Is the keto diet safe?
Oleksandra Naumenko/Shutterstock To put it simply, yes and no. The ketogenic diet has been around for 90 years. It was first developed to treat patients with epilepsy, who responded well to the way it mimics a fasting state, while still allowing patients to eat and obtain nutrients. The keto diet is highly restrictive, though, cutting out grains and certain fruits and veggies in addition to sugar—which as a short-term diet solution may have some benefits, but long term may be risky… “The ketogenic diet is not a healthy, nutritionally complete diet,” says Diana Lehner-Gulotta, RDN, CNSC, a ketogenic and neurology dietitian at University of Virginia Health System. “You are completely cutting out large groups of food and eating excessive amounts of fat, which can lead to lipid abnormalities. We also don’t know about the long-term effects of eating such a high-fat diet.” If you’re thinking about following the keto diet for a weight-loss kick start, talk with your doctor first. Here are 13 things doctors want you to know about the keto diet.
What’s the difference between net carbs and total carbs?
Joshua Resnick/Shutterstock Net carbs are the amount of carb grams that remain after dietary fiber and sugar alcohols are subtracted from the total carbohydrates of a meal. Why don’t many keto dieters count fiber in their total carb allotment for the day? The fiber found in many keto-compliant foods, such as broccoli, avocados, and berries, is indigestible once eaten. So, while these foods technically still contain “carbs,” the body can’t use them for energy.
“There’s no right approach between counting ‘net’ and ‘total’ carbohydrates,” says Paul Salter, founder of Fit in Your Dress and nutrition editor for Bodybuilding.com. “Using net carbs is a tool to ensure you’re seeking high-fiber carbohydrates, which is essential when following a ketogenic diet.”