What is Keto diet?
The high-fat, moderate-protein and low-carb ketogenic diet is among the most popular weight loss methods. Recently, after an actor passed away, her family claimed the keto diet damaged her kidneys.
The ketogenic diet is one of the most popular weight loss diets the world over. It is a high-fat, moderate-protein and low-carb diet that helps in weight loss by achieving ketosis — a metabolic state where the liver burns body fat and provides fuel for the body, as there is limited access to glucose.
What constitutes a keto diet?
A classic keto requires that 90 per cent of a person’s calories come from fat, six per cent from protein and four per cent from carbs. “But there are many versions doing the round, since this one was designed for children suffering from epilepsy to gain control over their seizures. Typically, popular ketogenic diets suggest an average of 70-80 per cent fat, 5-10 per cent carbohydrate, and 10-20 per cent protein,” explains nutritionist Ruchi Sharma, founder of EAT.FIT.REPEAT.
What are the food items that make the keto diet?
One can have eggs, chicken and turkey in poultry, fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, full-fat dairy, nuts and seeds like Macadamia nuts, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, peanuts and flaxseeds.
There is also nut butter like natural peanut, almond and cashew butters. It also consists of healthy fats like coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, coconut butter and sesame oil. There are Avocados, and non-starchy vegetables like the greens, broccoli, tomatoes, mushrooms and peppers.
Why is it so popular?
Because it has turned out to be one of the quickest ways of losing weight. In the first few days after starting the diet, one experiences a significant loss of water weight, and to the average person, the diet appears to be working, says Sharma.
“Everyone these days is looking for quick fixes. Many have failed on conventional diets, and want something extreme. Like with most fad diets, you can quickly lose weight on keto, but it is hard to maintain as the compliance is very low,” says Sharma.
How is keto different from a low-carb diet?
Most of the modern weight loss diets are low on carbohydrates, but the distinction there is that some of them are low only in refined carbohydrates, and high in protein.
But in keto, the carbs are below 10 per cent, which discourages you from having fruits and vegetables, says Dr Mithal. “When following a low carb diet, it’s common to increase your intake of protein, healthy fats, and vegetables to replace the carbs and promote fullness. By restricting carbs, you eliminate many high calorie foods from your diet. All these factors may work together to reduce your overall calorie intake and promote weight loss.”
A low-carb diet has been linked to several health benefits in people with diabetes, including weight loss and improved blood sugar control and cardiovascular risk factors. Whereas when following a keto diet, the goal is to reach nutritional ketosis. “This is achieved by consuming fewer than 50 grams of carbs per day while keeping protein intake moderate and increasing fat intake drastically,” explains Sharma.