Is A Ketogenic Diet Healthy?
Diet trends will always be present. There’s always a new one popping up, and an old one being revised. This billion dollar industry isn’t going anywhere.
Although the ketogenic diet isn’t the newest trend, it’s slowly gaining awareness. So what’s this diet all about? Let’s break it down.
What is a Ketogenic Diet?
Simply put, this diet consists of very little carbs (below 50g a day) and high amounts of fats; similar to the Atkins diet, but not as high in protein.
Simply put, this diet consists of very little carbs (below 50g a day) and high amounts of fats.
A maintained ketogenic diet will put your body into a metabolic state of ketosis. Studies have also shown that the keto diet reduces blood sugars and insulin levels within the body. However, individuals with Type 1 diabetes should monitor their ketones regularly and consult their physician regarding their risk if wanting to proceed on this diet.
What is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a process that happens when you drastically reduce your carb intake and your body then looks for other sources of energy. Because of the lack of carbs, your body begins to break down stored fats and becomes efficient at this. Ketones are chemicals that are produced and released during this process.
Types of Ketogenic Diets
Those who have heard of this diet, are aware of the most common version (SKD) but there are a few variations.
- Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD) Your most common version. Extremely low carbs (5%) moderate protein (20%) high fat (75%)
- Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD) This version isn’t as common and it suggests a 5 day SKD followed by 2 high carb days. Your body can still benefit though.
- Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD) With this version you are permitted to add extra carbs around your workouts.
- High Protein Ketogenic Diet. 5% carbs, 35% protein, and 60% fats, this version of the ketogenic diet simply adds more protein and decreases fat intake. This variation may help to suppress your appetite also.
Top 5 Facts About The Ketogenic Diet
Lack of Energy
Yes, you may experience this due to the significant decrease in carbs. However, studies show that as you adapt to this diet, your body will learn how to burn it’s energy source (fat) more efficiently and your energy levels can then increase.
You Will End Up With High LDL Cholesterol
Just because this is a high-fat diet doesn’t mean you have to gorge on high saturated fats! Cheese, avocados, whole eggs, dark chocolate, and nuts are some excellent choices. These types of foods can help keep those LDL counts down.
The most common nutritional deficits you may face are potassium and sodium imbalances.
Studies show that this is commonly known as the “keto flu” and your body can adjust over a period of time. If not, you may want to consider a discussion with your physician to see if supplements might help or if this is the right diet for you to continue. You don’t want to mess up your electrolyte balance!
Say Yes to Bad Breath!
Because of the excess of ketones, your body excretes them through breathing and urea.
Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do for this. Some people chew gum, mints and add lemon into their water, but this just temporarily masks the odour for a short period of time. The only way to really combat this situation is to add carbs back into your diet.
Studies have shown that a ketogenic diet has been helpful towards initial weight loss, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome (blood pressure, obesity, accumulated fat around waist).
A ketogenic diet isn’t for anyone who isn’t disciplined enough to follow very strict guidelines, and it definitely isn’t for everyone. You will be challenged mentally and physically with this diet, but for many, it’s a great way to keep excess fat off your waistline.
As always, consult a physician for guidance before starting any diet.
Tim McComsey is the founding owner of TRYM Fitness: Dallas’s Premier Personal Training and Nutrition Company, NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Registered Dietitian. He started TRYM Fitness in 2011 and has been growing successfully ever since! This is his 15th year in the fitness industry and his scope of work has broadened from being ambassador to Sunwarrior, a partner to Vitamin World, and a sponsored athlete to 361usa shoes and apparel. He also contributes to Men’s Fitness Magazine and Human Fit Project with video and content production. Through his years in the industry he has placed 1st in several fitness competitions including the 2013 Dallas Europa Men’s Physique. His passion is to empower both men and women to be the healthiest and most fit they can be using various platforms.