Advantages and Disadvantages of Keto Diet

Over the past decade, the ketogenic diet (KD) has exploded in popularity thanks to its rapid and sustainable weight loss.  Let’s see some of the advantages and disadvantages of keto diet.

Despite the lack of data on the benefits and drawbacks of KD for weight management, it is widely used in the United States. This summary of the research available on the effects of KD on metabolism, hormone balance, and cardiovascular health over the long term is presented here.

What Exactly Is a Ketogenic Diet?

What Exactly Is a Ketogenic Diet?
What Exactly Is a Ketogenic Diet?

When following a ketogenic diet, carbohydrate intake is restricted, protein intake is kept at a moderate level, and fat intake is kept relatively high. A September 2018 research in the Indian Journal of Medical Research revealed that while this eating pattern has recently gained popularity as a means of weight management, it has been investigated and utilized therapeutically for treating epilepsy since the 1920s.

There are numerous variations of the ketogenic diet, but the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health recommends the following daily macronutrient breakdown:

  • 70 to 80% fat
  • Protein content ranges from 10% to 20%.
  • Between 5 and 10% Carbohydrates
  • A typical daily intake for a person consuming 2,000 calories would be 165 grammes of fat, 75 grammes of protein, and 40 grammes of carbohydrates (for reference, one regular-sized bagel has about 47 grammes of carbs, per the USDA).

A person’s decision regarding which form of the ketogenic diet to follow may be influenced by various circumstances, such as their health, weight loss objectives, and desired levels of athletic performance.

However, the ketogenic diet usually is only followed momentarily for fat loss and muscle strengthening. The Cleveland Clinic suggests that the ketogenic diet should only be followed permanently by patients with epilepsy and other seizure disorders.

What Is Ketosis?

The ketogenic diet requires a deficient carb intake. According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, this causes ketosis, which happens when the body doesn’t have enough glucose (sugar) to consume for energy and instead starts burning fat for fuel.

This is how it functions: Ketosis is a metabolic state in which fat instead of glucose is burned for energy via the liver’s production of molecules called ketone bodies.

What is Ketoacidosis?.

It’s common practice to equate ketosis to ketoacidosis. However, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health states that ketoacidosis occurs when the body produces too many ketones, which results in dangerously acidic blood.

Only those with type 1 diabetes, who lack sufficient insulin to control ketone generation, need to be concerned.

Here the Advantages and Disadvantages of Keto Diet

Potential Positive Effects of the Keto Diet on Health

The diet was created to help manage treatment-resistant epilepsy, and it is still used today for that reason. Possible additional benefits of the ketogenic diet include the following:

It might aid in reducing body fat.

As reported by Harvard Health Publishing, the initial stages of ketosis may be accompanied by flu-like symptoms (more on this later). However, after your body adjusts, you may enjoy some of the advantages of ketosis, including weight loss.

According to a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition in August 2013, a ketogenic diet causes the body to burn more fat, which can lead to a decrease in overall fat reserves. In addition to helping you feel fuller for longer, studies show that it can help you eat less overall, which could help you lose weight.

Possible Aid in Type 2 Diabetes Management

Preliminary research on keto has found it may help manage other health problems like obesity and type 2 diabetes, according to a paper published in December 2019 in The Journal of Nutrition. However, no long-term research conclusively shows its effectiveness for medical conditions outside seizure control.

As a result of insulin resistance, glucose accumulates in the blood of people with type 2 diabetes because their cells cannot use it for energy. Nevertheless, studies published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggest that reducing carb intake (as in the ketogenic diet) can lessen or even eradicate insulin resistance symptoms.

Possible Benefits for Brain Functioning

Benefits to cognition could also be achieved by following a ketogenic diet. For instance, a small, short-term research of 19 persons published in August 2016 indicated that keto improved working memory, visual attention, and the ability to transition between tasks in older adults.

According to a review published in Neurotherapeutics in September 2018, there is some evidence that the ketogenic diet can help you manage neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, migraines, and glioma.

The Keto Diet’s Potential Dangers and Drawbacks

Keto Diet's Potential Dangers and Drawbacks
Keto Diet’s Potential Dangers and Drawbacks

The ketogenic diet has some drawbacks despite its supposed health benefits. 

According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, sticking to the ketogenic diet can be challenging, particularly over extended periods. Eating out or making last-minute meal plans can be challenging due to the strict macronutrient allocation.

It might not be suitable for your heart.

One more potential consequence of the ketogenic diet is that the significant fat consumption required to maintain the diet over the long run may harm your heart.

The American Heart Association (AHA) warns that consuming high quantities of trans and saturated fats increases cardiovascular disease risk and mortality.

There could be unintended consequences of ketosis.

Most people discover that the initial reaction of your body to the absence of carbohydrates is the most significant disadvantage of the keto diet and ketosis. The term “keto flu” describes this condition.

Exactly what causes keto flu is still a mystery. Still, Harvard Health Publishing suggests that it has something to do with your body’s reaction to cutting back on carbohydrates or alterations to your gut microbiota. Among the possible manifestations are:

  • Headache
  • Mental haze
  • Fatigue \sIrritability
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Having trouble falling asleep,
  • Dizziness.

Until your body adjusts, Harvard Health Publishing recommends drinking lots of water and frequently eating to aid with these symptoms.

Ketosis is a state that can be quickly abandoned.

Since the ketogenic diet is so restrictive, consuming meals that aren’t keto-friendly (like those high in carbs or sugar) can throw your body out of ketosis. The Cleveland Clinic warns of potential consequences for abruptly ending ketosis.

Some Health Risks May Increase While in Ketosis.

There is also some evidence that those who stick to the ketogenic diet for an extended period increase their risk of developing certain diseases.

Chicago Medicine reports that the ketogenic diet is associated with an increased risk of health problems such as hypotension, constipation, kidney stones, and nutritional deficiencies.


While the ketogenic diet places few limits on high-fat meals, doing so comes with a caveat: the American Heart Association warns that doing so can increase your risk of heart disease.

Therefore, reduce your consumption of these fats. The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans advise that most adults should minimise their intake of trans fats. Furthermore, the American Heart Association suggests limiting saturated fat intake to 6% of calorie intake each day (that amounts to about 13 grammes max if you eat 2,000 calories per day).

This concludes our article on the advantages and disadvantages of keto diet.

Additional Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the drawbacks of the keto diet?

Constipation and vitamin deficits can result from insufficient vegetables, fruits, legumes, and other whole foods. Fatigue, headache, mental fog, and stomach discomfort, collectively known as the “keto flu,” are common short-term side effects. Kidney stones, osteoporosis, and liver disease are all potential complications down the road.

Is the ketogenic diet safe or dangerous?

The high fat intake, especially the high level of harmful saturated fat, along with limits on nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables, and grains, is a worry for long-term heart health, which is why the ketogenic diet may be advised for some persons with uncontrolled epilepsy.

Is the Ketogenic Diet Right for You?

Extra high blood glucose levels, type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Those who use regular doses of Insulin, Metformin supplements, and other forms of medicine are not good candidates for the Keto diet.

Is it true that keto cuts abdominal fat?

Abdominal fat can be reduced by following a low-carb diet, such as the ketogenic diet, which entails eating very few carbohydrates. Multiple studies have shown that weight reduction is increased by two to three times on low-carb diets compared to weight loss on low-fat diets.

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