Chances are you have a friend or family member who swears by KETO, or if you haven’t, then you’ve almost certainly heard of the myriad celebrities who follow the diet religiously.
KETO has become more than a diet nowadays, it is a lifestyle. Many restaurants offer extensive keto options on their menus, with Skinnys Bar and Grill in Bondi being Australia’s first KETO CAFE! Everything on their menu is low-carb, gluten-free, and sugar-free. Sounds good, right?
Well before we get in the car and make the mad dash to Bondi for a “carb-free” cheeseburger, let’s see if the KETO hype stands up to science.
So what is KETO? KETO stands for ketogenic. A ketogenic diet involves consuming as few carbohydrates as possible, so the body is forced to enter a state called “ketosis”. Essentially, this means it burns the body fat deposits rather than the carbohydrates a human being consumes daily.
Dr. Marcelo Campos of Harvard Medical School explains it this way: “Most cells prefer to use blood sugar, which comes from carbohydrates, as the body’s main source of energy. In the absence of circulating blood sugar from food, we begin to break down stored fat into molecules called ketone bodies (tthe process is called ketosis).
“Once ketosis is reached, most cells will use the ketone bodies to generate energy until we start eating carbohydrates again. The shift from using circulating glucose to breaking down stored fat as an energy source. usually occurs over 2-4 days by eating less than 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day.
“Keep in mind that this is a highly personalized process and some people need a more restricted diet to start producing enough ketones.
“Because it lacks carbohydrates, a ketogenic diet is high in protein and fat. It typically includes lots of meat, eggs, processed meats, sausages, cheeses, fish, nuts, butter, oils, seeds, and fibrous vegetables.
Because it’s so restrictive, it’s really hard to stick with it in the long run. Carbohydrates normally make up at least 50% of the typical American diet.
“One of the main criticisms of this diet is that many people tend to eat too much low-quality protein and fat from processed foods, with very little fruit and vegetables. Kidney disease patients need to be cautious as this diet could worsen their condition.
“Additionally, some patients may feel a little tired at first, while others may have bad breath, nausea, vomiting, constipation and sleep problems.”
Despite the recent hype, the ketogenic diet isn’t something new. In medicine, it has been used for almost 100 years for treatment drug resistant epilepsy, especially in children.
In the 1970s, Dr. Atkins popularized his very low-carb diet for weight loss that began with a very strict two-week ketogenic phasesis. This is where the KETO craze began, and over the years other diets have incorporated a similar approach to weight loss.
Now that we know what the ketogenic diet entails, let’s take a look at how safe it is for humans to follow.
According to Dr Campos, “We have solid evidence showing that a ketogenic diet reduces seizures in children, sometimes as effectively as drugs. Due to these neuroprotective effects, questions have been raised about the possible benefits for other brain disorders such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, sleep disorders, autism, and even brain cancer.
However, there are no human studies to support the recommendation of ketosis for the treatment of these conditions. “
According to the world’s leading blogger and podcaster in the low-carb diet Jimmy Moore, author of ‘Keto Clarity’, the ketogenic diet appears to be very helpful in effectively treating a number of other health conditions, including metabolic syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), heartburn Nonalcoholic Fatty Stomach (GERD) Liver Disease (NAFLD), Type 2 Diabetes, Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease.
Speaking of type 2 diabetes, Halle Berry began speaking in support of the keto diet in 2017. She explained in an appearance on Live with Kelly and Ryan who is a good candidate for the diet because she is diabetic.
Halle also spoke People on KETO. “I eat healthy fats all day, avocado, oil, coconut oil and use butter, but I have no sugar. So when your body is trained to burn fat, it is constantly in fat-burning mode – that’s the secret. “he noted.
A ketogenic diet has also been shown to improve blood sugar control in patients with type 2 diabetes, at least in the short term. However, there is a lot of controversy when doctors have considered the effects of KETO on cholesterol levels.
Some studies show that some patients have an increase in their cholesterol levels at the beginning, only to see their cholesterol go down a few months later. However, there is no long-term research analyzing the effects over time on diabetes and high cholesterol, at least as of now.
Go back to Mrs Bond for a minute. Berry is just one of many celebrities who swear by the KETO diet to help them fight health conditions naturally, with others apparently swearing by the diet to stay slim and fit.
It would seem that weight loss is the main reason many people use the ketogenic diet. Previous research shows good evidence of faster weight loss when patients are on a ketogenic or low-carb diet compared to participants on a more traditional low-fat diet, or even a Mediterranean diet.
However, that difference in weight loss seems to disappear over time, as the KETO way of life is difficult to maintain over the long term. And this is where we come across a crossroads.
If you want to lose weight, the fastest way to lose weight is often taken, without much consideration of the long-term effects or advice from a doctor or dietician on “proper nutrition”.
KETO is often promised to “make you lose weight faster”, as low-carb diets are famous for rapid fat loss. The person will often lose a significant amount of weight with KETO, then return to their “normal” way of eating later on. The weight comes back slowly and then we get back on a diet; usually even in a more limited way than the first time. It is often much harder to lose the second time on a diet, and whenever we severely restrict our body, our metabolism is under severe stress. This process is called a “yo-yo” diet and can be harmful in the long run.
Studies have shown that most people who participate in the KETO diet end up gaining weight faster than those on other restrictive diets. Because? First, metabolic needs are largely based on body composition. Muscle uses more energy than fat, so higher muscle mass means higher calorie needs.
Leading dietician and nutritionist Emily Baum explains the KETO “yo-yo” diet this way:
‘Losing weight fast often means losing muscle mass, not just fat loss. Most, if not ALL Fad diets are typically unsustainable, so when the “diet is over”, your body composition is now completely different than before. You now have less muscle, which means you now need to consume fewer calories than before the diet to maintain your new weight. People then resume their “normal” eating patterns and gain weight very quickly. This causes people to blame the “carbohydrates” or any food group they have eliminated. When you’ve actually changed your body composition then your calorie needs have changed ‘This is where KETO can potentially become dangerous.
So, is eliminating carbohydrates the key?
It would appear that the KETO diet is unsustainable in the long run; therefore, there are no long-term studies that suggest a keto diet is “healthy”, particularly for losing weight or decreasing morbidity rates.
So what can we take away from all of this?
If you do not have a pre-existing health condition (mentioned above), or have not been advised to eat KETO by a doctor, specialist, or dietician, perhaps following a traditional Mediterranean diet is the answer for optimal health, longevity and weight loss. stays out.
This way of eating combines a good combination of healthy fats and healthy, complex carbohydrates. By including a larger food group, this ensures cravings are kept at bay while getting all the nutrients you need to feel full and happy.
So what are you waiting for! Let’s start cooking them gemista (stuffed peppers) and roast lamb with Greek salad. Good healthy consumption of carbohydrates!