What’s true and what’s myth when it comes to keto? The truth is, keto science is ever evolving. But there are a few keto rumors that science has managed to debunk over the years.
If you’re considering a keto diet, many of these myths have likely led to some uncomfortable questions. Will keto cause inflammation? Will I feel tired? Will my cholesterol go up? Does drinking ketones work?
Luckily we’ve debunked 10 of the most common keto myths in this article to help you feel more confident as you explore the keto lifestyle.
1. Keto Causes Diabetic Ketoacidosis
A common keto diet myth is that the ketogenic diet can cause ketoacidosis. Despite the notable similarities in their names, “keto”, “ketogenic”, and even “ketosis” are not the same thing as “ketoacidosis.”
Ketoacidosis is also known as the condition called DKA or diabetic ketoacidosis. DKA is a life-threatening complication. It occurs when someone with type 1 diabetes has a dangerously high level of ketones and blood sugar, usually caused by not taking insulin. Blood becomes too acidic, which may lead to functional challenges within the kidneys and liver. Maintaining a keto diet, or using exogenous ketones will not cause ketoacidosis. Exogenous ketone products are in fact safe for users with type 1 diabetes. They simply require that users monitor their blood sugar and insulin usage as they would after ingesting any other food, supplement, or product.
When one enters ketosis, their body begins burning fat to produce ketones. These ketones are then used to power the brain and body, and are often revered as a cleaner, more powerful fuel than standard carbohydrates and glucose.
Ketosis is not harmful, but actually has many benefits. Moreover, keto diets are among the most promising for diabetics. Following a keto diet to increase ketone levels is considered safe according to the American Diabetes Association.
2. Keto Will Raise Your Cholesterol
Also high on the list of keto myths is that keto diets have an adverse effect on cholesterol levels. Keto diets indeed affect cholesterol, but they do so positively. Following keto and maintaining ketosis lowers dangerous VLDL cholesterol and raises heart-healthy HDL or "good” cholesterol.
Research shows that keto diets are associated with a reduced risk for heart disease and a positive effect on heart health. Although keto diets may raise LDL cholesterol, research has not shown a link between diet-influenced LDL increase and elevated cardiovascular risk.
3. Keto Isn’t Sustainable
Another common keto diet myth is that keto is too difficult to maintain long-term. For some, completely eliminating carbs can feel unsustainable –– but it doesn’t have to be!
It’s okay to feel overwhelmed when first transitioning to a keto diet. In fact, we suggest slowly cutting out carbs over a few careful weeks. This will give your body plenty of time to adjust to running on fat.
Plus, it will help you identify when you feel most fatigued. Learning to target that midday slump with a boost of protein or exogenous ketones may make all the difference and help keep you on track. So don’t be afraid to tackle keto at your own pace — there’s no need to cut carbs cold turkey!
4. Keto Is Only For Losing Weight
Other myths about keto oversimplify the holistic benefits that come with a ketogenic lifestyle.
Many people are led to believe that the ketogenic diet is only effective for helping users shed unwanted pounds. And while yes, keto has proven to help with weight loss, there are many benefits to the keto lifestyle outside of simply slimming down.
Other Common Benefits of Keto Include:
- Increased Energy
- Sharpened Focus
- Improving Cognitive Function
- Support of Overall Brain Health
- Reducing Anxiety
- Regulating Hormone Production
- Reducing the Frequency of Migraines
- Combating PCOS
- Reversing Diabetes
- Seizure Management
- Enhancing the Effectiveness of Cancer Therapies
Many of these benefits are triggered by the ketones that the keto diet helps your body produce. When your body runs on ketones –– instead of glucose and carbohydrates –– it’s not uncommon to feel improved mental clarity and cognitive function, reduced anxiety, and higher, more sustained energy.
One way to access ketones (no matter your current carb intake) is to simply crack open an exogenous ketone drink like Kenetik. One bottle can help you power through your next workout, make it through a fast, or simply experience powerful ketone fuel for the first time!
5. Keto Is Bad For Your Liver
Today, keto myths even claim that keto may harm your liver.
Of specific concern, is the keto diet myth that suggests following a ketogenic diet may lead to fatty liver disease.
A keto diet allows the body to switch from running on glucose for energy to burning fat for energy. When you are in ketosis, this process reduces insulin levels and insulin resistance. This allows your liver to burn any stored fat or fat consumed from food, to produce ketones for fuel.
Research shows that the majority of fat in fatty liver disease comes from the creation of excess fats, which is caused by overeating. Because keto diets are low carb, and help your body burn fat, you are less likely to have excess stored fat.
6. Keto Will Make You Feel Tired
On the contrary! Keto won’t make you feel sluggish like typical calorie restrictive diets might. Overtime, it will actually give you more energy.
Occasionally, people report experiencing fatigue and flu-like symptoms when starting a keto diet. This is referred to as the "keto flu” and is often a symptom of your body transitioning away from carbohydrates, or simply needing more electrolytes.
There is no way to predict whether you will experience keto-flu, as many people sail through the first few weeks of keto without any notable challenges. However, if you do feel fatigued, know that it won't last long. Keto flu symptoms generally resolve in a few days because the body is shifting from burning glucose to burning fat for fuel. Once they do, people on a keto diet typically experience increased energy.
People often ask how to reduce keto flu symptoms. One popular question is, "Do exogenous ketones help reduce keto flu symptoms?” The answer is yes. Drinking exogenous ketones in a tasty product like Kenetik may help you access regular energy while your body gets fat-adapted, making the switch to keto even easier –– and more successful. Plus, Kenetik is also rich in powerful electrolytes which can also help you fuel up to avoid any initial discomfort.
7. Keto Will Deprive The Brain Of Required Glucose
Glucose is normally your brain's primary fuel source. Therefore, prominent ketone myths focus on how your brain will function without glucose.
The answer is a bit complex, but in short, when glucose and insulin levels are low, your brain will use ketones for fuel instead. Because parts of the brain require glucose, when you follow a keto diet, your body uses a process called gluconeogenesis to create its own glucose. This process transforms non-carbohydrates such as lactate, glycerol, and amino acids into glucose your brain can use.
Meanwhile, the rest of your brain and body will take advantage of the powerful ketones now running through your bloodstream. This is great because ketones are actually a more efficient fuel for the brain, and provide many benefits, including faster response times and reduced "brain fog."
8. Keto Will Cause Inflammation
For those researching keto facts and myths, the idea that keto causes increased inflammation is often prevalent.
However, for most people who try the keto diet, this particular keto myth is quickly proven false.
High-carb foods, especially processed sugars, cause inflammation. Following a keto diet means leaning on foods like eggs and olive oil that provide significant anti-inflammatory benefits. In fact, many people on a keto diet experience improved joint function and reduced joint swelling. And more than anything, the ketones your body is naturally producing are anti-inflammatory!
9. Keto Is Bad For Your Gut
Myths about keto also suggest that a ketogenic diet is bad for your stomach and digestive health. Again, the opposite is actually true.
In fact, the anti-inflammatory benefits keto provides for joints throughout the body extend to the gut as well. Many people who follow a keto diet report significantly less bloating and dramatically reduced GI issues due to the ways keto alters the microbiome in the gut. People with chronic constipation will often notice they are far more regular, and people struggling with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) have seen significant improvement in their symptoms.
10. Exogenous Ketones Don’t Work
Ketone myths frequently suggest exogenous ketones don’t work. While these claims will come with any trending diet, exogenous ketones have been extensively researched and are now believed to aid with athletic recovery, while also offering many neuroprotective benefits.
Additionally, exogenous ketones like Kenetik provide many of the same benefits of the keto diet. These benefits include improving athletic performance, expediting ketosis, appetite suppression and craving reduction, reducing keto flu symptoms, supplying a steady source of energy, improving focus, and offering immediate access to energy-rich ketones –– just to name a few.
Not all exogenous ketone products are created equal. It is important to do your research and fully understand exogenous ketones, to ensure the product you choose can help you experience benefits. Kenetik is a great exogenous ketone drink that provides many benefits in a quick, convenient, great-tasting beverage.
Try Kenetik today and see all the ways it can help you!