Is Keto Diet Safe & Does It Have Any Side Effects? You Have to Know!

The keto diet, often known as the ketogenic diet, is a popular weight management strategy that has gained popularity in recent years. Its name comes from ketosis, a metabolic state in which your body burns fat instead of carbs.

What Exactly Is a Ketogenic Diet?

The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, very-low-carbohydrate eating plan that seeks to help you lose weight by putting your body into a fat-burning ketosis state. Although it has gained popularity as a weight-loss technique in the last decade or two, it was initially developed 100 years ago to help patients with epilepsy lessen seizures.

The keto diet claims to help people lose weight while also reducing appetite and balancing blood sugar levels. It is, however, a tough regimen to follow.

“One of the disadvantages of the keto diet is that it has extremely tight rules,” Melissa Majumdar, a nutritionist, adds.

A bariatric coordinator at Emory University Hospital Midtown in Atlanta and a recognised specialist in obesity and weight control. “I don’t know anyone who could stick to this diet for an extended length of time.” It’s also dangerous for those who have specific medical problems.

A keto diet is low enough in carbs and protein yet high enough in fat to drive the body to use stored fat for energy rather than carbs. To enter ketosis, a diet should contain no more than 50 grammes of carbs per day.

(For example, a slice of whole-wheat bread has around 15 grammes of carbs, whereas a medium banana contains about 29 grammes.)

Carbohydrates account for less than 10% of total calories in a keto diet. Fat (70 to 80 % of daily calories) and protein (approximately 10% of daily calories or around 12 gramme per pound of body weight) make up the rest.

Types Of Keto Diets

Keto diets are a term used to describe a variety of diets. However, other diets are more appropriately classified as “keto-ish” or low-carb because they contain too many carbs to consistently produce ketosis. True keto diets have a low carbohydrate content, a high-fat content, and a moderate protein content.

The Atkins and South Beach diets are two well-known keto-style diets. Other low-carb diets may claim to be keto, but they may not consistently produce ketosis unless they include less than 50 grammes of carbs per day and just a moderate quantity of protein. In addition to restricting carbs, you must also avoid consuming too much protein, as protein might interfere with ketosis.

Keto Diet Foods

Foods that are rich in fat, low in carbs, and moderate in protein are ideal for the keto diet, such as:

  • Avocados
  • Eggs
  • Olive, palm, and coconut oils, as well as butter and lard, are examples of fats.
  • Shellfish and fish
  • Leafy greens and other low-carb, non-starchy veggies
  • Poultry and meat
  • Cheese
  • Nuts
  • Olives
  • Seeds
  • Berries should be consumed in moderation (1/4 cup) because they do contain carbs, but in less proportions than other fruits.
  • Cocoa powder and dark chocolate

Side Effects

The benefits of ketosis-fueled fat burning as a means to get rid of excess stored fat are touted by proponents of the keto diet. However, switching from glucose to fat as a fuel source might result in a variety of undesirable side effects. Ketosis symptoms, often known as “the keto flu,” might include the following, according to Majumdar:

  • Brain fog
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Loss of energy
  • Swings in mood
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Vomiting

When your body adjusts to being in ketosis, these symptoms generally go away. “However, if you fall out of ketosis, same symptoms may reappear when you return to ketosis,” Majumdar warns.

Keto Tips And Tricks

  • Although getting started on the ketogenic diet might be difficult, there are a few strategies you can take to make it go more smoothly.
  • To figure out how your favourite foods may fit into your diet, familiarise yourself with food labels and check the grammes of fat, carbohydrates, and fibre.
  • It’s also a good idea to plan your meals ahead of time so you can save time during the week.
  • Keto-friendly recipes and meal ideas may be found on a variety of websites, food blogs, apps, and cookbooks.
  • Alternatively, for a quick and easy way to eat keto meals at home, certain meal delivery services offer keto-friendly alternatives.
  • When you’re short on time, consider nutritious frozen keto meals.
  • When attending social gatherings or visiting family and friends, carrying your own food might help you manage cravings and stick to your meal plan.

Final Thoughts

One of the advantages of the keto diet is that it might help you cut down on your sugar intake. However, Majumdar points out that you don’t have to follow a ketogenic diet to achieve this goal. Reduce your sugar intake by checking food labels and restricting or eliminating items that have added sugar. The American Heart Association recommends that males consume no more than 36 grammes of added sugar per day and women consume no more than 25 grammes.

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