Keto is not new
The Keto diet is another trendy weight loss plan, although Susie warns that it is not such a new concept.
“This diet has been around for a while,” said Susie, formerly known as the Atkins or South Beach diet. “I feel like he has a really great marketing manager, because every now and then this diet changes.”
The keto diet severely limits your carbohydrate intake while increasing your fat and protein intake. The goal is to reach a state of ketosis, “a metabolic state in which you burn fat for energy instead of burning carbohydrates for energy,” Susie said.
“You basically ask your body to eliminate fat in your diet instead of primarily carbohydrates,” Cheskin said.
However, a keto diet can be difficult for a person.
“Getting around this can be a bit brutal,” Susie said, noting that people who are new to the diet often suffer from “keto flu” during which they feel foggy, lethargic and have headaches. Other common side effects are sleep disturbance and constipation.
“When we remove some of these foods, we take away key nutrients and remove a lot of fiber,” which can lead to constipation, Susie said.
The keto emphasis on fat is also not very good for your heart, Cheskin added.
“In a way this is a heart attack diet,” he said. “Eat whatever you want, just don’t eat potatoes – well, you’re eating a diet that is the opposite of what preventive cardiology would tell you.”
People will lose weight on Keto if they eat less, “but you would probably have greater health benefits if you lost a similar amount of weight using a healthier diet,” Cheskin said.
Beware of the whole 30
Cheskin and Susie were the most critical of the Whole 30 Program, a diet in which participants excluded added sugars, grains, legumes and dairy products for a solid month.
“What’s a little worrying about the Whole 30 diet is that it was founded by people who have limited nutrition education,” Susie said. “It’s extremely restrictive. In 30 days, you’ll be throwing out a lot of different food groups.”