Does The Keto Diet Work For Everyone?

If you haven’t heard of the keto diet by now, it’s probably safe to say that keeping up with the latest health trends isn’t really your thing. From wellness websites and doctor’s office magazines to the Twitter feeds of your favorite celebs, the diet has been everywhere in recent years. 

Though the jury is largely still out on the benefits of keto, it’s often touted as the answer to everyone’s weight loss prayers. But does the keto diet work for everyone? Unfortunately, nutrition experts say no. It can be restrictive, tough to sustain, and downright unhealthy for some people. 

If you’re thinking of trying it, here’s what you need to know.

What is the keto diet?

The ketogenic diet was developed in the 1920s as a treatment for epilepsy, according to registered dietitian Lainey Younkin, owner of Lainey Younkin Nutrition. Now, Younkin says, it’s a fad diet based on putting your body into ketosis, a process of burning fat cells for energy.

Does keto work?

Proponents of keto say the low-carb, high-fat approach can lead to significant amounts of weight loss. “People do lose weight,” agrees Younkin. “But can they keep that weight off and can they follow keto long-term? For most people, the answer to those questions is no.” In other words, it’s not necessarily the kind of permanent lifestyle change you’re hoping to achieve.

Many health professionals worry about the extreme nature of the diet. It limits carbohydrates to less than 50 net grams per day and can often lead to nutritional deficits.

Who should try a keto diet?

So who is a good candidate for keto? It can serve a medical purpose for people with seizures.

According to registered dietitian Danielle Schaub, culinary and nutrition manager for Territory Foods, the diet can also help people who are looking to:

  • improve or reset their insulin sensitivity;
  • improve some health biomarkers, like blood pressure; 
  • or lose weight or body fat with a sedentary lifestyle.

Who shouldn’t try a keto diet?

On the flip side, there are several groups of people who should NOT do keto, per Schaub. They include:

  • people looking to lose weight fast without having a plan on how to maintain the weight loss long-term;
  • anyone with a poor relationship with food and/or disordered eating patterns;
  • elite athletes;
  • and anyone with pancreatitis, liver failure, kidney disorder, or other fat metabolism disorders;
  • Diabetic patients who have ever been diagnosed with diabetic ketoacidosis. 

Like with most restrictive diets, children and pregnant or breastfeeding women should also avoid keto unless otherwise instructed by their physicians.

Recommended Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *