You may have heard the term “keto diet,” but did you know it’s short for “ketogenic diet”? It is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that aims to change the body’s metabolism from using glucose as its primary energy source to using ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fat in the liver.
This shift into ketosis leads to rapid weight loss, increased energy levels, and improved mental clarity for many people. But is that all there is? Is the keto diet worth it?
There’s a lot you need to understand about the keto diet. If you follow it right, you can reap some very healthful benefits. However, it does have its drawbacks.
So, today we’ll be answering a few common questions about the keto diet, which include, is a keto diet good for diabetes? What does the keto diet consist of? Can the keto diet cause ketoacidosis? How do keto diets work? And more.
First things first…
What Does the Keto Diet Consist of?
Fundamentally, a keto diet is high in fat and low in carbs with a moderate portion of protein.
To follow the keto diet, you must consume 70-75% of your daily caloric intake from healthy fats, 20-25% from protein, and only 5-10% from carbohydrates, which should come mainly from non-starchy vegetables.
Foods to avoid on the keto diet include sugar, grains, and starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn, and peas.
Now that you know the nutritional basics of the keto diet, the next question is, how do keto diets work?
We’ll answer that, but first, let’s check out the types of keto diets below.
Types of Keto Diets
The keto diet has different variations, and you can pick the best fit.
- Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD): This diet is very low-carb, moderate-protein, and high-fat. It typically consists of 75% fat, 20% protein, and only 5% carbohydrates.
- Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD): This ketogenic diet alternates periods of a strict low-carb, high-fat diet with periods of higher carbohydrate intake.
- Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD): This is similar to the standard ketogenic diet but allows for carbohydrates to be consumed around exercise or training sessions.
Can the Keto Diet Cause Ketoacidosis?
Understandably, you may have health concerns, and one question that keeps popping up is, can the keto diet cause ketoacidosis? Well, there’s a common misconception about the difference between ketosis and ketoacidosis.
The ketogenic diet can lead to elevated levels of ketones in the body, known as ketosis. However, this is not to be confused with ketoacidosis, a dangerous and potentially life-threatening condition that occurs mainly in people with uncontrolled diabetes.
In healthy individuals following a well-formulated ketogenic diet, the level of ketones in the blood remains within a safe range and does not cause ketoacidosis. Although, in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, the inability to properly regulate blood sugar levels can result in a buildup of ketones and lead to ketoacidosis.
Speak with your doctor before you start any diet plan. No diet plan is one hundred percent foolproof; it must fit your nutritional needs before it can work without extreme reactions.
So, can the keto diet cause ketoacidosis? Yes, but it depends on other health issues.
How Do Keto Diets Work?
Before we answer, “Is the keto diet worth it?” We have to talk a little bit about the diet’s functionality. So, how do keto diets work?
Simply put, the keto diet works by inducing a state of ketosis in the body. As explained earlier, in a state of ketosis, the body stops using carbohydrates as its primary energy source and switches to ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fats in the liver.
The goal of a keto diet is to restrict carbohydrates to a very low level, typically 20-50 grams per day, and increase the intake of healthy fats to approximately 70-75% of total caloric intake.
By reducing carbohydrate intake, the body’s insulin levels drop, causing the liver to produce ketones from stored fat. These ketones are then used as a fuel source for the body, which can help to reduce body fat, improve insulin sensitivity, and promote weight loss.
If you want to use pills and supplements to aid the process, and you’re wondering, what is the best keto diet pill? A doctor is in the best position to answer your question.
There are many pills and supplements on the market, and the FDA does not regulate the market for supplements. It’s possible there are pills that don’t deliver what they promise or even pills harmful to your health.
Always speak with a qualified doctor before using keto diet pills.
Can You Eat Cheese on the Keto Diet?
As mentioned when we answered the question, “what does the keto diet consist of?” the deciding factor is the fats vs. carbs ratio. You can eat cheese on a ketogenic diet because it is low in carbs and a source of healthy fats and protein.
However, you have to note that some types of cheese are higher in carbohydrates than others. For example, soft cheeses such as brie and camembert and processed cheese products like cheese slices are generally higher in carbohydrates, so you must consume them in moderation.
On the other hand, hard and aged cheeses, such as cheddar, parmesan, and blue cheese, tend to be lower in carbohydrates and can be consumed in larger amounts.
Check the nutrition label and monitor your intake of cheese to make sure you’re not consuming more fat than you should.
Can You Drink Milk on a Keto Diet?
Yes, you can drink milk on a keto diet, but it’s important to consider the total carbohydrate content. Milk is a good source of calcium, protein, and other essential nutrients, but it also contains lactose, a type of sugar that can raise your insulin levels and impact ketosis.
If you’re following a strict ketogenic diet, limiting your milk consumption is best, and choosing lower-carb options, such as unsweetened almond or coconut milk, which contain fewer carbohydrates.
Whenever you’re wondering if a particular food will fit into a keto diet, always remember to ask, what does the keto diet consist of? It will help guide your diet plan by reducing carbs and increasing fats.
Is the Keto Diet Worth It?
There are so many diet recommendations out there, and there’s no one-size-fits-all diet that doesn’t consider your dietary needs.
More so, every diet has its upsides and downsides. So, if you ask, is the keto diet worth it? The answer depends on your nutrition needs.
That said, let’s examine the pros and cons of the keto diet. What good is the keto diet? Is a keto diet good for diabetes? Is the keto diet worth it?
Let’s find out.
According to one study, a keto diet can help you consume fewer carbs and increase your consumption of foods high in fiber, like seeds, nuts, coconut, avocado, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, and berries.
Obesity puts you at risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer, all of which are among the leading causes of preventable immature death.
However, thanks to the low-carb diet, keto can help you manage your weight and prevent obesity and improve your overall health.
One study found that a very low-calorie ketogenic diet (VLCK) has long-term positive effects on weight loss. Another study found that a ketogenic diet can act as an appetite suppressant which in turn helps you eat less and maintain a healthy weight.
In addition, a 2013 analysis of 13 trials found that people who followed a ketogenic diet lost two pounds more than those who followed a low-fat diet over one year.
May Improve Heart Health
Whenever someone asks, “is the keto diet worth it?” its effects on heart health are a good place to start.
Cardiovascular diseases kill about 17.9 million people annually, making them one of the leading causes of death worldwide. In fact, the CDC says heart disease is the leading cause of death in America. Given these grim statistics, a dietary solution to heart disease is welcome.
A 2017 review of studies done on mice show that a keto diet can help reduce cholesterol, which is linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
It May Help Reduce Seizures
The Epilepsy Foundation states that ketosis can help reduce seizures in people with epilepsy, especially those who have not responded to treatment.
One 2019 study recommends that the ketogenic diet be considered an alternative to pharmacological treatment for seizure patients.
The above study also stated that a keto diet “has been linked to many other metabolic issues, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, neurological disorders, and cancer.”
For cancer patients, an essential part of managing their health is regulating the consumption of foods high in sugar, and thanks to the emphasis of the keto diet on carb restriction, the keto diet is a good fit. So, if you’re wondering, is a keto diet good for diabetes? It is.
According to the study’s authors, “type 2 diabetics have also improved or eliminated their diabetic state through diet, specifically a diet that restricts carbohydrate consumption.”.
The CDC also said that Type 2 diabetes could be delayed or prevented with lifestyle changes, and as we have said, a low-carb diet will help combat diabetes.
A keto diet also holds promise for the management of cancer. According to one study, using the keto diet in combination with other treatment options can lead to more effective outcomes.
The study said, “the ketogenic diet probably creates an unfavorable metabolic environment for cancer cells” this means that cancer needs certain favorable conditions to grow, and the keto diet eliminates those conditions.
The study went on to say that several clinical and preclinical studies have recommended the use of the keto diet in combination with standard cancer therapy because of “its potential to enhance the antitumor effects of classic chemo- and radiotherapy, its overall good safety and tolerability and increase in quality of life.”
Cons of the Keto Diet: Is the Keto Diet Dangerous?
Not if you do it right. However, before you start any diet, you must first speak with a qualified doctor who will evaluate your medical history and nutritional needs.
In this section, we’ll explore some reasons why the keto diet can be unhelpful, starting from the following non-therapeutic results:
While on the diet, you may experience something known as the “keto flu.” The symptoms feel similar to the flu, but your body is adjusting to a new diet.
- Muscle cramps
The keto diet is restrictive and can be low in certain nutrients, such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals, as it restricts many fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
The inability to balance nutrition is one major reason why some don’t find the keto diet worth it.
High Cholesterol Levels
A keto diet is high in fat, and a high-fat diet can increase cholesterol levels for some people. High cholesterol levels can increase the risk of heart disease, and research suggests that a keto diet can help LDL or bad cholesterol levels while raising HDL or good cholesterol levels.
However, if you have cholesterol issues, it is best to be cautious and speak with a doctor first.
Fatigue and Weakness
Your body may experience fatigue and weakness in the initial stages of the diet as it adjusts to a new diet. Your body needs carbs to generate energy, and the carb restriction can cause fatigue as your body adjusts to the new diet.
Difficulty Following the Diet
The keto diet can be difficult to follow for some people, as it requires strict adherence to a high-fat, low-carbohydrate eating plan. Hence, this restrictive dietary requirement may feel like too much.
The Importance of Doing Keto Right
When it comes down to safety concerns, is the keto diet worth it?
The keto diet is perfectly healthy and has many benefits for diabetes and other health needs if you do it right. So, yes, we do believe it’s absolutely worth it to try.
However, you must first discuss with your doctor, dietitian, or trusted healthcare provider before you start any diet plan, especially if you’re managing a health condition.
Also, if you have gall bladder issues, type 1 diabetes, or a genetic disorder influencing fat metabolism, don’t start a keto diet without consulting a qualified doctor.
Live Healthy With Craft Medical
Do you need more information about the keto diet, or you’d like to speak with a professional? We’re here for you.
Craft Medical is a men’s health clinic focusing on sexual health and treating male sexual disorders. Your diet plays a vital role in sexual performance, so naturally, we’d like you to eat only what works for you.
Sexual performance is a delicate topic, and we understand that you may have privacy concerns. We have built a service centered around confidentiality; you can consult with us from the comfort and convenience of your home.