Month 1, Free
Keto Diet – Make an Informed Choice
Last Reviewed: 10/01/2022
Time To Read: 3mins
The ketogenic diet (or keto for short) is a very low carbohydrate, high fat diet that is similar to the Paleo diet and Atkins diet. The diet involves drastically cutting carbohydrates and replacing them with fat.
The keto diet forces your body into using a different type of fuel for energy. Instead of using glucose (sugar), which comes from carbohydrates (such as grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables), the keto diet relies on ketone bodies for energy (a type of energy that the liver produces from stored fat).
Burning fat might seem like a great way to lose weight but getting the liver to make ketone bodies is not easy. You need to deprive yourself of carbohydrates – usually fewer than 20-50 grams of carbohydrates a day (a medium sized banana has 27 grams of carbs).
What can I eat?
- Meat (red meat, steak, ham, sausage, bacon, chicken and turkey)
- Fatty fish (salmon, trout, tuna and mackerel)
- Butter and cream
- Nuts & seeds
- Healthy oils (for example, extra virgin olive oil)
- Low carb veges (mostly green veggies, tomatoes, onions, peppers etc)
- Condiments (salt, pepper, herbs and spices)
- Sugary foods (e.g. soda, fruit juice, smoothies, cake, ice cream, candy etc)
- Grains or starches (wheat-based products, rice, pasta, cereal etc)
- Fruit (all fruit except small portions of berries like strawberries)
- Beans or legumes (peas, kidney bean, lentils, chickpeas etc)
- Root vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips etc)
- Low fat or diet products
- Some condiments or sauces
- Unhealthy fats (like processed vegetable oils, mayonnaise)
- Often described as ‘keto flu’ – symptoms can include poor energy and mental function, increased hunger, sleep issues, nausea, digestive discomfort, decreased exercise performance.
- Bad breath
- Smelly urine
- It’s very high in saturated fat. There are lots of scientific studies that show high fat diets are linked with heart disease (stoke, heart attack, cardiovascular disease).
- Nutrient deficiency – because you are cutting so many grains, fruits and vegetables from your diet you may be at risk for many nutrient deficiencies (eg selenium, magnesium, phosphorus and vitamins B&C).
- Liver problems – because the liver has to metabolise so much fat, any existing liver conditions could be made worse.
- Kidney problems – due to the high protein intake in this diet, the kidneys could be overloaded.
- Constipation – due to the low fibre of the keto diet.
Are you interested in learning about plant-based nutrition? Or why the Keto diet is so bad for you? And how to keep weight off permanently?
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There is still no evidence to show that eating a keto diet long term will keep the weight off.
Despite people eating low carb, high protein and/or high fat diets for years, people are still gaining weight.
Bigger picture – Keto has a large number of nutritional risks associated with it. Think about how realistic this way of eating is going to be long term. Like forever. Remember, there are NO long-term studies that can show that Keto is beneficial for your health, or that it will keep the weight off long term. Recent scientific studies show that there is NO difference in terms of weight loss benefits between low fat or low carb diets. Remember, weight loss is never a quick fix – and that’s the problem. Everyone wants a new ‘diet’ or fast answer. There isn’t one.
Last point – how long did it take to get to your current weight?
We hope you will really think about this blog. If you are not achieving your health goals, we invite you to consider joining us in our global ambition to reduce obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
Michelle @ The Food Cruncher.
Astrup A, Larsen TM, Harper A. Atkins and other low-carbohydrate diets: hoax or an effective tool for weight loss? 2004. Lancet. 364:897-99.
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