One of the most popular dieting and health trends over the last year has no doubt been the controversial Keto diet that was arguably made popular by celebrities and Hollywood. Though not a new diet, the Keto (Ketogenic) diet, which was originally used as part of treatments in hospitals to individuals suffering from epilepsy, has now reportedly become one of the most popular ways to encourage weight loss. While researchers say the Ketogenic diet does a better job controlling metabolic syndrome and losing weight, Dietitian’s aren’t so sure.
The Keto diet is typically a strict programme that requires approximately 25-35 grams of net carbohydrates daily, which is the equivalent to just one apple. The remaining of the diet is made up of 5% protein and 70 to 80% calories. The purpose of the Keto diet? To train our bodies from using carbohydrates for fuel and to use burning Ketones instead.
The diet typically includes common foods like meats, eggs, processed meats, sausages, cheese, fish, nuts, butter, oils, seeds, and fibrous vegetables. It has gained a high level of backlash for how restrictive is has proven to be. Carbohydrates normally account for at least 50% of the typical diet. One of the main concerns from dieticians is that many individuals may tend to eat too much protein and poor-quality fats from processed foods, with very few fruits and vegetables. The diet has also had numerous warnings for consumers who may have health concerns like kidney disease, who would need to be cautious due to the risk of the Keto diet decreasing their condition. Additionally, some individuals have reported feeling tired and lethargic in the beginning, while some have reported bad breath, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and sleep problems.
So with that being said – Is the Ketogenic diet really more effective than a standard diet with exercise? Many dietician’s have expressed their concerns.
Researchers at Bethel University recently set out to discover if a sustained and controlled Ketogenic diet would decrease the weight, body mass index (BMI), and body fat mass of study individuals.
The study took place when researchers reportedly began by bringing together a group of 30 adults who had been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that occur at the same time. The conditions can include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waistline, and abnormal cholesterol levels.
The researchers then placed participants of the study into three different groups. The first participating group followed a sustained Ketogenic diet with zero exercise. The second participating group was instructed to follow a standard diet with zero exercise, and the third followed a standard diet with 30 minutes of exercise for three to five days each week. Each group followed the instructions for a total of 10 weeks before being accessed. After the 10 week period, the results showed that those in the Ketogenic group saw the best results for reduction of weight, body fat percentage, and BMI.
Though, even with the huge success of the Keto diet, researchers and dietician’s alike have both expressed that the diet may not be the healthiest for long periods of time, and may actually be more damaging if an individual is participating for longer than 10 weeks at a time due to the ketone excretion possibly increasing the pressure in the kidneys. Participating in the diet for long periods of time has also expressed concern for loss of muscle mass that is caused by relying on Ketones for fuel.
So if a short-term diet is something you’re looking for, the Keto diet might just be something you want to look into and experiment with. However, if you’re looking for a long-term, sustainable healthy diet, the typical healthy eating way and regular exercise is a method that researchers and dieticians alike have both agreed to be just as efficient as it always has been.