To keto or not to keto? That is the question.

Plus: Recipes for midweek that will help you feel great!


"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."

Eleanor Roosevelt

Wednesday. Yesterday, we talked about low-carb diets (READ HERE) and why cutting back on an entire food category might not be necessary for you to optimize your health. Some readers took that as an attack on keto. So, again, just to clarify—if keto works for you, great. However, that doesn’t change the fact that restrictive diets don’t work for many people. All that being said, what are the pros and cons of a keto diet, anyway? Let’s dive in.


Pros & Cons Of Going Keto

Bowl of avocado and an egg.

Eating low-carb or following a ketogenic diet has become a popular choice over the past few years for many seeking health benefits like better digestion, improved blood sugar control, and reduced brain fog. Interestingly, research indicates (READ MORE) that long-term ketosis might offer therapeutic benefits for conditions such as diabetes, certain cancers, and various neurodegenerative diseases. 

However, whether staying in ketosis all the time is beneficial depends on individual physiology and lifestyle. 

The ketogenic diet is pretty much the complete opposite of the Standard American Diet (SAD), which is high in processed carbs that aren’t doing us any favors. These foods lead to excess glucose being stored as fat, raising the risk of type 2 diabetes and other metabolic disorders. So, of course, cutting all that junk out will make you feel better. 

When carbohydrate intake is significantly restricted, as in a ketogenic diet, the body enters a state of ketosis. In ketosis, the liver breaks down fat to produce ketones, an alternative fuel source for the brain and body. Some people claim that tapping into this energy source makes them feel better—more clear-headed, focused, and full of energy without any crashes.  

Historically, our ancestors frequently experienced ketosis due to limited access to carbohydrates. Today, achieving ketosis through diet or fasting can aid in weight loss (READ MORE) and offer various other health benefits. 

The therapeutic applications of nutritional ketosis are many. Initially developed in the 1920s to treat childhood epilepsy, ketosis has shown promise in weight loss, diabetes management, neurodegeneration, and even cancer treatment. 

However, despite all this (deep breath, keto fans), long-term adherence to a ketogenic diet isn’t without potential risks. Some individuals may see an increase in LDL particle number (READ MORE), a marker linked to heart disease. Additionally, certain high-intensity or endurance exercises may require more carbohydrates for energy. On top of all that, a ketogenic diet’s low fiber content can impact gut health, though this can vary from person to person.

Again, we aren’t trying to dissuade anyone from trying keto or staying on keto if it is working for you. We are simply pointing out that what works for one person may not work for another. It is also important to remember that the best diet for managing a healthy weight is the one you will stick to. That will also vary from person to person. 

The key takeaway? Whether a ketogenic diet is the best long-term option for you depends on individual differences. It’s essential to consider how you feel whenever you make changes to your diet. 

For some, a cyclical approach to ketosis, interspersed with periods of higher carb intake, might be the most beneficial. This approach aligns with historical dietary patterns and allows for the refueling of glycogen stores, feeding of gut bacteria with fiber, and regulation of cholesterol levels. 

Don’t fall into a fad just because everyone else is doing it. And don’t assume what works for you will work for everyone else. Both of those are counterproductive when it comes to optimizing our health and collectively moving in a healthier direction. Try different things, listen to your body, avoid processed foods, don’t get your health information from Netflix documentaries, and make adjustments as necessary. Do that, and I promise you will be okay. 


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Tonic Shots

1. Beets, Anyone?

This beet salad is PACKED with nutrients! Enjoy.

2. Give Your Gut Some Of The Fiber It Needs!

This bean salad has tons of fiber and is a great way to get some protein from a salad. Enjoy!

3. This Salad Could Be Keto

A Cobb Salad? With Shrimp? Bacon? Eggs? Cheese? It doesn’t get more keto than that. Enjoy!

That’s all for today. Until next time! 🌿


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