Weight loss is an ongoing challenge for Americans. Throughout the years, we have found ourselves slurping cabbage soup, feasting on grapefruits, exploring diet prospects on South Beach and the Mediterranean, and eating like prehistoric cave dwellers (on the assumption that our ancestors had access to a Vitamix, of course).
The latest diet to gain mainstream popularity in this over $3 billion industry is the ketogenic (keto) diet. It isn’t new; in fact, it’s been used in hospitals to help control epileptic seizures in patients for many years.
The goal of this low-carb, high-fat diet is to help the body reach the body’s metabolic state called ketosis. “Ketosis is a normal metabolic process. When the body does not have enough glucose for energy, it burns stored fats instead; this results in a build-up of acids called ketones within the body,” says James McIntosh. This condition is believed to optimize the fat-burning process while lowering insulin levels.
But, does it work? More importantly, is it the recipe for a long-term lifestyle change? Health experts are mixed on their opinions, bringing as many health concerns to the table as advantages.