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10 August 2018, 16:56
Followers of 'Dirty Keto' fad can eat what they want... within reason.
Losing weight always seems to revolve around cutting out the naughty foods we love in order to achieve our goals.
But a new twist on a well-known form of dieting offers people the chance to get trim while indulging in some of the grub that usually gets blacklisted.
The so-called 'Dirty Keto' diet takes Ketogenic cuisine and flips it on its head.
Erin Lee, a dieter from Virginia, USA, claims to have rid herself of psoriasis, anxiety problems AND lost weight, through adopting the diet regime.
Typically a Keto diet restricts intake of carbohydrates and encourages consumption of good fats, such as those that come from avocados, in order to encourage the body to start burning its fat reserves for energy.
Followers of 'Dirty Keto' have zeroed in on the 'high fat' aspect of the Keto diet and they have adopted a 60-75 per cent calorie intake from fats.
Meanwhile 15-30 per cent of their intake comes from protein and 5-10 per cent is from carbs. The bonus here is that they have no firm rules on the kind of food these nutrients come from.
So, this has been interpreted by Dirty Keto followers as a green light to chow down on fast food, believing that fat consumption does not have to include natural, healthy fats like that which comes with chia seeds or nuts.
They also believe that proteins do not have to be restricted to ultra lean cuts of meat or a bowl of legumes, for example.
Dieters have posted photos of their 'Dirty Keto' meals to Instagram, including racks of meat slathered in butter, creamy desserts and 'carb-free' burgers and other such naughty treats.
But nutritionists are warning that the diet doesn't offer a holistic way to increase one's overall health.
Dietitian and exercise physiologist Gabrielle Maston told the MailOnline that the main target of dieting should focus less on weight loss and be more attuned to increasing the vital nutrients the human body needs for overall health.
She said: "With a Ketogenic diet, your body feels fuller quicker because of the volume of fats you are consuming so people stop eating sooner than they otherwise would.
"The fact is butter, cream and cheese which are all rich sources of fat and 'Keto friendly' simply don't have the added vitamins, minerals and antioxidants found in foods like carbohydrates which this diet doesn't permit."
One of the 'Dirty Keto' meals posted to Instagram
Gabrielle also highlighted the fact that saturated and trans fats are damaging to overall heart health increasing bad cholesterol, as well as being one of the main causes of insulin resistance - the precursor to type two diabetes.
A traditional Keto diet acts as a catalyst for the body to begin producing ketones, switching its energy supply from glucose to the fat-derived molecules.
Ketones are produced if you eat very few carbohydrates. Carbs are usually broken down quickly into blood sugar, and burned up for use by the body and brain.
On the Keto diet you eat minimal amounts of foods containing carbs and only moderate amounts of protein.
Once the body realises that it can no longer utilise glucose and carbs for fuel, ketones are produced in the liver, from fat and become the primary source for energy throughout the body, including the brain.
Your body learns to access your fat stores and burn them off, which is great if you’re trying to lose weight.
Besides weight loss there are also other less obvious benefits that occur when on the diet, such as less hunger and a more steady supply of energy, which helps to keep you alert and focused.
One of the main problems many of us face when following our usual diet is the fallout from sugar spikes, which usually happen after every meal or snack.
When our blood sugar shoots up after we've eaten, we usually endure a 'crash' soon after, becoming fatigued and weary.
Sugar spikes and high blood sugar have been linked to heart disease and diabetes.
Dieters are renowned for trying to find 'acceptable' ways to lose weight, and this appears to be another fad geared towards those who find restrictive diets impossible to follow.
Dietitian Geraldine Georgeou agrees. She also aired her concerns to the MailOnline surrounding the new Dirty Keto diet.
She told the website: "The essence of the diet is unbalanced and my concern would be that it creates a cycle of restriction and binge eating which is detrimental to both short and long term health."
Adding: "People will try to find ways of eating whatever they can which is why Dirty Keto may seem attractive, but the diet neglects the fundamentals of nutrition like fibre, calcium, iron and healthy fats which are essential for heart and digestive health.
"There is no reason why you can't enjoy treats like chocolate and birthday cake now and again, but people must put balance at the core of their diets for a positive healthy outcome."