What is the Keto Diet?

keto diet

Dear Dr. Manny,

I keep seeing people on television talking about how great the keto diet is. What is the keto diet? Is it safe? Would it help me lose weight if I tried it? 

A keto diet is a low-carb diet that helps the body produce ketones. The purpose of the keto diet is to stop your body from producing glucose and insulin. 

Ketones break down fats in the liver. By stopping the production of glucose, your body is induced into a state called ketosis. The overall end of the keto diet is to put yourself in a state of ketosis. 

The keto diet will help you lose weight because your body starts burning fats. Your insulin levels drop, and your metabolism starts to speed up. It works better than some other diets out there. 

The keto diet helps prevent type 2 diabetes because your body does not produce much insulin on it. It also helps induce a better mental focus. You avoid big spikes in blood sugar, and the proteins help nourish your brain. 

People on the keto diet have more energy and a normal appetite. The diet helps people with epilepsy, lowers cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, and helps improve your skin. People with acne do well on the keto diet. 

The diet prevents you from eating grains, fruits, potatoes, and sugar.  Your intake is high in fat, high in protein, but very low on carbs. 

Some people say the keto diet only works for a short while. It is not meant to be a long-term lifestyle choice. Most of the weight loss is apparently water weight, and because your body is induced into a starved state, you lose muscle and become fatigued. Athletes are not recommended to try the keto diet. 

Some doctors warn that the keto diet can also damage the heart in some way. So if you want to try the keto diet, make sure you ask your doctor. It might be a good decision for you personally, but it also might not, depending on your health.