Is the Keto Diet worth the fat loss?
At my practice we see people with many different health concerns ranging from musculoskeletal disorders, to autoimmune disease. We spend a lot of time consulting with our patients about their varying nutritional needs and that’s why it’s concerning to me that the “Keto Diet” is becoming a mainstream topic. It’s a diet designed to mimic the biochemical changes that occur during starvation while meeting a nutritional threshold to avoid ‘starving to death’. Is starvation something you want to do voluntarily?
Why I don’t recommend a ketogenic diet
I do not recommend that anyone follow the ketogenic diet, due to the high risk of adverse side effects. You most likely will lose fat and some weight, however, this will come at a cost by placing your overall health at risk. Children or anyone with any type of gallbladder dysfunction should completely avoid this diet.
Common adverse side effects
Often times at the beginning of the keto diet people will experience the “keto flu” which includes nausea, constipation, vomiting and sleep interruption. You will also run the risk of a low libido. Who wants that? If you suffer from any type of inflammatory condition expect it to worsen. When it comes to nutrients there could be deficiencies ranging from vitamin C and D, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium and copper. The diet also comes with a marked increase in pancreatitis and increased liver enzymes. Very dangerous! Children, in my opinion, should never be placed on this diet as it stunts growth.
What does the Keto Diet look like?
FAT, eating lots of fat! It should be 75% of your daily calories. Olive oil and avocadoes are suggested as the healthy fat. Only 20% of your diet should be protein and a very small amount of carbs (5 percent) is allowed. This combo will put you into nutritional ketosis. Hydration is also critical along with loading up on magnesium and potassium. You should also have frequent blood work and consult with your doctor in case of any negative health risks.
Mayo Clinic weighs in on the Keto Diet
“We’ve known for a long period of time that when you decrease carbohydrate intake markedly, the body starts to use fat,” Dr. Donald Hensrud, author of The Mayo Clinic Diet Book. “And when you burn fat, you produce ketones, and the body goes into ketosis.”
“Long term, it’s hard,” Dr. Hensrud says. “People miss some fruits, different vegetables, grains. It’s hard. Although people lose weight initially, maintaining it and keep it off long term is a real challenge on a keto diet.”
If not Keto, what?
Focusing on a healthier lifestyle including exercise; portion control; and a diet with more fruits, vegetables and whole grains offers long term success. You might not lose weight quite as quickly, but it will be healthier for your body long term.
If you want to make nutritional changes, or lose weight, please contact my office and set an appointment to ensure you are safe, and not falling victim to a fad diet.