Nutrition experts weigh in on the popular keto diet
By: Kristal Shelden, MPH, RDN
The Silicon Valley Registered Dietitian Nutritionist’s Book Club reviewed The Keto Reset Diet by Mark Sisson with Brad Kearns. The book’s primary claim is that the body’s genes can be reprogrammed with this diet, going “back to the original factory setting of being fat- and keto-adapted.”
For those who are not familiar with the keto concept, here are some basic facts. Carbohydrates break down into glucose after digestion and are the body’s preferred source of energy. Keto is a shorthand term for ketosis, which the authors describe as a state of metabolic efficiency where stored body fat is burned in the form of ketones, eliminating the need for high-carbohydrate meals to sustain energy levels. That is, in the absence of carbohydrates, the body will break down fat into ketones that are then used to fuel the heart, kidneys and muscles.
To put the body into ketosis, carbohydrate intake needs to be under 50 grams for the entire day. For reference, 15 French fries and one banana provide approximately 50 grams of carbohydrate. In training, dietitians learn how to plan ketogenic diets, which are a common treatment for people with epilepsy. The ketogenic diet is high fat, moderate protein and low carbohydrate. The book includes step-by-step guidance, daily meal plans and a recipe section with over 100 keto-friendly recipes.
Sisson’s keto reset diet is carried out in a three-step process:
Overall, we agree with the book’s following recommendations:
Although this book contains some tasty and nutritious recipes and solid advice to cut back on sugary foods while exercising and getting adequate sleep, we cannot recommend a book that excludes multiple food groups. Very restrictive diets are difficult to follow and tend to be short-term endeavors. Additionally, the diet is not recommended for individuals with pancreatic, liver, thyroid or gallbladder diseases and conditions, and there is limited research on the long-term impact of the keto diet on kidney, liver and cardiovascular health.
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Kristal Shelden, MPH, RDN
Kristal Shelden, MPH, RDN
Kristal Shelden is Dairy Council of CA’s advocacy manager, driving the organization’s thought leadership strategies and communications.
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