Keto dieters beware

By Monserrat Solis, Co-Editor-in-Chief

The keto diet is not so simple but oh so deadly.

For years people have resorted to diets to lose weight; the ketogenic diet has created enough buzz but it is not an easy conversion and can ultimately shorten life expectancy.

The Ketogenic diet, consisting of low-carb, high-fat content meals that cause the body to burn fat for energy, was coined by Dr. Russel Wilder from the Mayo Clinic. It was created as a treatment for diseases with a metabolic dysregulation, like epilepsy, cancer and Alzheimer’s, but now it is being used to lose weight, resulting in the almighty keto diet. This sounds like an easy weight-loss solution, but it has troubling side effects that have recently come to light. The most dangerous is the long-term effect of carbohydrate restriction, causing a higher mortality.

A study by The Lancent Public Health medical journal went on to explain that low-carb dietary patterns favoring animal-based protein were associated with a higher mortality, while those favoring plant-based protein were associated with lower mortality.

“We found that people who consumed a low carbohydrate diet were at greater risk of premature death,” said Professor Maciej Banach from the Medical University of Lodz. “These [keto] diets should be avoided.”

In an interview with Plant Based News, Dr. Kim Williams, former president of the American College of Cardiology, spoke about a study from the American Heart Association that isolated people who suffered from a heart attack and were doing a ketogenic diet.

“It was a 53 percent increase in mortality. No one should be doing this,” said Dr. Williams.

There is a pattern of people adopting diets based on health restrictions and turning them into a weight loss plan. Many people have gone wild for gluten-free diets when in reality that is a special diet created for people suffering from celiac disease, a serious autoimmune disorder where the digestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine.

A study published by BMJ stated, “restricting gluten results in low intake of whole grains, which are associated with cardiovascular benefits.” BMJ stresses that gluten-free diets among people without celiac disease should not be encouraged.

The problem starts with people seeing diet pages on social media or friends boasting about the five pounds they lost in a week. Simple researching can show a person how complicated a diet can be.

Focusing on diets’ long-term effects should be researched by anyone looking into one.

These diets are created for short-term effects, but when they blow up the cycle of diet culture is hard to break. There needs to be serious health warnings that follow keto-friendly recipes, stating the health negatives that come with having a restrictive diet. Even basic research into these diets can halt the masses of keto dieters.

Everyone wants to lose a few pounds, but these diets are not the solution. At the end of the day, it is causing more harm than good.

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