When dietary fat is limited, the body finds a way to ensure it gets access to as much as possible. One of the ways it does this is by reducing the number of fats in the diet. In other words, keto isn’t safe for everyone and should be used as a tool for high-intensity weight loss, not a method of sustenance.
Keto is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that is very popular right now. The benefits of doing so have been widely acknowledged and debated, but the downsides have often been more subtle. For example, keto’s high-fat, low-carbohydrate nature has been widely acknowledged, but people have also been quick to dismiss its implications as being dangerous.
To learn more about the health implications of keto, we’ll take a look at its potential downsides, discuss its potential benefits, and offer our opinions on whether it’s safe for weight loss.
What is keto?
The word “keto” comes from the Spanish word “ketoacidosis,” a medical condition caused by a lack of insulin. This hormone regulates the body’s ability to use and absorb nutrients.
When the body’s supply of insulin is limited, the body resorts to another way to break down and use nutrients via the liver. This results in a high-fat, low-cholesterol environment in the body. In this state, our bodies can use fat as an energy source. This is the basis behind a low-carbohydrate diet.
Potential downsides of keto
The potential downsides of keto can be quite subtle, but they are often there. For example, consuming a diet high in fat can result in a high body mass index (BMI) since every pound of body weight contains carbs.
However, even though everyone’s BMI is different, there are clear correlations between a person’s weight and theirs due to the same thing, fueled by carbs. The take-home message here is that nutritional ketosis works best when done in conjunction with a consistent exercise routine, like all forms of dietary change.
Potential benefits of keto
This may sound like the complete opposite of the potential benefits of keto, but hear us out. While a low-carbohydrate diet may help with weight loss, it doesn’t do a great job of helping with other aspects of health.
As we’ve discussed, people on low-carb diets, including keto, tend to have higher BMIs than people who maintain their weight with more moderate diets. The takeaway here is that while there may be some short-term weight loss on keto, the long-term health impacts are questionable.
Should you try keto for weight loss?
We’ve laid out the pros and cons of keto, but what’s your decision? Are you interested in trying it for weight loss? Or do you think it’s a poor fit for your lifestyle? If you answered yes to either of these questions, we recommend speaking to a qualified medical professional before dietary changes.
While any diet can help with weight loss, a low-carbohydrate diet may be harmful, especially when combined with an increased intake of calories from alcohol and sugary beverages. Unfortunately, because there isn’t enough research on the long-term effects of keto, it’s hard to tell for sure if it’s safe or not.
Keto is a great way to lose weight, improve health, and provide energy. However, it’s important to note that while it may provide some short-term benefits, a low-carbohydrate diet is not healthy for the long term. Individuals on a low-carbohydrate diet have been shown to have higher BMIs and an increased risk of developing obesity and type 2 diabetes.
The main takeaway here is that while a low-carbohydrate diet might provide some short-term benefits, it’s not healthy for the long term. If you are trying to lose weight, we recommend following a Mediterranean-style diet high in fiber, fat, and protein and low in carbs.