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KETO diet: Is it just hype or a new lifestyle?

Chances are you have a friend or family member who swears by KETO, or if you do not, then you have almost certainly heard of countless celebrities who follow the diet religiously.

KETO has become more than a diet today, it is a lifestyle. Many restaurants offer extensive keto options on their menus, with Skinnys Bar and Grill in Bondi being Australia’s first KETO CAFE! Everything on the menu is low in carbohydrates, gluten free and sugar free. That sounds good, does it?

In good time before you hop in your car and hurry to Bondi to grab a ‘carb-free’ cheeseburger, let’s see if the KETO hype stands up to science.

KETO diet

So what is KETO? KETO stands for ketogen. A ketogenic diet involves consuming as few carbohydrates as possible, so the body is forced into a state of being called ‘ketosis’. In essence, it means that it burns the body fat stores rather than carbohydrates a human uses daily.

Dr. Marcelo Campos of Harvard Medical School explains it this way: “Most cells prefer to use carbohydrates that come from carbohydrates as the body’s main source of energy. In the absence of circulating blood sugar from food, we begin to break down stored fat into molecules called ketone bodies (this process is called ketosis).

“When you reach ketosis, most cells use ketone bodies to generate energy until we start eating carbohydrates again. The shift from using circulating glucose to breaking down stored fat as an energy source usually occurs over two to four days of eating less than 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates a day.

“Remember that this is a very individualized process and some people need a more restricted diet to start producing enough ketones.

“Because it lacks carbohydrates, a ketogenic diet is rich in protein and fat. It typically includes lots of meat, eggs, processed meats, sausages, cheeses, fish, nuts, butter, oils, seeds and fibrous vegetables.


Because it’s so limiting, it’s really hard to follow in the long run. Carbohydrates usually account for at least 50% of the typical American diet.

“One of the main criticisms of this diet is that many people tend to eat too much protein and low quality fat from processed foods with very few fruits and vegetables. Patients with kidney disease should be careful because this diet can worsen their condition.

“Additionally, some patients may feel a little tired at first, while others may have bad breath, nausea, vomiting, constipation and sleep problems.”

Despite the recent hype, the ketogenic diet is nothing new. In medicine it has been used for almost 100 years for treatment drug-resistant epilepsy, especially in children.

In the 1970s, Dr. popularized Atkins his very low carb diet for weight loss that started with one much strict two weeks ketogenic phasee. This is where KETO craze began, and over the years, other fad diets incorporated a similar approach to weight loss.

Mediterranean diet

Now that we know what the ketogenic diet entails, let’s look at how safe it is for humans to follow.

According to Doctor Campos, “We have solid evidence that a ketogenic diet reduces seizures in children, sometimes as effectively as medication. Because of these neuroprotective effects, questions have been raised about the possible benefits of other brain diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, sleep disorders, autism and even brain cancer.

However, there are no human studies that support the recommendation of ketosis for the treatment of these conditions. ”

According to world-leading low-carb diet blogger and podcaster Jimmy Moore, author of ‘Keto Clarity’, the ketogenic diet seems to be quite beneficial for the effective treatment of a number of other health conditions, including metabolic syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), irritable bowel syndrome ( IBS), heartburn (GERD), non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), type 2 diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.

On the topic of Type 2 diabetes, Halle Berry began speaking in support of the keto diet in 2017. She explained in an appearance on Live with Kelly and Ryan that she is a good candidate for diet because she is diabetic.

Halle also spoke People about KETO. “I eat healthy fats all day long, avocado, oil, coconut oil and use butter, but have no sugar. So when your body is trained to burn fat, it is constantly in a state of fat burning – that’s the secret, ”she noted.

A ketogenic diet has also been shown to improve blood sugar control for patients with type 2 diabetes, at least in the short term. However, there are many controversies when doctors have considered the effects of KETO on cholesterol levels.

A few studies show that some patients initially have an increase in cholesterol levels, only to see cholesterol drop a a few months later. But there is no long-term research Analyze its effects over time on diabetes and high cholesterol, at least right now.

Back to Mrs. Bond in a minute. Berries are just one of many celebrities who swear by the KETO diet to help them fight health conditions naturally, with others apparently swearing by the diet to stay slim and trim.


It seems that weight loss is the primary reason why many people use the ketogenic diet. Previous studies show good evidence for faster weight loss when patients go on a ketogenic or very low carbohydrate diet compared to participants on a more traditional low fat diet or even a Mediterranean diet.

However, this difference in weight loss seems to disappear over time, as KETO’s lifestyle is difficult to sustain in the long run. And this is where we hit a crossroads.

If you want to lose weight, the quickest way to lose weight is often taken without much thought about long-term effects or advice from a doctor or dietitian about ‘proper eating’.

KETO is often promised to ‘get you slim faster’, as low-carbohydrate diets are famous for rapid fat reduction. The person will often lose a significant amount of weight on KETO and then go back to their ‘normal’ way of eating. The weight comes back slowly and then we go on a diet again; usually even more limited than the first time. It is often much harder to lose weight a second time on a diet, and every time we restrict our bodies severely, our metabolism becomes under a lot of stress. This process is called ‘yo-yo’ dieting and can be harmful in the long run.

Studies have shown that most people who participate in the KETO diet end up gaining weight back faster than those who follow other restrictive diets. Why? First, metabolic needs are largely based on body composition. Muscle uses more energy than fat, and thus higher muscle mass means higher calorie requirements.

Leading dietitian and nutritionist Emily Baum explains the KETO ‘yo-yo’ diet in this way:

‘Fast weight loss often means losing muscle mass, not just fat loss. Most, if not ALL, FAT diets are typically not sustainable, so once your “diet is over”, your body composition is now completely different than before. You now have less muscle, which means you now have to consume fewer calories than before your diet to maintain your new weight. People then resume their “normal” eating patterns and gain weight very quickly. This causes people to blame “carbohydrates” or the food group they eliminated. In fact, you changed your body composition, and thus your calorie needs have changed ‘. This is where KETO can potentially become dangerous.

So is eliminating carbs the key?

It seems that the KETO diet is unsustainable in the long run; therefore, there are no long-term studies supporting that a keto diet is “healthy,” especially to lose weight or lower morbidity.

So what can we take away from all this?

If you do not have a pre-existing health condition (mentioned above) or have not been advised to eat KETO by a doctor, specialist or dietitian, it may be the answer to optimal health, longevity and a traditional Mediterranean weight loss diet that stays off.

This way of eating combines a good combination of healthy fats and healthy, complex carbohydrates. By including a larger food group, this ensures that cravings are kept in check, while giving you all the nutrients you need to feel full and happy.

So what are you waiting for! Let’s get to cooking them gemista (stuffed peppers) and fried lamb with Greek salad. Happy healthy carb consuming!

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