This month we have been looking at fad diets. Last week we took a closer look at the Paelo diet, essentially existing a on food groups like Cavemen would have eaten. This week we are looking at the Ketogenic diet (Keto for short). You may have seen your Facebook advertisements or friends touting the wonders of eating ketogenic foods. Sure, you might lose weight, but what other side effect is this diet having on your body?
Traditionally this clinical diet was developed as a treatment of epilepsy, though the full explanation for why is actually works in this group of people is still not well understood. Recently it has gained popularity for aiding quick weight loss, but is it actually safe?
The premise behind the diet is that its very low in its carbohydrate allowance. When carbs are restricted it puts the body into a metabolic state called ketosis. Blood glucose levels are low, the body turns to fat as a fuel source, achieving fat loss with great success in obese people, but it is considered a short-term measure.
Due to the fact, the Ketogenic diet is extremely low in carbohydrates, it is simply unsustainable in the long-term. Eating this way could result in you missing out on important nutrients that are available in carbohydrate foods. Fruit is still good for us. In ketosis, lean muscle breaks down and you tend to feel more fatigued and lethargic. In the long term, this ketotic state eventually enters starvation mode! The diet is also very high in fat, which is not thought to be safe for your body either.
Again this diet doesn’t get my vote, mostly for how unsustainable it is and the potential risks to be body that cannot be ruled out yet. Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes for weight loss and no magic pills.
If weight loss is important to you, contact a professional nutritionist and talk about a balanced healthy diet in conjunction with an exercise programme.