Is the keto diet safe or an overreaction to sugar addiction?

Kara Marxer
May 14, 2019 - 6:14 am

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With swimsuit season approaching, more and more people are considering the popular keto diet, in which sugars are eliminated, including natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables.

The keto diet gets its name from a state of ketosis, in which the body begins to derive energy by burning fats instead of carbohydrates. Some enthusiasts eliminate dairy products, which contain lactose, another type of sugar. 

Some proponents report remarkable weight loss and a reduction in diabetic symptoms by removing sugars from the diet. Enthusiasts trade recipes that are re-engineered with substitutes for grains, sugars and starchy vegetables. 

Some dietitians find the keto diet worrisome, including Crystal Futrell, with the Kansas State University Extension Office.

"You're not just eating straight sugar," Futrell said. "You're going to be eating all the vitamins and minerals that are accompanying the sugar in that product."

The goal should not be radical changes, but balance in ones diet, Futrell said.

"Half of your plate should be fruits and vegetables, the other half should be grains, hopefully whole grains, and proteins, and then you have a side of dairy," Futrell said.

One wise thing to eliminate is sugary drinks, which contain little or no nutritional value, Futrell said.

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