The Keto diet has been a new trend in the dieting world, due to fast weight loss that most people experience. But, what exactly is the Keto Diet?
“It’s a low carbohydrate, high fat diet, with a moderate amount of protein,” says Tatiana Pyper, a registered dietitian from Health Zone Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic.
But is cutting carbs out of your diet completely, or almost completely, as good for your body as it seems? Your body likes to use carbohydrates for energy, but eventually through this diet, it forces your body to start using fats as your energy source. This is beneficial when it comes to losing weight, short term, but do dietitians recommend doing this as a long term diet?
“I would definitely not recommend the Ketogenic diet to be followed long term,” Pyper explains, “just because it will be nutritionally inadequate, with a lot of nutritional deficiencies from not consuming grains, and many side effects.”
Samantha Gianotti, a registered dietitian from Western University, agrees with the long term consequences of this diet.
“Research does show that long term, this Keto diet won’t provide any better weight loss solution than just a healthy, general, well-balanced diet.”
Gianotti adds that many people are unable to stick with this diet due to how many common and healthy foods you have to cut out of your daily diet.
“Foods that contain carbohydrates, like a lot of grain products.” Gianotti says. “Things like bread, pasta, rice, but also many dairy products. Fruits are a big one, and some vegetables. So the Keto diet would really restrict a lot of those carbohydrates.”
She explains that if you were going to eat carbs that day, which would mean only being able to half of a piece of bread. She adds that a lot of foods you’re left with tend to be animal based products, like a lot of meats, and even saturated fats which are not healthy.
So what could this mean for those who are following through with this diet, and may even want to do this diet as a life-long journey?
“The more dangerous side effects following a Ketogenic diet for long term may be a decrease in nutritional status,” Tatiana Pyper begins, “like deficiencies in vitamin B. It can also increase the risk of kidney stones, and osteoporosis. You can also have potential gout.”
But these aren’t the only long term consequences of a Ketogenic diet.
“There are definitely higher risks of things like heart disease, or even kidney disease because the high amounts of protein can be hard on our kidneys long term.” Samantha Gianotti adds.
Both Pyper and Gianotti stated that before you decide to start any diet, Ketogenic or not, it’s important to visit a registered dietitian, as everyone’s bodies are completely different, and some diets may be unhealthy for one, but healthy for another individual.