Ketogenic diets are all the rage at the moment.
In one survey, medical professionals agreed that Keto would continue to be the most popular trending diet in 2020.
But with this popularity has come a lot of misinformation, myths and misconceptions about Keto that is confusing people about the real facts behind a ketogenic diet.
So, before you get started, here are some common misconceptions about Keto that you should know.
1. There is only one Keto diet
Lots of people think that there is one single Keto regime, but actually there are lots of different types of ketogenic diets.
The type of ketogenic diet you choose to follow depends on different lifestyle factors.
Many people think that ketogenic diets are not compatible with veganism.
But it’s totally possible to maintain your veganism and follow Keto.
You just have to ensure a balanced diet with lots of healthy sources of fats and micronutrients.
This is the typical breakdown of Keto diets: your daily intake of food should comprise 5% carbohydrates, 20% proteins, and 75% fats.
High Protein Keto
Protein is not a focus of ketogenic diets, but for those who weight train and want to keep protein levels slightly higher, this version incorporates 35% protein and 60% fats instead.
Lots of people take in their daily carbohydrates right before a workout on this version of Keto for an energy boost.
This can be a good way to ease yourself into full Keto. It involves following the low-carb Keto regime for a number of days, followed by 1-2 days off Keto, and so on.
2. Everyone gets Keto Flu
As it can be such a drastic dietary change for some people to move into ketosis, the initial transition period can come with some side effects. These common Keto side effects include:
- Leg cramps
- Low energy
- Bad breath
- Reduced physical performance
Sometimes, these side effects can be severe enough that people suffer from what is known as the “Keto flu.” But not everyone experiences all side effects, and they can affect people to varying degrees. Plus, the symptoms are only temporary as your body transitions into ketosis.
You Can avoid the Keto Flu by drinking plenty of water, salting your food, and ensuring a healthy micronutrient balance go a long way towards alleviating these symptoms until your body gets used to burning fats instead of carbs.
3. Keto and Low-Carb Diets Are The Same Thing
Low-carb dieting has been a popular form of weight loss for many years.
There is no set definition of a low-carb diet, but it generally involves 10-30% of your food intake comprising carbohydrates. Examples of low-carb diets include Atkins, Paleo, Low-Carb High-Fat (LCHF), and Whole30.
People often think that Keto is just another way of saying “low-carb.”
But Keto is different because it requires a very specific low carbohydrate intake (less than 50g per day).
The idea behind this specific amount is to transition your body into a metabolic state known as “ketosis”, which is where Keto gets its name.
During ketosis, the dramatic reduction of carbs forces your body to start burning fat for fuel instead.
This changes a lot of metabolic processes and chemicals in your body which results in the weight loss and health benefits associated with Keto.
4. You have to do Intermittent Fasting on Keto
Intermittent Fasting (IF) is a popular diet trend that involves different patterns of eating rather than nutritional boundaries.
It usually follows cyclical eating and fasting periods and comes in many forms such as alternate day fasting or the 16/8 method.
Keto and IF produce similar same weight loss results and health benefits, so they are often associated with each other. Combining IF and Keto can potentially:
- Improve fat loss results
- Increase energy levels
- Help preserve muscle mass
However, combining the two isn’t a necessity for a successful Keto diet, although it may give your Keto efforts a boost.
5. You don’t need to count calories
Because Keto is so restrictive when it comes to carbs, many people think this equates to eating as much fat as you like without counting calories.
Unfortunately, caloric intake will always have an impact on weight loss and the storage of excess body fat.
However, while you may be able to eat more calories on a Keto than you were on a high-carb diet, the fact remains that over-consuming calories will result in a weight loss ceiling, even on Keto.
6. Keto is dangerous
Keto has a significant impact on your body from your metabolic processes to your immune system and brain health.
The high impact of the diet has led many to believe that ketogenic diets are dangerous, but this is far from the truth.
If you are diabetic or pre-diabetic or have metabolic issues like high blood pressure you should talk to your doctor before you start Keto because it has a massive impact on your blood sugar and insulin level, and if you are on medications for any of these conditions the doses may need to be adjusted - again this is something you need talk to your doctor
But unless you have an existing health condition, Keto is completely safe.
If you’re unsure, take the same advice that is given for all restrictive diets and speak with your healthcare professional before getting started.
7. You can’t drink alcohol
Many people think that you can’t drink any alcohol at all while following ketogenic diets. The truth is that you absolutely can drink alcohol on Keto, but there are some things to be aware of:
- Avoid beer, sweet wines and liqueurs, but zero-carb options like vodka, whiskey, tequila, gin are fine as long as they are not mixed with sweet, sugary beverages.
- You may become intoxicated more quickly and have worse hangovers
- You may be more tempted to indulge in carb-based snacks
So when it comes to alcohol and Keto, proceed with caution but don’t be afraid to indulge once in a while
While Keto is a carb restrictive diet it allows a huge variety of different foods.
Done correctly, it is healthy and sustainable, so you shouldn’t be put off by a lot of the misinformation out there.
It might take some effort to get started initially, but the benefits of Keto are worth it!