A keto diet typically includes plenty of meats, eggs, processed meats, sausages, cheeses Image: Thinkstock
Have you been filling your plate with meats, eggs, paneer and avoiding carbs like the plague? Nibbling on cheese and nuts is part of your snacking routine? And what's more, you have shed the kilos faster than ever before. It's the wonder called ketogenic or keto diet. People following this diet have boasted happy and quick results. But, as it's often and rightly said, there's no fast route to fitness. According to experts, this popular high-fat, low-carb diet can have devastating long-term health effects.
The ketogenic diet became popular as a therapy for epilepsy in the 1920s and '30s. It recommends consuming 70–75 per cent fat, 20 per cent protein and 5–10 per cent carbohydrates. A keto diet typically includes plenty of meats, eggs, processed meats, sausages, cheeses, fish, nuts, butter, oils, seeds, and fibrous vegetables.
It works on the principle that when starved of carbohydrates, the body turns to fats as a source of fuel by kick-starting a process called ketosis. Richa Anand, chief dietician, Hiranandani Hospital, Mumbai says, "Ketogenic diet, when used to control seizures, is a teamwork of the dietician and neurophysician. The first stage of this diet, when the body is in a keto positive state, is extremely crucial and needs medical supervision. After all, it is a super advanced form of a carbohydrate-free diet, originally devised to treat epilepsy. If used for aesthetic purposes, it can totally backfire."
So, can keto be called a fad diet? "Absolutely yes," says Richa, adding, "Apart from irregular bowel movement, nutritional deficiencies and hormonal disorders, keto can also lead to heart problems. It is an extremely unhealthy way of losing weight. But these days, people in the 20-30 age group want a short-cut solution to everything, and with such hectic professional and personal lives, you really can't blame them. But, they should know that keto is not advisable as a weight-loss method and can harm your body in the course of time."
The keto diet may result in the following health complications:
So the next time you chew that juicy steak, pause a bit before pushing the veggies and mashed potatoes away.