The Keto diet has steadily grown in favor over the last several years. People are excited with the outcomes they’re having and as a result they want to share the good news. But before you start, it’s a good idea to look at the benefits and risks of a Keto diet.
There are dramatic benefits to following a low-carb high-fat diet. However, you shouldn’t ignore the risks.
So, dig in, take a look and see if the keto diet is right for you.
Table of Contents
- A Brief History of the Keto Diet
- Is the Diet Healthy or Harmful?
- 10 Benefits of the Keto Diet
- The Magic Pill
- The Keto Diet and Your Healthcare Provider
- Who Should Avoid the Ketogenic Diet
- Proceed with Caution
- Common Side Effects on the Keto Diet
- Is the Keto Diet Right for You
A Brief History of the Keto Diet
The keto diet was first discovered in the early 1920’s as a treatment for epilepsy. The treatment was effective and as a result, several major U.S hospitals started using the diet. This continued until after world war ll and the advent of anti-seizure drugs. The diet then lay mostly dormant until 1994.
At this time, parents of a child with epilepsy that was difficult to control began searching for answers after drug therapy failed. The family came across the diet and then asked John Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore to help. The child’s seizures stopped shortly after starting the diet.¹
Because of this success, the news spread worldwide and new interest in the diet surged. The positive outcome also spurred new studies with the same astounding results. In fact, the research was so promising that it started a cascade of study on other diseases. Since then, the diet has shown positive outcomes for epilepsy, diabetes, autism and obesity.
There are currently over 100 clinical trials being carried out to study the effect of ketosis on disease.
Benefits and Risks of a Keto Diet: Is the Diet Healthy or Harmful?
Many healthcare providers remain firmly opposed to a diet centered around fat despite all the studies pointing to the benefits. Consequently, they rigidly maintain the notion that eating a low-carb, high-fat diet is harmful to your health.
It’s not surprising then, that the common complaint is that a high fat diet leads to high cholesterol, increased blood pressure and heart disease. Furthermore, they’re loud and extremely vocal in their opinions against the diet, mostly on principal.
Numerous studies have shown this premise to be false, but it has done nothing to dislodge their firmly held convictions. In my view, we could all profit from a clearer picture of the benefits and risks of a Keto diet.
10 Benefits of a Keto Diet
There have been numerous studies that show a low-carb, high-fat diet is making a difference in people’s lives. Consequently, the word is spreading and people are taking notice. Some of the benefits of a keto diet include,
- a suppression in appetite
- significant weight loss
- increased fat lost between hip and waist
- improved blood serum cholesterol levels
- normalized blood pressure
- improved glucose levels in type 2 Diabetics
- a reduction in insulin resistance
- hard to control epilepsy patients have a reduction in seizures
- better learning and social skills in Autism Spectrum disorders
- decreased symptoms in schizophrenic patients
The above benefits were fairly consistent among the various studies. In addition, those currently on a keto diet report a decrease in joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis, GI issues and infertility.
Benefits and Risks of a Keto Diet: The Magic Pill
As we finish up the benefits portion of the Benefits and Risks of a Keto Diet, I believe The Magic Pill is a film worth mentioning.
The documentary is a well-done narrative that brings the low-carb, high-fat diet into focus. I highly recommend it for anyone thinking about a Keto diet. The film seeks to highlight the influence of our food industry on the foods we eat. In addition, a medley of personal life stories does a great job of pointing out the benefits of eating a low-carb, high-fat diet.
Watch the official trailer below.
The Keto Diet and Your Healthcare Provider
If you are thinking about starting a keto diet after looking at the Benefits and Risks of a Keto diet, it’s important to consult your healthcare provider. Your medication needs can change quickly due to rapid shifts in your body chemistry. So you may need to amend your dosages. This is most important during your first few weeks on the diet as your body adjusts to ketosis.
As stated earlier, not all healthcare providers are onboard with the diet. As a result, they may have strong biases. It’s best, when possible, to seek a healthcare provider that is aware of the benefits and risks of a Keto diet. Similarly, at the very least, they should be open to the possibility of a Keto diet.
Who should Avoid the Ketogenic Diet
When discussing the benefits and risks of a Keto diet it’s easy to see the benefits and ignore the risks. But there are well-founded conditions when a Keto diet can be harmful to your health. Consequently, it’s important to know what the risks are. The diet is not considered safe with any of the following medical conditions.
- type 1 diabetics
- those with pancreatic insufficiency
- former bariatric surgery patients
- those who been diagnosed with a rare metabolic disease that may interfere with fat metabolism
- anyone suffering from gallstones, gallbladder disease or kidney stones
- someone who has a pre-existing liver condition or kidney disease
- a recovering or current anorexic
Proceed with Caution
Those with serious chronic health conditions should be closely monitored by their healthcare provider when beginning the Keto diet. Those taking meds for type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, high blood pressure or anti-depressants should proceed with caution. Extra assistance may be needed during your transition into ketosis.
Common Side Effects on the Keto Diet
As we look past the benefits and risks of a Keto Diet, it’s important to note that starting the diet is a drastic change. For those who’ve been eating a highly processed high-carb diet, it will take time for your body to make the adjustment. There are several fairly common side effects that may occur as your body adjusts. These side effects are not life threatening and usually pass after the first few weeks.
Common Side Effects on a Keto Diet: What you Should Know – Coming Soon
Is the Keto Diet Right for you
I hope you have seen that the benefits and risks of a Keto diet are important in your decision to start a Keto diet. Likewise, if you have any questions or comments regarding what you’ve read I would love to hear from you. So feel free to send me an email and I’ll be happy to respond.
Okay, so you’ve looked at the benefits and risks of a Keto diet and you’re excited and ready to begin. But, you may be wondering about what to do next. Here’s where I can help.
First, I suggest you start with my The Keto Diet Beginner’s Guide. In the Beginner’s Guide you will find basic, easy to understand information on what a keto diet is and how it works.
Next, for even more great resources to help you get started, sign up for the Keto Foodification newsletter and receive a free Keto Diet Starter Kit as a bonus.
In the Starter Kit you’ll receive The Complete Keto Diet Beginner’s Guide, A Step by Step Guide on How to Prepare and Stock your Pantry for the Keto Diet, 20 Ultimate Tips for Success on Your Keto Diet, A Comprehensive Approved Keto Diet Food List and The Complete Shopper’s Guide to Everything Keto. This is all yours free as a bonus when you subscribe to the Keto Foodification Community.
It’s a great opportunity to help get you started on the Keto Diet with useful information to help guide you on your way. Sign up today! (The Keto Diet Starter Kit is not yet available – I’m putting on the finishing touches to bring you the best resources available.)
The Magic Pill was a game changer for the hubs and I. Furthermore, we knew, after watching it, we were on the right track with a keto diet. I am whole-heartedly sold out to Keto, but my husband is on a whole other level. He has told everyone he knows about the Keto diet and the Magic Pill is one of the first things he shares when he tells his story. Yes, it’s that good and it has made a huge impact on the two of us and many of our friends and family. That is why I can’t recommend it enough. Furthermore, if you have Netflix, it’s free!
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