Short for the ‘ketogenic diet’, the keto diet is an extremely low-carb and high fat diet. The rapid weight loss it causes has made it one of the most popular diets in the world for several years. The name comes from ketosis, which is when the body enters a state of burning fat instead of carbohydrates.
However, the diet appears to be losing popularity. It was placed quite low on the rankings of the 2019 best overall diet and new research suggests it’s not as healthy as we used to think.
Increased blood pressure. A new study from Georgia, U.S. found that rats placed on the diet for a month experienced increased blood pressure. The rats gained 36 percent of their calories from fat, compared to 7.5 percent on a regular diet.
Missing out nutrients. Eliminating high-carb foods risks avoiding certain fruits and vegetables (e.g. potatoes, carrots, bananas) which are a good source of fibre and essential nutrients. Restricting food groups can also create an unhealthy relationship with food.
Reduced hydration. The ketogenic diet can cause dehydration which puts people at risk of losing the important electrolytes magnesium, calcium and potassium. For this reason, it’s important to drink plenty of water whilst on the diet.
‘Keto flu’. These are side effects of your body entering ketosis and may include tiredness, dizziness, poor sleep, constipation and difficulty with exercise.
The short-term effects of the keto diet involve rapid weight loss. Hence its popularity. But experts are uncertain how keto affects the whole body over a longer period of time. If you’re concerned, it might be worth trying a different diet.
The increasingly popular DASH diet is definitely worth a try. It could help lower blood pressure and boosts heart health, and has been voted the best overall diet by U.S News for 8 years running.
Eating a Mediterranean-style diet is another winner. Plus, it’s delicious and easy to eat Med-style. This easy vegetarian lasagne is brimming with healthy veg, and the deliciously nutritious avocado can feature more regularly in your diet.
Whatever diet you choose, combine it with regular gym workouts – that’s something you can’t ever go wrong with!
The Keto diet is an amazing lifestyle change if it can work for you. The reason I say can depends on a number of circumstances. I'm not on a keto diet at the moment although I am attempting a low carb diet. Perhaps my age is against me but possibly that I am Autistic and with it comes a lot of sensitvity and mental challenges that can prevent any diet succeeding. For many years I have had a sweet tooth and being in control has been a challenge. However at the beginning of last year I sustained a sugar free and Keto diet for six weeks persevering while in Ketosis with major side affects during the first two weeks, namely chronic constipation. Whereas other I know have not had this effect. I was also in a place where I was working from home and not travelling. Also the success of a keto diet may rely on how balanced you are in your personal life and any life challenges you may have just like I do. Amonst my many years of eating the wrong foods I have intolerances and am presently undergoing blood tests to find out what they are? I find that when I am out ant about I might end up eating a sandwich which is not exactly what I want to eat because it is not Keto friendly but I have to weigh in what else I can or cannot eat. I cant eat raw vegetables because my digestive system doesnt like it and I am not certain whether Im gluten intolerant. It comes down to how much energy I need and whether I can make it through the day sometimes with Brain fog another bi-product of Ketosis. Hope this helps
Isn't this diet basically a modern version of the Atkins diet? That was discredited, now this one will soon will be too. Just eat healthy plant-based food!
I know people who swear that the keto diet 'works every time'. But if it worked, surely they would only need it once?
My partner has done the keto diet and found it great for losing weight, But she did feel quite lethargic on it, and personally it doesn't seem very natural to me.