Keto Diet: Inside the latest diet craze.
What is the Keto diet?
The keto diet is a low-carb diet. Though the diet has gotten a lot of attention recently, especially on Instagram, it is not a new diet plan. In 1921, Russel Wilder was the first to use the ketogenic diet to treat epilepsy.[i] The keto diet functions by changing the burning of glucose or carbs into the burning of ketones or fat. The body begins to burn fat rather than carbohydrates when a large number of carbohydrates are removed from your diet.
The keto diet consists of a low intake of carbohydrates, a moderate intake of protein, and a high intake of fat. The following foods are included in the keto diet:
· Green leafy vegetables that are low in carbs
· Fatty meats like fish, lamb, and poultry with skin
· Nuts and seeds that are high in fat and low in carbs with moderate protein
· eggs, full-fat dairy, berries, etc.
How does it work for individuals?
Changing a diet can be a hassle, but with the keto diet, there are optional meal plans from different online sources to assist you. There are also books to aid dieters in meal preparation. Some grains are acceptable, which are outlined in the book Simply Keto: A Practical Approach to Health & Weight Loss by Suzanne Ryan. It is always a good practice to talk to your doctor before beginning a new diet. There are a wide variety of foods and snacks that will still be available on this diet. In light of the popularity of the Keto diet, there are a wide variety of helpful guides for Keto Beginners.
The Do's and Don't of Keto.
Do: Keep a balanced diet that includes foods from the primary food groups. Fruits, vegetables, proteins, dairy, and even carbohydrates all have benefits for the body; therefore, your body needs a wide variety of foods to maximize your health.
Don’t: Remove all carbs from your diet because carbohydrates are the body’s primary source of energy. Carbs are also a good source of fiber. Reid Health said, “a carbohydrate-deficient diet may cause headaches fatigue weakness difficulty concentrating nausea constipation bad breath and vitamin and mineral deficiencies.[ii]”
Do: Take a carbohydrate supplement while on a diet to avoid developing a carbohydrate deficiency. Carbohydrates are needed when exercising since they provide glucose that is stored in your muscles. They are also beneficial within a diet.
Don’t: Try the diet if without speaking to your doctor about it first if you have other health conditions such as heart disease or diabetes.[iii] Since the diet has a risk that could potentially affect your current condition, it is always best to ask for an expect’s opinion. Please review the risk section for more information about the disadvantages of the diet.
Do: Exercise, stay active, and drink a lot of water to go along with dieting. Dieting alone will not produce results as quickly as dieting and exercising together.
Don’t: The diet is high in fat, but that does not mean you should eat unhealthy fatty foods. There are proteins like fish and dairy products that are high in fat, rather than unhealthy foods.
Long-term effects of Keto: Risk & Benefits
“The keto diet is primarily used to help reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures in children. While the Keto is tried for weight loss, only short-term results have been studied, and the results have been mixed. We don't know if it works in the long term, nor whether it's safe,” said dietitian Kathy McManus, director of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital. There is not any research to determine the long term effects of the diet. Some other risks include liver problems, kidney problems, constipation, fuzzy thinking, headaches, fatigue, bad breath, skin rash, and weakness.[iv].
The most prevalent benefit is rapid weight loss. Focusing on eating healthier options could increase your overall health. Other benefits include an increase in muscle mass, blood pressure improvements, and a decrease in hunger. Research from the Cleveland Clinic has also suggested that the diet can improve Alzheimer's disease and autism. Research has proven that the keto diet has positive short-term effects for up to two years of use.
Keto and Me?
Now that I laid out the facts of Keto, what do I think you ask? I always promote a well-balanced diet. The Keto diet is the best diet choice for me, as an athlete, I need carbs for energy, so I choose to eat most of my daily carbohydrates before a workout. I choose carbs like oatmeal and rice cakes to make up my daily intake; these are slow-acting carbs, so these carbs help give me long-lasting energy needed during my training. Since there isn't a lot of long-term research on Keto, it is hard to find evidence to support my thoughts on Keto. I usually do not recommend Keto to my female clients as a long term lifestyle change, for a short term change in eating habits and to try to eliminate certain foods from your diet is excellent. However, the amount of fat intake will slow metabolism and have reverse effects on female clients as they age
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