Keto isn’t new
The Keto diet is another trendy weight-loss plan, although Susie warns that it’s not all that new a concept.
“This diet has been around for a while,” previously going by the names of Atkins or South Beach diets, Susie said. “I feel like it has a really great marketing manager, because every so often this diet gets rebranded.”
The Keto diet heavily restricts your intake of carbohydrates, while increasing your intake of fats and proteins. The goal is to reach a state of ketosis, “a metabolic state where you’re burning fat for energy instead of burning carbohydrates for energy,” Susie said.
“Basically you’re asking your body to work off of fats instead of primarily carbohydrates in the diet,” Cheskin said.
However, the Keto diet can be tough on a person.
“To get there can be a little bit brutal,” Susie said, noting that people new to the diet often suffer a few days of the “Keto flu” during which they feel foggy-headed, lethargic and headachy. Other common side effects are disrupted sleep and constipation.
“When we remove some of these foods, we’re taking away key nutrients and removing a lot of fiber,” which can lead to constipation, Susie said.
Keto’s emphasis on fats also isn’t very good for your heart, Cheskin added.
“In some ways, this is a heart attack diet,” he said. “Eat all the bacon you want, just don’t have potatoes — well, you’re eating a diet that’s the opposite of what preventive cardiology would tell you to do.”
Folks will lose weight on Keto if they’re eating less, “but you would probably obtain greater health benefit if you lose a similar amount of weight using a diet that is more healthful,” Cheskin said.
Beware Whole 30
Cheskin and Susie were the most critical of the Whole 30 Program, a diet in which participants cut out added sugars, grains, legumes and dairy for a solid month.
“What’s a little concerning about the Whole 30 diet is this was founded by people that have limited nutrition education,” Susie said. “It’s extremely restrictive. For 30 days you are going to eliminate a lot of different food groups.”