Hopefully the End is Near!

The end of the keto diet that is.  It would be good to end all diet programs, but keto is ranked the worst so it’s a start! Actually, this is the third consecutive year that the annual U.S. News and World Reportranked the popular keto diet as the worst. Now other major outlets agree. 

As health professionals, we know the risk of a too low carb intake and too high fat intake. Yet it’s surprising to learn the number of individuals – including health professionals – who ‘keto’ – the term actually being used – ‘I keto’ or ‘ketoing’.  Some terms never cease to amaze – how did a medical condition, ketoacidosis, become a verb, ‘ketoing’?  Almost as shocking as hearing ‘keynoting’ used by professionals providing a keynote address…. Seriously, keynoting?  Okay, apologies, ‘ketoing’ is the topic for now and this is serious enough.

Instead, advise clients to eat foods they enjoy in moderation, eat the complex carbs they enjoy, get plenty of fiber, and consider Michael Pollan’s tips,

  • Eat food – real food and less processed food
  • Not too much
  • Mostly plants

Eating this way no one has to calculate caloric intake. But, how does this breakdown?  Nutrition recommendations are that for most healthy adults, carbohydrates should comprise 45 to 65 percent of total daily calories. For example, someone eating 2,000 calories a day this means between 900 and 1,300 calories should come from complex carbohydrates.  

That translates to between 225 and 325 grams of carbohydrates a day: lots of fruits and veggies (9 – 11 servings), and whole grains (4 servings). This ensures enough fiber intake as well. It is shocking that some individuals believe that more than 20 grams – 20! –  of carbs a day are too many! Other nutritional intake – Daily fat intake should be between 20 – 35% and protein between 10 – 35%. The ranges allow plenty of options for individual preferences but going too far below or above these ranges on most days is not healthy and is not sustainable.

Here’s the thing, many individuals are confused on what healthy eating is or what foods are carbs versus proteins. It’s important to go back to the basics and offer nutrition workshop initiatives rather than a one-time lunch-n-learn session on nutrition. It’s confusing and it takes time to grasp! Employees are hearing claims from all types of sources – many from social media and infomercials. There are many who still guzzle coconut oil in coffee because they learned it’s ‘healthy’ and provides energy for the day.  Yes, it is confusing, but being a beacon for reasonable eating recommendations, emphasizing moderation, not emphasizing too much of one food choice over another, and not eliminating ANY food options are a great start. The worst diet ranking is on your side!

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