Got Butter?

By Jordy Acevedo

Holidays put on the pounds and losing weight especially in the New Year may be a goal for many. The ketogenic diet, which focuses on fat, is an option though it comes with risks.

The keto diet is a low-carbohydrate, moderate protein and high-fat diet. According to the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health, the idea of the keto diet for weight loss is to relieve the body of glucose, which is the main source of energy for all cells in the body, and in turn get energy from ketones that come from fat.

According to U.S. News and World Report’s expert panel, “Selecting the right food will be easier as you become accustomed to the Keto approach. Instead of lean meats, you’ll focus on skin-on poultry, fattier parts like chicken thighs, rib-eye steaks, grass-fed ground beef, fattier fish like salmon, beef brisket, or pork shoulder and bacon. Leafy greens such as spinach, kale and lettuce, along with broccoli, cauliflower and cucumbers make healthy vegetable choices but you’ll avoid starchy root foods like carrots, potatoes, turnips and parsnips.”

“Oils like avocado, olive, canola, flaxseed and palm, as well as mayonnaise will flavor salads while fattening them up,” according to the same report. “Start your day with a nut butter-boosted latte, coffee or tea, or have bacon and eggs as a breakfast staple. Stick with whole-fat milk, cheese and other whole dairy products. Use stevia to replace sugar and artificial sweeteners.”

Aurora Gallegos Zarate, CSN student, said, “I am very familiar with the keto diet. I am actually attempting the diet as we speak with some noticeable results. I can honestly say that I’m losing weight quite normally considering that I’m also doing moderate workouts like walking and jogging for about an hour a day. I think I’m going at a steady pace and I want to lose much more on the diet.”

According to Harvard School of Public Health the keto diet, in any given day, requires one to eat 70-to-80 percent of calories from fat, 10-to-20 percent from protein and 5-to-10 percent from carbs. The diet can produce beneficial metabolic changes in the short-term. Along with weight loss, health issues associated with carrying excess weight have improved like insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. There are negatives, however, for the long-term that might include high cholesterol, nutritional deficiencies, kidney and heart problems.

Adilene Duran, a CSN student who was on the keto diet for six months, said, “I had heart pain for a while and I had bad breath for a long amount of time. I had to go to the hospital and they gave me pain relievers. They told me I had to slow down on the diet and to drink more water. Obviously, I had to do as the doctor ordered. I stopped the diet about a week after visiting the hospital.”

Duran continued, “I would have kept going with the diet if I wanted to but it would have been completely harmful to my body. I saw the keto diet as a helpful fasting type of diet rather than a diet you would want to follow for a long time.”

Leslie Gualajara, CSN student, said, “I have never heard of [the diet]. I think it would be wise of me to know of it since I have definitely tried to lose a couple of pounds in my life. I think I would consider doing this diet. Even now, it wouldn’t hurt to drop a couple of pounds on such an interesting diet.”

A review in U.S. News showed that experts didn’t rate the diet favorably. “The keto diet tied for last place overall with the Dukan Diet. Many of the experts expressed concerns about the diet’s emphasis on fat-rich foods. ‘This diet is fundamentally at odds with everything we know about long-term health,’ one expert said.”

When considering dieting, it is important to consult a doctor first and choose an appropriate meal plan to achieve weight-loss goals while protecting one’s health.

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