Why I Say No To The Ketogenic Diet - Joy of Kosher

The latest fad diet showing up in all our pinterest boards and instagram feeds is the ketogenic diet. 

The ketogenic diet is not new.  In fact, it was originally created to treat children with epilepsy in the 1920's and is still used to a lesser degree today.  Recently, it moved beyond treating children with seizures and transformed into the latest diet craze for weight loss.  

The popularity and style of the keto diet reminds me of the Atkins diet days, I remember all the people I knew who lost tons of weight only to gain it back plus a few pounds when they couldn't maintain the restrictions.  

The keto diet is not exactly the same as Atkins.  They both limit carbs severely, but Atkins has more protein and includes phases.  The keto diet is even lower in carbs, less than 5%, only moderate in protein (15-20%), and extremely high in fat, 80%.  The diet is quite severe and is meant to keep a person in a state of ketosis long term.  Ketosis is what happens when your body is starving and turns to fat stores for energy.  

On the keto diet you can eat lots of high fat meat, high fat cheese,  a variety of oils and nuts and a small amount of low carb veggies. 

And you will lose weight if you follow a keto diet.  

However, it's important to note that when you reach a state of ketosis you will experience, keto flu, weakness, fatigue, constipation, bad breath and body odor. If you can get past this phase your body will adjust and many people love how they feel. 

Still, I am not a proponent of the keto diet.  I do not believe that staying in a state of ketosis can be healthy. 

There is a lack of research on the long terms effects, largely because most people can't stick to it long enough.

In general, I never believe in very restrictive diets, not only because they are incredibly hard to maintain, but also because it is impossible to get all the nutrients your body needs. 

The bottom line: like all extreme diets, the keto diet will help you lose weight fast, but it is not a long term solution for maintained weight loss or health and if you do decide to try this type of diet, I strongly urge you to check with your doctor and start a vitamin supplementation plan.  

In terms of recipes, if you just want to feel trendy or are having guests on the diet, here are 7 Keto Diet Recipes that are healthy for everyone.