Why is the Keto Diet taking the world by storm? One is because it’s trendy, but a major reason is because it completely reverses how your body functions, along with changing how you view nutrition.
The Keto Diet limits the amount of food you should eat like any other weight-loss plan, but with keto, the type of food you can eat is just as important as the quantity.
It’s based around the premise that your body was designed to run more efficiently as a fat burner than a sugar burner.
Ideally, you will consume daily 70 percent fat, 25 percent protein, and five percent carbs. The ketogenic diet is known to be one of the best ways, besides fasting, to drop your insulin levels lower. Insulin is a fat storage hormone, so your body won’t store as much fat (ideally).
Does it work long term? Is it dangerous? How will this affect your health? So many unanswered questions, so let’s take a look at the pros and cons and you be the judge.
Cancer: Over the years, many studies have shown that cancer cells feed off of sugar. Fortunately, cancer cells don’t know how to use ketones as a fuel source, so if you remove sugars from your diet, it’s been shown to stop the growth of cancerous cells.
Better Mental Focus: Ketones are a consistent fuel source for your body, unlike carbs, which go through spikes. Because of this, your brain has a consistent energy source to pull from, which leads to better mental focus.
Weight Loss: On the Keto Diet, your insulin (the fat-storing hormone) levels drop, which allows your fat cells to travel to the liver and get converted into ketones. Your body effectively becomes a fat burning machine.
Blood Sugar Control: Unfortunately, many people suffer from diabetes, which is caused by your body’s inability to handle insulin. Keto naturally lowers blood sugar levels due to not eating as many carbs so your body can’t produce glucose. Keto has been shown to have huge benefits for people that are pre-diabetic or have Type II diabetes.
All fats aren’t healthy: When Keto says eat fats, a person that runs to have butter and bacon will have another set of problems long term. And if they want that butter/bacon with a side of guacamole and some shredded cheese on top, then they might as well just order the heart attack to go!
This diet is high in consuming animal products. As a result, LDL cholesterol tends to increase on these diets, a consistent risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease.
Less speed and power: My client Carshena R. leg presses over 450 pounds and runs nine miles per hours on a treadmill. Guess what allows her to do that? Yep, carbohydrates!
The consensus from all exercise physiologists is that while all these adaptations are true, the problem is that with fat and ketone bodies as fuel, you’re not going to go as fast as you can or be as strong as you can be. Glucose and carbohydrates assist with reaching your full athletic potential.
Weight loss doesn’t mean fat loss: Carbohydrates isn’t just called carbohydrates out of the blue; it’s made up of two words – “carbo,” which means carbon, and “hydrates,” which means water. When you get rid of carbohydrates, your body loses a lot of water weight. You weigh less, but that doesn’t mean you are healthier.
For women in particular, lowering carbohydrate intake seems to have negative effects. Women’s bodies go on high alert faster when they sense less energy and fewer nutrients coming in. Many women have found that the low-carb diet that worked great for their husband not only didn’t work for them, but it knocked out their menstrual cycle on the way out the door.
Foods To Avoid On Keto Diet
• Grains – wheat, corn, rice, cereal
• Sugar – honey, agave, maple syrup
• Fruit – apples, bananas, oranges
• Tubers – potato, yams
Foods to Eat on Keto Diet
• Meats – fish, beef, lamb, poultry, egg
• Leafy greens – spinach, kale
• Above ground vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower
• High fat dairy – hard cheeses, high fat cream, butter
• Nuts and seeds – macadamias, walnuts, sunflower seeds
• Avocado and berries – raspberries, blackberries, and other low glycemic impact berries
• Sweeteners – stevia, erythritol, monk fruit, and other low-carb sweeteners
• Other fats – coconut oil, high-fat salad dressing, saturated fats, etc.
(Siddiqu “The Personal Trainer” is a CPT, motivational speaker, and author of How Are You Fat and Saved?! He is also co-creator of the house music workout class and exercise series, “You Would Think I Invented Sweat.” For more information, visit www.chicagofit4life.com.)