The Keto Diet – to Keto or not to Keto?
The latest weight-loss craze is the Keto diet. The cool thing about the Keto diet is that it allows you to eat all those guilty pleasures other diets say you must avoid. According to the emails I’ve been seeing, this is a miracle diet. Oh wait, haven’t we been there? Done that? While not necessarily an outright scam, the Keto diet craze is another instance of good science being twisted into a way to make money.
Ketosis is a real thing
Let’s be clear. This particular diet is nothing new. The diet consists of eating foods high in fat and low in carbohydrates. By balancing the amount of protein, carbs, and fat, the body begins to burn its own fat as a source of energy. This diet is used by doctors to treat children with certain forms of epilepsy. As far back as the 19th Century, the same diet was used to control diabetes. That’s the science—now for the hype.
Today’s Keto Diet
“The verdict is in on our favorite way to shed weight quickly. Today we explore how you can use Keto to bur 5x more weight without doing anything different.” That’s one of the lines from an email I received recently.
Another email used the following lead: “Debunking The Keto Myth, Easily drop 35 lbs Without Breaking a Sweat…” While this immediately led me to believe it could be an honest look at the Keto diet, it was immediately followed by, “Most think that Keto is tough to achieve when in fact it’s not. Today we explore how you can get into Keto and drop 15lbs in 2 weeks.” To me, that does not sound like there’s much debunking going on.
To Keto or not to Keto?
The Harvard School of Public Health concluded that the ketogenic diet may provide short-term benefits, but those benefits are not significantly different than those of traditional weight-loss diets. In other words, you can get the same long-term benefits without the risks, which can be significant. For a more detailed overview of the diet, look at this unbiased post by the Harvard School of Public Health.
As for all those emails cropping up in your inbox promoting the Keto diet, consider the source. The person sending the email wants you to believe in their product. And if you really are considering trying out this latest diet craze, consult with your physician.