A day doesn’t go by that we are not asked about the Keto Diet. This diet promotes a low carbohydrate, high fat diet regimen. It is very high in saturated fat (artery clogging) and can be especially dangerous to people with diabetes, kidney disease and heart disease. People on the ketogenic diet are eating fewer grains, legumes, fruit and vegetables, and are at risk for nutrient deficits of calcium, vitamin D, selenium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, essential fatty acids and prebiotics. Food restrictions also decrease total dietary fiber consumption, leading to constipation and negative effects on the gut microbiome. Initial side effects of the keto diet may be referred to as the “keto flu” which includes poor energy and mental function, increased hunger, sleep issues, nausea, digestive discomfort and decreased exercise performance. Keto diets require extensive meal preparation and planning. Because of the diet’s restrictive nature, people often have a difficult time dining out with others, which could lead to social isolation.
Last Sunday night at family dinner we had guests following the Whole 30. Not only did this complicate the meal prep but it left all of the non-followers unsatisfied. This diet removes all of the so-called potentially inflammatory foods and beverages (added sugar and sweeteners, alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy, processed foods and beverages, baked goods, and junk foods). Eating three “clean” meals a day, made with Whole30-approved ingredients (meats, seafood, veggies, and eggs). This diet unnecessarily entirely eliminates food groups like grains, dairy and legumes (including nuts) from participants’ diets for a full 30 days. This diet is overall high in sodium and cholesterol. It does not set people up for any type of lasting healthy long-term success. What is one to do after 30 days? Start adding foods back in slowly, or just eliminate certain foods all together? A lack of calcium and vitamin D intake is a concern from a nutrition standpoint.