Keto Diet: what it is and misconceptions about it

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The Ketogenic Diet, or Keto, has fast become one of the most popular weight loss plans in the country.

It calls for a higher consumption of fats and lower carbs to help switch the body's main energy source.  Instead of using glucose for energy the body switches to burning fat.

Experts, including Tara Finnerty, Intermountain Healthcare dietitian and Ketogenic expert, warns like any diet, if not done properly, it can lead to health issues and hurt a person's metabolism.  Finnerty says in some cases, healthier eating habits may be a better choice.

Finnerty says the Keto Diet is safe for most people but having certain types of medical conditions can make it unsafe.  As with many diets, anyone with medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease, pregnancy and any type of metabolic syndrome should consult their doctor.  Finnerty adds children are at a higher risk of complications from the Ketogenic Diet or any low-carb diets.

She says a well-formulated Keto Diet consists of a wide variety of nutrients including non-starch vegetables, berries, nuts and healthy sources of protein and fats.  "Just because you are Keto, doesn't necessarily mean you are eating healthy.  The focus of Keto should be on less processed foods and more on nutrient-dense, whole, fresh foods and mindful eating", says Finnerty.

The Keto Diet will most likely help you lose weight.  People often experience rapid weight loss at first, but as the body adjusts, weight loss will continue, but at a much steadier pace.

The Keto Diet has grown more popular, but it has actually been around since the 1920's and doctors used it to help treat epilepsy.  New studies have shown that it may also be effective in helping with Type 2 Diabetes and obesity.  Depending on the situation a patient should consult their doctor to make sure it won't have negative impacts on their health.

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