TAKE CAREWITH THE KETO DIET

The keto diet is the latest weightloss plan to be in the spotlight, with celebrity fans including Kim Kardashian, Megan Fox and Adriana Lima reported to be following it. But the idea behind it is by no means new – keto stands for ketosis – the state the body’s in when your carbohydrate intake is so low that you’re forced to burn fat for fuel – and, yes, it’s the basis of the Atkins diet, which has been around since 1972!

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Some Paleo and high-protein diets also create ketosis and they’re very effective when you first start because they cause a significant loss of water weight. Low-carb diets can also be more satiating, allowing dieters to feel full for longer. Longer term though, the news isn’t so good – the Dietitians Association of Australia recently warned that a keto diet could affect gut health because it reduces intake of vegetables and fruit, pulses, wholegrains and dairy foods.

I’d also add that, followed longterm, keto diets could put an adverse impact on bone health as well as causing elevated blood triglycerides (linked to higher cardiovascular risk), increased urinary uric acid (which may lead to the formation of kidney stones), and lethargy. The keto diet has been safely used as a therapy for epilepsy for years and some medics promote it for reversing diabetes. But there are better, more sustainable ways to lose a few pounds that don’t demonise carbs and are easier to fit into your life.

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