Another day, another time for the keto diet to trend on Google — this time, because there’s a new keto supplement that’s just been launched and it promises to send your body into ketosis.
If you’re sitting there wondering “what is the keto diet?” or “what is ketosis?”, we’ll break it down for you. And then we’ll break down exactly why you shouldn’t take part in it — one of the trending searches is: “Is the keto diet good for you?”.
According to Healthline, the keto diet is a “low carb, high-fat diet that offers many health benefits.” Essentially, you drastically reduce your carbohydrate intake and replace it with fat. With us so far?
Ketosis, then, is when your body metabolites fat for fuel — instead of the usual carbs or sugar. The result? Well, an influx of weight loss, essentially.
Now that we’ve covered the first two questions, let’s go onto the third. Is the keto diet good for you? Honestly, no.
The University of Chicago Medicine says it’s primarily used for children with epilepsy, mainly for those who are drug-resistant. Harvard School of Public Health says it’s been used and tested in “closely monitored settings” for cancer, diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, and Alzheimer’s. So unless you’re a child with drug-resistant epilepsy — or in a closely monitored medical professional setting — it’s not for you.
What about keto for weight loss? Well first, see if you’re just not suffering from the pervasiveness of diet culture. But secondly, the aforementioned universities are against it for weight loss methods. UChicago Medicine says “More often than not, it’s not sustainable,” and that it could lead to social isolation or disordered eating.
Harvard Health calls it “hard to follow” and heavy on foods that are “notoriously unhealthy”. It’s also good to note that not much is known about its long-term effects — probably because it is just so damn difficult to follow long-term.
Or as accredited dietitian Mandy-Lee Noble told The Sydney Morning Herald “No diet has evidence of providing significant weight loss in the majority of people long term [two to five years]. Essentially no diets are helpful.”
Keto has also ranked second-last on the U.S. News & World Report‘s list of best diets (you know, the same list where the Mediterranean Diet ranked so highly?) Oh, and it puts you at risk of kidney stones.
Reviewed by a panel of experts in heart disease and diabetes, nutrition, diet, food psychology and obesity, it came so low in the list as it’s extremely restrictive, hard to follow, and eliminates entire food groups. In fact, one expert said, “This diet is fundamentally at odds with everything we know about long-term health.”