Negative Effects of the Ketogenic Diet?

Negative Effects of the Ketogenic Diet?

Is Keto a great weight loss solution or too risky for your health? Let's discuss the pros, cons, and potential side effects, plus what's the heck is the keto flu?

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The Keto Diet: An effective diet solution or a Health Risk? The ketogenic diet has been proven to have some impressive benefits besides weight loss, including the control of blood sugar for diabetics and even reducing the chances of having a seizure.

However, like any diet trend or fad, the pros seem to be highlighted far more than the cons, and there are some potential risks you should take into consideration before jumping into this lifestyle change. Here is everything you need to know about the benefits and downfalls of the keto diet and how to determine whether it's right for you.

First, A Brief History of Keto

When a friend of mine told me they only eat "keto foods," I thought they meant "Quito," as in the capital of Ecuador! Well, since then I've heard a lot about the diet as it's gone from obscure to wildly popular.

In fact, the keto diet is arguably now the most widely known low-carb, high fat diet. It usually includes eating mostly meat and other protein-rich foods, while drastically cutting carbohydrates. (Typically to under 50 grams of carbs per day) As a result, your body eventually starts to break down and use fat as a source of energy rather than carbs. When this happens, your body is in a state called ketosis.

There is a lot of evidence to support that the keto diet can help prevent seizures in children. In fact, it keto was commonly used as a treatment for epilepsy until effective anti-seizure drugs were developed.

Researchers speculate that the keto diet doesn't only protect against seizures, but other disorders as well, including Alzheimer's, although there is not yet sufficient evidence to prove it. Weight loss, on the other hand, is something that most researchers agree the keto diet can help with.

Keto & Weight Loss, Type 2 Diabetes

When your body reaches the state of ketosis, it is easier for you to shed fat and build muscle, which helps you get that lean, toned appearance. Patients with type 2 diabetes can also benefit greatly from the keto diet, not only because of the potential weight loss, but because it helps keep their blood sugar at a safe level. These are some pretty exciting benefits and they've both been well-researched and extensively proven.

However, there are significant risks associated with the keto diet.

Keto Risks / Side Effects?

Now that you know why so many people are raving about the keto diet, you may be wondering: what are the potential risks? First off, it is a fairly extreme low-carb diet and when followed closely, even healthy carbs are omitted from the menu.

For example, strawberries, apples, and pineapples are a few fruits that are off limits because they are high in natural sugars. Limiting the amount of fruits and vegetables you eat to this extent could cause you to become constipated, especially when you increase the amount of meat you're consuming.

The keto diet can be dangerous if you forget to stay hydrated because keto causes you to lose water more rapidly. If you're not consuming enough fluids while on the diet, you could put yourself at a higher risk for kidney stones.

Your weight loss could also be a little deceiving in the beginning stages of the diet. You might think the sudden weight loss you experience immediately after starting the diet is fat, when in reality you're really just losing water weight.

Keto Flu Risk?

Switching from burning carbs to fat isn't always a smooth transition. You might also experience the "keto flu", a set of symptoms that are renowned for being side effects of the keto diet, including nausea, headaches, irritability, and fatigue.

These flu-like symptoms are caused as your body struggles to adapt to your new, low-carb diet. In a way, the ketosis process is a bit like trying to quit an addictive substance like caffeine or nicotine. (Yikes!)

Is Keto Weight Loss Sustainable?

Needless to say, the diet's strict nature makes it difficult to stick to and it is not very sustainable for the long term, and most experts rate it poorly. It takes a lot of work to follow properly and in a way, that is healthy. Most people eat far too much meat and not enough vegetables with little variety of healthy food groups, which isn't exactly a balanced diet.

Although processed meats are usually the most convenient and affordable, it is advisable to avoid eating too much of these unhealthy protein sources. People on the keto diet may have to set aside extra time and money to buy quality meat and make healthy, home-cooked meals.

So, is it sustainable? Here's the rub. You'll probably lose weight with keto, but most experts will tell you that it's not good to stay on indefinitely. That's why commercial diets like Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem (Turbo 13), and South Beach Diet (Phase I) start out with a restrictive fast weight loss phase for the first 30 days, but then incorporate healthy carbs and fiber, as eating meat to lose weight isn't a long-term solution!

The Keto Diet: So, Is It Healthy Weight Loss?

While the keto diet can produce life-changing results, especially for those with certain disorders or ailments, it should be used with caution.

It is not a foolproof solution for weight loss, and it takes a lot of effort and commitment, so talk to your doctor before starting the keto diet.

No matter what diet you're currently on, you should always consume healthy, balanced meals full of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, (good carbs) and lean meats.

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10 Absolute Classic Christmas Flicks To Decompress After College Finals, Because You've Earned It

What movies are the best to watch before Christmas.

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Finals week is finally over, which means that if you're in college, you can finally start enjoying the holiday! And for a lot of college students, one of the best ways to enjoy the holiday is to start watching Christmas movies. There are so many great Christmas movies to watch, and if you're in college, they're a great way to destress after a long stressful semester. Here are 10 of the best Christmas movies to watch if you're in college.

1. "Elf"

Elf

travis / Flickr

Almost any college student will agree with me that one of the of the best Christmas movies is "Elf"! It's one of my favorite Christmas movies, and it's the funniest one to watch! I'm sure a lot of us can relate to Will Ferrell's exaggeration of being excited for Christmas, especially since it's the one time that we can have a break from college. It's a great holiday movie to watch if you want to take away the stress of the semester and if you enjoy movies that make you laugh!

2. "National Lampoon Christmas"

National Lampoon Christmas

travis / Flickr

This is another great Christmas movie to watch if you want something that will give you a good laugh! For anyone who doesn't know what this movie is about, it's a comedy about a dysfunctional family that prepares for Christmas.

3. "It's A Wonderful Life"

It's A Wonderful Life

Wikimedia Commons

This is one of my favorite Christmas movies! If you love old classic uplifting Christmas movies, then you'll enjoy "It's a Wonderful Life." The movie is about a man who wishes he was never born and goes through an experience during Christmas where he gets to take a look at how he impacts other people's lives. What I love about the movie is that it has a good message and you can relate to the characters.

4. "How The Grinch Stole Christmas"

Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas / Facebook

Whether you decide to watch the live action version featuring Jim Carrey or the newest movie "The Grinch" that's in theaters right now, this one is a Christmas movie must. Whichever type of Grinch movie you prefer, both are funny and great to watch during Christmas.

5. "The Polar Express"

The Polar Express / Facebook

"The Polar Express" is another classic Christmas movie that a lot of college of students probably grew up watching. If you love classic Christmas movies that are uplifting, then this is a great Christmas movie to watch! It's especially great to watch when you need a movie that reminds you of your childhood! It's a fun movie to watch with family or friends too!

6. Home Alone

Home Alone

s_herman on Flickr

"Home Alone" is another great Christmas movie to watch when you need a movie that will make you laugh or remind you of your childhood! It's about a child that gets left at home on Christmas, and a few thieves try to break into his house with him by himself. The movie is a great classic Christmas that's fun to watch with anyone over the holiday!

7. "A Christmas Story"

A Christmas Story / Facebook

This is a great movie to watch if you want an old classic Christmas movie that will give you a good laugh. It's told from the perspective of a child during Christmastime in the 1960s. It's very fun to watch and it gives you a good laugh!

8. "A Christmas Carol"

A Christmas Carol

dennis.pope85 / Flickr

There are tons of different versions of "A Christmas Carol" that you can find anywhere. Even Disney made a version of the movie with Jim Carrey! It's a top classic Christmas that's fun to watch with family or friends during the holiday. It's great to watch when you need an uplifting message after suffering from stress from fall semester.

9. "Jingle All The Way"

Jingle All The Way / Facebook

This is one Christmas movie to watch when you need a good laugh! It's about a father who is struggling to keep his family together after focusing on his job and having issues with his marriage. When his son asks him for a toy that is one of the most popular toys during Christmas and the toy gets sold out, he goes through extreme lengths in order to make his son happy. The movie is relatable because it makes fun of Black Friday and Christmas shopping.

10. "The Nightmare Before Christmas"

The Nightmare Before Christmas / Facebook

If you love Tim Burton or claymations, then you'll enjoy this Christmas movie! This movie is often watched for Halloween or during Christmas since it features both holidays. It's one of the best claymation movies!

Watching Christmas movies is a great way to enjoy the holiday and hang out with your friends or family. You can even make a movie night for watching Christmas movies! Whatever Christmas movie you watch over the holiday, make sure that it's one that you'll enjoy and that will help you get into the spirit of the holiday!

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How Foods Affect Your Moods

There's a strong connection between our gut and brain, and what you eat affects your mood!

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You've already heard that "you are what you eat," but did you ever think about how food affects your moods? It does, and there's even an entire new area of research called "nutritional psychiatry" that studies this "gut-brain" relationship.

So, what have we learned?

Well, we've learned that most of our serotonin (happy hormone) is actually in our gut, not our brain. Maybe that's why what we eat is now considered a "modifiable risk factor" for depression and anxiety.

That means a healthy diet is linked with a lower risk of mental health issues, and and vice-versa.

So, what should we eat to improve our mood and overall mental health?

A Healthy Diet Is Good for Your Gut & Brain

Well, that doesn't sound very sexy. Anyway, let's define what a "healthy" diet consists of. Basically, a healthy diet should include nutritious and fiber-dense foods for both gut and mental health.

Components of a healthy diet include: Fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, fish, poultry, lean red meat, eggs, and olive oil (not vegetable oil!)

A number of negative reviews online for commercial diets like Nutrisystem seem to have inspired them to focus more on gut health, resulting in increased fiber content in food and optional probiotics with their plans.

Fast Food Is Bad for Mental Health

Foods associated with poor mental health include: processed, sugary, salty, fried, high-fat foods, and sugary drinks. Wow, that pretty much describes the everything on the menu at Mickey-D's! And you thought that the worst thing fast food does is make you obese? No, fast food encourages anxiety and depression, too.

Ever drive through a bad neighborhood and notice how many fast food restaurants there are? The poor diet of people in these areas is directly responsible for both obesity and mental illness, making it even harder to climb out of poverty.

To Improve Your Mood, Skip the "Happy" Meals!

Oh, how I love irony!

Yes, even though ads for burgers, fries, and cola promise happiness, it's just the opposite. Fast food is bad for your mental health, (and clowns are scary!) so skip fast food altogether for better mental and physical health!

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