Washington: The Ketogenic or the “Keto” diet is often touted as a sure shot fix for all your weight loss issues while at the same time it is dismissed as a fad by many. Those who wish to give it a try, need to clearly understand what they are getting themselves into and whether such a drastic change in eating habits can be executed in a sustainable and safe manner.
According to USA Today, the ketogenic diet involves consuming a low carbohydrate, high fat and high protein diet. Out of the total daily caloric intake, nearly 70% to 80% comes from fat, 20% from protein and the remaining 5% or so are derived from carbohydrates.
The carbohydrate deprivation pushes the body into ketosis, which is a state where fat becomes its primary fuel source. Despite its ability to cause rapid weight loss, this dieting approach doesn’t find many supporters among medical professionals. The Keto diet is usually not recommended by doctors for the reason that it excludes a wide array of essential food groups that are imperative for optimal health, such as grains, fruits and some vegetables. Medical professionals caution people to be aware of the difference between weight loss and overall health.
Jeffrey Mechanick a medical director at Mount Sinai Heart’s Marie-Josee and Henry R. Kravis Center for Clinical Cardiovascular Health stated to USA Today, “I wouldn’t recommend the keto diet to anybody.”
Vasanti Malik, an adjunct assistant professor of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, expressed her concern regarding this extreme system of eating. “You want to be mindful because these foods — whole grains, fruits and vegetables —
carry a number of benef-icial nutrients — vitamins, polyphenols, fibre — that have been shown time and time again to be beneficial for cardiometabolic health,” Malik told USA Today.
According to Mechanick, depletion of carbohydrates compels the body to scavenge upon its fat and muscle tissue to keep everything up and running. “In theory, the Keto diet basically mimics starvation. If you don’t eat carbohydrates but you eat an excessive amount of fat and protein, you’re still going to waste tissue. The tissue is still going to burn off,” explained Mechanick.
Fad diets such as keto also lead to weight rebound issues with people who are not able to stick to them after losing weight.
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