The ketogenic diet is spiking in popularity, trending heavily amongst people trying to lose weight.
What is it
More commonly known as the keto diet, participants reduce their carbohydrate intake and instead replace it with fat. This practice aims at putting your body in a state of ketosis, meaning your body increases its efficiency in burning fat for energy. Studies have found this helpful for weight loss and reducing blood sugar levels.
Eliminating more than you think
Glamorized and highly practiced, common foods for this diet include seafood, cheese, avocados, meat, and eggs. However, recent studies are finding that this dieting practice isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. “Banning entire food groups and thinking you can cheat your way into good health might work for a while, but it could also send you into an early grave,” Hilary Brueck writes in an article for ScienceAlert. The potential long-term effects may have you think twice about doing the keto diet.
The average apple carries 25g of carbohydrates. After eating just one, for example, your carb intake for the day is nearly maxed while doing the keto. This practice prevents participants from including many fruits in their diet, even though they’re a great source of vitamins, fiber and, potassium. Some studies show that low-carb diets may also reduce the tolerance of glucose, leading to the development of diabetes.
What the experts say
Consistently eating foods high in fat is not suitable for consistent, everyday living. Brueck includes in her article that keto expert Josh Axe testified against practicing the keto diet for more than a few months at a time. Donald Hensrud, M.D., author of The Mayo Clinic Diet writes in his book that, “Long term, it’s hard. People miss some fruits, different vegetables, grains…it becomes a very restrictive diet. So although people lose weight initially, maintaining it and keep it off long term is a real challenge.”
Restricting your carbohydrate intake eliminates a large selection of foods from not only your diet but your lifestyle. After extended periods, some keto-goers end up binge eating the foods they had refrained from for so long.
Ruby Anderson enunciates this phenomenon in her article from Thrillist as something binge eaters call “blacking out.” Governing a diet so heavily is much easier said than done. In the short term, some may find it manageable. But monitoring your food intake for profound pperiodscan lead to the viewing of food as an enemy, rather than a form of nutrition. “I’m talking about changes in your social world, your relationship with food, and your mental health. I’m talking about the diet industry convincing us that if we pass on eating out with friends to do our at-home cardio fat-busting workout…we’re going to feel joyous,” Anderson writes.
The keto diet vs. the balanced diet
Personal trainer Jillian Michaels spoke out in an interview against the keto diet saying, “Why would anybody think this is a good idea?” Moderation is one of the best ways to achieve a healthy lifestyle. If choosing to practice the keto diet be prepared to do some research. “Balanced diet is key,” Michaels states. Being studied and proven to work for some, be sure you learn all the facts before you dive into it head first.