What is Ketosis?
The good, bad, and ugly...
And stop being afraid of the word carbs!
The main purpose of going keto is for the body to raise ketone levels and enter a state of ketosis. Ketones are – in simple terms – an alternative energy source to glucose, which our brain and body primarily functions on. Ketosis can happen when you take a break from eating carbohydrates and build up ketone levels. In ketosis, your body switches from carbs to fat for fuel, allowing it to perform key functions in the brain and body.
Good: A good thing about this low-carb diet is that people have no choice but to avoid processed sugar. Most common reason is weight loss. Other benefits with going keto is lower triglycerides, more energy, and reduced seizures. Helps manage type 2 diabetes, reduces the number of migraines, and flushes toxins out of the body.
The Bad: Even a little bite of fruit or dessert could throw you over your carb goal for the day, and kick you out of ketosis. People often resort to low-calorie sweeteners or even artificial sweeteners if they really want to treat themselves. Even though there are no carbs in sugar-free treats, artificial sweeteners can create an insulin response, increasing appetite and causing weight gain. Negative side effects that some keto dieters report is mood disturbance, fatigue, and lower motivation to exercise. This, in and of itself is counterproductive to weight loss and could be a sign of malnutrition.
The ketogenic diet is definetely not something that should be done long-term. Your body goes through a shock phase of fatigue because the keto diet eliminates or drastically reduces carbohydrates, which the body breaks down into sugars and uses as energy. Your body gets used to the shock after some days, but the initial stages can be very hard and dangerous because your body is adjusting to the carb restrictions, which results in fatigue.
The ugly: Sugar withdrawal by itself can cause these symptoms, but only for a short time like within the first week of giving up sugar. Even if you exclude processed sugar by going keto (a good thing), a diet without carbs is a diet without fiber (a bad thing). In order to have regular digestion and a healthy blood cholesterol level, we need fiber! A low-fiber diet can cause constipation and gastrointestinal pains at the very least. If carbs aren’t the only thing lacking on a ketogenic diet, what is? You might be thinking you have plenty of healthy options because the keto diet includes nuts, seeds, avocado, and a variety of vegetables. Unfortunately, only a moderate amount of those can be eaten, because they, too, contain carbohydrates.
Nutritional deficiencies are known to impair the ability AND desire to exercise, as well as causing emotional distress and mental difficulties. A minimal amount of fruit and vegetables are allowed in a keto diet, and (aside from soy and peanuts) there are no legumes, starches, or any grains allowed at all. A diet that emphasizes reducing fruit and vegetable intake can severely lack phytonutrients (such as carotenoids and flavonoids) thus increasing risk of disease. Vitamin A is limited in animal-based foods, while Vitamin C is practically non-existent. Supplimentation is very important!
People who go on and off this diet gain more weight in the long run. Other negative effects are amemia, kidney stones, and Ketoacidosis. When the keto diet is maintained for too long, it will cause your body to produce high levels of blood acids. The body is in need of fluids, insulin and recommended to go on a regular diet with carbs.
My opinion and advice: Unless you are either overweight and sedentary I don't recommend it. And it's not something to do long term. I do like that keto promotes a good fats like salmon, avocados, nuts and seeds but I don't like that it promotes high saturated fats like bacon. It also cuts out a lot of nutrient and high antioxident foods.
Carbs: Not all carbs are the enemy. It's getting the right carbs. Limit simple carbohydrates and processed foods which are loaded with sugar and eat plenty of complex carbs such as fruits and vegetables. A balance of beans, rice, and quinua are great sources for energy. They are fuel for your body, workouts and recovery!
There have always been diet trends and always will. There are pros and cons to many of them. Keto is no different. If any of these "diets" were perfect everyone would have stuck with them long term.
PLANTBASED, LEAN MEATS LIKE FISH, GIVE YOUR BODY FUEL, AND GET MOVING!! BALANCE 😀