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Keto craze: Is the diet a healthy option?

February 12, 2019 08:40 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) -- The ketogenic diet is now becoming a hot topic. It's a low-carb, high-fat diet that some people say helps them shed pounds fast. But lately, there have been questions about whether keto is a healthy option.

The diet requires 65 to 85 percent of your diet to come from fat. Since it's focused on high-fat foods, some people have been choosing saturated fats instead of healthy fats. Also, keto has some people opting for a diet with lots of red meat and dairy, which has a lot of potential health concerns.

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Keto has been around since the early 19th century. It was originally developed for people suffering from seizures. In recent years, some dieters have learned that replacing carbohydrates with fats can sort of trick the body into a natural starvation mode to lose weight. 

A new global study looked at the diets of close to half a million people across the world. Researchers found people who ate close to half their daily calories in carbs were likely to live the longest. 

When it comes to slicing out carbs permanently, dietitian and diabetes educator Jennifer Lee with Rochester Regional Health says it might not be the best option.

"I do feel like long-term-wise, you could put yourself at a high risk of nutritional deficiencies because your carbohydrates are sources of fiber," Lee said. "Carbs being fruit, whole grains, brown rice, things like that...you're missing out on a lot of key micronutrients that you want to be very careful for."

Medical professionals say keto isn't all bad. It forces people to dramatically curb their sugar intake and eliminate processed foods. Both those habits promote good health and blood sugar levels, and they can help reduce your likelihood of developing cancer.

Credits

Kaci Jones

Copyright 2019 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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