Heuser Health


Keto Diet: Is it Worth the Hype?



Diet and exercise, the secret to losing weight… Not fake news. There are plenty of diets, fads and supplements that claim you will lose weight if you adhere to their program. Well… unfortunately a lot of these diets, fads and supplements are nonsense and do not work. If losing weight or sticking to a diet were easy, everyone would do it!

A very popular diet nowadays is the Keto Diet. Over the past couple years this diet has gained momentum as a weight loss tool, especially among athletes and celebrities. In short, the Keto diet is an extremely low carbohydrate, very high fat diet. The diet puts an emphasis on forcing the body into ketosis, which is a metabolic state where fat is the primary source of fuel, instead of carbohydrates. The idea behind the Keto diet is to change how your body uses energy. This is accomplished by the belief that burning more fat would in turn improve your ability to lose the excess fat in your body.

Matt Ruscigno researched the Keto Diet and published his results in a paper titled, “The Keto Diet: More Fad Than Long Term”. He found that, “Those who attempt the keto diet aren’t truly reaching ketosis because the amount of allowable carbohydrate is prohibitively low. All grains, pastas, breads, beans, sugar, sweeteners, starchy vegetables, and nearly all fruit are eliminated. Meats, full-fat dairy, eggs, leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, and oils are emphasized.” 

Ruscigno warned that many of the diet endorsers recommend a two-day fast as a way for the body to adjust to the changes in the way the body uses energy. This can in turn result in very low energy during this transitional period. As with any diet, there is always the risk for side effects. Ruscigno refers to the adverse effects of this particular diet as the keto flu, where he found that, “Bad breath, dry mouth, increased hunger, and excessive urination are potential side effects. Additionally, adherence to the diet is difficult, as eating out and social situations are impacted by the need for special foods.” 

Ultimately, Ruscigno found that, “Utilizing stored body fat as energy can lead to weight loss, though the long-term effects of eating extremely high-fat diets are unknown and go against current chronic disease prevention recommendations that emphasize plant foods that are eliminated here. Radically changing how your body processes energy is a health risk, and side effects could include digestive irregularities, muscle cramps, and nutrient deficiencies. Lastly, weight that was lost may return if carbohydrate consumption returns to normal.” 

If you are thinking about trying or are already on the keto diet, be cautious! Although there is evidence of weight loss, ultimately the long term effects of a high fat diet are unknown. There are also health risks and side effects that should be taken into account when deciding if this diet is right for you.

As more and more artificial and processed foods are put on the market, reading and understanding the nutritional labels are more confusing than ever! Foods that are marketed as healthy are in fact far from it. Thus it’s not surprising most of us don’t have a functional relationship with what we eat. Heuser Health fixes that through education. At Heuser Health we believe knowing your body is crucial to treating it well. Heuser Nutrition teaches the science of health: what works, what doesn’t and why. Our members make the right choices because they

understand the true outcomes — even down to the cellular level. Rather than a mindless system, we teach our members how various foods affect their bodies. Over time, members begin to see food as fuel for a healthy, vibrant life. Before trying another one of those fad or trendy diets, talk with a trainer or one of our physicians about what is right for you.

Information courtesy of https://www.perfectketo.com/what-is-the-ketogenic-diet/ and https://www.environmentalnutrition.com/issues/41_3/youshouldknow/The-Keto-Diet-More-Fadthan-Long-Term_153262-1.html

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