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What is Keto Diet: Know the Pros and Cons

Updated: Jun 11, 2022


iron plate with steak, eggs and sparragus

Are you thinking about starting a Ketogenic (Keto) diet? Do you know how it works? If you are not sure, let us start explaining what it is and how it works so you can make an informed decision.


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What is a Keto diet?


So, what is a Keto diet? In simple terms, it is a diet that is low in carbohydrates and high in fats. You may now be thinking that if it is high in fats, you will gain weight. Well, that is why it is so important to understand how it works.


The principle of a keto diet is to force your body to use fats as a source of energy instead of using the glucose (sugar) that is contained in the carbohydrates. In the Keto diet, both, saturated and unsaturated fats-containing foods are encouraged. Here is a list of saturated and unsaturated fats:


list of foods that contain saturated fats and unsaturated fats

What makes fat to be saturated or unsaturated has to do with its chemical structure. Saturated fats are very stable and their chemical structure does not break down easily. Therefore, to break them down you need higher temperatures than unsaturated fat would need. An easy way to identify them is by looking at their consistency at room temperature. Saturated fat has a solid consistency at room temperature, while unsaturated fat doesn’t. That is the reason why saturated fats tend to stick and build up inside of your blood vessels, clogging them over time and causing strokes or heart attacks.


Pros of a Keto diet


1. You can lose weight because you are restricting your body of calories.

2. Many people claim that the Keto diet suppresses the appetite.


3. It can help to control your blood sugar levels.


4. You do not have to restrict yourself to a low-fat diet.


5. You are cutting off on processed foods.


Cons of a Keto diet


1. If you love sugar, it will be harder for you to comply with this diet.


2. The restrictions on starchy vegetables, fruits, and whole grains can lead you to vitamin and mineral deficiencies.


3. During the first weeks of diet, people may feel tired, confused, or weak, while the body adjusts to the diet.


4. Although your body will be using fats as a source of energy, the saturated fat in excess that your body does not use will continue to impose the risk of clogging your blood vessels.


5. It is contraindicated in pregnancy and in people that have problems with their kidneys, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, or thyroid.



If you are considering starting a Keto diet, you may want to start slowly. Some people do a modified version of the Keto diet where they do not cut off the carbohydrates completely but reduce them. Also, give priority in your menu list to unsaturated fats over saturated fat choices. Take vitamin and mineral supplements to compensate for any deficiencies in your diet. But most important, before trying a Keto diet, get professional advice from your doctor or a dietitian. They will be able to tell you if a Keto diet is safe in your particular case.


And as always, remember to have a healthy lifestyle, and come back for the next topic.




 

References

1. The truth behind the most popular diet trends of the moment. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/the-truth-behind-the-most-popular-diet-trends-of-the-moment/art-20390062/ Accessed on February 10, 2022.

2. What’s a Ketogenic Diet. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-ketogenic-diet/ Accessed on February 10, 2022.

3. Sussman, D., van Eede, M., Wong, M.D., et al. Effects of a ketogenic diet during pregnancy on embryonic growth in the mouse. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 13, 109 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2393-13-109

4. Masood W, Annamaraju P, Uppaluri KR. Ketogenic Diet. [Updated 2021 Nov 26]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499830/


PROFESSIONAL DISCLAIMER


This Site cannot and does not contain physician advice. The physician information is provided for general and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Accordingly, before taking any actions based upon such information, we encourage you to consult with the appropriate professionals. We do not provide any kind of physician advice. THE USE OR RELIANCE OF ANY INFORMATION CONTAINED ON THIS SITE OR THE MOBILE APPLICATION IS SOLELY AT YOUR OWN RISK.


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Photo by Jeff Covey on Unsplash




96 views6 comments

6 Comments


Debby F
Debby F
Mar 26, 2022

Years ago I did the Adkins diet and loss the weight I needed to. Once off the diet the weight returned. I had considered the keto diet but realized that it was similar to the Adkins diet and after reading your blog I am leaning toward the original diet God had in mind for us in Genesis. Thank you for outlining the keto diet so concise and easy to understand.

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Dr. W. Santiago
Dr. W. Santiago
Mar 26, 2022
Replying to

I'm glad that this reading had clarified that information for you. Today, I published about the Plant-Based Diet, which I’m sure will help you follow God’s plan. Take a look and let me know what you think. Thanks for commenting!

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Nury Brown
Nury Brown
Mar 24, 2022

I have read a lot about Keto because many people around me follow this diet and I would say that your article is the clearest I have read. Sometimes it's hard when health-related publications are full of terms that only professionals in that field know well. Now about my diet, I would say that my approach is to prioritize whole foods and avoid processed foods. I have been thinking about following a plant-based diet. What do you think about that? Do you have posts on that topic?

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Dr. W. Santiago
Dr. W. Santiago
Mar 24, 2022
Replying to

I'm glad that you have a better picture of the Keto diet after reading this post. Regarding a plant-based diet, I don't see why not following it, as long as you include alternative sources of proteins and don't forget to supplement with vitamins and minerals to cover for any deficiencies. I will be working on a post about it to give you more information. Thanks for commenting.

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Denise Gardiner
Denise Gardiner
Mar 09, 2022

I became a vegetarian when I was going through menopause, and due to some of the health problems I was dealing with through this, I was able to reverse many of them. I also have been able to maintain my weight. I know the keto diet has been popular, but the cons would keep me from starting this diet. Thank you for sharing!

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Dr. W. Santiago
Dr. W. Santiago
Mar 09, 2022
Replying to

That is the reason I wanted to talked about this topic. People need to be aware of the benefits but also the things that cannot be so good. The Keto Diet is not for everyone, and the best thing is to get educated about the topic before making a decision. Thanks for commenting!

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