The Keto Diet is all the rage in dieting today.  Its the diet that helps you lose weight FAST!  You might be thinking you should try it because it just makes sense.  It’s almost time for New Year’s resolutions to kick start which usually means a new diet and exercise plan.  But, should you fall into the hype of the Keto Diet and give it a try?

What really is the Keto Diet and are there risks involved?

There are risks involved in any diet you try.  Changing your diet suddenly is very risky for your health so you must do your research before trying a new diet plan.

Since the Keto Diet is growing so rapidly in popularity, we’ve done our homework on this diet for you and will give you the science behind it.

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What is the Keto Diet?

The Keto Diet originated in the 19th century as a treatment plan for children with epilepsy and was a very successful treatment plan with about 50% of patients showing a reduction of seizures.  The diet plan was closely monitored and quickly phased out with the introduction of pharmaceuticals.  Today, the use of natural CBDs derived from hemp is leading the way for epilepsy treatment in some parts of the United States showing a reduction of seizures in 86% of patients.

The Keto Diet as a treatment plan in the past has declined but today, it is increasing as a weight loss plan.

The idea behind the Keto diet for weight loss is to increase fat consumption for your body to convert the fat to ketones as a means for energy and decrease proteins and drastically decrease carbohydrates that have been the primary source of food providing the body with glucose as a means for energy.

The diet is based on percentages of restricted foods or ratios.  In the classic keto diet, around 90% of daily food should include fats, 6% of protein, and 4% of carbohydrates.

There are also limitations to foods in those categories. You can find an extensive food list here.

There are now variations of the keto diet to work better with individual people.  Most people start with the classic version or the Atkins diet®

What are the short-term results of the Keto Diet?

The most notable short-term result of this diet is weight loss.  Weight loss happens quickly boosting self-esteem that it is possible to lose weight fast.

Water weight is considerably lost in the first week of starting the Keto Diet.  Some people see a loss in 10lb the first week!  It can depend on the amount of water attached to the carbohydrate molecules stored in your body or “watered carbon“.

It takes close to a month for your body to adjust to the new food plan.  Weight loss from ketosis usually doesn’t start until after the first month.  Weight loss differs from person to person after your body is in ketosis and if the diet is followed properly.

This change in diet will leave your cells starving until it decides to use ketones as a main source of energy.  This results in the Keto Flu.

What are the long-term results?

The long-term results could lead to more weight loss and towards a healthier diet if the previous diet consisted of high in fake processed carbs.

The Keto Flu subsides and your body starts burning fat metabolites called ketones instead of carbs for energy.  Many people have experienced clearer thinking, healthier lifestyles, and lost weight in the long run.  But do people stick with the diet long-term?

Most people FAIL the keto diet.  If you make it past the first week, people fail shortly after because of the drastic life changes involved.

They may also fail because they didn’t prepare, don’t keep track of the food ratios needed, and find out they have health problems that don’t work well with the diet.

What effects does the Keto Diet have on your body?

The keto diet is a very strict diet with rules that need to be followed.  If those rules are not followed, there could be serious health side effects or you never quite reach ketosis.

The Keto Diet is not for people who have diabetes, impaired liver, kidney and fat digestion, who are pregnant, and who have any genetic defects in metabolism.

People with diabetes type I or type II experience metabolic problems in their liver leading to fat buildup raising their risk for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)

Introducing a 90% fat diet in those people is extremely dangerous and especially hard on heart function leading to cardiovascular problems as well.

Ketoacidosis may occur.  Excessive ketones in the body are toxic.  If levels are not carefully monitored, ketoacidosis can cause coma and even death to occur.  Test strips are needed to carefully monitor ketones in your body to make sure you are not developing too many ketones in your body.

Malnutrition is often common when switching to the keto diet.  This is mostly due to not following the rules and not preparing for the diet.  The diet includes foods high in nutritional value but often times people start the diet and just eat meat and fat.

Malnutrition in these people will cause those unwanted side effects like Insomnia, Restless Leg Syndrome, and that Keto Flu.

Depression has also been reported for many who have tried this diet.  Many people look to comfort foods for mental health and enjoy going out to eat.  Restaurants are being more mindful of the diet but choices are very selective for most.

If followed correctly and strictly, the Keto Diet is safe and show very good results for those who are overweight or who want to change their diet.

In order for the Keto Diet to be successful, ratios of food categories need to be maintained, variety and quality of food need to be evaluated, and it is not advised for everyone with the above conditions.

Could the Keto Diet increase your risk of developing cancer?

So how could the Keto diet increase the risk of developing cancer?

The risk is higher for the people who do not follow the rules of the diet and do not eat high-quality foods.

If metabolic ketoacidosis develops, this sends your body into an acidic and toxic state.  Cancer thrives in an acidic environment.

The pH balance in your body is very important to maintain.  Fatty meats are high on the acid-forming food lists increasing your risk for developing acidosis in your body.

Eating fruits and vegetables will help increase the alkalinity and maintain the pH balance but you need to be mindful on the quality of fruits and vegetables you are limited to in the Keto Diet.

Conventionally grown fruits and vegetables contain pesticide residue and fungicides very harmful to your health and have cancer-causing properties as discussed in our Lifetime Health Cancer Prevention Guide.

Quality of water can also increase cancer risk on this diet.  Drinking enough water during this diet is important to help metabolize the high-fat foods.  Filtered and more alkaline water will help reduce the risk of cancer.

Grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, and organically grown foods are higher quality choices and will reduce your risk of developing cancer.

The Keto Diet is very risky for most people wanting to change their diet.  Many people are not even aware they have impairments in their metabolism and the amount of patients diagnosed with diabetes is astronomical in Amerca.  Most of these people who fall in the category of not recommended for the Keto Diet are the ones needing to find a diet to lose weight.

For the people who are not recommended for the Keto Diet need to find a dietician to discuss their options.  Not every diet is for everyone.

If you have tried the Keto Diet and failed, it is often a stepping stone to nutrition education and often leads to eating a more balanced diet which is a good thing.

The take away in dieting is everything in moderation and quality over quantity.

The Keto Diet has proven to be very successful for the ones who fit the criteria to practice the diet.  It must be done correctly in order to lose weight and prevent health problems.

The most serious side effect of not practicing the Keto Diet correctly is increasing your risk of developing cancer.

A 2017 study published in Cell found that a genetic mutation called BRAF V600E allows cancer cells to use ketones to grow faster. This mutation is present in 50% of melanomas, 10% of colon cancers, 100% of hairy cell leukemias, and 5% of multiple myelomas. – Chris Beat Cancer