Keto Diet: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly


I think the Keto diet might be the most popular craze right now. Many claim to be doing it, others are considering doing it, and a few maybe wondering what keto even is. I say “claim” to be doing it because many do it wrong, very wrong, which can lead to larger long-term health concerns. The majority of those considering it are only looking at it for a quick fix weight loss solution which is the worst reason to go keto. If are looking to shed a few pounds keto is not the best way. If you are obese and have tried other avenues without success and your health is largely suffering then it maybe an option IF done right and with the assistance of a trained medical professional.

So how can you do the keto diet safely? Most people hear keto and just assume they have to eat a lot of fat and protein and they are good to go but unfortunately that isn’t keto. That is just a really BAD and unhealthy diet that is guaranteed to cause long term negative health impacts. Keto is typically 70%+ fat, 25% protein, and 5% carbohydrates. That is about the same amount of sugar that is in one apple!! It requires a lot of close moderation of blood bio markers, a liver that is operating in tip top shape and the highest quality food sources of fat and protein which can get expensive (yes, I mean grass fed organic only). Let’s not forget also that keto should include intermittent fasting and not a free for all to eat fat all hours of the day.  

The keto diet may be ideal for those that are obese and other actions haven’t worked, some cancers, those with seizures, and typically works better for men than women. Let’s face it, we women are highly complicated individuals. Our body cycles through various hormonal stages each day and have many varying needs throughout the month. If you are looking to shed a few pounds, keto is not be the best choice in my opinion.  Why? Keto impacts numerous organs and functions in our body as well as unknown long-term impacts. Remember when the Atkins diet was all the rage and everyone lost weight on it but then gained it back as soon as they stopped. And I won’t even get into the long-term health issues people had to endure from going on the Atkins diet. The studies have proven it over and over again - diets don’t work because most humans can’t sustain it long term. There is no magic diet, shortcut or pill to losing weight. It has to be a life long lifestyle. END. OF. STORY.

I am going to break down the reasons why is the keto diet not right for me:

1.       LIVER HEALTH: Since the liver is having to work hard to turn fat cells into ketones it is very important that the liver is functioning at a healthy and high level. I would most definitely recommend anyone considering the keto diet do an intense liver cleanse before starting and do follow up cleanses once or twice a year. I would also take a liver tonic before each meal to help prime the liver and support bile flow.

2.       THYROID HEALTH: The thyroid slows down on a keto diet which can cause some, especially women to have thyroid issues. Studies suggest it inhibits the conversion of T4 into T3 (active thyroid hormone). No bueno!

3.       IMPACTS HORMONES: If one’s calorie or carbohydrate consumption is too low, it can suppress leptin levels and interfere with the body’s ability to regulate reproductive hormones. It can also cause irregular periods and fertility challenges. Ladies, are you listening?!? This is scary! Especially if you are looking to conceive anytime in the future. Hormones that are out of balance can lead to a whole other host of health concerns.

4.       QUALITY MATTERS: It is so so so important to ensure quality meat and fats are being used otherwise lack of essential vitamins and minerals is sure to be an issue. Never mind the impacts on the arteries and heart from eating shitty oils (canola, sunflower, butter from cows that have been treated with growth hormones and antibiotics can cause an increase in inflammation in the body). Only organic grass-fed meats and butter should be used. This ensures adequate Vitamin K2 and Omegas which are lacking in conventional butter and meats. I can not stress enough how important it is to eat quality organic fats and proteins when doing a keto diet. Can you afford to eat the large amounts of high-quality proteins and fat? The keto diet isn’t about grabbing a burger at the drive through sans a bun and an extra side of mayo.

5.       SUGAR SUBSTITUTES: Can we as a society please stop with the shitty chemically produced or processed sugar substitutes?!? They are not good for you!! No way, no how. I don’t care that stevia is a plant – the chemical process that it undergoes to become the sweetener we use in food is not good. Just eat real raw sugar in very limited quantities or better yet some maple syrup or honey. Real food is something that your body can process and use. Your body doesn’t know how to process the many foreign substances that we call “food” these days. Since keto only allows 40 – 50 grams of carbs per day just leave out the sugar or sweeten it with applesauce or banana. It has been proven that fake sugars change the microbiome in your gut. Gut health is the epicenter of everything we are!

6.       LONG TERM IMPACTS: The long-term impacts aren’t well known. There have also been some rumblings and animal studies that show an increased risk of insulin resistance with the keto diet that may lead to an increase risk of Type 2 diabetes. This makes sense as the body stops using glucose and starts using ketones for energy. The body is always going to thrive for a state of homeostasis and may have issues later on using glucose and become resistant to insulin. It is often thought that having low insulin levels is ideal for optimal health but that was proven wrong in a study of women. Those that had the lowest levels of insulin went on to have a higher rate of dementia!! Why? We need sugar to fuel our body and brain. Not in excess by any means but any diet that restricts your ability to consume fruit and starchy vegetables should raise red flags.  This is a very important point and should be a concern for those that aren’t committed to doing this diet for the rest of their life. Seems a little extreme and almost setting yourself up for failure unless you have a serious health concern like cancer, epilepsy, etc. 

All of this is simply what I have gathered and researched to make my own educated decision about the latest fad that is popping up everywhere I turn. Literally everything and everyone is taking advantage of this momentum and marketing everything toward “keto”. These companies have gotten really good at reacting quickly to take advantage of the latest craze. For me, the keto diet is not a fit. It is to risky and I don’t have clear evidence that it would lead me to optimal health. I follow my own Vivacious Lifestyle DietTM. I am a vivaterian. More to come on that in the coming weeks…

#vivbuzz #vivaterian #vivdiet #vivlifestyle