What is The Keto Diet and Is It Effective?

What is The Keto Diet and Is It Effective?
Photo by Jennifer Burk on Unsplash

The ketogenic diet, or keto diet for short, is a diet that seems to have taken over the millennial generation. But is it safe or effective? We help you break it down.

What is Ketosis?

The basis of the diet is to eat more fat and less carbs. The thought behind it is, if you eat fewer carbs, your body will burn through them faster and will have to start breaking down fat in your body for energy, since your body’s preferred fuel source are carbs. When this happens, your body goes into ketosis.

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When you deprive your body of carbohydrates (carbs), you’re limiting your body’s glycogen. When this happens, your body will need to find another fuel source. This transition is a metabolic state called ketosis, where it converts fat into ketones as its new fuel source. Ketones are byproducts of the body breaking down fat for energy.

How Do You Follow A Keto Diet?

For many, the keto diet can be very restrictive. Most dieters eat mostly meat, healthy fats and non-starchy vegetables. This can include fats like olive oil, coconut oil, and avocados, proteins like poultry, eggs and fish, and non-starchy vegetables like leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower).

On the keto diet, many eat these foods very sparingly – full-fat dairy (milk, cheese, yogut), medium-starchy vegetables (carrots, beets, potatoes), legumes (beans, lentils), nuts and seeds, and fruits (berries, bananas and melons).

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And almost all keto dieters avoid these foods completely – sugar (honey, agave, maple syrup), grains (wheat, oats, rice, corn), foods made with flour (breads, pastas), and processed foods.

Is The Diet Safe and Effective?

In a small study, published in February 2018 in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism, 12 obese people followed an adjusted version of the popular ketogenic diet that was very low in calories for about two to three months, and lost about 45 pounds each – and kept the weight off after increasing their calorie intake one to two months later.

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Additionally, according to Marcelo Campos, MD, contributor for Harvard Medical School’s online blog, “Previous research shows good evidence of faster weight loss when patients go on a ketogenic or very low carbohydrate 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. A ketogenic diet can has also been shown to improve blood sugar control for patients with type 2 diabetes, at least in the short term. There is even more controversy when we consider the effect on cholesterol levels. A few studies show some patients have increase in cholesterol levels in the beginning, only to see cholesterol fall a few months later. However, there is no long-term research analyzing its effects over time on diabetes and high cholesterol.”

Speak with your doctor or a certified nutritionist before making any major dietary changes. Get a free consultation with InVite® Health’s certified nutritionists today!

What do you think about the keto diet? Leave us a comment below to join the discussion!


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