healthy eating

Should you try the Keto diet?

Renee Ticzon
Should you try the Keto diet?
We look into one of the most popular diet trends and what it actually does to your body

“Eat anything you want and get results! Your favorite food can help you lose weight!”

You’ve probably heard this a lot from beauty vloggers, “fitness influencers,” or anybody who has tried the Keto diet. They often claim that you can eat anything – from lechon to crispy pata – every single day and still lose weight.

Then you think, how can someone eat the unhealthiest types of food considerably and still slim down?

Keto 101

The ketogenic diet is one of the most popular diet trends to date. Keto involves significantly reducing your carbohydrate intake while increasing the levels of fat consumed. It means cutting rice and noodles absolutely from your diet and getting to eat those fatty snacks you have been avoiding.

Though Keto has gained much buzz these days, its origin goes back to the early 1920s, when doctors created a diet for epileptic patients to control their seizures.

Keto only started to become a lifestyle diet when social media influencers claimed that the diet has aided their weight loss and produced noticeable results. Since then, it has been one of the go-to diets for many who claim that it is quick to achieve significant visible results.

The downside of Keto

Unfortunately, not many people know why this diet produces fast results in the first place. By cutting out carbohydrates in your diet, you limit the water your body stores since carbohydrates absorb a lot of water.

Naturally, this means that you will feel lighter, but the pounds lost during the diet is just from water weight and not necessarily from fat. (READ: Understanding food for fat loss)

So yes, you will be seeing some results, but are these the ideal results?

Registered nutritionist and dietitian Vino Orajay warns against diets similar to the ketogenic diet. “Any diet that requires you to remove a certain food group is a fad diet,” he said.

First off, Keto requires you to reduce or altogether remove carbohydrates in your daily meals significantly. This is already extremely difficult for many since the typical Filipino diet includes 50-60% carbohydrates. 

The limited food options could also lead to vitamin and mineral deficiency and a reduced intake of other water-soluble vitamins found in both fruits and vegetables.

It will be harder, too, to get enough fiber, which often comes from carbohydrates, leading to different digestive problems like constipation and bloating.

Moreover, people who do Keto are more prone to experiencing “yoyo” weight loss – or when a person loses weight at the beginning of the diet but gains more than their starting weight once they start experiencing cravings and shift back to their regular diet.

If done long-term, the American College of Cardiology warns against more severe side effects such as an increased risk for chronic diseases, stroke, and cardiovascular diseases, including common heart rhythm disorders or heart failure.

Lastly, there is a tendency to overlook what type of fat they are consuming. (READ: Weight or body fat: What do you really want to lose?)

A common misconception is that any food high in fat is part of the diet when, in reality, its focus should be consuming good fat. This would include healthy oil like olive and sesame, fruits high in fat like avocado, and fatty fish rich in Omega-3.

Overall, the ketogenic diet may not be the ideal diet shift for everyone. Though it may be enticing, the truth is that it does not promote the consumption of balanced meals, which is key to staying healthy in the long run. 

Moreso, going Keto may mean sacrificing your health and well-being to get quick results that will, unfortunately, not last. 

No shortcuts

In the end, you must follow a diet that will suit your lifestyle. Instead of constantly punishing yourself by limiting the intake of your favorite food, think long term and focus on creating a lifestyle that is both healthy and sustainable.

The UK National Health Service recommends that you eat a variety of fruit and vegetables daily, include high fiber starchy food like rice, noodles and bread, eat different sources of protein, and drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. 

This is not to say that other types of food are unhealthy such as those that are high in fat, salt, and sugar; rather, you should just be more cautious of the amount and frequency they consume these types of food. –

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