ketoMany people over the last few years have raved about “the keto diet”. But what is the “keto” diet? This diet is known for its low-carb intake and yes, you guessed it – used to lose weight by so many desperate Americans. We all want the quick fix, but losing weight should not be looked at as a quick and easy fix. Why? Well because, most “quick-fix” diets, like the keto diet, are incredibly hard to maintain and typically result with gaining the weight back and sometimes, more. The fluctuation of weight gain and weigh loss that occurs due to many fad-based diets is associated with increased mortality.

What is the keto diet?

Keto stands for ketosis and is defined by a metabolic process that your body does to keep working. When your body does not have enough carbohydrates from food to burn for energy, your body begins burning fat. This is when ketosis is induced. It sounds great! Burning fat. However, it is not that simple. One fact being that it is very hard to induce ketosis due to the strict dietary restrictions and the length of time it can take for your body to enter into ketosis. Many American’s diets are made up of 50% carbohydrates and changing your diet over night with such drastic parameters, can almost be impossible to maintain.

Beneficial or Dangerous?

The BIG Q. Is the keto diet safe? According to Dr. Campos with Harvard Health Publishing, “there is solid evidence showing that a ketogenic diet reduces seizures in children, sometimes as effectively as medicine.” There has been talk about patients with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease using this diet to help with side effects because of its neuroprotective effects, but there have been no human-based studies to support using ketosis to treat these diseases at this time. So, all in all, there are limited benefits of the keto diet regarding weight loss patients.

Yes, the keto diet may accelerate weight-loss by almost eliminating carbs, but like any other diets, it can create more harm than good. Due to the limited carbohydrates allowed while following ketosis, many people tend to bulk up on red meat and other salt-heavy foods that we all know for being notorious.

According to The United States Department of Agriculture, the best way to lose weight and maintain a healthy – yes – lifestyle – is to appropriately balance your diet with vegetables, fruits, grains, proteins and dairy.

How can I get started on a healthy life-style journey?

If you are looking for some tips to get started on your health journey, or maybe you are finding yourself plateauing and need some fresh ideas, check out MyPlate.gov’s Start with Small Changes by clicking the link. Of course, if you feel yours is more than proper food choices, always seek your physician for insight to your unique body makeup.