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Analysis of the Ketogenic Diet Option and Vegetarianism

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All people are on a diet whether they know it or not. A diet has multiple effects on the human body, and every diet has positive and negative effects on the user. According to Webster’s Dictionary, a diet is “food and drink regularly provided or consumed”. When one controls what is consumed it is called dieting. People will start dieting for numerous reasons; so that they may lose weight, gain weight, and even for healthier body benefits. Eating healthy foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean meats reduces the risk of contracting harmful chronic diseases, such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes . Other benefits include: a reduced risk of cancer, decreased risk of stroke, better memory, strength, and obtaining better sleeping schedules as well (Crichton-Stuart). Successful dieting may make the dieter feel better about themselves physically and mentally .

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Although there many benefits of dieting, it also comes with some possible negative effects, such as; mood swings, fatigue, declines in blood sugar levels, depression, and a lack of energy (Advantages and Disadvantages of dieting). Dieting can also cause a person to look older because weight loss often results in wrinkles and sagging skin. Dr. Bahaman Guyuron, a researcher from Cleveland, studied the result of weight loss on appearance. He concluded ‘A BMI higher by four points was found to result in a younger appearance of between two and four years in women over 40 years old’ . When bigger and older women lost weight they appeared to others as older than they actually were. This means that according to their body mass index, losing weight made some women look slightly older after dieting. There are three diets that have been growing in popularity recently. The Ketogenic diet, the vegetarian diet, and the low-calorie diet, and each diet has long term positive and negative effects.

The Ketogenic diet is “a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet”. This diet has been around since the 1920s and was originally meant to treat children with epilepsy who did not respond to traditional drugs. This diet has also surfaced as a quick and semi-easy way to lose body fat. During this diet, all carbohydrate intake from foods is eliminated, which forces the body to switch from utilizing glucose as its main source of energy, to stored fat. When Ketosis is achieved, fat is no longer stored in the body, but instead is used to fuel bodily functions. One must reduce carbohydrate intake to less than 50 grams a day and increase fat intake to approximately 100 grams per day to be successful on the Ketogenic diet. This is done by consistently consuming foods high in protein and fat, such as red meats, sausage, eggs, cheese, nuts, fish, milk, and fibrous vegetables. Once this is started and strictly followed for approximately two consecutive weeks, the body enters a state of ketosis. Ketosis is when there is a deficiency of blood sugar in the body and stored fat starts being turned into ketone bodies. When cells cannot obtain blood sugar for their energy, which they prefer, they will begin to use ketones, getting rid of body fat stored away wastefully in the body. It is important that the dieter maintains a state of ketosis. The benefits of Keto, besides the loss of unwanted body weight, have been shown to effectively improve certain conditions such as seizures, high blood sugar with type two diabetes, and high cholesterol over time. Evaluating the effectiveness of Keto is difficult due to the lack of long term studies because Keto is a diet that is very difficult to stay on for long periods of time, as it gets repetitive because there are only so many ways to consume the same types of food repeatedly. It may also cause some people of the diet to become constipated or suffer from diarrhea at the beginning of the diet while the body is getting used to the change. As the body adapts to consuming only fats and protein dieters can also suffer from nausea. And like most diets, it’ll put a strain on eating out opportunities with friends and family, at times like family gatherings or hang out sessions with friends or get-togethers.

The vegetarian diet restricts the dieter from consuming any products obtained from animal bodies. This eliminates all meat and fish from a vegetarians diet. The vegetarian diet comes with countless health benefits, one of which is weight loss. A study conducted at the National Center for Biotechnology, NCBI, has shown that most vegetarians have less body mass than meat eaters. Vegetarianism has also been shown to improve cholesterol levels (Vegetarian Diet). Studies at the NCBI also have shown that vegetarians have a reduced risk of multiple types of cancer than people who consume meats. As well as a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The benefits of vegetarianism may abundant, but there are also side effects. The same study that showed vegetarians are at a lower risk of getting many types of cancer also revealed that they seem to be more at risk of getting colon cancer. Nutrient deficiencies are also common since consuming meats and fish are an efficient way to obtain nutrients such as iron, calcium, protein, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and zinc. Meat and Fish are strong sources of protein and iron, which are required nutrients, but there are vegetables and fruit that provide a higher amount of protein and iron such as spinach, nuts, and leafy greens. Even when that is the fact, a vegetarian must be aware that they need these sources of nutrients and must eat several different products to obtain them such as black beans and lentils (Micco). Also, a new vegetarian will experience changes to their bowel movements, being that they’ll be quicker overall and flimsy as one enters vegetarianism, whether it is looked at as a positive or negative. Sugar intake will still be a thing, being that fruit contains sugars, but body weight will still deplete as long as the person still controls how much of it they consume, as there are varying vegetarian diets, and simply becoming vegetarian may not noticeably affect body fat

Low-calorie dieting consists of restricting daily calorie consumption, normally around 800 calories and less. Done successfully, this diet is shown to either lose or maintain body weight. One risk of low-calorie diets is that dieters may think they are able to consume whatever they want until they hit their calorie limit, but if the foods consumed do not have sufficient nutrients it will begin to starve. To be properly fed, the body needs to consume “the 93 vitamins, minerals, amino acids, nucleic acids, fatty acids, and trace metals your metabolism uses to build and maintain every cell, process and system in your body.”In this state of malnourishment, the body enters a starvation mode in which it stores nutrients and actually results in weight gain. When done properly a low-calorie diet is an effective way to lose weight more efficiently than a lot of other methods because the body isn’t able to gain fat and becomes healthier off of the nutrition values. The cons of being on a low-calorie diet may outweigh the pros though being that most people will never feel full while on this diet. Dieters will lack energy and strength to complete extra activities and quite possibly will be unwilling to perform them in the first place due to that fact. Common unwanted side effects with a low-calorie diet are fatigue, dry mouth, bad breath, dry skin, headaches, dizziness, and intolerance to cold weather. Other possible side effects are hair loss and/or thinning, constipation or diarrhea due to low fiber intake. Women can experience irregular periods, brittle nails, and edema.

All three diets can have positive and desired outcomes for the dieter who uses it. Keto and Vegetarianism are both able to prevent the risk of disease before and after they happen in a person. Some of these diseases such as rare cases of epilepsy cannot be treated with modern medicine directly and that makes these two fixes for those problems. They all do their intended purposes of causing weight loss as the user can use them alone to lose unwanted weight and help them slim up. The ketogenic diet and the low-calorie diet are both better at targeting weight loss than vegetarianism as they are more strict on consumption and make it nearly impossible for anyone who uses them to gain weight, for they both cut out sugar and carbs which are big factors gaining fat. Low-calorie dieting may be the most effective for weight loss because it completely eliminates all fat gaining attributes, but it is hard to measure as all human bodies are different and react differently to all new forms of food consumption. All of them also can create a healthier body, although vegetarianism and the low-calorie diet may be the better options out of the three for this, for Keto is said that it can worsen your cholesterol, because of all the fatty intake, before lowering it to an even better state than it was before. Keto and Vegetarianism, overall, have the most and best positives underneath their belts.

With the many positive sides of being on a keto, vegetarian, or low-calorie diet, there are negative side effects as well. All of the diets affect bowel movements, although keto is the most temporary when it comes to it, as a dieter’s body on keto will strengthen itself to be able to handle the diet because the consumed foods of this diet contain metabolism strengtheners . Vegetarianism is also temporary with its changes, but even once the setup stages are gone, bowel movements, in general, will be different considering if the fiber is kept on top of the diet or not. The low-calorie diet seems to be the worse in this category as the amount of fiber is set by the boundaries of having to consume all of the right nutrients while still staying below or at the dieter’s low-calorie count. The person cannot change how much is in the diet because they need all 93 forms of nutrients and cannot waste a gram more on fiber most of the time.When it comes to decreasing health in some aspects they all have risk factors. Vegetarianism can increase chances of colon cancer, while the Ketogenic diet can increase cholesterol in the beginning stages of the diet, and a low-calorie diet overall lowers a person’s stamina and makes them less able. Low-calorie dieting also comes with the most cons and they’re also the most drastic of the three diets. Low-calorie diets win overall when it comes to bad side effects even though it may be the fastest of the three when it comes to losing weight.

Although the purpose of dieting is generally to lose weight most people are unsuccessful in the long term. Researchers at UCLA found that “The school reviewed 31 long-term studies on dieting and found that people who go on diets usually end up regaining all of the weight they lost, plus some.”  Weight fluctuation can be unhealthier than just staying our same weight. Along with this, people find some other negative effects with dieting like slowing the body’s metabolism and cause headaches. Dieting can also be detrimental to dieter’s mental health putting them in bad moods to low blood sugar and weight fluctuation can cause upsetting results to their health. Diets are primarily for the purpose to create better healthy eating habits. Contrary to popular belief they aren’t just to lose weight. Diets can lead to a better life with a cleaner better body. Diets aren’t just a limited amount of calories they can be anything a dieter want them to be a specific group of food that you eat. Dieting, for the most part, is to improve someone’s physical appearance or condition to improve health conditions or to reduce fat. Being healthy is important both mentally and physically.

With all of that being said I believe the Ketogenic diet option and Vegetarianism are the best of the three options because they both reduce body weight but they seem that they’d affect a person like me less mentally. The Ketogenic diet is the best diet because it has good short term effects. It also is simpler and wouldn’t put as much strain on me is that I could still eat vegetables alongside meat and not have to worry about gaining more body fat, as stated previously, you could still achieve even if you cut meat and fish out of your diet as a vegetarian. I would not have to deal with the starving factor of low calorie and could still enjoy all of my meals even if they lack bread and sugars. This diet also utilizes your own body fat into energy which is one of its nicest features. I find the process of keto and going through ketosis and what it does to the systems of your body very fascinating as well even just as a subject. The thought of losing weight by making your own body use up its own fat just seems a little rebellious and fun as a process. I still think of Vegetarianism as a strong competitor of this diet though as it is for the most part still extremely healthy. But Keto contains a stronger and tastier variety. It is still a hard diet to be on, almost just as hard as the other two would be for me, but it would also come off as the simplest as most weight diets focus on eliminating sugar and carbs anyway. Though having to cut out meat and fish would be a little too strainful in the long run mentally. The reasons as to why the ketogenic diet is better than both the vegetarian diet and the low-calorie diet each stand as strong points of why your best bet is the Keto diet. The food options are more pleasing, the effects are better than low-calorie diets and practically the same outcome that one would get from a vegetarian diet, it is hard to follow like most diets but is still pleasing in the sense that meat is a big part of the basic picture of a Ketogenic diet. 

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