Are Keto Diets Really Safe For Weight Loss?

Kajal Bhatia, Founder, Eighty20Eighty20 is a health food brand founded by a whole food nutritionist, looking to provide whole some nutrient solutions for daily meals.

What exactly is a Keto diet? A Keto diet is essentially a high fat, adequate protein, low carbohydrate diet which has been used to treat cases of epilepsy. This form of dieting is currently trending amongst people who are looking for weight loss. But then the question arises whether the Ketogenic diet is actually safe for weight loss or not. The general perception that Ketogenic diets have some sort of metabolic advantage, has been experimentally falsified. Studies on people following Ketogenic Diet showed that Keto diets actually put one at a metabolic disadvantage and slow the loss of body fat. Experiments show that cutting about 800 calories a day would help one lose 53 gms of body fat on a low carb diet as compared to 89 gms of body fat a day on a low fat diet.
For the same amount of Calories cut, dietary fat restriction results in loss of more Body Fat than with carbohydrate restriction in people with Obesity. A look at the bathroom scale is often misguiding as it makes one think that the low-carb diets (Keto diets) win and we know why low-carb diets are so popular. But what happens inside the bodies tells the real story. The people on low-carb diet are losing mostly lean mass water and protein.

It is particularly important to make sure that the requirements for all essential nutrients are met

When one eats carbohydrates, the body bulks the muscles up with glycogen for quick energy. Eating a high carbohydrate diet for three days, may add muscle mass onto one’s arms and legs. Those glycogen stores drain away on a low-carb diet, and pull water out with it. And, the ketones also need to be flushed out of the kidneys, pulling out even more water. All of this manifests on the scale. The thrill of seeing the pounds comes off so quickly makes the Keto diets so popular among people.

Last but not the least when one is dieting, one maybe taking in less food. Hence, it is particularly important to make sure that the requirements for all essential nutrients are met. But Ketogenic diets are so nutritionally lacking that estimation is that to get sufficient daily intake of all essential vitamins and minerals, one would have to consume about 37,000 calories. If one follows a strict keto diet, he/ she may have an inadequacy of 17 micro nutrients, may be constipated as there is almost negligible intake of fiber. The lack of fiber starves the good gut bacteria which may lead to weight gain, increased leaky gut and pro inflammatory changes. Quoting Dr Michael Greger, a physician, author and an internationally recognized speaker, “Keto diets just don’t hold water”.