The Pros and Cons of the Keto Diet for Weight Loss and Overall Health

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For people who struggle with obesity, weight gain or metabolic syndrome, the keto diet may offer some enticing benefits. It requires limiting carbs and eating healthy fats. This diet has been linked to reduced body weight, better HDL cholesterol and a lower risk of heart disease.

However, there are some potential short-term side effects, such as flu-like symptoms and an increase in blood sugar. For these reasons, the diet should be followed under the guidance of a qualified nutritionist or doctor.

One of the most appealing aspects of this diet is that it eliminates sugary foods like candy, ice cream and donuts, as well as starchy vegetables such as potatoes, pasta and bread. Limiting these foods in the diet can help prevent hunger pangs and promote weight loss.

The keto diet can also improve insulin sensitivity, and studies show it’s effective at controlling diabetes. This can be helpful if you have type 2 diabetes and want to improve your lipids, but it’s important to consult a professional before starting the diet to ensure it’s right for you.

To know more about the pros and cons of a keto diet for weight loss and overall health, continue reading. 

What Is Keto Diet?

The keto diet is a high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carb eating plan that puts you into a metabolic state called ketosis. When you don’t eat any carbs, your body breaks down your fat stores into molecules that your brain and other organs can use for energy.

To get started, you’ll need to cut back on your carbohydrate intake – that means most starchy vegetables, whole grains, beans, fruit and yogurt.

You also need to eat more fat, so choose foods like olive oil, avocados, coconut oil and flaxseed oil. You should aim for a 70% to 80% fat intake, with 10% – 20% protein and 5% – 10% net carbohydrates.

Pros of the Keto Diet

The keto diet works by encouraging your body to enter a metabolic state called ketosis, where it uses fat as its primary energy source. Here are some pros of the keto diet for weight loss and overall health. 

Supports Weight Loss

A ketogenic diet can be a great way to lose weight. But you should work with a healthcare professional before trying it to ensure that you’re in the right weight range for your health. There are several benefits to the keto diet, including reducing hunger and burning fat. This type of diet enables your body to use fat as fuel instead of glucose. It helps you to burn fat and lose weight. 

May Improve Heart Health

The keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat plan that causes your body to enter a metabolic state known as ketosis. It is believed that this state can lower blood sugar, triglycerides and lipid levels and increase HDL (good cholesterol). Keto-friendly foods include avocados, olive oil, fatty fish such as salmon, nuts and seeds, full-fat cheese, non-starchy vegetables, eggs and fat-free dairy products. All these foods are good for heart health. 

Potentially Reduces Seizures

While prescription medication can help reduce seizures in most people with epilepsy, there are some children who still require a ketogenic diet. It’s a high-fat, low-carbohydrate eating plan that can help decrease the frequency and intensity of seizures. The keto diet causes the body to produce molecules called ketone bodies as fat is broken down. These ketone bodies can have a potent anticonvulsant effect.

May Protect Brain Function

The brain is one of the most important organs in our body and plays a vital role in all aspects of life. With the help of a keto diet, you can make sure that your brain is getting all of the nutrients it needs to function properly. The ketogenic diet forces your body to use fats as the primary fuel source for energy. This can result in improved mental performance and a lower risk of depression.

Improves Acne

While keto isn’t a cure-all for acne, it may help improve existing conditions and prevent new breakouts. The diet also decreases inflammation and oxidative stress, which may lead to clearer skin. The ketogenic diet reduces oxidative stress by cutting back on sugar consumption and increasing your intake of healthy fats. It may also increase your levels of glutathione, an antioxidative hormone that reduces blemishes and scars on your skin.

Improves PCOS Symptoms

PCOS is a hormonal disorder that causes irregular menstrual cycles, erratic body hair growth, and high levels of androgens. A low-carbohydrate keto diet may help reduce symptoms associated with the condition. Researchers have found that a low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet improves insulin resistance and weight loss and rebalances reproductive hormones in women with PCOS. 

Reduced Blood Sugar and Insulin Levels

The ketogenic diet may reduce blood sugar and insulin levels, which are two of the major contributors to type 2 diabetes. In fact, low-carb diets have been shown to improve glucose control in people with diabetes and help them avoid or reduce the use of medications. However, it’s a good idea to talk with your doctor before starting a ketogenic diet if you have diabetes. 

The Cons of the Keto Diet

While the keto diet helps in weight loss and improves blood sugar control for people with diabetes, it comes with its share of drawbacks. For instance, it may lead to nutrient deficiencies. It’s also difficult to stick to and can lead to feelings of deprivation. Here are some cons of the keto diet. 

May Cause Nutrient Deficiencies

One potential complication of the keto diet is dehydration, which can lead to loss of electrolytes and water. While you’re on a keto diet, your body may start to deplete minerals, including potassium and sodium. So, make sure you drink plenty of water and replenish electrolytes in your body when on the keto diet. 

Keto Flu

The keto diet can cause a variety of short-term side effects, including flu-like symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, headaches, fatigue and difficulty exercising. Fortunately, these symptoms should subside within a few days or weeks.

May Lead To Constipation

If you’re not getting enough fiber, you might have a hard time passing stool. Constipation is a common symptom of the keto diet, so it’s important to include foods that are high in fiber.

It’s Too Restrictive

The keto diet is a very restrictive eating plan, and it may not be for everyone. While it’s an effective way to lose weight and improve your health, it can be too difficult for some people to follow in the long term.

It’s a Temporary Solution

The keto diet is not a long-term weight loss strategy. In fact, you may end up gaining weight back after reintroducing carbohydrates to your diet.


When you are on the keto diet, your hunger is suppressed due to the high amount of fat you’re eating and the low amount of sugar you’re consuming. This makes it easy to go long stretches of time without feeling hungry, which is great for those who struggle with obesity or have a chronic health condition. When you enter a metabolic state of ketosis, your body begins to burn fat for energy rather than carbohydrates. This process can help you to lose weight as well as improve your brain function. However, the keto diet also comes with a lot of side effects. So, make sure you consult a professional before starting this diet. 

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Nadzeya Sankovich is a professional journalist. She delivers high-quality, well-researched articles, making them clear, compelling, and easy to read. With a lifelong passion for the health and wellness industry, Nadzeya wants to make health knowledge accessible to everyone.

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