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Debunk : Keto is unhealthy

Updated: Dec 28, 2021

Low-carb diets like a keto diet are nothing new, and have been used since over a century as a treatment for various ailments. In the last decade or so these diets have become increasingly popular for weight loss - and with greater publicity comes greater scrutiny.

However, low-carb diets prove their worth as healthy and beneficial through hundreds of studies and research disproving common misconceptions like ketogenic diet raises cholesterol and causes heart disease

Given all this, adopting a ketogenic diet may be the perfect weight loss plan, especially if you have diabetes, or want to try this approach to lose those troublesome extra pounds. After all, it’s a very low-carb meal plan that promises effective weight loss while also lowering your blood sugar to the point where you could possibly stop taking medication. By all means, the “keto” diet, as it’s widely known, may even reverse type 2 diabetes.

Another advantage to the ketogenic diet: It can help reduce systemic inflammation, which can have a variety of negative effects on your entire body. But first, let’s discuss what keto diet actually is?

What is a ketogenic (keto) diet?

Keto is a diet that causes the body to release ketones into the bloodstream. Most cells prefer to use blood sugar, which comes from carbohydrates, as the body’s main source of energy. In the absence of circulating blood sugar from food, we start breaking down stored fat into molecules called ketone bodies (the process is called ketosis). Once you reach ketosis, most cells will use ketone bodies to generate energy until we start eating carbohydrates again. The shift, from using circulating glucose to breaking down stored fat as a source of energy, usually happens over two to four days of eating fewer than 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day.

Clean Keto vs Dirty Keto

Like most things in life there are usually more than one way to achieve a single result. The same holds true for Keto as well. There are multiple variants of a keto diet and most distinct and well known are “clean keto” and “dirty keto”

While both clean and dirty keto can help your body burn fat instead of carbs for energy, dirty keto is generally high in red meats, processed ingredients and oils.

A majority of health concerns and objections arise from people following dirty keto. On the other hand, Clean Keto focuses on whole, nutritious foods and has proven health benefits.

As such, it’s best to avoid dirty keto. Clean keto is much more likely to give your body the micronutrients it needs, making for a more wholesome, well-rounded diet.

The Key to Eating Clean Keto

Of course, it’s not just convenience that makes people reach for packaged foods. It’s also a habit. If you’re new to keto and have subsisted on mostly packaged foods in the past, it’s easier to reach for readymade items than to both learn how to eat keto and also how to cook from scratch (a requirement for eating clean keto). Plus, everyone wants a cookie now and then. However, educating yourself on quality (and unhealthy) ingredients and foods, and learning how to prepare healthful meals is one of the most important investments in the future of your health.

So, don’t cheat yourself out of quality nutrients with a “dirty” keto diet and risk inflammation and poor health. Instead, aim for a mostly clean diet. It will nourish your cells with healthy fats and nutrient-dense whole foods, keep your ketones up and your blood sugar down, and give you more energy and vitality.

What are some of the benefits of Keto?

Weight loss is the primary reason people do the ketogenic diet, but in reality, weightloss is simply a happy side-effect of a Ketogenic Diet. Ketogenic diets are effective in lowering risk factors for many diseases. While low-fat diets are traditionally recommended for those looking to shed pounds, keto is, in fact, a superior approach to weight loss.

Unlike many diets, keto will not leave you feeling hungry after eating a set number of calories for the day. Keto is a satisfying and filling method of dieting. In fact, you can lose weight without tracking calories—something that deters many people from adhering to other diets.

There are several reasons why keto is more efficient than a low-fat diet, including increased protein intake. Higher protein intake is advantageous for weight reduction and metabolic health.

Other Health Benefits of Keto

The ketogenic diet was originally created to treat neurological diseases like epilepsy. Over the last century, various studies have been performed to examine the other health benefits of Ketogenic diets. Keto has been shown to offer benefits for a myriad of health conditions:

  • Heart disease: The ketogenic diet can improve cholesterol levels and reduce body fat and blood sugar—all risk factors for heart disease.

  • Alzheimer’s disease: Keto may reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or slow its advancement.

  • Epilepsy: It has also been indicated that the ketogenic diet can cause a sizable reduction in the number of seizures experienced by epileptic children.

  • Parkinson’s disease: One study produced evidence that the diet helped improve Parkinson’s disease symptoms.

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome: Keto can lower insulin levels, which play a role in treating polycystic ovary syndrome.

  • Brain injuries: One study conducted on animals found that keto can aid in concussion recovery and post-brain injury recovery.

  • Acne: Eating less sugar and processed foods (lower insulin levels) helps improve acne and reduce the frequency of breakouts.

  • Diabetes: Keto can increase insulin sensitivity and fat loss, which are significant benefits for people with type 2 diabetes (or prediabetes).

So, Is Keto Healthy?

A ketogenic diet can work wonders for people who are overweight, diabetic and prediabetic or just looking to improve their metabolism. It may not be as suitable for some elite athletes or bodybuilders looking to add significant muscle mass.

As with any diet, keto will only work if you are consistent and stick with your plan. The powerful health, nutritional, and weight loss benefits of a ketogenic diet have been proven through extensive research.

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