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Guest womenshealthmag.com

12. The Keto Diet

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Guest womenshealthmag.com

12. The Keto Diet

The ketogenic diet – keto among friends – is so-called because it aims to get the dieter into a state of ketosis, when the body stops using glucose as its main energy source and starts using ketones instead. The high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet is beloved by Silicon Valley for its alleged brain-boosting benefits.

Typical meal: Grilled chicken breast with vegetables

What the diet advocate says: 'The classic keto diet was very strict and nowadays what’s become more popular even to use from a clinical scenario is called the Modified Keto diet which is more liberal in protein. And that’s generally what people are following for weight loss and energy. That would be roughly 65-70% fat, 20-30% protein with a very small carb amount 5-10%,’ says Dr Dominic D’agostino, professor of neuropharmacology at the University of South Florida.

What the expert says: ‘Like with Atkins, you will lose weight quickly. The ketogenic diet is used in medicine, but under strict supervision and for set periods of time, so with appropriate support it can be safe in the short to medium term. The brain does use glucose as its fuel of choice, so ‘brain fog’ lethargy are common side effects. You’ll known when your body is running off ketones by your breath – it’s known as ‘keto breath’, and it’s bad. It also can affect your ability to exercise by due to a lack of quickly accessible energy.

The risks are more long term, such as risk of nutritional deficiency (vitamin c, a, k and b vitamins) and also increased risk of bowel and possibly breast cancer cancer due to limited fibre intake. Ketosis generally isn’t recommended and it’s not exactly a state that would the body would usually be in, but it can be done safely for set periods of time.’

Verdict: It might work as a short-term solution, but fall off the no-carb wagon and you’re back to square one. And we don’t like the sound of that keto breath. We like our diets to be more #balance, less food shaming and not require army-style adherence. Avoid.

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