The annual US News & World Report that ranks the best diets for the approaching year, named the Mediterranean diet as the best overall diet plan for the fourth time in a row, while the popular keto diet was ranked at the second-lowest place out of a total of 39 diet plans.
Even the ‘modified keto’ diet, which has been evaluated for the first time, fell on the 35th position. The rankings were based on seven categories: nutritional completeness, how easy the diet is to follow, potential long-term and short-term weight loss, the safety and the possible side effects, as well as the potential to help prevent certain illnesses, Insider reported.
According to the rankings, the keto diet scored:
- 3.8 out of 5 for short term weight loss
- 2.1 out of 5 for long term weight loss
- 1.4 out of 5 for being easy to follow
- 1.7 out of 5 for being healthy
The Issues With Keto Diet
The ketogenic diet entails reducing carbohydrates to less than 5% of your total calorie intake and consuming the rest of the calories primarily from proteins and fats. Typically, a keto diet is composed of 75:20:5 ratio of fats, proteins and carbohydrates.
This makes the body produce energy through breaking down fat directly by forming ketones. Thereby making the body extremely efficient in burning fat and eventually reducing weight.
Nutritionist and author Kavita Devgan had explained to FIT in an earlier article the many pitfalls with the diet:
- Keto is hard and the ratio it demands - 60-75% fat, 15-30% protein, and 5-10% carbs is hard to follow and maintain.
- The amount of fat one needs can't be healthy long term.
- My biggest grouse is that there is way too less fibre intake - there’s almost no fruit allowed, and eating tons of leafy vegetables is not everyone’s cup of tea (so mostly gets missed). Such low fibre is a perfect recipe to pack your gut and mess it up big time. That is why constipation is a BIG problem with those following keto.
- This kind of eating could lead to (and often does) severe deficiencies of multiple essential nutrients.
“My suggestion is: stop running after keto or other stringent diets, focus instead at eating better, and you can still knock off the weight, albeit in a more palatable and healthy way, she wrote.
A common misconception is that the keto diet is a high fat and a high protein diet, which is not the case. Not only will an excess of proteins inhibit the body from entering ketosis (the liver can turn protein to glucose), it can also raise the acidity levels of the body, thereby increasing pressure on the kidneys.
This might also lead to kidney stones and in rare cases, renal failure. Studies are ongoing to observe the long-term effects of the keto diet on kidneys and other organs.
Another risk presented by the keto diet is that it might raise the harmful cholesterol levels in the body, especially when the fats consumed are highly processed and filled with trans fats.
Since the keto diet restricts several foods, especially nutrient-dense fruits, whole grains, and legumes, it may fail to provide recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals. In particular, some studies suggest that the keto diet doesn’t provide enough calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Should You Do Keto?
As FIT had previously explained, the answer to this question is really simple. That is, if you ask your doctor or a certified nutritionist.
The keto diet proposes a radical shift in your nutritional intake. Therefore, you must consult a professional before starting the diet. Certain pre-existing conditions such as chronic kidney disorder can be aggravated through this diet. Moreover, it is imperative that you conduct regular blood tests to assess your lipid profiles and check other nutrient levels in your blood. No diet is universally beneficial, and is especially dangerous when not followed properly.