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What Are the Pros and Cons of a Ketogenic Diet?

What Are the Pros and Cons of a Ketogenic Diet?

The ketogenic diet is raging hot right now, but it may not be a good fit for everyone. Ketogenic diets are usaully high in fat and low in carbs. The nutritional world seems to always have an ‘answer to fixing our health,’ but it is important to know the pros and cons of different diet plans, including ketogenic, before diving in head first.

What is Ketogenic

A ketogenic diet is where a person eliminates carbs entirely or eats them in smaller amounts. The rest of the diet is broken down to 20 to 25 percent protein and 5 percent carbs. The diet may consist of egg on greens with some avocado and fruit for breakfast, roast salmon and greens for lunch or dinner, and similar meals for the entirety of the diet plan. The goal of a ketogenic diet is to get the body into a state of ‘ketosis’ where the body is burning fat stores instead of glucose stores. Our blood sugar rises when carbs are converted into glucose, which can encourage weight gain. Cutting carbs and increasing fat intake, on the other hand, supports weight loss.

Right Diet, Right Time

The answer as to whether a keto diet is right for you depends on many factors. A ketogenic diet is very hard to maintain for a long period of time. There are keton urine strips available in drugstores to see if a person has reached a ‘ketogenic state’ but most people have a hard time cutting back enough on carbs to get there. The diet may not be safe long term as it can lead to kidney issues. People with existing kidney issues or are in recovery from addiction and substance use should consult with their doctors prior to doing this diet or attempting this diet plan, to be sure there will be no health complications as a result. Some possible side effects may include:

  • Bad breath
  • Insomnia
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Irritable mood

Biomarkers

For people who attempt this diet, monitoring of specific biomarkers is important to track progress and identify any harmful metabolic changes. The key is to ensure there is no long-term damage from being on the diet. Women need to be mindful as well because the thyroid helps regulate metabolism. A keto diet can inhibit conversion of T4 to T3, leading to worsening symptoms of hypothyroidism.

Overall, it is important to speak with a physician and nutritionist licensed in dealing with people who have addiction and are looking into keto diets as a way to regain health. This will help ensure the best plan can be selected to help you heal rather than do more harm to the body.

Diet plans are difficult to do on a recovery program without the right support. At Serenity, we provide space to explore how to plan a proper diet for your specific health needs and focus on getting you well one step at a time, nutrition included. If you are ready to commit to recovery, call us 24/7 at our toll-free number: 866-294-9401