What is the Keto Diet? - Q&A with Laura Watson, RD
The Keto Diet is the latest low carb, high protein and high fat diet that claims to help you lose weight quickly by restricting carbohydrates. The Keto Diet is unconventional – what other diet allows you to eat as much cheese and butter as you want? While this diet may sound delicious, it isn’t a healthy or sustainable way of eating. If you’re on the Keto Diet long-term, you’re most likely missing out on proper nutrition.
The Keto Diet allows for only a tiny amount of carbohydrates each day, which means that healthy foods like fruits, whole grains and various vegetables are not acceptable on the diet. You may be missing important B vitamins, fiber and other nutrients from these foods. In addition, the Keto Diet is high in animal based protein, which contains a lot of saturated fat and can ultimately increase your risk for cardiovascular disease.
There are multiple negative impacts that the Keto Diet can have on your health. Many people experience the “Keto Flu” when they first start the diet, and many suffer from constipation. Keto and other fad diets can also slow down your metabolism and increase fat storage hormones, which can cause weight gain in the long run.
Diets don’t work. So what can you do instead? For healthy eating and living, try taking a balanced approach:
- Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full.
- Avoid distractions when you are eating.
- Pay attention to how your body feels during a meal.
- Eat a variety of foods that contain carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats.
- Be sure to get enough sleep and exercise each day.
It’s important to remember that weight isn’t the only thing that determines your health and that no single pattern of eating is right for everyone. If you have questions about healthy eating, reach out to a nutritionist for help addressing your unique nutrition needs.
About the Author
Laura Watson is a registered dietician and nutrition therapist at the Cone Health Nutrition and Diabetes Management Center.