Keto Diet: Fact vs Fiction – Separating Hype from Scientific Evidence

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Introduction to the keto diet:

Over the past few years, the ketogenic diet, also known as the keto diet, has become very popular and has come out as the best weight loss and overall well-being improvement strategy.

Still, with its massive popularity, much wrong information about the keto diet spread all around. It’s important to gain correct knowledge about the correct facts of the keto diet to get good results from this diet.

What is the Keto Diet?

Keto diet realistic infographics with people carrying healthy food and chart with percentage of fats carbs and protein vector illustration

Let’s first understand the meaning of the keto diet; in this diet, you must reduce your carbohydrate intake and increase your fat intake throughout the day.

In this diet, we try to shift our body’s metabolism from using glucose as energy to using fat.

This state of metabolism is known as ketosis. When we reduce the consumption of carbohydrates, our body starts using fat as energy which helps in weight loss.

Fact: Weight Loss and Ketosis

One of the primary reasons for adopting the keto diet is that it’s beneficial for weight loss.

Researchers have many pieces of evidence which prove that the keto diet is very effective in weight loss; for example, a study published by the Journal of clinical endocrinology & Metabolism proved that people who indulge in the keto diet lose more weight as compared to those who follow the traditional low-fat diet.

The reason behind that is we have to reduce our daily carb intake in this diet, which means our insulin levels are low, and our body starts using our stored body fat for energy.

Moreover, in the keto diet, our daily calorie consumption is shallow, which helps in weight loss.

Remember that there are limited long-term studies on the keto diet and its contribution to weight loss. For some people, it can be challenging to follow this diet.

There are some factors on which the success of the keto diet depends, such as the metabolism of the individual, per-day activity levels and genetics.

Fact: Improvements in Blood Sugar Control

hand holding a blood glucose meter and measuring blood sugar after taking keto diet with background of stethoscope

Besides weight loss, keto is perfect for Type 2 diabetic people. By reducing the consumption of carbohydrates, this diet can promote better blood sugar and insulin levels in the body.

Some researchers also proved that people who follow the keto diet experienced lower levels of hba1c( average blood sugar glucose levels of two or three months)

Fiction: One-Size-Fits-All Approach

Not all kinds of diets need to give everyone the same results. In the same way, Remember that the keto diet might only work for some.

Some people may feel symptoms like headaches, fatigue, and irritation, often known as the “keto flu.”

These problems arise when you start the keto diet, and they will fade away after your body adjusts according to the changes you made in your diet.

The keto diet results differ from person to person, depending on various factors like age, sex, activity level and medical history.

A ketogenic diet is unsuitable for breastfeeding women, pregnant women, and people with any medical problem related to the liver or pancreas.

However, it would help if you asked a healthcare professional before indulging in any new diet.

Fact: Potential Benefits for Epilepsy

Doctor sets neurological device on patient heads

The keto diet is also very effective in treating epilepsy (a disease of the brain in which a person becomes unconscious).

This condition typically affects children who experience seizures, resulting in temporary abnormalities in the brain and abnormal movements.

You can adopt a keto diet if the traditional medication does not achieve the intended outcomes.
Numerous studies have confirmed that a keto diet can effectively decrease the frequency of seizures in children with epilepsy.

Therefore, it is recommended that such children follow the ketogenic diet.

One thing you must keep in your mind is that adopting a keto diet for epilepsy should be used under the guidance of healthcare professionals.

It would be best to use this only when other medicines or treatments were not working on patients.

Fiction: A License for Unhealthy Food Choices

Many people need clarification about following a low-carb and high-fat diet so that they can eat anything they want.

This kind of thinking can hamper your health. You should eat a balanced and nutritious diet which includes healthy fats, good-quality protein and lots of non-starchy veggies.

Dependency on processed and fried food can lead to serious health problems.

Fact: Potential Long-Term Health Risks

A guy sitting on the couch experiencing a chest pain after taking keto diet and keep his one hand on chest and holding a cup on other hand

Before starting, analyzing the risks associated with any new eating plan is essential. Some researchers suggest that strictly following a keto diet may increase the chances of heart disease because of its high-fat content.

A Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism study proved that if anyone consumes unhealthy fat while following a keto diet, their harmful cholesterol levels will increase.
Moreover, there is a high chance of facing nutrition deficiency because we must avoid whole grains and lentils in the ketogenic diet, leading to nutrition deficiency in the long run.

You must follow this diet carefully without avoiding essential micronutrients(vitamins and minerals) by adding nuts, avocados, and green veggies to your diet.

Fiction: Magical Fat-Burning Properties

Many people think we don’t need to eat less on the ketogenic diet, but that’s not true. We must consume fewer calories than required to lose weight with any diet.

The ketogenic diet is not magic. It’s just a scientific way to burn your stored fat in the form of energy.

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