The ketogenic diet rose in popularity last year as a quick trick to lose weight fast.
While the diet has proven short-term benefits in terms of weight loss and even blood pressure management, the strict guidelines the diet requires makes some health professionals question its long-term viability.
Patti Kuniak has been a lifestyle coach for Butler Health System for four and a half years. She explained that the high-fat, low-carb keto diet is much more intense than most people realize.
There is no standard keto diet, Kuniak explained. It is low carb, high fat and moderate in protein, which is different than something like the Adkins diet that is low carb and high protein.
Theres a lot of leeway with what is low-carb. That could be anywhere from 20 grams for the most serious people to 50 grams of carbs per day.
Kuniak said the typical American diet includes seven teaspoons of added sugar a day. That in it of itself would be 70 grams of carbs, more than what is allowed in the keto diet.
It is so extremely different than the typical American diet, Kuniak said.
The goal of the keto diet is for the body to enter a state of ketosis, in which fat is converted into ketons, which are used for fuel. Kuniak explained that the body usually uses glucose for fuel but switches to ketons when there is no glucose available.
Youre going to melt the pounds off if you truly go into ketosis, Kuniak said. It can really work, but you need to do it right, and you need to work with a doctor.
Kuniak said she does not personally teach the keto diet, and advises anyone interested in it to consult their doctor and to work with a dietitian to meal plan for it. She said a doctor is especially needed if a person is on any sort of medication that might need to be altered based on significant weight loss.
Kuniak said the short-term effects of the keto diet can be beneficial, but maintained that the diet is difficult to continue for more than a month or two, and there are a lot of unknowns about possible long-term side effects.
You need to look at transitioning to a carb-controlled, long-term eating plan, Kuniak said. Healthy eating plans include some healthy foods that are eliminated in the keto diet.
In the long term, Kuniak said the positive effects of the keto diet are not significant;y different than more conventional eating plans. But negative effects could include things like an increased risk of kidney stones, low blood sugar and nutrient deficiencies.
U.S. New and World Report rated the keto diet as the fourth-best fast weight loss diet, tied for 15th for best overall weight loss diet, 27th for diabetes diets and 39th for healthy eating diets.
Kuniak explained that the keto diet was originally developed in the 1920s and 30s as a way to control seizures in people with epilepsy. The diet has become more popular recently because of the short-term markers, including fast weight loss.
Kuniak said she opts to teach the volumetric diet.
According to WebMD, volumetrics is a diet created by Dr. Barbara Rolls. Unlike diets that are based on deprivation, the volumetrics approach helps people find healthy foods that they can eat lots of while still losingweight.
Weight-lossgoals are achieved by meeting daily calorie goals and daily steps goals forexercise and losing weight by feeling full on fewer calories.
Kuniak said the important thing to remember is that the decision to begin any diet should include consultation with ones physician and also a dietitian, if needed.