The Keto Diet: Insights from Scientists

### The Basics of the Keto Diet

The keto diet, short for ketogenic diet, is a low-carb, high-fat diet with moderate levels of protein. This eating plan gained popularity with as many as 7 percent of Americans following it in 2022. The goal of the keto diet is to shift the body from burning a combination of glucose and fat for fuel to only burning fat for fuel, a state known as ketosis.

### What You Can Eat on a Keto Diet

Foods promoted in a keto diet plan include butter, lard, poultry fat, plant fats like olive and coconut oil, avocado, nuts like macadamia and almonds, non-starchy vegetables, certain meats like beef and poultry, and more. However, foods like bread, pasta, rice, most fruits, potatoes, and regular milk are not allowed on this restrictive diet.

### Health Benefits and Concerns

While the keto diet has shown favorable weight loss results in the short term, it may not be suitable for everyone. Positive short-term changes in insulin sensitivity, increased “good” cholesterol, and decreased triglycerides have been reported. For individuals with pre-diabetes or diabetes, the diet can be helpful in managing blood glucose levels.

### Risks and Considerations

Despite its potential benefits, the keto diet can be challenging to maintain long-term due to its restrictive nature. High saturated fat content and low fiber intake can have negative impacts on overall health, including raising “bad” cholesterol levels and potentially causing constipation. Additionally, the diet may lead to an increased risk of kidney stones and elevated uric acid levels, which are risk factors for conditions like gout.

### Alternatives to the Keto Diet

Experts recommend focusing on eliminating simple sugars and refined grains while incorporating foods high in unsaturated fats and fiber into the diet. The Mediterranean diet is often suggested as a more sustainable and balanced alternative to the restrictive nature of the keto diet. It allows for a wider variety of foods and can be followed for longer periods, potentially even a lifetime.

Newsweek remains committed to exploring various dietary approaches and their impact on health and well-being.

Original Story at – 2024-03-03 10:00:02

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