By - Fredrick J. Said

Now We Know the World’s First Celebrity Diet (And Why it Was So Clueless)

Before there was keto and paleo, there was…

Kim Kardashian lost so much weight on the Sunfare Optimal Cleanse, she worried her Met Gala dress wouldn’t fit. Jersey Shore‘s Vinnie Guadagnino is now calling himself the “keto guido” after losing 50 pounds on that popular diet. And Lisa Rinna is attempting an oldie-but-goodie celebrity diet, Oprah’s 21-day cleanse. But before all of this — and so very many more approaches — what was the very first celebrity diet trend of them all?

Popular Science claims to have unearthed the answer — or at least a likely answer based on historical research. “While it’s impossible to know for sure, my research led me to Lord Byron, an English poet who lived from 1788 to 1824,” wrote the reporter Claire Maldarelli. “The writer attended Cambridge University, and during his time at school, historians claim that Byron was extremely vain. With a crushing fear of becoming overweight, Byron subsisted on a combination of soda water and biscuits. For a little variety, he’d occasionally eat potatoes covered in vinegar.”

To summarize: The world’s first celebrity diet may have been, basically, salt and vinegar chips. And that, as we all well know in our carb-phobic modern culture, certainly cannot work. Duh.

By - Fredrick J. Said

Celebrities Are Obsessed with the Keto Diet. Why You Shouldn’t Be.

The latest diet craze among celebrities promises weight loss without sacrificing bacon.

The keto diet, short for “ketogenic,” involves eating a high amount of fat, a moderate amount of protein and very few carbs — even fruit is off the table. As with any fad diet, adherents tout weight loss, increased energy and greater mental clarity among the benefits. But is the keto diet all it’s cracked up to be?

Not precisely, nutritionists and dietitians say. Low-carb diets like the keto do appear to lead to some short-term weight loss, but they’re not significantly more effective than any other commercial or self-help diet. And they don’t appear to improve athletic performance. [Diet and Weight Loss: The Best Ways to Eat]

“Depending on your approach, [keto diets] can contribute to significant lean body mass loss along with fat loss,” said Melinda Manore, a professor of nutrition at Oregon State University. (Typically, dieters want to shed only fat, not lean body mass, which includes muscle.) And as with other fad diets, people typically regain the weight once they go off the diet.

The keto diet was originally designed not for weight loss, but for epilepsy. In the 1920s, doctors realized that keeping their patients on low-carb diets forced their bodies to use fat as the first-line source of fuel, instead of the usual glucose. When only fat is available for the body to burn, the body converts the fats into fatty acids, and then into compounds called ketones, which can be taken up and used to fuel the body’s cells.

For reasons not entirely understood even today, fueling the body on primarily ketones reduces seizures. However, with the development of anti-seizure medications, few people with epilepsy rely on ketogenic diets today, according to a 2008 paper in the journal Current Treatment Options in Neurology, but some people who don’t respond to medications can still benefit.

For weight loss, today’s keto diets are the descendants of low-carb diets like the Atkins diet, which peaked in popularity in the early 2000s. Both types of diets reject carbs in favor of meatier meals. There is no single blueprint for the keto diet, but plans usually call for eating fewer than 50 grams of carbohydrates a day. (Wheat bread contains about 16 grams of carbohydrates per ounce, according to the USDA.) Celebrity adherents to the diet include Halle Berry and Kourtney Kardashian.

A keto diet forces the body into a state called ketosis, meaning that the body’s cells depend largely on ketones for energy. It’s not entirely clear why that leads to weight loss, said Jo Ann Carson, a professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwest Medical Center and the chair of the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Nutrition Committee, but ketosis seems to blunt the appetite and may affect hormones like insulin that regulate hunger. Fats and proteins may also keep people fuller than carbohydrates, leading to lower calorie intake overall, Carson told Live Science.

Still, studies of low-carb diets don’t paint them in a particularly revolutionary light. When researchers pit branded diets head-to-head in studies, they find that no particular diet, be it low-carb or low-fat, stands out as a winner.

In one head-to-head comparison published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2014, researchers analyzed 48 separate diet experiments in which participants were randomly assigned to one of several popular diets. The diets included the low-carb Atkins, South Beach and Zone diets as well as low-fat diets like the Ornish diet and portion-control diets like Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers.

They found that any diet resulted in more weight loss than no diet at all after six months. Low-fat and low-carb diets were pretty much indistinguishable, with low-carb dieters losing 19 pounds (8.73 kilograms), on average, and low-fat dieters losing an average of 17.6 pounds (7.99 kg), both compared to non-dieters. At 12 months, the benefits showed signs of leveling off for both types of diets, with both low-fat and low-carb dieters reporting being 16 pounds (7.27 kg) lighter, on average, than non-dieters.

“Weight loss differences between individual named diets were small,” the researchers concluded. “This supports the practice of recommending any diet that a patient will adhere to in order to lose weight.”

Another analysis of popular diets published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in April 2015 found the Atkins diet to result in more weight loss than simply educating people on portion control, but also noted that most of the studies of this low-carb diet involved registered dieticians helping participants make food choices, rather than the self-directed process by which most people pick up the diets. That’s true of many diet studies, the researchers noted, so study results likely look rosier than weight loss in the real world.

Finally, a direct comparison of low-fat and low-carb dieting, published in February in the journal JAMA, found that over a year, there was no statistically significant difference in the amount of weight dropped. Low-fat dieters lost 11.7 pounds (5.3 kg), on average, and low-carb dieters lost 13 pounds (6 kg), on average.

Keto diets “can help us lose weight, but compared to other diet strategies, they’re not more helpful,” said Melissa Majumdar, a dietitian at the Brigham and Women’s Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Much of the weight lost in the initial stages of a keto diet is water weight, because carbohydrate stores in the body carry water molecules with them, Majumdar told Live Science. That can move the scale an exciting amount initially, but weight loss inevitably slows with time.

Unfortunately, keto diets are probably more prone than many others to end with weight regain because they can be hard to stick to in the long run, Carson said. And being in ketosis for more than a few weeks might not be best for overall health, she said. [The Best Way to Lose Weight Safely]

What’s more, “there is concern about [levels of] saturated fat and cholesterol” in the diet, she said. Some of this is genetically determined: The extent to which dietary fats and cholesterol translate to increased levels of blood cholesterol (which are associated with heart disease) is partly individual, Carson said.

“It probably is particularly important if you’re going to try something like a ketogenic diet is to really check with your physician [and] get lab work done to make sure you’re not doing extreme harm,” she said.

Ketogenic diets also tend to cause more calcium to be lost in the urine, Carson said, which can lead to a decrease in bone density over time and increase the risk of osteoporosis.

“Another overall issue is that when you’re following a ketogenic diet, you’re probably not eating as much regular fruits and vegetables as a heart-healthy diet pattern would have,” Carson said.

The AHA recommends eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, skinless poultry and non-fried fish, nuts and legumes, and limiting red meat, saturated fat and sweets for a heart-healthy diet.

“I do not promote the ketogenic diet for patients, because it’s generally not sustainable, and anytime we’re taking out whole food groups we’re missing whole nutrients,” Majumdar said. In the case of keto diets, putting the kibosh on fruits, many veggies and whole grains means that people don’t end up consuming much fiber.

The AHA also recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week for heart health. Weight loss and maintenance might take a lot more exercise than that, Carson said, which could be a problem for those on ketogenic diets.

Regarding ketones as fuel, Carson said, “It’s harder to have energy to be physically active.”

By - Fredrick J. Said

How Is Keto Diet Different From Other Low-Carb Diets?

Keto Diet and Low Carb Diet are terms that you can commonly find on the web. People generally use these terms interchangeably. But, there are some key differences. Are you thinking about the right choice? Then, there are things that you should consider closely.

What is a low-carb and high-fat diet?

In fact, there is not concrete explanation on the low-carb and high-fat diet. It denotes any meal plan that goes through the philosophies as stated by the name. In a diet program with such a diet schedule, you will go through different dietary phases. For instance, in the initial phase, you will start with about 30 grams of carbs per day. With this quantity of carbs, you will also get unlimited fat and medium level of protein. When this is the case of one program, the quantity of carb will differ in the other. Not just carb, but also protein and fat will differ.

What is a ketogenic diet anyways?

When you take the case of this diet program, it comes with much stricter parameters. This diet was found in the early 1900s by Dr. Russell Wilder. You will feel surprised to know its early introduction. Yes, it is gaining popularity these days among fitness freaks. But, it is being followed for long.

A true keto diet permits only 5% of your day-to-day calories should come from carbs. The diet suggests that you should get 75% of calories from fat and the rest from protein. When you follow this diet strictly, your body will shift to a constant state. This state is known as nutritional ketosis. The attention of this diet program is on ketone bodies. When you consume this much low carbs, your liver will break down the fat. It means that as against using glucose for energy, ketone bodies will be used.

What does the science say?

As the definition of a low-carb diet differs from one another, clear results are difficult. Even, some studies suggest that usage of fat for fuel will bring many benefits. For instance, a report was published based on a 2015 study. As per the European Journal of Sports Science, it would extend the mental performance. Even, it shows that the physical performance will go more than the expectations. This report supports older reports like the Metabolism Research journal report. The other benefits suggested by reports on Keto Diet include:

  • Improve body fat composition, which happens because fat is used as the fuel.
  • Better blood sugar level controls by restricting carb consumption. When carbohydrates are reduced, constant sugar spikes are avoided.
  • Improved brain health as the brain uses fat for energy. It is based on the fact that higher fatty foods will improve your mental performance.

Studies show that ketogenic diet will suit you if you fall under any of these categories:

  • If you are an individual with medical conditions like diabetes and epilepsy, it will fit. For these two conditions and even for high BP, keto is the best as suggested by studies.
  • If you have neurological conditions, ketosis diet will fit you. You might have heard that ketones are good for the brain.
  • It is suitable for athletes, particularly endurance athletes.
  • If you look for cognitive benefits, you can choose ketosis diet.
  • In case, you look for a rapid weight loss, ketosis weight loss can help.

What is the fundamental difference between low-carb and ketosis diet?

Low-carb involves eating an arbitrarily low number of carbs. Otherwise, it can also mean totally avoiding carbs. On the other hand, ketosis is a metabolic state. It is a state where the breakdown of fatty acids into ketones happens in your body.

In short, eating low carb is a random food choice you make. On the flip side, ketosis is a state of metabolism.

Why should you not go for low-carb diet?

Let us consider that you go for just low-carb and not the keto diet. If this is the case, you might experience the following side-effects:

  • Loss of physical performance
  • Weight gain
  • Hunger Pangs
  • Hormonal disruptions
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Fatigue and low energy

When you are not in ketosis state, your body uses the breakdown of carbohydrate. It happens for creating glucose. The body also uses it as the primary source of energy. So, you will experience the above-mentioned issues.

On the flip side, in ketosis state as against burning carbs for energy, your body burns fats. So, you will not experience the above-mentioned issues. The reason is that you are going to give your body the required fuel. Let us consider that you are still running on the carb for fuel. However, if you are not providing carbs to your body, you will have a bad day. Your body will search for a dependable source of energy. If it cannot find anything, you will get tired.

Why do people get tired with a low-carb diet?

There are three main reasons, why low-carb alone cannot do good for you. When you take low carb and high fat in ketosis, these three things will not happen.

The level of carbs is still too high:

Each one of us responds to different levels of carbs, protein, and fat differently. It is not enough to just consume what you think is low carb. Different factors determine your low carb tolerance level. Some people tolerate 25 grams of carbs per day. On the other hand, the others need 100 grams carbs per day. But, you can tell if you are consuming too much or too little of carbs. It can be done only by testing your ketone levels.

The amount of calories consumed is too low:

If you do not eat enough food, your body will move into starvation mode. People think that they should remove carbs in the low-carb diet. But, they do not replace with any other food. It is a huge mistake. It will make your energy to get down drastically. Even, it can lead to hormonal issues. So, when you restrict carbs, you should make sure that you get the required calories per day.

Yet another reason is that the amount of protein is not correct. You take either too low or too high protein in your diet.

These mistakes will not happen in keto diet as you will be on medium protein. Also, you will supply your body with fats as against carbs.