/Keto concerns 

Keto concerns 

By Laurie Sweig

many people are trying the keto diet. I have not been part of the
cheering section for this diet or any diet that restricts the
consumption of any real types of food (fruits, vegetables, legumes,
etc.) The keto diet was originally a medical protocol used to help
reduce epileptic seizures in children. It was never intended to be a
diet. While people do lose weight on this diet the long-term effects are
Our bodies naturally use sugar (glucose) for energy.
That sugar comes from carbohydrates (again – fruits, vegetables,
legumes, etc.). On the keto diet the body is forced into ketosis and in
that process the liver converts fat into ketones. The ketones are
released into the bloodstream to provide the energy needed for the
various functions of the body.
In order for the body to switch to
ketosis, carbohydrate consumption must be reduced to 20 to 50 grams per
day (a medium-sized banana has approximately 27 grams of carbs). It
takes a few days of consuming minimal amounts of carbohydrates to reach a
state of ketosis. Essentially, this weight loss method is forcing the
body to use its back-up system for energy. Yes, we are built like that.
We have all these systems in place to keep us alive in extreme
circumstances. By reducing carbohydrates we’re tricking our bodies into
using an emergency method for fuel. It’s like using a generator during a
power outage. It works fine for a bit but it’s not as good as the real
There are big risks involved, such as:
Nutrient deficiency
Liver problems
Kidney problems 
Mood swings
state of ketosis is meant to protect us when we’re faced with
starvation due to a food shortage. It’s great to know that we could
survive a short-term famine. That’s one of the miracles of the human
body. Playing around with that natural balance is asking for trouble. I
appreciate that some folks love this diet. The challenge is that
restrictive diets are hard to maintain for the long run. More often than
not the weight comes back on. In addition to that, losing the weight
again can be difficult because we’ve messed with a perfectly working
I know how hard it is to lose weight. I struggle with it
daily. Personally, I would rather carry a few extra pounds than risk
greater health issues involving my liver or kidneys. 
Something to think about.
Sweig is a certified personal fitness trainer and spinning instructor.
She owns and operates The Point for Fitness. She can be reached at laurie@thepointforfitness.com.