The Keto Diet is the current fad diet for everyone and anyone who wants to lose weight quickly. It is highly touted and of course promises dramatic weight loss in a short time. It sounds too good to be true for those who eagerly want to easily take off pounds of excess fat. Is it too good to be true? We think it is and we will tell you why.
First some basics. What is ketosis? We do not want you to get lost in the chemistry of metabolism. So here is a simple answer.
Simply put ketosis is a term that describes what happens to the chemistry of the body when the body is forced to use substances other than glucose to run its metabolic engine. To make this complicated chemical process simple let’s use the illustration of an old fashioned locomotive that uses coal to heat its boiler. In an emergency if the engineer runs out of coal to feed the furnace he can burn wood in order to get to his destination. It may not be as efficient and the engine may smoke more, but hopefully it will get the train to the next stop.
Now the body prefers to run its engine on glucose that is derived from the food we eat, but if there is no glucose available as is the case of starvation or the Keto diet it will burn ketones for energy. Starve your body and it will metabolize some of your muscle for energy and it will metabolize some of your fat for energy. Fats are broken down into substances called ketones. When this happens the medical term is that you are in a state of ketosis. It is really a state of starvation.
Historically, inducing the metabolic state of ketosis was used in the 1920s to treat children with seizure disorders. Outside of this use physicians did not want to starve patients into ketosis until Doctor Atkins utilized some of the principles of inducing ketosis with his popular Atkins Diet. People on the diet did lose weight as long as they were on the diet; however, the diet was very strict and dieters quickly gained the weight back when they went off of the diet and resumed to their normal eating habits.
To achieve ketosis, a typical Keto diet requires that you get 75 percent of your calories from fat, compared to 20-35 percent normally. It also allows you a very small amount of carbohydrate about 20-50 grams per day, and 15 percent of your calories from protein. Once you go on the diet on the average it takes about 72 hours for ketosis to kick in.
Most Keto diets consists of eating foods like fatty fish, eggs, dairy, meat, butter, oils, nuts, seeds and low-carb vegetables. A Keto diet may result in weight loss and lower blood sugar, but it’s a quick fix. More often than not, it’s not sustainable. Once you go off of it unless you have modified your eating habits you will gain back the weight that you lost and probably a little more.
There are numerous possible medical complications of a Keto diet. They can include low blood pressure, kidney stones, constipation, nutrient deficiencies and an increased risk of heart disease. A Keto diet is not safe for those with most conditions involving their pancreas, liver, thyroid or gallbladder.
Someone new to the Keto diet can also experience what’s called the “Keto flu” with symptoms like upset stomach, dizziness, decreased energy, and mood swings caused by your body adapting to ketosis.
The diet restricts fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low fat dairy that can help with long term weight loss and overall health. If there is a redeeming benefit of a Keto diet it may help break the addiction to sugar that is responsible for most of the obesity in this country.
We have written extensively about the sugar monster that is thriving n this country by the millions who subsist on the SAD diet (the Standard American Diet}.The sugar monster may be out matched when he grapples with the Keto demon.
Nevertheless we do not recommend the Keto Diet. It is a quick fix not a permanent fix. Rather than taking what you think is the easy way out to lose weight, look at one of our books such as “Live Longer Live Healthier”. We discuss nutrition and healthy eating. We present a simple easy to follow program that will gently guide you on a path to better health, more vitality and peace of mind. We will help you change your harmful habits and you will lose weight. Furthermore you will keep the weight off.
Try it. We guarantee you will like it.