The Keto Diet Is Extremely Popular, But May Or May Not Be Right For You
Given the faddish nature of diets, the ketogenic—or keto—diet certainly has shown staying power. While we’ve talked about dieting previously, it’s worth taking a closer look specifically at keto given its popularity.
What Exactly Is The Keto Diet?
Keto is, in simplest terms, a very low-carb, high-fat diet. The goal is to achieve ketosis, a metabolic state in which fat provides most of the fuel for the body. The transition to this state can take several days, during which time you might feel sluggish (some refer to this as the keto flu).
The keto diet is rich in proteins and fats, including plenty of meats, eggs, fatty fish, and cheeses, as well fibrous vegetables, seeds, and nuts. People following this diet consume fewer than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day, cutting back on sugar, starches (grains, breads, and starchy vegetables), and high-carb fruits (such as bananas and pears).
Despite keto currently being in the spotlight, it is not a new diet; doctors have been using it to treat drug-resistant epilepsy for nearly 100 years.
What Are The Long-Term Effects Of Keto?
Keto has perhaps as many detractors as supporters. The famed Mayo Clinic has weighed in with the following verdict: “While the ketogenic diet may be recommended for some people with uncontrolled epilepsy, the high fat content — and especially the high level of unhealthy saturated fat — combined with limits on nutrient-rich fruits, veggies, and grains is a concern for long-term heart health.”
Although you can expect weight loss in the short-term, the possible longer-term effects are not all positive. Not enough studies have been done to be 100% sure, but too many months on keto can potentially lead to low blood pressure, kidney stones, and heart disease, and is especially risky for people with pancreas, liver, thyroid, or gallbladder conditions. What’s more, dietitians warn that nutritional deficiencies may be another detrimental effect and suggest a maximum of six consecutive months on the diet.
That being said, ketogenic diets might have benefits against diabetes, cancer, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease.
The Bottom Line Regarding Your Bottom Line
Because the keto diet is so restrictive, it is difficult to stay on for any significant length of time. While that in and of itself may be a good thing, it’s not beneficial if you end up binging afterwards.
Remember, yo-yo dieting can lead to an unhealthy alternating cycles of weight loss and gain. And research has shown that body-weight fluctuation is a risk factor for death and coronary events—even for those who do not have cardiovascular disease.
So, if you don’t do keto for too long, and if you don’t end up overeating post-keto, it might be a good way to go, as weight loss with this diet plan is fairly predictable. As with any diet, it’s best to consult with your doctor to see if keto is a good fit for your personal health.
Think keto might be good for you? Try our Keto Fried Chicken recipe.
The Pickled Beet incorporates all essential nutrients into many tasty recipes for our Miami clients. We customize the food for you, whether you want to lose weight on a keto plan (or other diet) or simply want to eat healthy and delicious food. We work with individuals, couples, and families. Contact us for a free consultation.