The Keto Diet is the latest in a long line of low carb diets that have become popular over the last few decades. Many of them have faded in popularity, including Atkins and the South Beach Diet. It seems there is always another to take their place. We wanted to look more deeply into the Keto Diet and see if it was different.
Merriam-Webster’s Medical Dictionary define ketosis as: a diet supplying a large amount of fat and minimal amounts of carbohydrate and protein and used especially formerly in epilepsy to produce a ketosis and alter the degree of bodily alkalinity.
The concept of low carbs has been around a long time, but primarily as a weight loss tool.
What Cutting Out the Carbs Does
The Keto Diet is not only used for weight loss. Specific health issues can be aided with Keto. When you ingest carbs, your body produces insulin and glucose. Because glucose is the simpler for your body to convert to energy, your system will choose glucose over all other energy sources. And when you produce more glucose, more insulin is produced to process the glucose in your system.
While this is happening, the fats in your body are not being converted to energy, and are instead stored. If you lower the intake of carbs, thereby lowering your production of glucose, your body reaches a state of ketosis, producing ketones from the fats in your liver being broken down. By eliminating carbs and forcing your body into ketosis, your metabolism ramps up, thus the weight loss.
Are There Drawbacks?
One issue with the keto diet is that it works quickly in the short term, but a lot of the weight loss is water weight. It’s more difficult to maintain over the long term. And, as with anything when taken to extremes, the keto diet can cause issues.
While in “ketosis,” your body begins to lose muscle (which is one reason athletes shy away). Fatigue can be common, and, when you remain on the keto diet for an extreme length of time, you can actually end up in starvation mode. If you have kidney or liver issues, you should be careful with this diet. If you are going to try it, it is best to consult nutritionist or medical doctor to make sure that it is right for you.
Blinten, who has used a keto diet for some cancer patients in specific circumstances, cautioned, “people will do anything to get the weight off.” However, a keto diet will do more harm than good for the majority of patients, especially if they have any underlying kidney or liver issues.
“People are using this for cosmetic reasons, but it’s so extreme that it’s dangerous,” she said.