Month: July 2018

Why This Dietitian Is Against the Keto, Paleo and Other Trendy Diets

You can lose weight on most plans, but that doesn’t mean they’re healthy

EVER TRY A NEW DIET AND actually lose weight? It’s certainly possible to lose five, 10 or even 20 pounds by following the latest fad diet, but if you take a step back and ask yourself why, you’ll understand why you probably also regained that weight (and then some) – and why registered dietitian nutritionists don’t advocate for the diets in the first place.

You see, if your goal is to lose weight, most diets will work. Many cut out numerous food groups and overly processed, high-calorie junk foods, which slashes calories and results in weight loss. Most diets make you pay attention to every morsel that goes into your mouth, which means less food during your inactive, couch potato time of the evening. Again, that results in eating fewer calories throughout the day.

[See: The 10 Best Diets for Fast Weight Loss.]

Whether it’s intermittent fasting, Whole30, paleo, ketogenic, the macro diet or any other fad today, you will initially lose weight. So why am I and so many of my colleagues adamantly speaking out against these diet plans? Glad you asked.

1. They’re tough to maintain.

Once they lose the weight, most folks go right back to their unhealthy eating plans and regain it all – if not more. Many plans don’t discuss how to transition to maintenance, which can leave you confused once you try to get off the plan.

2. They don’t provide the body the nourishment it needs.

Your body needs specific macronutrients (carbs, protein and fat) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) in order to live and keep healthy. A well-balanced diet provides foods from the following food groups: whole grains, protein, dairy, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats. If you cut out one or more of these groups, chances are you’re severely limiting important nutrients your body needs.

3. They aren’t sustainable.

These plans are often tough to follow for a long period of time. They are also challenging to stick to when you’re traveling, when you’re at a social event and when you dine out. A sustainable diet is not only about the foods you choose to eat, but also how easily you can follow the plan. If you feel you regularly have “nothing to eat” every time you leave your house, then you should be thinking twice about following the diet.

4. They don’t change your long-term behavior.

When it comes to healthy eating and weight loss, it’s really about making lifelong changes to eat more healthfully. Creating new habits takes work – and a lot of it. Once you change a behavior – say, eating more vegetables at each snack – it takes six months of continuously doing that in order to create a habit. Just because you started to eat differently on a new diet, you won’t necessarily be creating healthy new habits that can be maintained for a lifetime.

[See: How to Make Healthful Dietary Changes Last a Lifetime.]

5. They can be unsafe.

Fad diets tend to promote any or several of the following: supplements, herbs, laxatives or enemas. Supplements and herbs can become costly and can also interact with medications. If you have a medical condition, always consult your doctor before trying a diet plan that has you popping pills. Laxatives and enemas can also leach nutrients from the gut and don’t allow nutrients to get into your body. What’s more, many diets advocate against carbs, but if you have a medical condition like diabetes, you have to make sure that you’re eating enough of them (from dairy, fruits and whole grains) or it can be deadly.

[See: 8 Food Trends Nutrition Experts Pray Will Never Return.]

The good news is that if you are trying to get healthier (which in and of itself deserves a pat on the back) and lose weight, you can do it safely and healthfully. Take a look at U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of the best weight-loss diets. In 2018, Weight Watchers and Volumetrics came in at Nos. 1 and 2, respectively. Each diet profiled on the site includes an in-depth explanation and a list of pros and cons if you choose to follow it.

If you’re still confused on what plan is right for you, a registered dietitian nutritionist can provide you with the personalized attention you deserve. RDNs look at your labs, food history, medical history, likes and dislikes, and other personal information in order to create an individual meal plan. They can also advise you on how to change your diet to create healthier habits, and work with you in order to do so.

Categories: Keto Guides

Ketogenic dieters strip pharmacies of life-saving tests for diabetics

Craig Johnson holding packet of keto strips

Diabetics across Australia are struggling to source an essential piece of equipment used to monitor their health, as urine-testing strips that measure the level of ketones in the body are being purchased in bulk by followers of the ketogenic diet.

Keto diet devotees keep track of their weight loss by monitoring the level of ketones in their body, which are a by-product of fat breakdown created when glucose is restricted.

They measure their ketones by using urine or blood-testing strips available in most pharmacies.

However the testing strips are also used by diabetics like Craig Johnson who can slip into a life-threatening condition called ketoacidosis when their ketone levels are too high.

“In eight years, I’ve had five onsets of it [ketoacidosis],” Mr Johnson said.

“Fundamentally it’s attacking your fat, but it’s harmful to your organs, it’s harmful to your body.

What is ketoacidosis?

  • Without enough insulin, the body’s cells cannot use glucose for energy. To make up for this, the body begins to burn fat for energy instead. This leads to accumulation of dangerous chemical substances in the blood called ketones, which also appear in the urine.
  • Ketoacidosis is related to hyperglycaemia. It is a serious condition associated with illness or very high blood glucose levels in Type 1 Diabetes.
  • Ketoacidosis is a serious medical emergency that is life-threatening if not treated properly.

Source: Diabetes Australia

“I’ve had a few cracks at it and it’s not fun at all.”

Mr Johnson was recently hospitalised with ketoacidosis, which he believes he could have detected earlier with keto strips.

However, there were no strips available at his local pharmacist in the northern New South Wales town of Byron Bay.

“The chemist informed me that the day before some bloke came in and bought 10 boxes and I said ‘Why the hell would you let him buy 10?’,” Mr Johnson said.

“I ended up in Tweed Hospital for a few days because I was quite sick and even they had a shortage.

“One of the nurses said point blank it was due to the new, hip keto diet people were on. I found that a bit frustrating and weird.”

Fad dieters put diabetics at risk

South Grafton pharmacist, Michael Troy, who is also a member of the Pharmaceutical Society and Pharmacy Guild of Australia, said the shortage of ketone-testing strips had become widespread since the keto diet returned to popularity.

Mr Troy said he had been unable to buy keto strips in bulk for almost six months.

Box of keto strips
PHOTO: Keto strips are in high demand as the ketogenic diet rises in popularity. (Supplied:

“It’s a supply issue. We just cannot physically get our hands on the stock from any of our wholesalers, so we’ve not been able to get the products to keep them in stock on the shelves,” Mr Troy said.

He is urging other pharmacists to follow his lead and keep keto strips aside only for diabetics.

“Don’t get me wrong, weight loss is a great thing, but weight loss compared to a life-threatening diabetic condition? I know which side of the fence I’d rather the products [be] directed towards,” he said.

The keto diet promotes the consumption of high levels of fat and aims to push the body into a state known as ketosis, which involves the burning of fat instead of carbohydrates.

Dieticians Association of Australia spokesman, Alan Barclay, said the keto diet was first popular in the 1920s, made a comeback in the 1970s, and was now back in fashion.

“There’s almost a 50-year cycle and if we think about it, there are three major nutrients in food; carbohydrates, fat and protein, and about every 10 years the fad diet of the day focuses on one of those nutrients by setting it out to be the bad guy or the good guy,” Dr Barclay said.

“I don’t think the ketogenic diet is a good diet because it’s extremely restrictive.

“The average person on it has less than 50 grams of carbohydrate in their food a day, which is very little. It’s equivalent to a slice of bread, half a cup of rice and a piece of fruit for an average adult.”

Diabetics urged to stock up

Diabetes New South Wales and ACT has also struggled to source keto strips in the past, but has now stockpiled the product to sell in their online store.

Educator Angela Blair advised all diabetics to keep a constant supply of strips in their medical kits.

“Rather than waiting until they’re sick, it’s really a good idea to have that product on hand and just keep checking the expiry date and replenish when you need to,” Ms Blair said.

Dr Barclay said he expected the problem to be solved when the next fad diet came along.

“We had about 15–20 years of demonising fat, now we’re well into the demonisation of carbohydrates, so there are two choices left: protein — and there’s a lot of junk protein around these days like protein bars — [and] the other possibility which I wish would happen is a focus on alcohol,” he said.

“Alcohol is the fourth macronutrient and it’s the number one source of discretionary kilojoules in the diet of Australians.

“I don’t know whether I Quit Booze would be a number one bestseller, but I wish it would.”

Categories: Keto Guides

Why is Ketogenic Diet Taking over Other Weight Loss Trends?

Anyone who is keen on an active and fit lifestyle must be aware of this latest weight loss revolution – ketone diet (also commonly known as the keto diet). Getting your diet right is essential for everybody, especially for those who have specific goals to achieve through the same.

Keto has been able to provide a lot of promising results in getting a better shape. People have noticed even better results when using CBD oil alongside their Keto diet as a routine supplement. HerbMighty have published several useful guides on CBD which we suggest you check out.

Though the term is echoed in various platforms and heard mostly due to celebrity promotions, a lot of people are still clueless about the same.   

What is Keto?

The Ketogenic diet is all about consuming low carb and high fat. The Keto diet plan consists of having approximately 10 to 20 % protein, 70 to 80 % healthy fat and only 5% carbohydrate.

Lack of carbs means less amount of glucose stored in our body. So there are only fats left to work as fuel for the energy cells, which in turn triggers the ketosis process. These small fat units that are used as energy sources are known as the ketones.

Most of our organs run on glucose, but deliberately causing a glucose deficit can force them to use the ketones. Thus, with the increase of ketones usage, the burning of storage fats also increases. This ultimately results in weight loss.

How is it different?

A lot of people might think that it is the same as the other weight loss diets, but they would be wrong. Eating suppresses the hunger hormone ghrelin. In different foods losing weight makes the body feel starved, and this hormone level goes up. But with Keto healthy fats are converted and supplied to tissues while the surplus is excreted through pee.

Why is it preferred?

Studies reveal that ketosis diet helps a man to lose around 450 kcals a day and around 150-200 kcals/day, routine use can showcase better cumulative results in a short period.

There are also the below reasons why a lot of fitness enthusiasts are fond of it –

  • Some crash diet programs can cause loss of energy, depression but this isn’t the case with ketosis diet.
  • Avoiding carbs can help to control the blood sugar levels.
  • Researchers say that ketogenic diet can also be helpful to prevent cancer.
  • Ketogenic diet mainly focuses on having healthy fats, which keeps the cholesterol in check and helps to maintain a better heart condition.
  • Ketosis is an old procedure to treat seizures that are caused by epilepsy. The diet combination also prevents another kind of seizures.
  • Apart from weight loss Ketogenic diet plans are also helpful in maintaining a perfect hormonal balance of important hormones like FSH and insulin.


A few essentials of the keto diet – Core Components!

  1. Eggs:

The egg is one of the most versatile food options which are included in almost every diet. The egg whites are a great suppliant of protein. The yolk is filled with a lot of essential nutrients, vitamin and antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin which is beneficial for our eyesight.

Though the egg yolks can be a source of cholesterol, it doesn’t have any adverse effect on our hearts.  Eggs contain less than one gms of carb which helps to keep the blood sugar level in check too and thus becomes the primary choice of most Ketogenic recipes.

  1. Seafood:

Fish and Seafood naturally becomes an excellent choice for the cause, as they are low on carbs. Crabs, Shrimps are mostly carb free, and most of this seafood is full of B vitamins, selenium, potassium and other minerals.

Fishes like Salmon, Mackerel, and Sardines are rich in omega three fats which are known for reducing obesity and regulating insulin levels.

  1. Dairy Products:

Dairy products can also be a good source of healthy fat. Studies show that decent consumption of high-fat dairy items like butter, yoghurt, cream and cheese can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

These products also contain protein, minerals and fatty acids that are instrumental to weight loss. As these are low in carbs, a reasonable amount can be taken with every meal. Some even consider milk chocolates as a part of their Keto diet.

  1. Low-Carb Vegetables:

The goal of Ketogenic diet is to lessen the carb intake hence starchy vegetables are excluded from the diet. But some other vegetables are not only low on the carb but also full of fibre and vitamins.
These vegetables like broccoli are not absorbed in the body like other starchy vegetables. Instead, these are known for keeping the heart healthy and limiting the chances of cancer.

  1. Meat and Poultry:

Meat and poultry are must-haves for almost every ketosis weight loss plan. Grass-fed meat is often prioritized over processed meats as they contain additives. They are virtually carb free and a rich source of protein that helps in building our body muscles and tissues.

A decent amount of such protein is essential for our body to avoid gluconeogenesis. Hence, beef, pork, poultry, lamb etc. has been staple food choices for this diet.

Apart from this, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, berries and seeds, can be included in the Keto diet plan to yield maximum benefits by not only reducing obesity but also to maintain an overall healthy and active lifestyle.

A fat-centric diet program can be beneficial – it was not to be easily believed even a decade ago until researchers proved the same and the myth of ‘fat makes you fat’ is busted. Hence, with Keto carbohydrates and sugar intake can be reduced to fight against not only obesity but also sugar and heart diseases by storing only the good fats.

Dedication and proper guidance from professionals can help you absorb this new healthy lifestyle, and positive consequences can be easily gained.

Ketogenic diet is currently the most trending weight loss program. It is known for its promising results in short period. But getting onboard with it is not that easy as you have to find the right combination of foods to achieve the desired results. So, this 2018 gear up with this spectacular dietary program and lead a fit life!

Categories: Keto Guides