What Is the Keto Diet? Should I Try Keto?
So long, Atkins, there’s a new diet in town. And if it looks a little familiar, well… it is.
- Low in carbs.
- High in fat.
- Promotes weight loss.
The ketogenic diet (“keto” for short) has captured the country’s attention, and Nashville is no exception. Check out the following graph, which shows Google search interest in Nashville in keto (blue) compared to Atkins (red) since November 2016.
No doubt, you’ve heard of keto. But what exactly is it? And should you try it? Today on the St. Thomas Medical Group Blog, we’re going to take a closer look at that question. As always, please remember that this blog does not constitute medical or diet advice and is not a substitute for the specific recommendations provided by your doctor. As always, do not begin a new diet without first discussing risks and benefits with your physician.
About the Keto Diet
The ketogenic diet emphasizes a high fat and low carbohydrate intake. The standard ketogenic diet, for example, typically follows these proportions:
- 75% fat
- 20% protein
- 5% carbs
A popular and well-researched variant is the high-protein ketogenic diet, which looks something like this:
- 60% fat
- 35% protein
- 5% carbs
Other variations exist, yet they lack the the same degree of evidence-based research that these two diets have supporting them.
So, what’s the science behind the keto diet? In a typical diet, people consume carbohydrates for energy. These foods include bread, pasta, some fruits (like bananas), and starchy vegetables. The keto diet drastically limits carbohydrate intake, prioritizing fats instead. This puts the body in a state of ketosis, forcing it to burn fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. Additionally, fats turn into ketones in the liver, and ketones then supply energy to the brain.
Many people experience weight loss with the keto diet without having to count calories and limit portions to the same degree required by other diets. This is due, in part, to the fact that foods in the keto diet are often quite filling and satisfying. Of course, this is also one of the reasons why this diet has grown quickly in popularity!
Should I Try the Keto Diet?
If you’re interested in the keto diet, talk to your doctor at St. Thomas Medical Group to learn more about how diet and lifestyle changes can best serve your health goals. The keto diet can be a drastic change for many people, and patients are not advised to begin this diet without first discussing it with their healthcare provider. With that being said, some studies have shown that the keto diet may be effective in improving the following conditions:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Heart disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- …and others
Generally speaking, the keto diet is not recommended for high-performance athletes or those wishing to gain significant weight or muscle mass. Also, it’s worth stating that the keto diet, like many diets, does require a serious long-term commitment in order for results to be seen.
Keto Diet Questions? Talk to a Doctor at St. Thomas Medical Group.
Have more questions about the keto diet and whether it’s right for you? Schedule an appointment with a physician at St. Thomas Medical Group Department of Children and Adults, conveniently located at the intersection of Green Hills, Sylvan Park and Belle Meade. Meet our providers online, or call +1 (615) 297-2700 to schedule.