Yes to avocado and duck breast! No to sweets and pasta. A formula that summarizes the ketogenic diet or “keto diet” or “high fat low carb”. Explanation by Olivia Charlet, nutritionist and author of L’alimentation cétogène 100% hypotoxique (Leduc.S edition): “The idea is to lower insulin levels as much as possible: a hormone whose secretion is stimulated by the consumption of sugars and which increases the storage of fats and prevents them from being burned. To compensate for the low intake of sugar, the body is forced to produce ketones (ketone bodies), which serve as alternative fuel for the brain and other organs, hence the term “ketogenic.” To produce these ketone bodies, the body can use all the fats available to it, both those from meals and those from reserves. This results in a massive depletion of reserves when we limit caloric intake in addition to rationing sugar.”
Keto is first and foremost a health diet
It came about in the early 1920s. Some doctors recommended it for certain diseases, such as epilepsy, to reduce seizures. But it was far from being unanimously accepted! Today, it has become popular thanks to the “zero sugar” trend and celebrities flooding social media with photos of their starved bodies. Some, like Kourtney Kardashian, swear by the avocado-banana smoothie. Others, like Gwyneth Paltrow, promote it on their website. Thanks to its success, there are now all sorts of keto diets, from the strict to the flexible, each adapted to its own sauce, risking a completely unbalanced diet.
KETO DIET: Thera are many prohibations
The ketogenic diet seems permissive, because you can eat red meat, fatty fish, avocados, butter, cream, vegetable oils including the famous coconut oil (choose organic, says Olivia Charlet), cornerstone of the diet … And these are the foods that are highlighted, especially on the web when talking about keto. However, the forbidden foods are often passed over in silence. Their list is long, which makes it difficult to follow the diet in the long run, unless you are very strict:
- Carbohydrates (white sugar, honey, sodas, pastries, baked goods …).
- Almost all fruits, except those that are low in carbohydrates but should be eaten in moderate quantities, such as berries (raspberries) or citrus fruits (oranges, lemons).
- Legumes (lentils, white beans, etc.)
- Cereals (rice, wheat, buckwheat…)
- Bread, pasta
- Root vegetables (sweet potatoes, parsnips, pumpkin…).
The risks of the keto diet if you are not rigorous
. At the beginning of the diet you may experience some discomfort (headaches, fatigue, nausea) while your body adapts to the lack of glucose and manages to get energy from fats.
. Avoiding certain foods can lead to a lack of fiber, vitamins and minerals.
. Eating too many animal products is harmful to health (chronic inflammation, increased risk of cancer, including colon cancer). For this reason, Olivia Charlet recommends a hypotoxic ketogenic diet, free of excess meat and dairy products, which, according to the expert, is “much healthier”.
The ketogenic diet is not a miracle diet. Its goal may be to lose weight. But it aims mainly to establish a new way of eating in the long term. Because the change is quite radical compared to what we normally eat. And it is not easy in the long run. Olivia Charlet advises to be accompanied in this transition by an expert trained in ketogenic nutrition, and even more so, of course, if you adopt this diet for health reasons.
Keto Burn: not to be confused with the keto diet
Dietary supplement manufacturers are riding the keto wave, a magic word that is selling well. Especially since celebrities have been touting raspberry ketone-based weight loss pills on their social networks. Hence the confusion … The best known: Keto Burn (keto for ketosis, burn to burn), Keto Burn Fit, Premium Pure Keto, Keto Fit … The e-commerce sites recommend their products “to people who have started a ketogenic diet, because they help the body to enter a state of ketosis. Taking keto tablets with meals and exercise is the new effective way to start a diet because raspberry ketones help achieve weight loss goals by using fat as fuel.”
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