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Keto / Low-Carb Diet – What’s the deal?

So you’ve seen all of the hype in the fitness industry surrounding keto diets and you want to know what’s up?

Well, I’ve done some digging and I can honestly say it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. As always, there are pro’s and con’s to any diet but from my understanding, the con’s far outweigh the benefits.

What is the Keto Diet

The Ketogenic (Keto) Diet is essentially high-fat diet with adequate protein and a restriction on carbohydrates. It was introduced by doctors to treat young children with epilepsy which was popular in the 1920’s. The diet was largely abandoned by most patients in favour of a new drug that hit the market which controlled the seizures. A variation of the diet later returned to pop culture with the introduction of the Atkins Diet.

The Ketogenic diet is now used to deplete the body of all carbohydrates and force the body to burn fat, that said, we should probably review the benefits and some of the disadvantages associated with the diet.

Ketogenic Benefits:

  • Lose weight quickly
  • Reduced blood sugar and insulin levels
  • Help control neural disorders

Ketogenic Disadvantages

  • Increased cholesterol levels
  • Lack of energy
  • Constipation
  • Weaker bones
  • Risk of stunted growth
  • Kidney stones
  • hypoglycaemia

If you are looking to lose weight using the Ketogenic Diet it’s important to note these benefits are only short-term because the body can take a few weeks to get used to using fat as the primary source of energy (reference).

Keto vs. Low-Fat

All of the evidence I have found suggests low-fat diets are far superior for sustained fat loss. The Ketogenic diet is not something I would recommend if you are looking to address your weight loss goals for longer than 1 month. Dr David Ludwig believes “Hall’s low-fat diet would imply a 13 kg greater body fat loss versus the higher-fat diet over a year”.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26278052#cm26278052_52957
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28537652
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28239404
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ketogenic_diet

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