Real reason keto diet doesn’t work
The popular ketogenic diet boasts health benefits and rapid fat loss, but new research suggests that it might not be the best for the long term.
With its cult-like following and wellbeing advantages, the ketogenic diet has been at the forefront of the health community and health news in recent years.
Celebrities like Halle Berry, Kourtney Kardashian and Gwyneth Paltrow, have all jumped on the bandwagon and flaunt its benefits through their lean physiques.
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Despite a few known negative side effects like keto breath, keto crotch and keto flu, the diet is usually in the spotlight for all the good reasons.
But new research conducted by Yale University on a group of mice, has caught onto some more serious issues.
The short term benefits of the diet include boosting metabolism and burning fat, however the study suggests that the keto diet may have negative effects after just one week.
WHAT IS THE DOWNFALL OF THE KETO DIET?
In simple terms, the keto diet tricks the body into burning fat - the amount of calories consumed should almost all come from fats and only one per cent from carbohydrates.
Due to the low carb style of eating, the body acts as if it's in a "starvation state", whereby the body's glucose levels are reduced, and it begins to burn fats instead of carbohydrates. This then leads to weight loss.
During this fat burn process, the body will produce chemicals called ketone bodies and when the ketone bodies are burnt, tissue-protective gamma delta t-cells go through the body.
The research found that despite the reduced blood sugar levels and inflammation, when the mice continued to eat a high-fat, low-carb diet for more than a week, they developed - and were more prone to develop - diabetes and obesity.
This is because they were consuming more fat than they could burn and they lost "the protective gamma delta T-cells in the fat".
"Our findings highlight the interplay between metabolism and the immune system, and how it coordinates maintenance of healthy tissue function," said one of the study's authors, Emily Goldberg.
The study's findings were published in the journal Nature Metabolism.
WHAT IS THE KETO DIET?
Essentially, the keto diet is a way to cut back on carbohydrates (usually to 50 grams a day or less) to help the body achieve a state of ketosis, in which it has to burn fat (rather than sugar) for energy.
According to Brooke Turner, an Australian nutritionist, exercise scientist and personal trainer, when your body shifts to ketosis it lowers blood sugar and insulin levels and shifts the
body's metabolism away from carbs as a fuel source.
"Your liver starts producing high numbers of ketones to supply energy for your brain - the result being that you burn fat and use ketones for energy (compared to glucose on a normal carb intake diet)," Ms Turner told news.com.au
She explained that the keto diet can often be mistaken with and misrepresented as low carb diets - many people will claim that they are "keto", when in fact they may be following a low carb, high fat.
Part of this story first appeared on Body + Soul and has been republished here with permission