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Ketogenic Diet is Hot Right Now, But is it Safe?

This extreme diet has become a favorite of Silicon Valley investors, but what do nutritionists think?

An increasingly popular diet, known as ketosis or the "keto" diet, has been in the news lately as it has caught the eyes of Silicon Valley. These biohackers believe this high-fat, low-carb diet that turns the body into a fat-burning machine is a way to live longer.

Ketosis Changes How the Body Uses Energy

To put it in simple terms, the body's first choice for fuel or energy comes from carbohydrates and breaks them down into glucose. When it cannot use them (due to eating an extremely low-carb diet) the body starts breaking down stored fats. This process produces ketones that the body uses to function, which is why it'sis called "ketosis".

A strict keto diet cuts back carbs to under 30 grams per day, which is about an apple's worth. Keto diets are also very, very high in fat, but not much else. This means that the body tends to see fairly dramatic weight loss results once it adjusts to a new way of metabolizing food.

However, while many praise the results, dietitians and nutritionists say "not so fast".

What Nutritionists Say About Keto Diets

Generally, the bottom line is that certified nutritionists would not advise the keto diet. It's basically eating mostly fat with a minimal amount of protein and carbs. You'll ultimately be getting 3/4 of your daily calories from fat. This means you'll also be getting under 5% of your calories from carbs, which is about 1/10 of how normal diets do.

The thing to remember, many nutritionists say, is that the diet is extreme, which means it's unlikely to be sustained and the weight will come right back. In addition, this type of diet can have negative health consequences. Kim Tessmer, RDN, LD says that in ketosis "the body loses water, sodium and potassium, which can bring on muscle loss, fatigue, dehydration and constipation and even begin to enter a type of starvation mode". The keto diet also doesn't provide several essential nutrients, so supplements would be necessary. In addition, it can be low in fiber, which could cause your digestive system to not function properly.

The WonderSlim Diet Uses Balance, Not Extremes

The WonderSlim weight management program is designed around a healthy, regimented and balanced concept designed to be kept up for the long term. It balances protein, complex carbs, healthy fats and calorie-controlled meals with exercise. The program is portion-controlled and keeps a regular rhythm of eating every 2-3 hours so that blood sugar levels stay stable and cravings are decreased.

Another important aspect of the program is that you'll learn to develop and make your own healthy grocery meals for dinner, each day. Understanding and creating nutritionally balanced, healthy meals is an important step to help achieve longterm success.

Nutritionists mostly agree that the keto diet is drastic and can be very risky to overall health. The changes required from the diet would be very hard to maintain, which make it more likely that the weight would just be gained back. Like anything worthwhile, there are generally no shortcuts to a healthy, lifelong approach to weight management. The right game plan, motivation, portion control and exercise can help put you in the best position for success.