Best Diets of 2020 - Keto Diet
Updated: Jun 22
To be rated top, a diet had to be easy to follow, safe, effective for weight loss and protective against type 2 diabetes and heart disease. In the last few weeks, I have covered the three diets that came top overall, and today I am going to give you the low-down on the diet that came second from last - The Keto Diet.
The Keto Diet has its roots in the decades-old therapeutic ketogenic diet. Clinically, the ketogenic diet is used in neurologic medicine, fundamentally to decrease difficult-to-control seizures in children. Studies also suggest possible benefits in other brain conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. The Keto Diet was introduced as a weight-loss diet by an Italian professor of surgery, Dr. Gianfranco Cappello of Sapienza University in Rome. In his 2012 study, 19,000 dieters were administered a high-fat liquid diet via a feeding tube inserted down the nose. The study demonstrated an average weight loss of more than 20 pounds in participants, the majority of whom kept it off for at least 12 months.
The Keto Diet emphasises weight loss through fat-burning, and the goal is to quickly lose weight and feel more satiated with less food cravings, whilst boosting your mood, mental cognition and energy. According to keto advocates, by drastically reducing the carbs you eat and instead loading up on fats, you enter a state of ketosis. This is when the body breaks down both dietary and stored body fat into substances called ketones. In this state your fat-burning system relies predominantly on fat for energy instead of glucose. While similar in some ways to low-carb diets, The Keto Diet’s extreme carb restrictions – about 20 net carbs a day or less (the carb 'allowance' varies depending on the version), and the conscious switch to ketosis, is what differentiate this very popular diet from other diets.
Whilst the diet was ranked 34th out of 35 overall, The Keto Diet achieved the following rankings, and an impressive 3rd place in 'Best Fast Weight-Loss Diets':
Will The Keto Diet help with weight loss?
In its 2016 report “Healthy Eating Guidelines & Weight Loss Advice,” the Public Health Collaboration, analysed the evidence on low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets (The Keto Diet falls under the LCHF umbrella-term). 53 randomised clinical trials compared LCHF diets to calorie-counting, low-fat diets, and the majority of studies indicated superior weight loss for the keto-type diets, along with more beneficial health outcomes. Additionally, recent studies focusing on The Keto Diet suggests some benefits for short-term weight loss. But, most scientists believe that it’s too soon to tell whether people who follow The Keto Diet can sustain their weight loss in the long-term.
The cost of following The Keto Diet may increase your shopping bill, as good-quality meat and fresh vegetables are more expensive than processed foods. I would recommend opting for vegetables that are in season, as this can help reduce the cost. Also, I would advise you choose the best quality meat and wild fish, which you can afford.
If you are keen to try The Keto Diet, I would strongly recommend focussing on including:
- lots of non-root vegetables
- wild fatty fish
- organic meat
- anti-inflammatory herbs and spices, such as turmeric, rosemary and cinnamon on a daily basis.