Keto revealed


Is the keto diet a good thing?

You probably know plenty of friends who are trying the keto diet - that extremely low-carbohydrate, very high-fat diet (think all-you-can-eat prime rib and bacon, but never a piece of toast). It's similar to the previously popular Atkins, but much stricter. 

A recent U.S. News & World Report ranked it as the worst diet to go on. 

Here's why: 

The ketogenic diet originated as a treatment for pediatric epilepsy. It's grown up to be the darling of athletes and "Biggest Loser" wannabes. Those on the keto diet are supposed to consume fewer than 35 grams (140 calories) of carbohydrates daily but not necessarily consume a lot of protein -- it's all about the fat. 

The diet wants the body to be forced into ketosis, a metabolic state where fat is the primary source of fuel, in the form of ketones, according to a recent analysis of the diet in Environmental Nutrition. 

Typically, our bodies use carbohydrates as the primary source of energy. However, during ketosis, stored body fat is burned. So you eat fat to burn fat. Sounds weird. And it is. It's tough to really reach ketosis because of the low amount of carbs consumed. 

Any diet that limits important nutrients -- such as carbs -- is harmful. In the case of the keto diet, all grains, pastas, breads, beans, sugar, sweeteners, starchy vegetables and fruit are eliminated. Only avocados and small amounts of berries are allowed. On the other hand, meats, full-fat dairy, eggs, leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds and oils are encouraged. 

Besides limiting nearly all carbs, there is limited research on the long-term effect of the keto diet. In addition, adherence is difficult, especially when eating out. There is also concern that a high fat diet can lead to chronic diseases. Side effects may include digestive problems, muscle cramps and nutrient deficiencies. 

Here's the bottom line -- skip the keto. Go the for tried and true healthy eating plan of My Plate -- half your plate fruits and vegetables, a quarter whole grains, a quarter lean protein and low-fat dairy. Make moderation, balance and variety your motto. 

Q and A 

Q: Is coffee really healthy? 

A: A large "umbrella" review of 218 studies on coffee and health found that people who drink 3 to 4 cups a day are at lower risk of a range of diseases and conditions, according to a study in the BMJ. The umbrella review combined the results of 218 meta-analyses, each of which combined findings from multiple studies. These "studies of studies" included 17 with randomized clinical trials, which compared to observational studies, produce stronger evidence that coffee may directly reduce the risk of certain disease. The umbrella review found that coffee drinking is associated with lower risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease or death form any cause. That's consistent with two large observational studies published in August 2017 in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The latest review identified some potential harms associated with drinking 3 to 4 cups a day, namely small increased risks for low birth weight, premature birth and miscarriage, as well as a slightly higher risk of fracture in women. Collectively, research has shown that coffee consumption is more likely to benefit health than harm. -- Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter. 


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Food & Dining

JUST IN: Starbucks targets Dayton’s suburbs with 2 new locations
JUST IN: Starbucks targets Dayton’s suburbs with 2 new locations

Starbucks has added two new Dayton-area coffee shops in highly visible and well-traveled locations. Both new stores are located in Dayton’s south suburbs, and their recent openings continue a recent trend of the nation’s largest retail coffee chain targeting suburban communities surrounding Dayton for expansion. A Starbucks opened late...
This Oregon wine will challenge your ideas about what makes a pinot noir
This Oregon wine will challenge your ideas about what makes a pinot noir

If you're looking for a wine to challenge your preconceptions of what wine should taste like, have I got one for you. Then take comfort in a luscious California chardonnay or a couple vibrant whites from Italy and southern France. If dinner is casual, a nice savory red from Spain will fit the bill. Antiquum Farm Juel Pinot Noir 2015 3 stars Willamette...
Egg and pepper sandwich makes great Lenten meal. Here are wines to have with it
Egg and pepper sandwich makes great Lenten meal. Here are wines to have with it

This spin on a Chicago Lenten classic is simple but also a little rich, so any wine that you match with it needs to stand up to that richness and not get bogged down by it. These three wines — a chardonnay-based Champagne plus a big rosé and a red on the lighter side, both from Italy — have the acidity to cut through, plus their...
Peanut butter helps West African-style stew find the 'sweet spot'
Peanut butter helps West African-style stew find the 'sweet spot'

I am on a constant quest for exciting ways to hit what I call the "sweet spot," where delicious and healthy meet. Happily, there are endless such discoveries to be made by exploring cuisines from around the globe, and it's doubly nice when their ingredients are easily accessible as they are for this wonderful West African-inspired one-pot...
Is it ‘natural’? Consumers, and lawyers, want to know
Is it ‘natural’? Consumers, and lawyers, want to know

In recent years, one bright spot in an otherwise lackluster market for packaged foods, beverages and consumers products has been merchandise promoted as “natural.” Consumers, increasingly wary of products that are overly processed or full of manufactured chemicals, are paying premium prices for natural goods, from fruit juices and cereals...
More Stories