Long-Term Effects of a Keto Diet
Has someone told you that low-carb and keto diets are great for weight loss, but they’re not sustainable? Or that eating this way is safe for the short-term but harmful over the long-term? Time to dispel both of these myths!
Let’s get thing one straight right at the start: as long as your food provides enough vitamins, minerals, protein, and essential fats, and you consume enough calories (energy) to fuel the activities you choose to engage in, there’s no reason you can’t follow a low-carb or keto diet for the rest of your life. Carbohydrates are a non-essential macronutrient to consume. Your body must have sugar (which is a simple carbohydrate) however you don't have to consume it to get it.
Back in the 1990s when one of my mentors, Dr. Eric Westman, was new to researching this way of eating, it was pretty radical to tell people that they could eat butter, red meat, and bacon, and lose weight. But even at that time, medical and nutrition professionals acknowledged that yes, weight loss came easily for most people on low-carb diets, but there were concerns that a diet rich in saturated f-f-f-fat would be dangerous for cardiovascular health. It was recommended that you could follow a keto-style diet for quick weight loss, but then it was best to switch back to a more “balanced diet” for the long term. What!?
Well, here in 2021, a few decades of clinical research and many, many thousands of successful people all around the world have taught us that keto diets are not only safe to follow for the long-term, but that in fact, they are beneficial for cardiovascular health. (Not to mention for reversing type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes, getting rid of heartburn and hypoglycemia, improving joint pain, restoring fertility in women with PCOS, and much more.)
As for sustainability, I don’t know about you, but I find a New York striploin with melted butter, whole eggs with cheddar cheese, and pan-fried salmon with a side veggie (and with butter again) to be not only sustainable, but downright delicious. (And of course, keeping it simple with some sliced deli meat and pork rinds is A-okay, too!) If I had to choose between eating very dark chocolate, juicy steak, canned salmon, and Caesar salad, or living with the end stages of type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance—blindness, kidney dialysis, amputation—I’d say eating those foods would probably be more sustainable.
Don’t let myths and misperceptions about keto stop you from sticking with a way of eating that can change your life.
Happy fat loss,
Keto Made Simple, Dr. Eric Westman, www.AdaptYourLifeAcademy.com, 2020.