While various forms of low-carb dieting have been used for many decades, this article does not recommend that anyone undertake self-treatment of any disease or avoidance of prescribed drugs unless instructed to do so by a physician or qualified healthcare practitioner first.
When it comes to choosing your lifestyle and diet, questions abound: What foods should I eat? How much exercise should I get? What will help me lose weight? What helps to control my blood sugar? What will give me more energy?
It can feel pretty overwhelming, especially if you’re starting something completely new, like the keto diet.
Surely, you’ve heard the word “keto” in the past few years, and perhaps even considered trying it out. The keto diet is based in the idea that a low carbohydrate will cause your body to burn fat for fuel instead of glucose, a process known as ketosis.
If you’ve been curious and want to know keto diet pros and cons, we’re here to offer some answers about the most common questions regarding a keto or low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) lifestyle.
With useful information, research, and a consult with your physician, you’ll have a strong foundation for starting your keto lifestyle and effectively achieving your personal goals.
Pros of Eating a Ketogenic Diet
The keto and LCHF lifestyle have gained popularity due to their reputation as effective ways to lose or manage weight and control blood sugar, and for its potential to lessen the effects of certain serious health problems. We want to help you demystify keto pros and cons, so we’re starting with a list of the great benefits keto may offer.
Promote Blood Sugar Control
One of the most well-known outcomes of a keto lifestyle is how it can affect blood sugar. Many people choose to go on the keto diet to help promote healthy blood sugar control. The science points to a beneficial effect by reducing the foods that lead to poor insulin control and utilization.
Lower consumption of carbs that elevate blood sugar leads to better insulin efficiency and sensitivity.
If you’re a person with type 2 diabetes and considering the ketogenic diet, be sure to talk with your doctor to learn more about keto pros and cons as it relates to your health and well-being.
KetoLiving products are not intended to be used to treat diabetes, and anyone seeking to do so with any supplement should only do so under the care and consultation of a qualified healthcare practitioner.
Improve Productivity and Brain Function
Have you ever felt spaced out or tired in the afternoon? Feeling a lull in productivity? Looking for a boost? Then a keto diet may be worth trying.
A standard diet often consists of considerable carbohydrates and sugars. As you go throughout the day, you may notice highs and lows in your energy as your body burns up its fuel source, causing you to reach for something to perk you up.
Since a keto diet is high in fat, particularly omega-3s and omega-6s, your body no longer relies on the sugar spikes for energy but on fats. This may help your body regulate and sustain its energy for extended periods of time—giving you a clearer, sharper mind that can focus and get things done!
A few great sources of healthy fats to help with productivity and brain function are:
- Olive oil
- Organic eggs
- Wild-caught fish
Feel Fullerfor a Longer Period of Time
Satiety–that fantastic feeling when you’re not hungry and not overly full, but just right. Unfortunately, on a standard diet full of refined sugars or too many carbs, your body burns fuel quickly, which may lead to an increased desire to eat.
Eating a diet rich in high-quality fats gives your body a long-lasting fuel source that may help alter your body’s hormones to tell it “You’re full!” There are also potential connections between appetite control and higher ketone levels. When your body enters ketosis, it will produce more ketones as a fuel source, thus decreasing your appetite.
Cons of Eating a Ketogenic Diet
As with any new diet, you want to begin with clarity about your goals, a good understanding of your specific health needs and a consultation with your physician to address any concerns.
While the keto diet has some potential cons, many of them can be solved by eating and exercising mindfully so that you’re fully aware of how your program is affecting your body and mind.
Low Energy and Brain Fog
Feeling tired and sluggish is a very common response for someone who recently started a keto diet, but if you’re weighing the pros and cons of a keto diet, know that low energy will likely pass.
On the keto diet, your body is weaning off carbohydrates, which was your body’s primary fuel source. Now that its fuel source is gone, it needs to adapt to find the new source.
As you know, the keto diet relies on fat as a fuel source, but it takes your body time to make that shift. Once it does, you may find that your energy levels return to normal, or that you feel fewer highs and lows throughout the day. Many people actually report feeling more energetic after their bodies have acclimated to a keto diet.
Additionally, you may experience brain fog, which can look like forgetfulness, headaches and slower cognition. Like your energy levels, brain fog will likely subside as your body adapts to a low-carb, high-fat lifestyle, and something to consider when thinking about keto diet pros and cons.
Persistent problems such as these may be indicative of other unrelated health problems, so see a physician if your symptoms persist beyond one or two weeks.
Tip: How to Prevent Low Energy and Brain Fog on the Keto Diet
First, remember that low energy is typically a common feeling during the initial days of your keto diet. Second, here are a few tips to help you transition through the first week of keto:
- Stay hydrated. Even if you’re not on a keto diet, insufficient water intake can lead to feeling tired. While there isn’t one hard rule on how much to drink, start with at least eight 8-oz. glasses of water per day.
- Get plenty of rest. Use the transition to a keto lifestyle as a reason to be intentional about your sleep. Set a time to go to bed that allows your body to wind down and get optimal rest. If you’re not getting enough sleep, it may exacerbate feelings of low energy.
- Avoid added sugar or excessive caffeine to “wake up.” Eating sweets to boost energy will take you out of ketosis. Extra caffeine may affect your sleep or energy levels later in the day. It’s best to avoid both and make sure to check labels for added sugars.
- Try adding BHB to your routine: An exogenous ketone supplement like KetoLiving BHB Berry Lemonade Drink Mix helps promote your body’s ability to enter ketosis.* Best of all, it tastes great.
Long-Term Effects of Keto Diet are Not Fully Known
Many questions about keto pros and cons revolve around the research done about the diet. While interest has grown about the effects of the keto diet on humans, there is still somewhat limited evidence of how it may affect a person.
For people who remain on a keto diet for a long period of time, there are questions about how a high fat diet affects the body. There are also questions about how the diet affects people who go on and off it, even if they don’t remain on it for a long time.
Tip: Eat Nutritious Whole Foods for Longevity
A keto diet does consist of significant amounts of fat but don’t take that to mean you shouldn’t eat anything else. You still want to limit sugar and carbs, but your body can greatly benefit by adding in organic, leafy green vegetables, lean protein and keto supplements.
It’s easy to fill up on unhealthy fats like hydrogenated oils if you’re not reading labels. Stick to high-quality fats that come from sources like fish, olive oil and avocados to maintain a balance of fat and nutrient density—and to set yourself up for success on the keto diet!
Mental Health Effects
The pros and cons of a keto diet in relation to mental health are still largely unknown. Some studies offer positive results, and some show little change in mental health. If you’re prone to feelings of anxiety or depression, or have struggled with disordered eating, approach the keto diet with caution and awareness. Limiting certain foods or counting calories and carbs may be triggering for individuals who struggle with mental health.
If you have had mental health problems, it’s a good idea to discuss any new diet plan or supplement regimen with your doctor.
Tip: Diet and Exercise May Aid in Positive Mental Health
Mental health presents differently in each person, so the most important thing you can do is be aware of how you’re feeling throughout the process. It may be helpful to keep a journal to track your emotions from day to day and write down any physical effects you notice.
Get plenty of rest and exercise regularly. That helps to increase the release of endorphins, which may lead to more positive feelings and elevated mood. Be sure to eat nutrient-dense foods and always consult a mental health professional before engaging in a new diet.
Learn More About the Keto Diet at KetoLiving
Now that you know more about keto pros and cons you may be ready to take the next step on your keto journey. Whether you’d like to learn if the keto diet is right for you, how to start the keto diet, or are ready to shop for keto products, KetoLiving is your go-to for all things keto.
*All statements described here have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.