A ketogenic diet is getting more popular today and with good reason. This type of meal plan can offer multiple health benefits and facilitate fast weight loss. However, like any diet, when practiced unwisely or incorrectly, it can do more harm than good. To make sure your ketogenic diet experience results in a positive change, you need to know how to avoid deficiencies caused by the low carb consumption.
What Is a Ketogenic Diet and Why Is It Good for You?
A ketogenic diet is a low-carb high-fat plan that can be very good for your health. For example, it’s associated with a lower rate of cognitive decline (University of Kentucky) and better management of type 2 diabetes (Journal of Obesity & Eating Disorders). It’s also used for treating epilepsy in children and can produce effects comparable to anti-seizure medications.
Today, the majority of people choose keto because it can boost energy levels and improve one’s general wellbeing. Effective weight loss is one of the main reasons why the ketogenic diet meal plan is so popular. There is undeniable proof that by choosing this plan one can achieve significant results fast. That’s why it’s a great choice for those who are starting a weight loss program and want to get a boost of confidence from seeing immediate changes.
However, the keto diet also gets a lot of criticism. That’s because it’s a low-carb meal plan and excluding any essential food group from your diet can lead to problems. The good news is that you can easily get the benefits of this plan without any health risks if you go about it right.
Why a Ketogenic Diet Can Be Bad and How to Avoid It
The two main reasons why adopting a keto diet can lead to health problems are:
- By excluding carbs you exclude foods with essential nutrients, so you can develop multiple nutritional deficiencies.
- The quality of fats and proteins in your diet might be bad.
Note that the ketogenic diet is always dangerous for people with kidney disease.
It’s true that to be ‘ketogenic’ your diet must have no or very few carbohydrates. And such a meal plan is exceedingly difficult to maintain over time. However, the point is that you don’t need to.
A ketogenic diet is a short-term measure. You can adapt it for a few weeks to get a weight loss boost. But you should reduce fats and bring back carbs gradually so you end up with a healthy well-balanced diet.
You won’t be losing any weight loss benefits by doing this because research indicates that over time the keto meal plan loses its ‘edge’. This means that the results you get to become the same as from other weight loss diets. Therefore, switching to a well-balanced plan to protect yourself from nutritional deficiencies allows you to reap the most benefits.
As to the quality of fats you consume, the safety of your diet is in your hands. It’s essential to get your fats and proteins from lean and healthy sources. Without this, your keto diet won’t bring the results you desire. Lowering the carbs will kick off the ketosis and help you lose weight. However, your heart health will be at risk if you consume ‘bad’ fats from fatty and processed meats.
To enjoy all the benefits of the ketogenic diet, you need to develop a meal plan that will be based on lean and healthy fats. You also need to start consuming carbs eventually but keep your diet healthy and well-balanced overall. This will improve your general health and help you shed a few pounds fast.
Be aware that you can experience fatigue and minor digestive issues at the beginning of a keto diet. If your plan is healthy, these symptoms should disappear in a few days. In case they don’t, drop the diet and consult a nutritionist.