Keto Criticisms: The Pros and Cons of the Keto Diet

Keto Criticisms: The Pros and Cons of the Keto Diet

Many of you have heard of “keto diet” and it seems like a lot of people joined and are joining this bandwagon, but what is this anyway? Ketogenic “keto” diet is a body fat-burning process while under a strict low-carb and high-fat diet. This, in turn, will make you lose weight faster and perform better as others claim. The science behind it is that instead of your body using glucose (produced by carbs), it uses ketones (produced by fats) as an alternative energy source. Ketones are made if you consume very few carbs, moderate amounts of protein and high fat. Most people are okay to do a keto diet, though it has been noted that those who take medications for diabetes, high blood pressure, and breastfeeding women should consult their physicians first before doing this.

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Keto Foods

There are so many choices on what to eat, mostly meats, fats and oils, though some of them requires that you consume them minimally than others. It’s a battle between eating the healthier (only a little tasty) fats and the not-that-healthy (but tastier) ones. Also, there are a bunch of carbohydrates (sweets and starches) that you should avoid if you want to be strict on your diet. It’s important for you to know what foods to eat and what fats to include on your meals. Below are food guidelines to an effective keto diet.

The BEST keto foods to consume include:

  • Protein such as grass-fed beef, fatty fish (salmon, tuna), pork, turkey, dark meat (liver), chicken (thigh, with skin, legs), eggs
  • Oils and fats such as avocado oil, olive oil, canola oil, coconut oil, butter, heavy cream
  • Greens such as avocado, leafy greens (spinach, arugula), celery, asparagus, cauliflower, bok choy, lettuce, cucumber, green peppers, mushrooms, zucchinis
  • Nuts and seeds such as walnuts, macadamia nuts, almonds, flaxseeds, chia seeds
  • Dairy products such as cheddar cheese, blue cheese, feta cheese
  • Practice moderation in using sweeteners
  • Condiments and sauces such as guacamole, lemon butter sauce, mayonnaise (no added sugar)
  • Drinks such as water, almond milk, bone broth, plain tea
  • Herbs and spices such as salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, paprika, cayenne
  • Supplements such as fiber, multivitamins, MCT oil

The keto foods to consume AT A MINIMUM include:

  • Low fat proteins such as skinless chicken, shrimp, bacon
  • Oils such as sunflower oil, safflower oil, corn oil
  • Vegetables such as leeks, spaghetti squash, eggplant
  • Unsweetened nut butters (almond and peanut butters), cashews, pistachios
  • Full-fat cottage cheese, full-fat plain Greek yogurt, full-fat ricotta cheese
  • Stevia, Erythritol, Xylitol
  • Raw garlic, tomato sauce (no added sugar), balsamic vinegar
  • Black coffee, unsweetened carbonated water, zero-calorie drinks
  • Ground ginger, garlic powder, onion powder

The foods to AVOID include:

  • Flour-based products, breads, rice, pastas, candies, chocolate bars
  • Cold cuts with added sugar, meat marinated in sugary sauces, fish and chicken nuggets
  • Margarine and artificial trans fat
  • Potatoes, corn, raisins
  • Trail mixes with dried fruit, sweetened nut and seed butters
  • Milk, sweetened non-fat yogurt, ice cream
  • Agave, honey, maple syrup, white and brown sugars
  • Barbecue sauce, ketchup, honey mustard
  • Soda, fruit juice, lemonade, beer

This is a sample of the keto menu:

  • For breakfast: scrambled eggs in butter on lettuce topped with avocado and bulletproof coffee (black coffee with butter and coconut oil)
  • For morning snacks: almonds
  • For lunch: spinach salad with grilled salmon
  • For afternoon snacks: celery strips dipped in guacamole
  • For dinner: pork chop with cauliflower mash and red cabbage slaw

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Keto Benefits

There are many pros to doing ketogenic diet. Most people notice its benefits after several days of religiously following the program.

  • Weight Loss: It turns your body into a fat-burning machine.
  • Appetite Control: As your body turn to constantly burning fat, it accesses a lot of stored energy, which in turn reduce feelings of hunger.
  • Blood Sugar Control and Reversal of Type-2 Diabetes: It lowers blood sugar levels; reducing potential negative impact of high insulin levels.
  • Health Markers Improvement: It improves risk factors for heart disease, cholesterol profile (HDL, triglycerides), blood pressure, blood sugar levels, insulin levels, body fat percentage, weight, and waist circumference.
  • Energy and Mental Performance: The brain is fueled by ketones 24-7 and does not rely on carbs for energy; thus, avoiding blood sugar swings resulting in proper concentration, focus, brain fog resolution, and mental clarity.
  • Calmer Gastrointestinal System: It can improve your digestion, stomach, less gas, less cramps and pains, and improvements in those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
  • Physical Endurance Improvement: Stored carbs gives energy that only lasts for a couple of hours while the larger stored fats may last for weeks. It also reduces body fat percentage which lets you move better and faster.
  • Seizure-Free: It’s often an effective therapy for epilepsy since 1920s, that can make you less reliant on drugs and can increase mental performance.
  • Other potential benefits include reversing PCOS, less heartburn, less acne, fewer migraine attacks, less sugar cravings, potential treatment for Alzheimer’s and brain cancer.

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Keto Criticisms

As famous as this keto diet is, especially to overweight and obese due to its rapid weight loss, it still doesn’t fall short of issues and controversies. A number of people oppose this diet due to many reasons including health.

Some critics say that this diet is rather an unhealthy way to lose weight. They say that ketosis is the mild form of ketoacidosis which affects type-1 diabetics and is their leading cause of death. This kind of diet also has a short-term weight loss effect as you regain some of the weight within a year. It’s also mentioned that it doesn’t improve athletic performance since carbs is largely absent from this diet. It can even lead to muscle loss and extreme fatigue.

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Since lots of people have been following the keto trend, some have lost sense of the right keto foods to eat, that’s why one criticism to it is that they tend to consume very few fruits and vegetables, too much protein and poor-quality, processed fats. It is also a restrictive diet so it’s difficult to follow over time. Those with kidney and heart disease should also be careful with what to consume. Others who started doing this diet may feel tired, have nausea, vomiting, bad breath, constipation, and sleep problems.

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Keto diet may be doing a great job in fat loss, but not so in muscle building. You still need carbs to accelerate muscle growth. Athletes should be fat-adapted, which can take a couple of weeks or months before they can see an improvement or even be at same level of their performance as when they were still consuming a huge amount of carbs.

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Keto Celebrities

Even famous personalities joined the keto bandwagon. They may have seen the benefits of this diet and wanted to lose weight faster. The following are the celebrities who have seen changes in their body after doing the keto diet.

  • Katie Couric, a former Today show anchor said she feels much better after doing it.
  • Halle Berry said she fills her plate with meat and healthy fats, avocado, coconut oil and butter.
  • Kourtney Kardashian said that keto diet was a really positive experience.
  • Kim Kardashian said she lost 60 pounds doing keto after having her son.
  • Gwyneth Paltrow is a wellness enthusiast and said she’s a fan of keto diet.
  • LeBron James, one of the greatest NBA ballers, slimmed down and had six packs to show off.
  • Vinny Guadagnino, from MTV’s Jersey Shore reboot looks 10 years younger and weighs 50 pounds lighter after keto.
  • Megan Fox of The Transformers and a mom of three turned to keto to bring her pre-baby body back.
  • Adriana Lima, a Victoria’s Secret angel maintains her body, thanks to this diet.
  • Alicia Vikander of Tom Raider started stocking up on meat, avocados, and healthy oils.
  • Vanessa Hudgens of High School Musical dropped 20 pounds after doing keto.
  • Tim Tebow, a pro football player who loves keto most especially avocados.

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There are always pros and cons to every diet, and keto diet is definitely not an exception. Sure, this might be an effective weight loss program but before trying it out, please do make sure to consult your physician or dietician if you have certain conditions such as cardiovascular and endocrine problems. If you are clear, choose the right keto foods to eat. Not every fatty food should be consumed, others may even be more harmful for you. If it’s not working or haven’t noticed any changes after doing it for some time, then it probably isn’t for you. Better enjoy the foods and find other, healthier alternatives. No matter what weight loss diets or programs you do, if your body is not up to it or you lack discipline, then you won’t be able to achieve your body goal. It’s a viable option if you are consistent with it and if it helps you improve your body and mind.

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