Originally, the keto diet was developed to be used by kids with epilepsy, but once the weight-loss minded adults realized that this diet is all about consumption of butter, bacon, and other similar fatty foods, the whole thing immediately became a trend.
A ketogenic diet is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat, and moderate-protein diet whose name comes from ketones – the molecules that form once the body burns fat instead of carbohydrates as its primary source of energy. In simple terms, a keto diet turns a person into a fat-burning machine, replacing the carbohydrates as the person’s main fuel.
Due to the fact that most people don’t actually have a clue about Keto diet and its advantages and disadvantages, we’ve decided to dive into the subject and present you with 10 things you probably didn’t know about this nutrition strategy. Read on!
1. Its origins trace back to the 1920s
The origins of Keto diet date all the way back to the 1920s. Back then, it was used to treat children with severe epilepsy.
Scientists have found out that the ketone production, promoted by this diet, is capable of influencing the neurotransmitter activity in a person’s neurons. This, in turn, leads to fewer seizures in a person suffering from epilepsy, particularly in children. In fact, one of the studies has shown a 40% reduction of seizures in children that have been undergoing a keto diet.
Nowadays, this diet is still used for the same purpose, and there are efforts to turn it into a relief for people suffering from all other kinds of neurological problems, such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
2. It can help you with your cholesterol levels
The research on this subject is limited, but some of the most recent studies have shown that the saturated fat isn’t as dangerous for a person’s heart as once thought. This is, of course, a huge relief for all those who are currently undergoing this diet.
One of these recent studies suggests that a keto diet is capable of improving one’s LDL, HDL, and triglyceride levels. Another research has shown that a low-carb keto diet can also improve one’s lipoprotein profile while being in no connection with the overall weight loss. The studies focused on healthy-weight men have asserted that this diet doesn’t actually increase risks of cardiovascular diseases.
If the future studies validate these findings, the trend is bound to immensely gain on popularity.
3. It brings the risk of losing muscle mass
Even though this might sound counterintuitive, we still have to bring it up – the studies have also shown that the low-carb diets, such as the keto diet, lead to muscle loss.
As you already know, eating food that’s rich in carbohydrates promotes the production of insulin in a person’s body and this hormone leads to muscle growth. So, if we decide to almost entirely cut out the carbohydrates from our food, our muscle glycogen stores will be quickly depleted and we won’t have a lot of energy left for pushing harder in the training sessions.
On the other hand, a keto diet can help one improve his yoga sessions and long-distance running training. This is precisely why so many athletes replace their carbo-loading diets with the high-diet ones. The yoga enthusiasts, on the other hand, have found out that it works particularly well for their functional flexibility.
4. It causes bad breath
Just like almost all other low-carb diets, the keto diet is also capable of leaving one with bad breath. The reason behind this is acetone – it is a byproduct of fat metabolism. It can also lead to the bad smell of your sweat and urine.
However, those who’d like to try this diet shouldn’t change their minds because of this odorous side-effect. A lot of keto dieters claim that the bad smell subsides once the dieter’s body maintains its ketosis state for an extended period of time. You can always keep some breath mints in your pocket if you want to be safe, though.
5. It is not a “quick fix”
Some people might try to use this diet as a sort of a “quick fix”, and they should know that it can’t be used in that manner – it’s a lifestyle change that one needs to stick with if he wants to see changes.
Some of these changes can be encountered quite quickly, but that doesn’t mean that a person on a keto diet can jump back to his old eating habits and then expect these changes to stay. Of course, there will be times in which you’ll be able to put the diet on a pause for a short amount of time – you’ll be able to easily get back to it once you’ve been undergoing it for a while.
One can’t really expect to become permanently different after sticking to keto diet for just a few months. As we said, it’s a serious lifestyle change that requires long-term dedication. For that matter, subscribing to a meal kit delivery service, such as Blue Apron or Hello Fresh, is a good idea if you’d like to go keto – these companies can provide you with all the necessary ingredients and instructions. For more information check out our review of blue apron here.
6. It requires frequent hydration
While undergoing a keto diet, one’s body loses quite a lot of fluids, which is precisely why it is of crucial importance to stay as hydrated as possible. The fluids and electrolytes lost in this way are actually very easy to replace – all you need is water.
When not staying hydrated, one’s body stores as much fat as it can. This is opposite of what you want to happen. Staying hydrated will allow your body to work like a well-oiled motor, and your organs to work in a way they should work. Many people aren’t really used to constantly drink water throughout the day, but it’s something that’s necessary. The recommended amount is around a gallon a day – if it sounds like a lot, make the task more doable by taking a glass of water here and there during the day.
7. Mixing meals up makes it more enjoyable
While on a keto diet, one might think that he’s restricted on the number of dishes he can eat because of his restriction on the carb intake, leading some people to eat the same meals all the time.
For that matter, mixing meals up can make the whole affair a lot more enjoyable – it will allow you to go further with your diet and to keep your morale up. A subscription to a meal delivery service, such as Sun Basket or Home Chef, will allow you to make grilled chicken for one meal and turkey pesto meatballs for another. Moreover, don’t forget to throw in some low-carb vegetables due to the fact that not all recipes include them.
Eating your favorite meal all the time will make you get sick of it since you have it so often. But, before you subscribe to any of these companies, you should read sun basket reviews and this home chef review to learn more about them.
8. It can trigger eating disorders
We can safely say that this kind of a low-carb & high-fat diet is a no-go for all those who are susceptible to eating disorders. Undergoing a restrictive nutrition strategy such as this one can be quite dangerous for those prone to disordered eating.
Even those without a history of eating disorders should be careful – keto can still leave some individuals with negative feelings when it comes to food. The worst-case scenario is when a person doesn’t succeed with this diet, returns to his old eating habits, and then starts having feelings of failure and guilt. These can easily trigger eating disorders, so don’t try going keto if you think that this diet is not sustainable in your case.
9. It requires one to avoid alcohol
As you already know, a majority of diets require a person to avoid alcohols. While undergoing keto, you need to be concerned about your intake of carbohydrates, which means that beers, ciders, and liqueurs are off limit.
However, that doesn’t mean that you have to completely stay away from liquor – an occasional shot of vodka, scotch, whiskey, brandy, or gin won’t disturb your ketosis too much. Take the wine delivery service by Blue Apron into consideration, too – the company now delivers fine wines to customers who sign up for their wine plan.
10. High-quality fats are a must
A big mistake with the majority of ketogenic diets is when a person avoids high-quality fats. They are the backbone for the creation of hormones, neurotransmitters, cells, and brain tissue. One needs to be focused on consuming as many high-quality fats as he can – think of non-processed foods, such as cold-pressed oils, wild fish, grass-fed meats, nuts, avocado, etc.
Good food always leads to a good focus – when following a keto diet, one is able to enhance his concentration levels, and this reflects in work and daily activities. Make sure to avoid the mistakes we’ve mentioned and you’ll surely enjoy your keto diet – good luck!