What's Up with the Keto Diet?
We’ve all either know someone who’s tried it or heard it being discussed on the
news, but what are the actual facts that surround the Keto diet. The Keto, short for
ketogenic, diet is a diet that is rich in fats and proteins and restricts carbohydrates. Our body tends to use sugar in the bloodstream as our main source of energy for our cells. When this source is limited, due to a lack of carbohydrates consumed, our body looks for another source of energy. Our body starts to break up our stores of fat and converts them into free fatty acids for energy utilization. We then start living in a state of ketosis.
‘Well, does it work?’, you may be wondering? The research shows that it may
have some brain-protecting elements as it’s been shown to decrease seizures in children with refractory epilepsy. In the short term, several studies do show that the ketogenic diet results in more weight loss compared to low fat or Mediterranean diets, however the Keto diet hasn’t been shown to have significantly better LONG TERM weight loss results. This is partly due to its restrictive nature which makes it difficult to sustain in the long-term. Also, because it does focus heavily on fats and proteins, it increases the chance that more unhealthy foods such as red meat and saturated fats will be consumed.
While you may see changes in the short-term, the best way to achieve long-term
health gains is by consuming a diet rich in whole grains, a limited amount of animal protein, and liberal amounts of fruits and vegetables. If you do choose to try the Keto diet, it is very important to work with your doctor and a registered dietician to make it as safe and successful for you as possible.
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