Jan 30 2019. view 2003
One of the most talked about and trending diets in existence today is the ketogenic diet or better known as the keto diet. Although this may sound new to some of us, this form of diet has actually been around for quite sometime and used for epileptic children. This has recently turned tables and regarded as the number one way to a faster and effective weight loss system. Ruwan, a corporate assistant says “It’s extremely effective” with many success stories backing up this diet system, we see many people jumping into the keto bandwagon to shed some kilos.
However, before you start cutting down essential carbohydrates and filling up your plate with fatty food, there are few important things to keep in mind.
What really is a Keto diet?
A proper keto diet is when you consume a high fat diet, with protein in moderation and extremely low amounts of carbohydrates. This will result in your body going in to a metabolic state, which is known as ketosis. In this state you body will fuel up not by the glucose found in carbs instead use the fat that are been converted as ketones to provide energy for your body.
When your body adjusts to this, you will find that there are many health benefits such as weight loss, enhanced performance both physically and mentally and a burst of good energy.
Rameez, who is on devout 3-month keto diet says
“It’s tough been a Sri Lankan to be on a keto diet as we tend to eat a lot of rice and bread, but once you’ve stick to it, I managed to lose 10kg within 03 months and hitting the gym really helps to tone up”
What you need to eat
In a typical keto diet, you are required to cut down all grains (yes, you read that right!) fruits, vegetables that are high in starch levels and all kinds of sugar. All these will be replaced with a whole lot of meat, luscious leafy greens, non starch vegetables, full cream – high fat dairy, avocados and salad dressings that are high in fat.
Christine, a student who’s currently on a keto diet says “It's very hard to stick to though, you might need to do it with someone who'll dine with you and cook with you. I would definitely recommend it if done correctly, but not long term. Do it for about 2-3 months to see results and after that switch to eating carbs again but in moderation”
In a keto diet, you are expected to follow the below ratio when consuming food.
75% calories from Fat
30% calories from proteins
5% calories from carbohydrates
Possible risks involved?
Just as there’s two sides for every story, keto has its negatives that follow through. The possible side effects of your body been in a ketosis state is that one can suffer with constipation, lack of energy, muscle loss and also face the “keto flu”. Christine further states that
“You get sick in the first 48 hours cause your brain thinks you aren’t receiving energy (from sugar) so you'll get a small flu, but your body will re-wire soon to getting energy from fats instead of carbs/sugar”
Ikram, a corporate assistant says “Due extreme cutting of carbs, I've had a skin condition similar to eczema which went away after I gave up. There have been a few similar cases reported. This doesn't mean you'll get it too, but better to be informed.” It is crucial that you remember this diet was initially developed as a medical intervention for epileptic patients and monitored under strict supervision by medical professionals.
When there are restrictions taking place on what you can eat, there lies a risk of facing vitamins and minerals deficiency, hence its important that you take multivitamin supplements while following the keto diet.
Not many have done the keto diet for a long term basis, therefore the long term effects on your body been in a ketosis state is rather questionable.
Apart from the success stories of people losing rapid weight in few months, which is quite a favorable outcome from a diet. However while keto diet insists on both good and bad high saturated fat, this can lead to high cholesterol and possible heart diseases. I believe sustainability is key to meet the expectations of a keto diet plan. Other than the need for a quick weight loss solution, keto is not a long term solution and you’ll probably be back to your previous food patterns right at where you started.
There are a handful of restaurants in Colombo that cater to a keto diet. Places like Calorie Counter, Shawarma.lk, What is Doner, M’eatUs, Peri Peri Kukula, Holly Belly, Steuart & Co. and Barefoot. Any other eateries of your choice, you could simply ask them to replace fries with vegetables,