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Category: Health and Wellness

Decoding the Keto Diet

From actress Halle Berry to famous basketball player LeBron James, it seems like every time you flip through the headlines, a new celebrity is talking about the keto diet. The what diet? Stay with us. Keto, short for Ketogenic, is a high-fat, low-carb diet that is quickly gaining popularity in the United States. While recent studies suggest keto diets may have long-term health benefits for certain populations, we’re asking our in-house experts here at CaroMont Health to break down the latest, trendiest diet to hit newsstands.

According to Pam Cornelius, Registered Dietitian at the CaroMont Health & Fitness Center, the keto diet flips your energy source by eliminating carbohydrate stores and forcing the body to use fat for energy instead. This diet includes a high amount of fat, moderate amount of protein and very few carbohydrates, perhaps limiting carb intake to just 20 grams a day.

Foods that are not permitted on the keto diet include bread, pasta, grains and added sugars. Foods that you can eat include meat, poultry, fish, nuts, butter, bacon, mayonnaise, eggs, most cheeses and oil. The only vegetables permitted are leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower and celery.

While the diet was originally created in the 1920s to treat children with epilepsy, these days it is being used for weight loss, and researchers are investigating it as a treatment for certain cancers, brain tumors, dementia and Parkinson's disease.

While Cornelius says the main benefit of this diet is the reduction of seizures , it will also “dramatically diminish hunger, producing weight loss.” But there’s caution with the possible weight loss. Cornelius urges readers that this is an extreme diet approach and should not be done without medical supervision, noting that “long-term studies have not been conducted for use other than for the treatment of epilepsy.”

Of course, there are other side effects to implementing a keto diet. Cornelius notes a few, including dehydration, constipation, pancreatitis, osteopenia, high LDL cholesterol, kidney stones, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and bone fractures.

While keto may be effective for quick weight loss, Cornelius highly recommends more sustainable lifestyle changes, like their Jump Start Weight Loss Program, which focuses on making healthy food choices and introducing consistent exercise. The program is an easy-to-follow weight loss approach offered at the CaroMont Health & Fitness Center. Participants completing this 12-week healthy lifestyle program typically lose 10-24 pounds and frequently lower their blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Keto may be a “quick fix” but it will be difficult to maintain long-term, which can leave some to gain back the weight they worked so hard to lose.

Interested in joining the Jump Start Program? Talk to your doctor, call us at 704-834-3787 or visit us on Facebook to request more information.