebook. Although the ketogenic diet is not new, it is dominating the Internet right now, which I guess is no surprise since summer finally seems to be on the way.
As I have said before however, I am not really a huge proponent of fad diets, since much of the time, you gain the result you want and then revert back to your original body after you stop. A much healthier option is to change your diet permanently, and adopt healthier eating habits that will alter your body in the long run. Fast fixes are never really true fixes. That being said, many people just want to shed a few pounds for summer, so who am I to argue?
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The ketogenic diet works by depriving your body of carbohydrates, forcing it into ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state involving an elevated number of ketones, which the body uses as an energy source instead of carbohydrate-derived glucose. Basically, instead of using glucose for energy, the liver converts fatty acids in your body to ketones thereby converting more fat into energy. Your body goes into this state naturally under starvation or fasting. So basically, the keto diet forces your body into starvation mode, which helps burn fat. Obviously, forcing your body into starvation mode in hopes of looking better in a bikini sounds kind of crazy, but I am not here to judge. Instead, here are some pros and cons of the keto diet:
Pro: You can eat fat! Since your body is turning fat into energy, you can eat lots of fatty foods like avocado, coconut milk, oils, nuts, bacon, butter, and cheese.
Con: You can’t eat dairy, fruit, grains, beans or legumes, starches, or any processed foods.
Pro: You can lose weight pretty fast if you stick to the diet.
Con: You will most likely gain the weight back as soon as you start eating regularly again.
Pro: The keto diet reduces insulin levels in the body, thereby reducing inflammation.
Con: You may experience stomach problems or gassiness, since the keto diet is low in fiber.
Pro: Reducing carbs and processed foods from your diet will automatically reduce your overall sugar intake.
Con: It’s really hard to cut all carbs from your life. So many people can’t keep up with the diet.
At the end of the day, only you can make the right decision about your own body and diet. If you are going to go keto though, my suggestions are to make sure you are eating healthy fats over unhealthy ones, load up on leafy green veggies and fiber, and drink PLENTY OF WATER.
That last tip is super important, regardless of whether you never eat another carb in your life.