PHILADELPHIA (CBS Local) – The ketogenic diet, commonly known simply as the keto diet, is all the rage these days, but new studies are casting doubt on its benefits.
Sara Seidelmann, a cardiologist and nutrition researcher at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, recently published a massive study surveying the eating patterns of more than 447,000 people around the world. She discovered that eliminating entire food groups may work for a while, but you could pay a big price over time.
The keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that forces the body into a state of ketosis — that’s when you burn fat instead of carbohydrates for energy.
Because sugar is a carb, many keto dieters drastically reduce their sugar intake but also eliminate healthier carbs. There’s also some limited evidence that people become less tolerant of glucose and develop diabetes after going low-carb.
Low-carb diets also tend to neglect nutrients like magnesium, calcium and potassium that can be plentiful on less restrictive diets that include high-carb foods like beans, bananas, and oats.
Research that backs up Seidelmann’s study was presented in August at the European Society of Cardiology Congress. It found that people who eat a moderate amount of carbohydrates are more likely to live longer than either low-carb or high-carb dieters.
And another study published this week in PLOS Medicine indicates that people who take in fewer fresh vegetables, legumes, and nuts are more likely to develop some of the most common and deadliest cancers, including colon, stomach, lung, liver and breast cancers.
Seidelmann says her results suggest a diet “rich in plant-based whole foods such as vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts is associated with healthy aging.”