GREENSBORO, N.C. — After indulging on turkey, rolls, stuffing, casseroles, pies -- you name it -- this Thanksgiving, perhaps you are considering a somewhat healthier meal plan going forward.
Good Morning Show viewer Judy Knighten asked, "Can you VERIFY the KETO diet?"
Specifically, she asked whether it is healthy and if it works.
Both Mayo Clinic and registered dietitian Melissa Leonard agree the Keto diet is safe...for only a very select group of people.
The Keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet, which restricts grain intake and sets limits on fruits and some vegetables. It is called the Keto diet, because the body burns and gets energy from fat, instead of carbs, causing the person to enter a state of ketosis. Leonard said it is enticing to people, because it can cause quick initial weight loss and gives a strict set of rules to follow.
That said, Leonard noted the Keto diet is high in saturated fat, meaning it can increase the risk for heart disease. And, it is difficult to maintain long-term, which can mean a re-gaining of the weight lost. It also is so restrictive, it can put people at an increased risk of developing an eating disorder.
Leonard and Mayo Clinic note the positive benefits of Keto for people with the seizure disorder epilepsy. The Mayo Clinic cited research, saying Ketosis has brain-protecting benefits. As many as half of young people with epilepsy had fewer seizures after following the diet.
Leonard said, "Because of the restrictive nature of this diet and lack of long-term research for use in individuals for conditions apart from seizure disorders, I would not recommend this diet otherwise."
Is the Keto diet healthy? Generally, only for people with seizure disorders. Does it work? Usually, yes, for initial weight loss but not long-term.
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