Ken Fujioka, MD, an endocrinologist and director of the Nutrition and Metabolic Research Center at Scripps Clinic, discusses the pros and cons of the keto diet, which is a popular high-fat, low carbohydrate diet. Dr. Fujioka explains what it means to be in ketosis and what foods you can eat on the keto diet.
The keto diet is a very popular diet right now. The idea is to get ketones in your blood. What you‘re doing is removing all carbohydrates from your diet and living off just protein and fat. This will force you into burning your own fat and releasing ketones to your blood.The ketones are felt to be beneficial in terms of making it easier not to eat, in other words, less hunger. In essence, it‘s trying to get yourself into ketosis or get ketones in your blood.
The safety of the keto diet is questionable for some people. For most people, it‘s fine. It‘s not going to be an issue, but for some people, particularly people with diabetes who are on insulin, ketosis is a very dangerous thing to do. You really want to talk to your doctor before you go on a keto diet.
The foods you can eat on the keto diet are very restricted. Unfortunately, most keto diets have a lot of added fat, which I actually recommend against. But, it‘s usually protein, protein and more protein. That‘s what‘s going to be the main component of the food intake and that can be fish, chicken, beef, eggs or anything that‘s just no carbs, high on protein.
If you‘re wondering whether the keto diet works, yes it will. It works a little bit better for men. But, if you‘re adding too much fat, you may not see as much weight loss as you‘d like to see. Again, the keto diet will work. It will produce weight loss. In the beginning though, because you‘re in ketosis, the ketones that are getting in your blood act as a diuretic, so you end up having to pee them off all the time. So, initially it‘s a lot of water weight loss. As you roll on, you get into the fat burning phase where you‘re burning fat. But as soon as you go back to eating carbohydrates, expect some water weight regain.