Is the Ketogenic Diet Healthy for All?

The keto diet can be a risk to those with a variety of health conditions, including high blood pressure, heart disease, eating disorders, diabetes, or kidney disease, according to Majumdar. The keto diet can contain higher levels of unhealthy saturated fats, which are linked to increased heart risk. The ketogenic diet, or keto, can cause low blood pressure, kidney stones, constipation, nutritional deficiencies, and increased risk of heart disease. [Sources: 5, 6, 7]

The diet limits fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products, which may aid in weight loss and overall health in the long run. As discussed, ketogenics may have a short-term beneficial effect on weight loss, blood sugar control, triglyceride levels, and HDL (good cholesterol) levels. When overall calories are restricted, keto has been shown to be more effective for weight loss than low-fat diets. [Sources: 3, 7]

Very-low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets, like the ketogenic diet, have been shown to benefit weight loss. The ketogenic diet can be ideal for individuals with type 2 diabetes because it can promote fat loss and enhance insulin sensitivity, while maintaining low, stable carbohydrate consumption. [Sources: 2, 10]

Because keto is not very sustainable and can put you at risk of nutritional deficiencies, we would not recommend following a keto diet for weight loss alone (instead, try this low-carb eating plan for fast weight loss). Because it cuts out so many foods that provide fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and it may increase how much saturated fat you eat, the keto diet is likely to not be the healthiest option for most people over the long haul. [Sources: 0, 5]

The keto diet is a very high-fat, very-low-carbohydrate diet that eliminates healthier sources of carbohydrates, such as whole grains, beans, fruits, and starchy vegetables. The keto diet allows many people to eat the kinds of high-fat foods that they like, like red meat, fatty fish, nuts, cheese, and butter, and yet lose weight. [Sources: 4, 5]

Unlike other low-carb diets, which emphasize protein, the keto plan emphasizes fat, providing up to 90% of your daily calories. Ketogenic diets generally promote foods high in fat, moderate in protein, and low in carbohydrates, to try to elicit the metabolic state known as ketosis, in which the body burns fat as fuel rather than carbohydrates. Ketogenics reduce triglycerides, a type of fat in the bloodstream that, when high, increases risk of heart disease, stroke, and pancreatitis. [Sources: 3, 8, 9]

High-fat diets such as these can increase cholesterol levels, doctors say, and some studies have suggested that they can raise diabetes risk. The keto diet may improve markers of health–such as cholesterol and other blood-fat levels–in obese people, with no serious side effects. Another finding suggests the ketogenic diet may actually help people lose weight — but not any more than other diet approaches, like a low-fat diet, when studied in the long run. [Sources: 1, 5, 11]

Dirty keto is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet that has gained popularity in recent years. While it has some benefits, it is also considered to be very difficult to follow and can be very restrictive.

The main aim of dirty keto is to mimic the benefits of a ketogenic diet without the restrictive elements. By eating high-fat foods and limited amounts of carbs, you are able to induce a state of ketosis, which is thought to have many health benefits.

However, dirty keto is not for everyone. It is not recommended for people with diabetes, pregnant women, or children, and it can be very difficult to follow. It is also important to be aware of the potential dangers associated with this type of diet, including weight gain, heart disease, and stroke.


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