Though many people are still warming up to the “Ketogenic Diet” that has taken up the world by storm, there are still others like us figuring out and trying to draw conclusions as to what is about Keto diet that is making people go gaga over it!
To start with, why was Ketogenic diet (popularly known as keto diet) developed in the first place?
It has a very simple and a scientific reason attached to it. The diet was specially curated for treating patients with “epilepsy” [seizures or “मिर्गी के दौरे” in Hindi] . It has presented itself as a wonderful alternative to trying a varying number of medications. Even though further research is still going on, one cannot deny the fact that it has worked wonders for patients of epilepsy who couldn’t be treated even with expensive medications!
But, even though it was originally designed for clinical patients, a lot of people have recently been seen incorporating this diet in their daily routine in search of a permanent solution for losing weight. So, taking into consideration the recent trends, we thought of coming up with a small list of pros and cons of the highly beloved keto diet so as to make it easier for people who are even 1% willing to plunge in the dieters wagon.
Pros of Ketogenic Diet
– For clinical patients it is quite cheap to be on a keto diet, in comparison to the various anticonvulsants that have been doled out in the market.
– It is a rigidly controlled, high in fats, low in protein and carbohydrate diet, which leaves little scope for any mistakes and needs to be done as per the mentioned specifications.
– The Ketogenic diet essentially helps in losing weight as it uses fat from the body as the main energy source. This only happens post its adaptation to the new found energy source.
– It helps in lowering and managing your blood glucose levels in a better way. But you do need to be under proper guidance of your doctor to understand how it would work and benefit you and what all risks would one face.
– A few studies have also shown that it improves the skin, helps in lowering of the lesions and reducing skin inflammation.
– Ketones being a great source of energy are used by many people to increase their mental concentration. Lower carbohydrate intake helps in avoiding big and sudden spikes in blood sugar. This, thus results in improved focus and concentration.
– But, with every positive thing that you might see, it brings along, its own set of negative effects. Here is a small and a comprehensive list of negatives attached with a ketogenic diet, but the list doesn’t stop just at this! So here we go!
Cons of Ketogenic Diet
– Constipation is invariably the first negative effect of the keto diet that one gets to see. Limited amount of vegetables in the diet makes it difficult for the bowel system of the body to work efficiently.
– The next most common side effect of the keto diet seen is the “keto flu”. It makes people feel irritable, gives fatigue, dizziness, light nausea. A different energy source and a reduced amount of mineral intake, confuses the body to a large extent. But these subside when the body adapts.
– When you start with keto diet, there is a high possibility of getting cramps [especially in the legs], this is due to a reduced vitamin and mineral intake in the body.
– When starting on a diet which has fat as a major component, it becomes difficult for the body to adjust in using it as energy source. This persists till the body adapts to its new found source. So you might feel low on energy and be easily fatigued.
– Hair loss is also a common side effect when on a ketogenic diet. But this usually happens within 5 months of starting it and is most of the times rectified by including a multivitamin in the diet.
– Heart palpitations can also be felt due to a low carbohydrate diet, dehydration and low amount of salt in the diet.
With every sort of diet that comes into being, it is always important to see how well it is scientifically backed and if it suits your individual requirements in the long run. What suits you wouldn’t necessarily suit your friend or any other family member in that case or vice versa. So, never force and never copy!
Sustainability is always the key factor that should be looked into before jumping into a dieters wagon. Always ask yourself is it really worth getting into a diet which gives results for a shorter duration? Or you’re in to change your story for a longer haul and be happy for a longer number of years?!!!!!!
This article is not to tell you if a ketogenic diet is good bad or ugly, [because we clearly know the answers, but you never asked us, so…!!] it is simply stating the pro’s and con’s of a very simple and a clinically made diet. It is for you to decide, should you be really getting into it? Should you be trying for the heck of it or maybe because everyone seems to be doing it? Or if, it is worth getting a physician’s or a certified nutritionist’s opinion before blindly incorporating in your daily life, a diet which is actually an alternative medication for epileptic patients.
“So clearly some tough decisions and choices to be made here!! Choose wisely!!”
Having a master’s degree in the field of Clinical Nutrition, along with a background of intensive research on the subject, she guides people with different dietary requirements. From sports to people with varied lifestyles, she has catered to all during her stint with Fortis Memorial Research Institute. Working with corporates has been on top of her agenda to bring about a positive change in their lifestyles. So, while the corporates take care of the business needs, she takes care of the nutritional needs and keeps them going in the humdrum.
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for a consult.