Is The Keto Diet Actually Good For You?

The ketogenic (keto) diet is a low-carb diet that prioritizes energy (or calories) from sources other than carbohydrates, like proteins and fats. Despite its strict planning and restrictions, keto is a popular diet plan among people of all ages worldwide (via WebMD). Body Ketosis reports that about 12.9 million people in the U.S. are on the keto diet. However, because of its strict limitations, about 46% of people also cheat on their keto diet from time to time. 

Results from a 2020 survey published in U.S. News reported that around 94% of the people on the keto diet experience positive and remarkable benefits in their physical and mental well-being. They note particular improvement in terms of weight loss, balanced glucose levels, and higher energy. However, despite its benefits, the article emphasizes that keto might not be ideal for everyone. In fact, this popular diet may even pose health risks if you're not careful.

Pros and cons of the keto diet

One of the hallmark benefits of the keto diet is its remarkably effective weight loss results (per Healthline). Managing your weight gain can help you minimize the risks of obesity-related diseases — such as high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. If you have excess abdominal fat in the hips or belly, the keto diet may be suitable for reducing fat in these areas. Muscle and Strength also suggests the keto diet for athletes and those who wish to build mass from fat sources. Athletes often opt for a diet rich in proteins and essential fats instead of consuming carbs.

On the other hand, there may be some risks involved with the keto diet plan. For starters, the most common issue is constipation. This often happens because your body needs time to adjust to the increased intake of protein and decreased carb consumption (via Healthline). Some people who are new to the keto diet may also experience nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headaches, and fatigue — particularly in the initial days or weeks, per Medical News Today

If you experience any side effects or have concerns about starting the keto diet, talk to your doctor. They'll be able to advise whether a new eating plan makes sense for you.