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Keto Diet 2

Popular Keto Diet Poses Long-Term Health Risks, Experts Say

The philosophy of the keto diet is simple: it says you should almost entirely eliminate carbohydrates from your diet, maintaining a macronutrient ratio of roughly 70% fats, 20% protein, and 10% carbohydrates. Doing so forces the body into an alternate mode of processing energy called “ketosis,” in which the body burns fat instead of carbohydrates for sustenance, resulting in weight loss. But while the keto diet is very effective for losing weight quickly while permitting people to enjoy foods like bacon and eggs, experts say that the diet is not healthy in the long term. In fact, for the third year in a row, the U.S. News and World Report ranked the keto diet as among the worst possible diets to follow, and experts warn that a prolonged state of ketosis may cause the development of health conditions like cardiovascular disease. As such, despite the widespread popularity of the keto diet and the fast results it can provide, this diet is not optimal for sustaining health. 

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The healthy way to think of dieting is not as a temporary solution for losing weight, but instead as a lifestyle change to maintain indefinitely. This is because weight that is lost quickly on a diet can be put back on just as quickly, if not faster, once the diet ends as the body returns to the status quo. One of the risks posed by the keto diet is that as it enables rapid weight loss, dieters are prone to reintroducing carbohydrates into their diet after reaching their target weight, undoing the beneficial effects of their weight loss by kicking the body out of ketosis. And beginning the keto diet sometimes leads to the development of what’s called the “keto flu,” a set of symptoms including headache, fatigue, irritability, and nausea. While the symptoms of keto flu are temporary and disappear as the body adjusts to the new diet, other diets are not associated with the risk of developing flu-like symptoms, and there’s no good medical reason to think that engaging in a diet that can make you feel sick benefits your health overall.

Instead of the keto diet, experts recommend an eating plan based on the mediterranean diet

Although the keto diet is certainly effective for rapid weight loss, and many practitioners of the keto diet report feeling more energized and focused, the long-term health effects of practicing the keto diet are as-of-yet unknown. Therefore, as with all medical programs with unknown long-term health effects, caution is advisable when deciding whether to force your body into ketosis in order to lose weight. Instead of following “fad diets,” which rise suddenly in popularity and prescribe unique solutions for quickly losing weight, experts say it’s better to take your own personal characteristics into account when designing your eating plan by understanding the fundamental principles of nutrition and how different foods impact the body. Consulting with a registered dietician can help with this process, but doing so is not necessary. 

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Instead of the keto diet, experts recommend an eating plan based on the mediterranean diet, which emphasizes healthy fats, fish, whole grains, and produce, and has been shown to help people lose weight and keep it off, though the weight-loss process on the mediterranean diet takes longer than on more popular fad diets. The mediterranean diet is based on the eating habits of people who live in the countries that border the Mediterranean Sea, where people tend to live longer and healthier lives than elsewhere in the world. As such, the long-term efficacy of the mediterranean diet is evidence-based, as it derives from the natural eating habits of some of the healthiest people in the world. While many factors besides diet strongly impact health, one of the best things you can do for your health is to not only adopt, but maintain a healthy eating plan for life. 

Diet Plan

The Best Diets To Try In 2020

It’s 2020: a new year, new decade, and a new opportunity to improve on your own life with some New Year’s resolutions. One of the most common resolutions to date is to eat healthier and exercise more. Leading a healthier lifestyle in general is always a great goal to have, but it can be difficult to get organized and stay motivated enough to follow through with a schedule. However, following a specific diet and exercise regimen can be half the battle, as it’s all about finding what works best for you personally. 

Every year the US News and World Report ranks the “best diets” to follow in the new year. This list is used by thousands of Americans to determine what will work best for their own personal goals and lives. This year, the Mediterranean diet took first place for the third year in a row as the “best diet” to follow. 

“The hallmarks of a ‘best’ diet include balance, maintainability, palatability, family-friendliness, sustainability, along with healthfulness. The Mediterranean diet gets check-marks in all of those boxes,” said Dr. David Katz, who was one of 25 judges on the U.S. News and World Report panel, to CNN.

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The Mediterranean diet emphasizes what most individuals looking to be healthier really want in a diet. The food is simple and fairly easy to make, and it promotes plant-based cooking. It also pulls the focus from eating things such as red meat, saturated fats, and artificial sugars. Within the US/World Report, the Mediterranean diet won first in four categories, including best diet for healthy eating and easiest diet to follow.

A major aspect to all of the top listed diets involves the practicality of each plan. For example, the Mediterranean diet doesn’t specifically state all the things you are no longer allowed to eat, but instead tells you how you can enjoy those things in moderation (some more than others). 

Right under the Mediterranean diet is the DASH diet. Individuals who have been using the DASH diet have been involved in multiple studies regarding the long term health benefits the diet offers. Specifically, this diet helps to lower blood pressure and prevent future heart issues that one could develop (heart disease is the number one killer in the world). This diet also promotes that you eat more natural foods, like fruits and veggies, and avoid anything with high levels of fat and salt. The fact that so many studies have been conducted on this diet in particular is the reason it holds the second spot on the list. 

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“We’re interested in diets that have proven staying value — not fad diets that are here today, gone tomorrow. The diets that perform well are safe, sensible and backed by sound science. That’s going to be consistent from year to year,” said Angela Haupt, managing editor of health at U.S. News & World Report. 

The MIND diet and WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers) take the other two top spots on the list. The MIND diet is a combination of the Mediterranean and DASH diet and is geared towards helping lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, or slow it down in those already experiencing symptoms. The acronym MIND literally stands for “Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay.”

WW was fourth ranked, but also won first place in the US/World Report for “best weight loss” and “best commercial weight loss” programs. The food in the program has always been healthy, but the judges on the report really responded to the amount of support groups/offers it gives to the dieters using the WW plan. 

Regardless of what plan you choose this year, always make sure you’re listening to your body. Don’t deny yourself certain pleasures because you want to look a certain way, but instead modify your current situation because you want to feel/be healthier. Start slow, do your research, ask a few friends, and check off your resolution goal by December 2020!