Is Keto Right For You?

It can be quite challenging to ignore all the fad diets out there. If you ask your friends and family, you will find that quite a few them have decided to diet at one point or another. Heck, you might have even tried a few fad diets yourself! And for the most part, chances of sticking to these diets long-term are quite low. But although many of them can be quite restricting, for the most part, these diets also have their pros.

The hot diet of the moment seems to be the ketogenic diet. You might have only heard about it recently, but the truth is that it’s been around for quite a few years, and there’s actually some incredible research backing it. Today, the ketogenic diet is mainly known for its weight-loss effect, but this low-carb diet was originally designed to help patients suffering from epilepsy. It seems that mimicking the effects of fasting by limiting carbs, this diet helped reduce the amount of seizures. The benefits of this diet were also seen in patients suffering from diabetes type 2, as well as those looking to support cardiovascular and brain health. This diet can also potentially help support the treatment of various types of cancer.

These benefits mainly come from the fact that the ketogenic diet stimulates the body to use energy from fat rather than glucose. It does this by drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. And now let’s dive into the good and the not so good about this diet.

There are some aspects that I really appreciate about it. Like a few of the other popular diets, such as paleo, the ketogenic diet promotes eating more natural and fresh foods instead of processed ones. In any healthy lifestyle tweak, this is probably one of the best things you can do for your body. When you eat fresh, you are in full control of the ingredients that you are putting in your body. And that is a huge win!

Also, in limiting carbohydrates, one will also be avoiding sugary foods as well as avoiding dishes that are starch-heavy and are usually low in nutrients, like mac and cheese. Although this diet does promote the increase of fat, it does strongly emphasize the difference between healthy and unhealthy fats. The focus is on healthy fats like coconut oil, avocado, chia, flaxseeds, and nuts. Not only does it promote my beloved healthy fats, but it is also huge on leafy green veggies as well as non-starchy vegetables. These will be our spinach, kale, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and artichokes. They are all extremely rich in nutrients, easily making them some of my favorites!

On the other hand, like any limiting diets, one must be mindful about whether this is the right choice for their body. As we know, everyone has different needs and should not make drastic diet changes without checking in with a professional. Since this diet can be very carb-restricting, fruits might often be eliminated from the menu. Although fruits are higher in carbs due to their delicious sweetness, they are also rich in fiber and wonderful nutrients. If one eliminated them from their diet, they have to make sure that their body is getting all the nutrients it needs through other foods.

A few other foods that might be taken off the menu when going low-carb are beans, legumes, as well as starchy grains and vegetables. These are all great sources of fiber and nutrients. So once again, if removed, they have to be substituted with a healthy alternative that will also replace the nutrients provided in these foods.

And, finally, to answer the question, “Is the ketogenic diet for me?” There is research and evidence that do suggest great benefits from this diet. But one must remember that not everything works for everyone. Also, when it comes to different diets, there is usually the healthy and not so healthy way to go about it. So this greatly depends on you. I say choose the diet that works for you — the one that gives you energy and nourishes your body. For the most part, our bodies are pretty “vocal” about what is good and not so good for us. All we have to do is listen.