The ketogenic diet is just one of many to make it into the health and fitness spotlight in recent years. The diet asks participants to do just two simple things: lower your carb intake and up your fat intake.
This effectively forces the body into a state of ketosis, which is the body's way to switch from carb-burning to fat-burning. Your body will burn some amount of fat anyway, even if you do consume carbs in your regular diet. But on the ketogenic diet, your body will rely on fat as its primary source of fuel, turning the tables.
When you go onto the ketogenic diet, you may suffer from what's called the "keto flu" in the first month. This is when your body exhausts its stores of carbs and finally makes the switch to burn fat.
Many people say that, once you experience the keto flu, the transition back into keto even after stopping the diet for a while will be much easier. Studies still need to review these facts before any scientific evidence can contribute to that discussion.
However, when it comes to the general health and safety of the diet, there are certain aspects to look to. Generally, eating a low-carb, high-fat diet is considered safe, so long as you follow a few guidelines.
First and foremost, you have to look at where your fat is coming from. If you are going to switch from a high-carb diet to a high-fat diet, you need to prioritize healthy fats. Healthy and natural fat sources will help keep the keto diet healthy and safe.
The other aspect to consider is your protein intake. You have to get an adequate protein intake on the ketogenic diet in order to ensure that you're getting enough nutrients. You need to carefully balance the amount of protein and fat you get to make sure it fits your body's needs and your lifestyle. Keto aims to limit carbs as much as possible.
Finally, you need to think about your sodium intake. When many people start keto, they take the wrong approach. Rather than eating healthy, they just try to limit carbs. This can lead them to over-eating meats, eating too many unhealthy fats, and consuming far too much sodium in the process. These shortcuts are where the dangers of such a diet begin to crop up.
So, if you follow the ketogenic diet, make sure you aren’t just switching to a low-carb but still unhealthy way of eating. Emphasize the consumption of vegetables, especially since this diet doesn’t allow for many fruits due to their carb content.