Keto Myths & Facts

Over the past few years, Ketogenic or”Keto” diets have become more popular. I get asked often what it is and whether or not it’s effective. This article will answer those questions for you!

Ketogenic diet

What is Keto?

Ketosis is a metabolic state where your body is primarily being fueled from Ketone bodies as opposed to glycogens. Simply put, your body is burning fat at a higher rate due to lack of carbohydrates available for fuel. Long term Ketosis can be achieved delebritely through a Ketogenic diet commonly referred to as a “Keto diet”.

The Keto Diet:

Keto diets are very low carb diets with an emphasis on consuming more fats. So your diet would consist of things like: leafy green vegetables, nut butters, nuts, avocado, eggs, butter, cheese, and meat. The macronutrient breakdown of a true Keto diet would be 20% protein, 5 % carbohydrates, and 75% fat (see reference below for a chart of what this would look like on a plate). As you can see, you consume plenty of fat on a Keto diet. However, there are many things you can’t eat. This includes: most dairy, fruit, grains, beans, legumes, most processed food, starchy and semi-sweet vegetables ( sweet potatoes and carrots).

Facts:

People who suffer from a brain disorders, neurodegenerative disorders, or a traumatic brain injury such as a concussion, can see positive benefits from a Keto dieting. However, research can’t conclusively show that the improvements people see are strictly a result of Keto dieting. There are other factors that could be leading to the improvements that many people see. Results will vary from person to person, but it is worth a try under proper professional guidance if you suffer from one of these conditions.

Another benefit of a Keto diet, is that you end up eating less. This is because fats and protein leave you feeling satiated sooner. But does eating less translate into weight loss? Not necessarily. The extreme low carb diet is hard to sustain for most people. To really sustain the effects of a keto diet, it needs to be a long term lifestyle change which most are not willing to commit to. Addionally, Keto diets are harder on women’s bodies then men’s due to hormonal changes.

Myths:

Keto Diets Improve Fat Loss:

There is no sustainable evidence to support the Keto diets cause fat loss. People often experience weight loss in the beginning due to eating less. However, the extreme low carb diet is hard to sustain for most people. To really sustain the effects of a Keto diet, it needs to be a long term lifestyle change which most are not willing to commit to.

Keto Improves Athletic performance:

Supplementing with ketones alone has not been shown to improve athletic performance. It’s more effective to use a combination of ketone and carbohydrate supplements. There is also no evidence at this time that supports that Keto dieting alone, helps with gaining more muscle

The Bottom Line:

The bottom line is that for the average person (not an athlete with no major medical conditions), a Keto diet is not necessary to achieve weight loss or fat loss. Everyone’s body will react differently to the diet. Some will feel better, some will feel worse. Some will see more weight loss, some won’t see much of a change.

Now that you know more about the diet you can make the decision of whether or not it’s for you. I would suggest consulting a doctor first if you have any health concerns.

References:

The Ketogenic Diet: Does it live up to the hype? 

https://www.precisionnutrition.com/ketogenic-diet