Can You Follow the Keto Diet Long-Term?

Did you know, obesity rates have almost tripled since 1975?

Yes, they have, and obesity is now one of the largest health problems faced by the world’s population. A lack of exercise and dramatic increase in sugar intake since the 2nd World War has contributed to weight gain across the continents.  

Therefore, ways to lose weight have become a national goal. People try different diet and exercise regimes – literally anything that can help them lose weight.

This brings us to our subject matter – the keto diet.

What is the Keto Diet?

The keto diet operates on the principle of a high-fat and low carbs intake. It’s similar to the low carb and Atkin’s diet, but has its own strict guidelines.

The Keto diet works by reducing carbohydrate intake while replacing it with fat. This forces the body to go into a mode known as ketosis. In this mode, with a lack of calories to burn for energy, the body’s metabolism turns to fat and burns it at a faster and more efficient rate than usual.

As a result of this, the body loses the desired weight.

Can you Follow the Keto Diet Long-term?

Many diets come and go quickly as fads. They’re hard to sustain, and people lose interest in them quickly, or they’re incredibly expensive. So what are the chances you’ll be able to stick to a keto diet long term? Should you?? The answer is…

No, you cannot follow a keto diet long term. That seems weird, right? Shouldn’t you try to always stick to a diet?

The keto diet is one of the many diets created to help battle obesity. But it isn’t supposed to be sustained for the long-term; just long enough for you to get your body under control, where you want it, and start healthy habits to maintain it.

The keto diet has drawbacks – as all diets do. Let’s get into them.

How Long Should You Follow the Keto Diet?

A keto diet shouldn’t go on too long, but also shouldn’t be done quickly. Studies have found an average amount of time for the diet to be beneficial.

The diet should be between 3 months minimum to 6 months maximum for effective weight loss.

Why Shouldn’t it be Followed Long-term?

The ketogenic diet is effective in the short run. However, it has adverse effects if it continues for a long time.

Some of these effects are:

1.  Lack of proper vitamins

Because this diet encourages eating fatty food with low carbs, other essential nutrients are overlooked.

Carbohydrates which are essential to body growth become scarce and lacking in the body. This is a result of the requirements of the keto diet. Not only carbohydrates, but other essential nutrients in fruits and vegetables are lost.

Going long-term without these nutrients can lead to health complications and render the body susceptible to diseases. A long term keto diet actually makes you more unhealthy.

2.  It hinders the ability to exercise

One of the main themes of a keto diet is that it replaces carbohydrates with fat.

However, the body is used to and prefers burning carbohydrates for energy while keeping fat in storage.

A long-term keto diet may, therefore, cause the body to become sluggish and weak during exercise and other tasking activities. This is due to the body fighting to keep energy while breaking down fat at the same time.

If you’re an athlete, a keto diet probably isn’t the right fit for you.

3.  It can cause issues with your heart

Lack of carb intake for a long time has been linked to heart rhythm problems.

Research done by the American College of Cardiology has shown a possible relationship between low carb intake and atrial fibrillation (AFib), an irregular and/or rapid heart rate.

They went through the record of over 40 people over 20 years of age and made a discovery – people who got fewer calories from fruits and vegetable were more liable to develop AFib, which can be dangerous if you have other health problems going on.

Meanwhile, more extensive research is still being done to validate this discovery. It is not 100% valid, but concerning nonetheless.

4.  People afflicted with gallbladder disease should avoid the keto diet

A high-fat diet can put pressure on bile, which is situated in the gallbladder.

This is more so a concern if the gallbladder has been removed through surgery before. It becomes more challenging for the high amount of fat from a keto diet to be digested in the body.

If a high fat intake continues for a long time, bloating, obesity, and digestive discomforts are the signs and symptoms to look out for. However, this is much less of a concern if you follow the 3-6 month rule for the keto diet.

What Can You Eat on the Keto Diet?

Because the keto diet focuses on a high fat intake, people think they can eat just any food filled with fat. They take it as an excuse to eat unlimited deep-fried chicken, meat, pasta, and other high-fat food.

However, fatty foods can have both positive and negative types.

The types of high-fat food expected to take during this diet are:

1.  Olive oil

Olive oil contains oleic acid monounsaturated fat, which we can safely conclude is good for your health.

According to many types of research, it has been found that olive oil reduces the risk of heart disease. Olive oil does not have any carb content; therefore, with all of its positive attributes, it is a perfect inclusion into the keto diet.

2.  Cheese

Cheese varies in type, but most of these varieties are high in fat and low in calories.

Cheese fat is a saturated fat, and it is high in it. But there is no research or study to indicate that it increases the risk for heart diseases or stroke.

Certain researches actually indicates that it might prevent heart disease.

3.  Meat and poultry

These two foods are considered traditional mainstays for this diet.

Fresh meat is exceptionally high in fat and low in carbs. Women who eat this category of food were tested to have good cholesterol.

When selecting meat for consumption, choose the animals that were reared on grass-fed diets. These types of animals are very healthy and have a lot of nutrition to give in their food.

Conclusion

The keto diet consists of high fat and low carb food content, however it isn’t meant to be sustained long-term and doesn’t give you the excuse to eat whatever fatty foods you want. When done correctly, a keto diet can help cut down on obesity and get your body to a fresh start.

A long-time keto diet may cause a lack of proper vitamins, inability to exercise due to weakness, and more. Olive oil, cheese, and meat are all great options for those looking forward to a keto diet.

Autumn is an Editor @ WholeYum, passionate about holistic health and nutrition.

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