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Here are the Five Things you must know to Know Before Trying the Ketogenic Diet

YOUR GUT MAY SUFFER

It’s also difficult to include prebiotic foods such as onions, garlic, bananas and oats on a very low-carb, high-fat diet. “These foods encourage good growth of bacteria that support our intestinal health, which is tied to our overall health,” Stefanski says. “But we don’t know yet how the lack of fiber on a ketogenic diet impacts our microbiome or gastrointestinal health long-term.”

WORKOUTS COULD BE SUBPAR

“Keto does not show a performance advantage for athletes, especially in sports which rely on the fuel you already have stored in your muscles as glycogen,” Stefanski says. Non-athletes may also lack the energy to exercise at their best, Gans adds. “Carbs are the preferred type of fuel for the body, so without them your workout could suffer,” Gans says.

HAVING A SOCIAL LIFE COULD BE CHALLENGING

Not only do many ketogenic diet advocates advise eliminating alcohol, the guidelines cut out lots of foods we tend to eat when gathering with friends. “It can impact your social life, especially when so many events revolve around food,” Stefanski says.

COOKING IS A MUST

Eating out can be a challenge on the ketogenic diet since it bars common foods such as bread, pasta, rice, ketchup and many dressings. Plus, most packaged foods aren’t keto-friendly. “You should be prepared to make the time to cook appropriate options if you want to follow the diet,” Stefanski says.

YOU’LL NEED REGULAR CHOLESTEROL CHECKS

The jury is still out on whether a ketogenic diet is beneficial or harmful to cholesterol levels, so see your doctor for a fasting lipid panel before starting the diet and three months later if you plan to continue, Stefanski recommends.

The ketogenic diet is very restrictive and takes a lot of commitment to get the nutrients you need for overall health. Gans doesn’t recommend the diet for long-term, healthy weight loss. Stefanski says to seek a doctor or registered dietitian with experience in keto if you wish to try it.

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