Follow my blog with Bloglovin Keto diet is not a new concept, but it has gained popularity among the masses quite recently. The various benefits associated with ketogenic foods contribute significantly towards the increasing attraction of this diet regime. Nevertheless, just as with any other diet plan, keto diet is also facing severe criticism these days. There is a lot of negative information and myths about the ketogenic diet. These rumours are swirling on the internet, as well as by word of mouth. The main reason behind these stories is the lack of knowledge and experience among the masses regarding how to go on a keto diet.

It is a general perception that carbohydrates are necessary for any physical training to maintain your strength. However, it is purely a misconception and in this article we will explain the facts about the most common myths attributed to ketosis and ketogenic meals.

MYTH #1: CARBOHYDRATES ARE ESSENTIAL FOR MUSCLE DEVELOPMENT

The first misconception about carbohydrates is the emphasis on the necessity of carbs for muscle building. Well, it is a fact that carbs accelerate muscle growth. They trigger insulin production, which, in turn, causes the glycogen to restore within the muscles. That’s why you get quicker mass on a high carbs diet. However, you only require small amounts of glycogen for muscle build-up which you can also obtain from proteins. The process of gluconeogenesis explains it all. If you are on a ketogenic diet, but ensure adequate protein intake, you will not lose muscle mass.

Nevertheless, the ketogenic diet usually gives slower results with regards to muscular build-up. If you want an expedited muscle mass gain, you can also find plenty of other methods and diet plans that won’t disturb your keto diet.

MYTH #2: KETO DIET MAY CAUSE HEART DISEASES

It is indeed an old and widely believed myth that consuming fat-rich meals causes heart diseases. It was all believed owing to the growing incidences of atherosclerosis, where the patient suffers from coronary blockages due to fatty plaque formation in the blood vessels. However, if we compare the frequency of heart diseases today with that of about six or seven decades before, we will observe that the ratio has been increased dramatically despite using low-fats in our diets. Our ancestors used to have ‘high fats’ (according to what we perceive today to be the high fats), but the incidence of heart diseases was rare.

Some recent studies have shown that saturated fats are also essentially required by our body. For instance, a significant part of our brain comprises of saturated fats. Our lungs are also lined with a thin layer of fatty surfactants. If we entirely cut down high fats from our diet, then the functioning of these organs that substantially rely on fats will be affected.

Heart diseases are in fact caused by triglycerides, which are the BAD fats. An excessive use of carbs also results in the conversion of excess glycogen into these triglycerides. Hence, you are at a higher risk of coronary disorders when you consume high carbs.

MYTH #3:CUTTING DOWN CARBS AFFECTS THE OVERALL PERFORMANCE

The other myth, which usually disturbs the athletes and those persons who have a dynamic routine – is that the keto diet decreases your overall activity. Again, it is not correct. It has even been proved by research conducted on trained cyclists taking ketogenic diet for four weeks. The results drawn from the study showed that their bodies were adjusted to ketosis, barring glucose and glycogen for fats to be used as the prime source of energy.

In the initial phase of ketosis, when your body is not habitual of using fats as the energy source, you may feel a bit weak and dizzy. However, once you are adapted to utilizing fats, your body will start converting them into ketones to be exploited as energy reserves. Keto diet has also proven to give excellent results to those on extended cardio training, marathon runners and bikers as well.

The only instance where you can experience compromised performance is during an exercise since it requires vigorous actions. If you feel a little weak during your workout sessions, feel free to take a few carbs as an immediate and short-term energy resource. For instance, you can have around 25-50 gms of carbs 30 minutes prior your workout. As this is a short-term remedy, your keto diet balance won’t be affected.

MYTH #4: KETOSIS IS BAD FOR HEALTH

The other common mistake about ketosis is to confuse it with ‘ketoacidosis’. It should be understood that these two are entirely different conditions. Ketosis is a condition where your body burns out ketones to get energy instead of relying on glucose. As you eliminate carb-rich foods from your diet, the blood glucose levels remain lower. Whereas in ketoacidosis, the glucose level remains usual, and your body starts producing large aggregates of ketone bodies. This situation is undoubtedly a diseased condition because your body can no longer regulate these elevated blood ketone levels. Consequently, the blood pH turns acidic this, in turn, imparts adverse effects on all other metabolic activities. This situation occurs when you keep on taking high carbs and your body produces more ketones. This is most unlikely to happen when you are adapted to a ketogenic diet.

MYTH #5: YOU NEED AT LEAST ONE MONTH TO GET INTO KETOSIS

This is one thing that I am hearing all the time. You need to not eat any carbohydrates for at least one month before your body actually enters ketosis. This is not true. It can take up to one month to become fully keto addopted, but you can enter the state of ketosis in 24 hours.  The difference is that when your body is fully keto adapted it runs optimally on ketones and it has a big number of processes running that need some time before they kick in, but just an increase secretion of ketones can be achieved in one day. One way to speed up the state of ketosis is to add some MCT oil to your diet or even plain coconut oil can do the trick.

MYTH #6: YOU ONLY EXPERIENCE WATER LOSS INSTEAD OF ACTUAL WEIGHT LOSS WITH KETO DIET

We agree that the initial weight loss you experience after beginning a ketogenic diet is the water loss, the situation does not continue for long. After you get adapted to ketosis, this water loss will be stabilized since you are taking high salts as part of your diet. Once it is stable, you eventually start losing fats.

This is because you are not consuming any meals containing instant sugars.Hence your body is compelled to deplete the fat reserves stored within to get energy. As your body becomes keto-adapted, the fats which you intake in your daily meals are also consumed rapidly since now you are solely relying on ketones to obtain fuel for all metabolic reactions.

MYTH #7: Brain fatigue on keto

Now this is a strange one. Everyone is claiming that once you entered ketosis you achieve a super level of mental clarity, so where did this come from? The myth possibly comes from the fact that before your body starts producing enough ketones your brain is running low on it’s favourite fuel that is glucose. Once your body switches to running on ketones brain fog is gone and you achieve a great level of mental clarity.

MYTH #8: COMPLEX CARBS ARE GOOD CARBS

If we compare the various types of carbs with each other, then we can agree that complex carbs are relatively better than the simpler forms. It is because the simpler ones rapidly elevate the blood glucose level, and then quickly get exhausted, making the person feel weak and dizzy. Whereas, the complex carbs take time to get absorbed by the body, releasing glucose gradually. Hence they serve as long-term energy reserves for the body.
However, this fact cannot be applied when we compare carbs with a keto diet. Even if you take complex carbs, what you ultimately have is a lot of glucose in the bloodstream. Hence, while you are adapted to a ketogenic diet, the blood glucose level remains decreased. Still, the energy supply to drive overall body reactions remains continued through ketones. The result is that you stay active without being addicted to glucose.

MYTH #9: KETOSIS MAKES YOU FIBER DEFICIENT

Now, this is something not even distantly related to the facts. The truth is opposite of what the widespread myth says about ketosis. As a matter of fact, ketogenic diet includes all those meals that are rich in fibre, such as spinach, cabbage, salads and all fibrous vegetables are allowed in the ketogenic food regime. Wondering how they are permitted when they contain carbs too? Well, the goal of ketosis is not to make you glucose deficient. Instead, it intends to make you glucose-independent. You can continue to take all such foods that contain low carbs.

MYTH #10: TIMED PROTEIN INTAKE IS MANDATORY

It is a general perception that most of the proteins taken in one go are wasted. People believe that only 30 gms of the ingested proteins are absorbed at a time. If you take more than 30 gms, the rest of the protein is lost. I am not sure how people have drawn out this 30g cut-off value. It may have been derived from the 10g/hour standard value of protein intake recommended to the bodybuilders in their diet plan.

Although the timely intake of nutrients is necessary, what’s more important here is fulfilling the daily nutrient intake. For those who are routinely active or are regular trainers, nutrition timings do not play a significant role. Of course, you won’t prefer eating 150g of protein in one sitting though. Otherwise, you would probably be dragged out of the ketosis phase. Nevertheless, eating more proteins together does not lead to any protein wastage. Your body gets the metabolic rate adjusted according to the frequency of your protein intake. The intestinal movement gets regulated which leads to slower digestion and proper absorption of proteins by the body.

However, if, at some time, you skip a meal and you are compelled to eating around 100g of protein together, not all of this intake may be absorbed by the body. But, in such conditions the small intestines store these amino acids received from proteins, and gradually release them to fulfil the body requirements or for recycling purposes.

MYTH #11: KETOSIS MAY BE DETRIMENTAL TO YOUR KIDNEYS

This is another myth that distracts people from beginning a keto diet regime. The fact is that a ketogenic diet does not compel you to take high protein meals. Rather it only revolves around taking high fats. Entering ketosis means you are adjusting yourself towards ketones to get energy. The amount of protein intake in keto diet remains within the acceptable mediocre ranges. You are not taking any extra proteins that could damage your kidneys.
Moreover, if you have otherwise healthy kidneys with no renal disorders, even a high protein diet will not harm you at all.

MYTH #12: KETOGENIC DIET MAKES YOU SUFFER MALNUTRITION

Another popular myth about ketosis is that it makes you malnourished. Again, it is a MYTH! The ketogenic diet only cuts down the glucose intake. It does not make you deficient of any essential nutrients. In fact, it includes all those meals that are rich in vitamins and other nutrients. All types of meat, eggs, vegetables, fruits, oils, butter, seeds, and nuts are permitted in the ketogenic diet. Even if some of these items contain low carbs, such small intake of carbs is perfectly fine in ketosis.

SUMMING UP

Ketosis is not as dangerous as the rumour mill says it to be. In fact, adopting a ketogenic regime makes you lead a healthy lifestyle. You enjoy the benefits of a balanced diet, ideal weight and an energetic routine by taking keto diet. The prevalent myths and rumours spreading negative information about ketosis are just because of the lack of knowledge about this food regime. If you go into deeper details about the utilization of ketones as the prime source of energy, you will find many health benefits associated with it.

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I am happy father of two and a health and fitness enthusiast.

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