Keto diet- A Miracle or a fad?

  • September 26, 2020
Keto-diet: A miracle or fad?

The Internet is bombarded with stories of how everyone from ordinary people to movie stars, have shed a significant number of pounds with the keto diet. So, for those who are new to this word, let me first introduce this ‘focus of public attention’

The ketogenic diet or more popularly known as a “keto” diet is a low-carbohydrate, fat-rich eating plan that differs from general, healthy eating recommendations. According to the School of Public Health, Harvard University, A “typical” keto diet entails of at least 70 percent of calories from fat, below 10 percent from carbs, and less than 20 percent from proteins

How does keto work?

On a keto diet, carbs rich diets are strictly restricted. With the clear goal of keeping carbs low, keto dieters often consume no bread, grains, or cereals. And, even fruits and vegetables are limited because they, too, contain carbs. The purpose of the ketogenic diet is to dive down into a state of ketosis via fat metabolism. In a ketogenic state, the body mainly relies on fat for energy instead of carbohydrates; and with low levels of carbohydrate, fats can be transformed into ketones to activate the body.

Is a low-carb diet good for you?

Weight loss is the major reason why people follow the ketogenic diet. When done correctly, the keto diet has shown many benefits including Weight loss, Mental Clarity, Increased Energy level, Muscle growth, and Clear skin. Various studies show good evidence of a faster weight loss for people that go on a ketogenic diet compared to those that follow a more traditional low-fat diet. However, that difference in weight loss seems to vanish over a period and Oftentimes weight gain may come back, and one will gain more than what they had shed (1,2).

The research revealed various short-term and long-term health issues associated with the keto diet. Short term health problems comprise of flu-like symptoms including upset stomach, headache, fatigue, dizziness, and mood swings. The medical world called it a “keto flu.” Curbing down on high-fiber vegetables, fruits and whole grains also upsurges risk for constipation. The long-term health issues associated with the keto diet include low blood pressure, kidney stones, increased risk of heart disease. Moreover, it is also seen that those having any conditions involving their pancreas, liver, thyroid, or gallbladder, keto is also not good for them. Social Isolation or disordered eating is another negative effect of a low- carb diet, which is difficult to ignore (2,3)

A takeaway.

No doubt the keto diet could be an interesting alternative to treating certain conditions and may accelerate weight loss. But it is hard to follow, and the sustainability of keto diet results is under scrutiny. Dietitians and Nutritionists rather advise towards a balanced diet for a long, healthier, and vivacious life.

Written by Dr. Shikha Sharma, Reviewed by Dr. Harshi Dhingra

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