I've been on a Ketogenic diet for nearly 12 months, lost 81lbs (36.8kg) in 9 months, Cronometer is the best app for this diet that I've used so far. Thanks to the creators of this great program.
I've been wanting to try the Ketogenic Diet but have read a few articles saying that it hard on your kidneys and that its not good to be on it for to long, can you give me some insight?
Ketogenics is not for everyone, but be wary of the negative articles out on the net regarding keto. I have a general practitioner who is on a ketogenic diet himself that's what you need to find, someone who actually knows what they are talking about. He says that its split 50/50 among doctors those who believe its beneficial and those who don't. He said it might be coincidence but the 50% who are against Ketogenics are mostly over-weight. I'm coming up to 12 months now and no sign of regaining that weight, its the only diet that is effective, no sign of kidney damage, blood tests are all within normal range, BGL is 4.5 most mornings, blood pressure normal, so many things have returned to normal function, there's no way I'm ever going back to low fat and high carbs.
As an RD, I can say that there's a lot we still don't know about the ketogenic diet regarding long-term health effects. While it's not my first choice approach to weight loss, I'm open to it if it's something a client wants to try. From experience, I've found that a keto diet is a really good transition diet (i.e. to a more balanced way of eating), as many people struggle to maintain it for more than 12 months.
I don't expect keto to be as difficult on the kidneys, since protein intake isn't excessive, but if there is any reduced functioning, the loss of ketones in the urine could be something to watch for.
Anyone on keto should have their bloodwork monitored by an MD. In some people, a keto diet can worsen cholesterol levels and this would be a contraindication to continuing the diet.
There is a lot of good information in the forums on eating keto that should help you on your journey as well.
Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
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There is a lot of FUD surrounding keto, due in no small part to some very unhelpful misinformation swirling about. No, keto's not the all-the-bacon-you-can eat diet. Yes, it's still necessary to track calories if you want to lose weight. No, we do not require large quantities of exogenous carbohydrates to survive. Yes, small amounts of healthy carbs (leafy greens, etc.) are not only allowed but encouraged for their vitamin and nutrient value.
The key to practicing keto safely and effectively is to use a well-formulated keto diet... emphasis on "well-formulated". Why would a meal of grilled steak and baby spinach leaves be hard on your kidneys? A roasted chicken breast with asparagus topped with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese?
It's certainly possible to do keto in an unhealthy way, but an hour spent browsing for "healthy keto meals" is more than enough to send you off in the right direction. I don't know if it's allowed to plug specific books or references here, but a search on Amazon for "ketogenic diet" top-sellers will turn up some helpful guides.