Keto diets work. Even among patients initially doubtful, once they get into ketosis and see impressive, gratifying, often times instant results, they become believers.
If you didn’t read my previous blog on the significant health benefits of an alkaline diet, please consider reviewing that here. And after you learn more about the health effects of a keto diet (in this blog), my next blog will talk about the power of combining the two in my Keto-Alkaline® (Keto-Green™) Diet.
You can also download my brand new, FREE, ebook on Keto-Alkaline principles entitled, “The Secret Science of Staying Slim, Sane and Sexy After 40” here, as well!
Experts have used keto diets since the 1920s for epilepsy, beginning in the 1960’s for obesity, and over the last decade for numerous conditions including diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), acne, neurological diseases, cancer, respiratory disease, and cardiovascular disease.
During her initial consult, my 47-year-old patient Margaret expressed concern about several of these issues. She had done several commercial diets over the past decade with varying results. She’s not alone, right? None had remedied her polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and her doctor remained baffled about how to treat it.
Acne, a history of depression, familial Type 2 diabetes, and about 40 extra pounds accompanied those frustrations.
While getting to a point where she felt happy took about a month, a keto diet became Margaret’s remedy. She reversed PCOS, her acne cleared up, she had more steady moods, and the scales started moving in her favor.
She’s not alone. In my practice, I’ve witnessed how keto diets can benefit numerous conditions, including these 10:
Despite its efficacy, not everyone gets keto.
“The Keto Diet Is Gaining Popularity, but Is It Safe?” asks Liz Seegert in a Healthline article earlier this year.
Some experts didn’t think so. In the general population, [Francine Blinten, R.D] said a keto diet should only be considered in extreme cases.
“It can do more harm than good. It can damage the heart, which is also a muscle,” she explained. Lisa Cimperman, R.D.N., a clinical dietitian at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio, and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, also didn’t think a keto diet was good.
“Once your body enters ketosis, you also begin to lose muscle, become extremely fatigued, and eventually enter starvation mode. Then it actually becomes even harder to lose weight,” Cimperman told Healthline.
Much of this fear and misinformation stems from misunderstanding ketosis. Medical experts confuse nutritional ketosis with diabetic ketoacidosis, a life-threatening complication of Type 1 diabetes where ketones are produced rapidly, overwhelming the body’s acid-base buffering system.
At the same time, I’m aware about a keto diet’s initial limitations. “The diet’s strictness, unpalatability, and side effects limit its use, adversely affecting patients’ compliance and clinical efficacy,” researchers in one study wrote.
Some opponents and doubters argue weight loss and other benefits are only temporary.
Recent studies do show a keto diet superior to low-calorie diets for suppressing hunger. One study found two brief periods of ketogenic diet separated by longer periods of maintenance of Mediterranean diet created long-term weight loss and improved health without weight rebound.
Here’s what I’ve seen among my patients. Once they get into the swing of things and see results, keto becomes much easier. They understand what foods to eat and avoid, their cravings and hunger disappear, and they start losing weight and feeling fabulous. Sometimes people even ask if they’ve “had some work done.”
At the same time, some urban legends persist. One is that keto diets could impair bone mass density. Consider, however, that things like obesity, Type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, and inflammation – the very things keto diets improve – increase your risk for fracture and poor bone health.
Another rumor is that keto diets are somehow bad for your thyroid. I’ve encountered no research to support keto diets trigger or exacerbate hypothyroidism or any other thyroid issues. Traditionally T₃ is lower in people doing keto diets, but that does not suggest hypothyroidism and might actual provide benefits like sparring muscle loss.
Most identified problems with keto are practical and easily remedied. One study using keto diets for epilepsy found dehydration posed the biggest problem, for example. Patients also noted nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. Most complications were temporary and successfully managed with careful follow-up and conservative strategies.
Nutrient deficiencies like selenium and vitamin D as well as acidosis are also keto concerns. You can remedy the former with eating plenty of fiber-rich plant-based foods, but even so, optimal amounts of some nutrients like vitamin D can become a challenge to get strictly from food. That’s why, at the very least, my clients take a quality multivitamin-mineral to complement the nutrients they aren’t always getting from food.
Acidosis is a real concern with traditional keto diets. From my experience, dehydration, nausea, and other issues stem from eating too many acid-forming foods on a traditional keto diet.
My Keto-Alkaline® (Keto-Green™) plan, which I’ll address more fully in my next blog, remedies that by incorporating plenty of plant-based alkaline foods. Combining an alkaline diet and lifestyle with a keto diet.
Studies show alkaline diets result in a more alkaline urine pH, which can benefit bone health, reduce muscle wasting, increase in growth hormone, increase magnesium levels, and overall reduce morbidity and mortality of chronic disease.
What benefits or potential drawbacks have you discovered if you’ve used a keto diet?
Were you able to overcome those obstacles and stick with your plan?
Share your thoughts below or on my Facebook page. And please read my next blog on the health benefits of combining an alkaline and keto diet.