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Is the keto diet killing you? Controversial study faces flak from fellow experts

Sep 08, 2021 16:53 IST | By Vishakha Somani

One of the most popular diets in the world, the ketogenic or keto diet is lauded for offering many health benefits, including weight loss and disease management. But a new study suggests that the popular low-carb and high fat diet may have severe long-term negative effects. 

Published in Frontiers in Nutrition, the study analyses existing literature on the dietary phenomenon. The team, who calls this the most comprehensive review yet, claims that keto can lead to long-term health complications such as cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s Disease. This is due to the increased consumption of red meat, processed meat, saturated fat and the reduced intake of vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains as part of the diet, noted the study.

SEE MORE What is the keto diet? What foods can you eat on the keto diet?

While the authors agreed that ketogenic diets can help reduce body weight, lower blood pressure and seizures in some, they say that the benefits either wane over time or can be achieved more effectively by other dietary approaches. 

In a media release, lead author Lee Crosby called the typical keto diet ‘a disease-promoting disaster.’  

However, fellow experts have raised alarm over the inaccuracies and the author’s conflict of interest in writing the study. Eric Westman, from the Duke Department of Medicine, commented that the authors have done ‘a very poor job in giving a balanced review.’  

Another expert commented the study only focuses only on the dirty keto diet which can be higher on processed meat and fats, compared to the regular or clean keto. 

SEE MORE New diet fad on the block! What is lazy keto?

Several others pointed out that the research is funded by an organisation with an aggressive pro-plant-based food agenda and the author herself a devout vegan, runs a famous plant-based food blog called Veggie Quest. All in all, the study has drawn a lot of flak for making, what some are calling, 'unsubstantiated claims.'  

Is the keto diet killing you? Controversial study faces flak from fellow experts

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