Once the exclusive purview of epileptics (to control seizures) and madmen bodybuilders, the keto diet is now the “it” diet of the masses, having completely trounced Weight Watchers.
It’s easy to see how it happened. The keto diet lets people eat all the fat they want, and they can practically see themselves shrinking day by day. But the keto diet isn’t all sunshine and deep-fried daisies. It has some drawbacks, some of which are serious, and it’s not the best diet for lifters.
Here are some of the problems with the keto diet that make me get a little itchy:
Keto dieters jettison entire food groups, often making them deficient in vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and essential fatty acids. Keto dieters can take care of a lot of those problems by taking multivitamins, but that’s a poor and uncertain replacement for the nutrients in real food. Beyond that, missing out on dozens or even hundreds of the polyphenols found in grains, fruits, wine, and even beer is like playing Super Mario Bros. and not bothering to pick up all the super mushroom power-ups.
Bad for Strength Athletes
There’s some evidence that keto diets might work well for endurance runners and Alaskan sled dogs, but if you’re a weightlifter who relies on short bursts of power, forget it.
Bad for Bowels
Ditching carbs means ditching fiber. Any long-term reductions in actual body weight may be offset by the weight of the steadily accruing reservoir of impacted feces in your intestines.
Despite the alliterative name, keto crotch is not the newest member of the Marvel Universe (Peter Parker, Matt Murdoch, Jessica Jones, etc., etc.). If it were, I doubt her superpower would be of any use in fighting crime, except maybe in some highly unusual and specific circumstances.
Apparently, all the meat-eatin’ changes vaginal pH, and the lower acidity creates a welcoming environment to undesirable bacteria, leading to possible infections, an unpleasant odor, and probably infestation by raccoons.
The dangers of high cholesterol are inconclusive, but that doesn’t mean they don’t matter at all, and high cholesterol is what you get when you eat saturated fat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
But the worst part of the keto diet, at least for people who want to pack on muscle, is that going into ketosis steals amino acids from muscle to fuel other stuff. Oh, and low carbs lead to high cortisol, which also affects how well you put on muscle.