Ready to hop on the Keto Diet train?

Fad diets and supplements are everywhere you look. From infomercials to social media, you can't seem to escape them! So, where does the Ketogenic Diet rank?

Posted: Nov 19, 2018 6:41 PM
Updated: Nov 19, 2018 11:22 PM

VINCENNES, Ind. (WTHI) - Fad diets and supplements are everywhere you look. From infomercials to social media, you can't seem to escape them!

One diet that's getting a lot of attention lately is the ketogenic diet. We know in a few days, you'll be indulging in Thanksgiving goodies. That's why News 10 did a little digging to see if this diet is really all it's cracked up to be.

A photo showing someone's waist being measured. (WTHI Photo, Lacey Clifton)

Genuinely, it sounds too good to be true. However, Good Samaritan Nurse Practitioner Andrea Miller says there are many benefits to the Ketogenic Diet.

She explains, "Typically it targets abdominal fat. Reduced hunger, reduced appetite, reduced cravings."

For these reasons, many people are jumping on board the keto diet train. So what is it?

Miller shares, "The keto diet is basically a diet approach where we change the fuel source of your body."

Here's what you need to know. You start by eating fewer foods that are high in carbs. Then, your body will switch from burning carbs for fuel to burning fat. The fat-burning state is called “ketosis”, which is what the diet is named for. Miller says there's are a few ways to tell you're in it.

She explains, "Usually people will know because they have that energy boost. They also might have an odor to their breath, or to their urine. They generally feel that appetite loss."

But before diving in head first, Miller says be prepared for your body to adjust.

Miller shares, "Keto Flu. It's a real phenomenon. Usually, it's the body's adaptation process. You can have some nausea, you can feel light-headed, you can feel weak. "Hangry". You can feel some abdominal changes, changes to your stools are common, especially at first. But that adaptation it can last anywhere from a few days for some people, and it can last up to a few weeks for some people."

Miller says the ketogenic diet is roughly 70 percent fat, 20 percent protein, and 5 percent carbs. Of course, specifics are based on the person. While that might sound like you're getting the green light for fats, Miller says to slow your roll.

Miller warns, "We know for our heart health that eating saturated fats like bacon or sausage on a regular basis is not good for our health and our heart, and increases our risk for cardiovascular disease. So the keto diet should incorporate healthy fats."

Miller says coconut, olive, and canola oils, nuts, and avocados, are a few sources of healthy fats.

As mentioned, ketogenic carb intake is very low. So as the holiday season full of sweets and side dishes is fast-approaching, brace yourself.

Miller says, "I think it's just a mind over matter and developing discipline because those are the things we probably grew up on and that we like."

As it turns out, part of the reason Miller knows so much about the topic, is because she's done it herself. Miller shares, "Since I've started this diet, I've probably lost close to 75 pounds."

For Miller, she says pursuing the keto diet started with her son.

Miller explains, "My son does have a form of epilepsy and he was treated. I worked with a dietitian at Riley for about a year and a half with him on the keto diet so I got to learn more about it and I started becoming more interested. "

Miller started taking on some of the hallmarks of the diet for herself. She limited potatoes, breads, and processed carbs.

Once Miller started seeing good results, she realized it could be a good tool for weight loss at the Good Samaritan weight loss clinic. The move couldn't have come at a better time for Laura Montgomery.

Montgomery shares, "I had a cardiac event when I was 43, and I'm 57 now, and I had been on medication for cholesterol and it had been fine for all these years. And then last year it wasn't fine, it was elevated. So I was already on medication so the only option was to lose weight."

That's when Montgomery, with the help of Miller, turned to the keto diet. But with the low carb focus of keto, Montgomery says she did have her challenges.

She explains, "I was the kind that if it was a cake, I wouldn't eat a little piece of cake, I'd eat like three pieces. Because it was really good, and you don't know when you're going to get it again. So I just overdid it."

Montgomery pushed through her cravings for sweets. Overall, she lost around 30 pounds, and her blood work improved. Choosing the diet was ultimately a win-win in her book.

Montgomery says, "I was at the point where I knew I had to do something, and I wasn't doing it on my own. But the numbers don't lie, so that kind of jolted me into reality. If you don't have your health you don't have anything."

By going in and out of ketosis, Miller says it can alter brain function. Your brain will go from functioning on glucose to ketones, and back. So, that can cause some confusion, or decrease cognition. She says, "We worry about the liver, the kidneys, and pancreas as far as insulin release. It can also wreck your metabolism going back and forth".

It’s important to see your doctor to get a baseline lab test, to ensure that liver and kidney function is good for long term. Miller says you want to make sure there are no problems before you get started. Outside of that, Miller says to talk to a dietitian and do your research. She says there are many reputable sources for calories, fats, protein, and carbs you should shoot to make the diet effective.

Miller says there are people who should not really consider the keto diet. This would include weightlifters, bodybuilders, or people in elite sports that require a lot of energy. She adds that it is possible for Type 1 Diabetics to do it, but it would definitely need to be done with the help of an endocrinologist or physician. Miller says it can be very effective for people with Type 2 diabetes, but it also needs to be done with medical supervision. She wraps up the list, saying people who are pregnant or nursing shouldn’t do this diet or people with pre-existing liver or kidney disease.

Miller says Good Samaritan offers a comprehensive approach to weight loss. She says that keto is just a part of that. She says each plan is based on what a person thinks will work for them. To contact Good Samaritan for more information (812) 895-2456.

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