What you need to know before trying this ultra-low-carb way of eating
Paleo is so 2015. Keto, short for ketogenic diet, is the WOE (way of eating) everyone’s buzzing about. In Facebook groups, online articles, and scores of books, people are touting the benefits of this ultra-low-carb, high-fat diet, which has actually been around for decades. Think of it as Atkins on steroids. Want to lose 100 pounds quickly? Reverse type II diabetes? Keto proponents say you can do it easily — without counting calories or feeling hungry. Thinking of going keto? Here’s what you should know first.
• It’s Based on Science. Starved of carbs, the body undergoes a metabolic process called ketosis, which causes insulin levels to drop and your body to use fat as its primary fuel source.
• It Is Not for the Meat-Averse. “The standard ketogenic diet consists of foods containing 75 percent fat, 20 percent protein, and 5 percent carbs,” says Roberta W. Gershner, MS, RDN, CDN, a registered dietician in Ossining and Cortlandt Manor.
• It May Help You Lose Weight. Burning stored fat can result in quick weight loss. However, it can be unhealthy to stay in ketosis indefinitely.
• It May Help Reverse Type 2 Diabetes. “In some patients, it may help reduce or eliminate blood-sugar lowering medications,” says Gershner.
• It May Lower Blood Pressure. “However, it may increase hypoglycemia in some people in the beginning,” Gershner warns.
• It Was Originally Developed for Children With Epilepsy. For unknown reasons, ketogenic diets help reduce seizures in kids.
• It Is Not Without Risk. Eating this way long-term can cause constipation and reduced physical performance. “There is also a danger during breast feeding,” Gershner adds.