The keto – high – calorie diet, with moderate protein and carbohydrate content – may well overshadow the paleo and Whole30 as a hot dieting trend in 2019.
The diet requires cutting major food groups, such as grains, legumes and dairy products, and sometimes cutting down some nutrient-rich vegetables. The idea is to get your body from burning carbohydrates to burn fat as fuel, in turn producing ketones, leading to ketosis.
Perhaps you've already seen #keto on your Instagram account – plates filled with steaks, bacon and avocado. Meal delivery companies also welcome keto consumers, like vegetarians or vegans, and even offer test strips to test your ketone levels.
But USC experts recommend caution when trying the trend.
Ninety percent of Americans have dieted and are asked why they are dieting – for health or for weight loss? – "The predominant solution is to lose weight," according to Dean Pinchas Cohen of the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology.
It is not surprising then that keto – a new approach to the Atkins diet – is popular because it causes weight loss, he said. But in the long run, the keto diet could be detrimental because eliminating carbohydrates increases health risks and mortality over time, Cohen said.
The ketogenic diet is usually prescribed by a dietitian. For example, Jessica Lowe, a ketogenic dietitian at the USC Keck School of Medicine, said she could prescribe it to a patient with epilepsy because research has shown she can help control seizures. . There is also a growing interest in whether a high-fat diet could help with brain damage or neurodegenerative disease, Lowe said. Lowe said it was important to consult a dietitian for people on a regular diet.
Is the keto diet safe: the main problem
"The main problem is that it is not nutritionally adequate," Lowe said. She often asks her patients to supplement her with fresh fruits and vegetables.
Otherwise, she added, "you are at risk of micronutrient deficiency".
Ssuking Cohen's concerns, Lowe explained that it was also difficult to determine the long-term impact of a keto diet on bone health.
Then there is the whole problem of ketosis.
"It is not dangerous. We simply do not understand the long-term impact of ketosis on long-term health, "Lowe said. "For some populations, especially those who suffer from persistent epilepsy and who are subject to a ketogenic diet, it is necessary to achieve ketosis."
Is the keto diet safe? Get results
Michael Goran, an obesity researcher at the Keck School of Medicine, said that you can achieve the same results as the keto diet without being so extreme. He advises his patients to remove added sugars – sodas, fruit juices, processed foods – and simple carbohydrates that metabolize faster to sugar and lack fiber.
"These are the main culprits that you should be concerned about eliminating from your diet," he said.
Lorraine Turcotte, a metabolism researcher at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, said that although it is less likely, a healthy long-term diet is the proven solution. She does not understand why people prefer "difficult dietary manipulations to say" I'm just going to eat moderately – a well-balanced diet, lots of fruits and vegetables. "
Maybe it's not as fun as jumping on a trend.
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