10 Unexpected Facts About the Keto Diet
What is the keto diet all about? You might think that all diets are the same, but that’s not true.
The keto diet is one of many low-carbohydrate and high-fat eating plans. It has been used for nearly a century to manage epileptic seizures, and more recently, it’s become popular among people looking to lose weight or improve their overall health.
While some people swear by its benefits, others say it’s too restrictive for them to stick with long term. So here are ten facts about the keto diet you might not know about yet. This information will help you understand the purpose of the keto diet, the reasons for doing keto, and give you everything to know about keto.
1. Keto is Not Just for Weight Loss
Many people start the keto diet to lose weight, but it’s not the only benefit. For example, some people have more energy, better mental clarity, and improved moods when they participate in the keto diet. In addition, some people use keto to manage diabetes, Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.
So, what do doctors say about keto diets? Well, research by keto diet doctors is still relatively new, but experts are learning more about keto medicine and how it can affect your brain and control seizures. While exercise is still definitely important for weight loss (and your health overall) finding a diet that works for you will help you not only lose weight but also improve many other aspects of your health.
2. You Can't Have Sugar Alcohols
Since this diet aims to reduce carb intake, that also means you have to cut back on sugar substitutes like maltitol or xylitol, which are often found in sugar-free products. While they may not impact blood glucose levels directly, they do influence insulin production, which can cause issues for people with diabetes.
Be sure to check food labels, so you know how much you’re consuming per serving. If your goal is weight loss, you might get discouraged by some foods’ high carbohydrate content.
But remember that not all carbs are created equal. It would be best to eat those that come from high-quality, nutrient-dense sources like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. And you only need about 25-30 grams of net carbs per day to stay in a state of ketosis.
3. You Can't Eat All the Meat You Want
While meat is a central component of the keto diet, it’s important to remember that you still need to eat a variety of foods. That means including plenty of non-meat proteins like eggs, nuts, seeds, and dairy products into your diet. Too much meat can lead to health problems like heart disease and cancer. Instead, try to have a variety of protein sources each day, such as:
- legumes like lentils and chickpeas
- nuts and seeds
- eggs and dairy products like cheese and yogurt
4. No More Fruit Juice
While fruit is a healthy addition to any diet, juice is not. That’s because it’s loaded with sugar and doesn’t have the fiber that you find in whole fruit. Drinking fruit juice can impact blood sugar levels more than drinking sodas or other sugary drinks. Another reason why people on keto should not drink fruit juice is because it can mess with your carb count for the day.
5. You Need to Drink Lots of Water
One side effect of the keto diet is water loss from your body. That’s because carbs hold onto extra water, and when you remove them from your diet, the water is eliminated along with it. Unfortunately, this can also lead to unwanted symptoms like dehydration, dry skin, dizziness, and constipation. Therefore, you need to be especially careful that you are getting enough water throughout your day.
6. Vegetables are Your Best Friend
Like any other nutrition plan, vegetables should make up the majority of your plate. That means you need to eat a lot of leafy greens and cruciferous veggies – which also happen to be the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. If you don’t include them in your daily meals, you will miss out on many essential nutrients. Some of the best types of vegetables include:
- leafy greens like kale, spinach, and chard
- cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage
- nightshades like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant
- berries and other fruits
7. Your Joints May Suffer
The keto diet doesn’t cause arthritis, but if you’re already dealing with joint pain, then going keto may make it worse. One study found that a low-carbohydrate diet increased triglyceride levels, contributing to inflammation in joints or other tissues throughout the body.
Some people swear by a moderate carb approach, while others say they only eat what their bodies require for fuel without any food restrictions at all.
8. You'll Need to Supplement with Omega-3s
Since as part of this new diet you’re no longer eating processed foods, the key to keto is making sure you’re getting enough omega-3 fatty acids.
These essential fats are found in fish, nuts, and seeds, and they play a crucial role in maintaining your overall health. Some of the best fish for Omega-3s include salmon, trout, mackerel, and herring. You can also find omega-3s in supplement form if you’re not a fan of fish. Shop around so that you get the best supplements for your individual situation.
9. You'll Need to Monitor Your Blood Pressure
If you have high blood pressure or other heart health issues, the keto diet may not be your best choice. That’s because it can cause your blood pressure to drop, leading to dizziness, nausea, and even fainting. In addition, in some cases, a low-carbohydrate diet can be linked to an increased risk of heart disease and kidney stones. This is one of the low carb diet facts that people forget to consider ahead of time.
10. You Might Experience Low Energy
One of the most significant issues people have with keto is that they feel tired or experience brain fog. This usually happens because your body uses carbs as its primary energy source.
When you restrict those, it can lead to low blood sugar levels, which cause these issues for some people. Fortunately, they’re usually temporary, and eventually, your body will adapt to running on ketones instead, and you’ll soon have your energy back.
The keto diet is a great way to lose weight and improve your health, but it’s not perfect for everyone. Make sure you consult with a doctor before starting the diet if you have any health conditions. And be prepared for some side effects like low energy, dehydration, and constipation. However, with a bit of patience and perseverance, you can successfully follow the keto information and see all the benefits of the ketogenic state. Check out Amphy for even more tips and tricks for your nutrition journey, as well as awesome teachers to help you along the way.