The ketogenic diet has had many success stories, as seen on YouTube and other social media platforms, like Instagram and Facebook. Fitness gurus have also preached about the low-carb, high-fat diet for many health purposes. The main reason why individuals resort to eating keto every day is to shed unwanted fats. However, people in the past used the diet to treat specific health problems. The keto diet has been around since the ’90s and has been used to treat people with epilepsy (via the National Center for Biotechnology Information).
The keto diet is also beneficial for cancer patients, as it can slow down the growth of tumors. For people with heart disease, the diet can regulate blood pressure, sugar levels, and promotes good cholesterol. Patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease can also benefit from keto to improve health and reduce symptoms (via Healthline).
The ketogenic diet makes the body enter a state of ketosis. The process happens when carbohydrates are insufficient for energy use, which makes the body tap into another source. Instead of carbs, the body burns fats to produce ketones. The goal of the keto diet is to eat foods low in carbs and high in fats. “The hardest part of the ketogenic diet is in your head because it takes time to get used to not eating pasta, bread, and other common starchy foods,” Oliver Hilden, a nutrition consultant, told foodspring. He also shared that overcoming the cravings can be worth it in the long run.
Electrolytes can help fight the keto flu
Despite all the benefits keto has, some people are hesitant to try it out because of the so-called keto flu — which are side effects for people starting the keto diet. The flu can be an inconvenience to day-to-day life, as one may experience muscle cramps, nausea, weakness, constipation, headache, and irritability. These symptoms can interfere with work and can last up to seven days or sometimes longer (via Healthline). Thankfully, there is a way to combat the flu. Electrolytes are vital in maintaining hydration in the body. When eating carbs, the body retains water. When eating less of the macronutrient, the body loses fluid and electrolytes, which leads to the keto flu (via Keto Bootstrap).
Preventing the flu from happening can be done through replenishing electrolytes, but this can be hard when carbs are no longer part of the diet. But, fret not. People can restore electrolyte levels through supplements. A simple, yet important, step in keeping electrolytes in the body is drinking water. Water alone has a lot of health benefits. Eating plenty of leafy greens is another way to combat the keto flu, as vegetables are rich in magnesium. Avocados and nuts are a great source of potassium and are perfect for the diet. Other macrominerals like magnesium, sodium, and calcium are also present in various foods. Just be creative and do your research. Eating the right kinds of foods can make your keto journey bearable and rewarding.
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