ARE KETO DIETS SUSTAINABLE?
What exactly is the Keto diet? The Keto diet has been very trendy the last few years . The Ketogenic diet is designed to help you lose weight and fat within the body by eating mostly fat, some protein, and very little carbs. The premise is “eat fat to lose fat “ . The goal of the diet is to create a state of ketosis in your body. The purpose of ketosis is to give the body the support it needs in order to actually burn off fats. Ketones will be produced when the body does not have the carbohydrates it needs in order to convert sugar into energy. Ketones are produced after fats are broken down in the liver. Sticking with the Keto Diet sets your body up for burning fat for energy instead of sugar, once you sustain this state of ketosis .
The diet promotes itself as being best for those that are very overweight. They claim that if you follow the specific plan of your daily intake coming from 70% fats, 25 % protein, and 5% carbohydrates, you will find success and lose weight. If you are someone that is always battling the same 10 -20 pounds, Keto will not magically help you shed the weight. In cases like this, the advice is to track your food and portions carefully to find the right percentage of macro nutrients for you. In terms of exact formulas regarding calories, protein and fat percentages, opinions are all over the place . Some “Keto“ experts insist that as long as you eat mostly fats, some protein, and no more than 50-100 grams of carbs in a day, you will be successful, while others claim that exact portions are necessary when dealing with lower weight challenges.
Most saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats seem acceptable on a Keto diet, but please avoid the polyunsaturated fat in margarines. All proteins make the cut including dairy. Choosing the proteins with higher fat content are obviously preferred along with those that have a lower protein count. A good example of that is choosing dark poultry meat over white as the dark has more fat, but less protein. When it comes to choosing carbs, the higher carb vegetables like potatoes, onion, garlic, squash, mushrooms are limited along with night shades like eggplant, tomatoes, and peppers. Fruits with a higher carb count are raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and bananas and best be limited or avoided completely .
To get more healthy fat into your diet, try drizzling some olive oil on your cooked or fresh vegetables, cooking your meats in coconut oil and adding nut butters as healthy snacks instead of nuts themselves as they are easier to digest. Scrambling or frying your eggs with coconut oil and adding a side of avocado makes for a super healthy fat meal.
Here is a link to some nice keto recipes: https://www.ruled.me/keto-recipes/
As with any diet, when you make drastic changes and avoid certain foods that contribute to weight gain, you certainly have positive results. But I do not see this as sustainable. Whether the Keto diet is beneficial or harmful is up for discussion. The more people you ask, the more confused you will get as everyone will have something different to say.
As a naturopath, I am not a fan of any diet. It has been my experience that everyone is different and may have adverse reactions to eliminating certain food groups and exaggerating others. When you consume high fat in general, you must make sure that your liver can handle the digestives processes that take place. The liver is what I call the boss of digestion so we need to make sure that it is in top shape before adding more work to this organ .
My advice is to check in with your health care practitioner before starting this or any other trending diet.