The ketogenic diet is currently trending as the best diet for weight loss to date. It’s a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that produces ketones, the result of the breakdown of fats in the liver, to be used as energy.
With the keto diet showing up all over the news, in forums, magazines, and in conversations at the gym, there’s a lot of things being said that are true, but a lot of things that aren’t so true as well.
10 Keto Misconceptions
- You can eat all the fat you want. While about 75% of your daily calories should come from fat sources, this doesn’t mean you can eat all of the saturated fats that you want to get your fats in. Unsaturated fats are still the preferred option on the keto diet and lots of them. Olive oil, nuts, seeds, fish, grass-fed red meat, eggs, turkey, and avocado are just a few examples that make the keto cut.
- Ketosis and Ketoacidosis are the same things. Ketosis is the metabolic process of using fat as the primary source of energy instead of carbohydrates. This means your body is directly breaking down its fat stores as energy instead of slowly converting fat and muscle cells into glucose for energy, Basically, when there aren’t enough carbohydrates to use for energy, the body goes into ketosis and begins to break down fats.
Ketoacidosis, typically seen in diabetics and sometimes others who follow the keto diet, can be life-threatening. Ketoacidosis is a condition resulting from dangerously high levels of ketones and blood sugar, which causes the blood to become too acidic and affects organ function.
- It’s a high protein diet. Not true, you should be getting about 75% of daily calories from fat, 5% from carbohydrates, and 20% from protein.
- Fasting is required. It’s not a requirement; you do not have to fast to go keto. Too, it’s typically not recommended that you incorporate fasting into the keto diet until you’ve eased into the process, such as lowering your carb intake slowly or going alkaline first. However, intermittent fasting while going keto does have many benefits. It can accelerate weight loss, detoxification, and help control hunger and cravings.
- The Keto diet is nutritionally deficient. If one chooses to achieve ketosis by eating fatty cuts of quality meat, dairy, nuts and plenty of green leaves and fibrous vegetables–they are on a nutrient dense, complete diet.
- Ketosis can cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. It is true that ketosis promotes water and electrolyte loss but this can easily be mitigated by ensuring adequate water consumption while making sure to consume foods rich in the key electrolytes: sodium, potassium, and magnesium.
- Eating fat will make you fat. With plenty of low-fat foods still inhabiting grocery store shelves, many people still can’t shake the idea that eating fat will make them gain weight. It’s the combo of fat with highly-processed carbs and sugars that lead to weight gain. When we don’t eat fat, we begin to crave calories in the form of refined carbohydrate and sugar, which are both linked to weight gain and obesity.
- You cant exercise on the ketogenic diet. Exercise is something that’s beneficial for just about everybody, including those on the keto diet. Initially, you might feel less energized during your workouts, but this should dissipate as your body adjusts. Even in the midst of high-intensity workouts, the ketogenic diet doesn’t seem to cause any decline in performance. In order to support your workouts, make sure you consume enough calories in general and plenty of fat. Also, give yourself ample time for recovery between tougher workouts.
- Everyone gets the keto flu. Some people transition into ketosis smoothly, while others might deal with more fatigue, brain fog, digestive issues and sleep-related problems for several weeks (this phase has been nicknamed “the keto flu”). You can reduce the chances that you’ll experience side effects by consuming enough water, salt, fiber, and electrolytes (like potassium or magnesium) from vegetables.
- Ketogenic diet = Low energy. Many find that after they adjust to being in ketosis their energy and concentration actually increases. Initially, your energy might be lower than normal, but it’s likely that this will change. Ketones do a great job of providing the brain with a steady fuel-source, so it’s common to experience more mental clarity, increased focus and more upbeat moods once you get going on the keto diet.
On a ketogenic diet, the bulk of your calories come from fats from a variety of plant and animal sources, with protein and carbs making up the few remaining calories. Eating this way shifts the body into a state called ketosis, in which it uses fat for energy instead of the usual sugar. Keto eaters report weight loss, more stable blood sugar, and steady energy as its major perks.
Despite what health science has beaten into us over the last fifty or so years, humans thrive on high-fat, low-carb diets. Millions of people around the world have discovered that a ketogenic lifestyle is a key to weight loss, disease prevention and intervention, and a more vibrant life.
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