The Keto diet is all the rage right now. And just like all fad diets, this fad will eventually pass as well.
But, in the meantime, it’s important to know the risks of Keto. It’s also important to remind ourselves that the most effective long-term nutrition changes are the ones sustainable enough that we can keep them up for LIFE!
WHAT IS KETO?
The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb and high-fat diet. The idea behind this diet is when dieters drastically reduce carbs and replace them with fat, this puts dieters in a metabolic state called, “ketosis.” According to the diet, being in ketosis should aid in weight loss.
Here’s an example of the Keto Food Pyramid to illustrate which foods are banned on this diet and which foods are “allowed.”
Source: Big Think: https://bigthink.com/stephen-johnson/no-one-should-be-doing-the-ketogenic-diet-says-former-president-of-the-american-college-of-cardiology
THE PROBLEM WITH KETO
While people have lost weight on keto and tout its benefits, there are also many issues to consider before starting this diet.
The Keto diet can certainly be effective in weight loss. This is because participants create a negative energy balance. Of course, creating a negative energy balance (burning more calories than you consume) will lead to weight loss – no matter what diet you are on.
So, yes, you may lose on Keto, but that’s not the entire story.
PEER-REVIEWED SCIENTIFIC STUDIES LINK DIETS SUCH AS THESE TO HEART HEALTH ISSUES
You may see other scientific studies stating keto is healthy, but it’s crucial to understand studies you see published online are not created equal. They should not be given equal weight to other scientific studies.
The gold standard for citing whether “the science” of something can hold up long-term is looking at peer-reviewed studies. Peer-reviewed studies have long shown that diets lacking in fruits and vegetables, and high in saturated fat cause a problem for many with regards to heart health. Multiple studies link low-carbohydrate diets to an increased chance of death due to cardiovascular health.
CONSISTENCY, SATISFACTION & LONG-TERM ADHERENCE
My other concern with Keto, or any diet which consistency bans foods, is long-term adherence. You must stay satisfied without feeling like you are “white-knuckling” it through your nutrition program. If Keto works for you long term – great, continue it – but many people struggle with long-term adherence.
Just like all fad diets, this one will be gone eventually as well. Instead of trying the next fad diet, why not embrace long-term change. Choose a moderate diet, focused on nutrient-dense foods with occasional treats built in?
This key to developing YOUR long term eating plan is to find the one that will lead to a long, healthy, and most of all, happy life!