LOVED by celebs like Kim Kardashian, the keto diet is famed for helping people lose weight fast.
But doctors warn that following the high-fat low-carb regime could actually cut out some of the healthiest foods.
Foods including beans, whole grains and some vegetables are banned on the keto diet.
Instead, people can eat things high in fat such as cheese, avocados, nuts and dark chocolate.
But Dr Shivam Joshi, a medical doctor and New York University professor, has slammed the diet for wrongly banning healthy foods.
He told Business Insider: "Many people who buy into the keto diet say that carbs are bad.
"I'm not defending refined carbs, which many of my critics think I am.
"I'm defending your unrefined carbs, your fruits, your vegetables, your whole grains, beans, lentils, things like that. These are some of the most healthful foods on the planet."
Many people who buy into the keto diet say that carbs are bad… but [unrefined carbs] are some of the most healthful foods on the planet
The aim of the keto diet is to reduce calories by cutting carb intake to just five per cent.
That means eating around 75 per cent fat and 20 per cent protein.
Our bodies burn carbohydrates by default and dieters believe that cutting them out forces to the body to burn fat and in turn lead to weight loss.
However, Dr Joshi says that in doing so people could actually be missing out on foods that have been proven to living longer, such as beans and whole grains.
What to eat: Example keto diet meal plan
- BREAKFAST: 2 eggs, half an avocado and 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 eggs with 4 bacon rashers and grilled tomatoes
- Egg, tomato, basil and goats cheese omelette
- Sugar free yoghurt with natural peanut butter, cocoa powder and stevia.
- LUNCH: Baked chicken served with fried bacon, shredded lettuce and grated Parmesan cheese
- Fried salmon served with broccoli, butter and grated cheddar cheese
- Grilled aubergine, courgette, black olives, almonds, leafy greens, lemon juice and cheddar cheese – dressed with olive oil.
- DINNER: Rib-eye steak served with 2 cups of spinach, wilted in coconut oil, and a handful of macadamia nuts
- Chicken fajita bowl served with onion, green peppers, lettuce, Mexican cheese, half an avocado, cherry tomatoes and sour cream
- White fish served with egg and spinach, wilted in coconut oil
- Chicken stuffed with pesto and cream cheese, served with vegetables grown above ground
- Bun-less burger served with bacon, egg and cheese.
Researchers from the Centres for Disease and Control in the US said in a recent paper: “A higher intake of whole grains is linked with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and mortality."
Dr Joshi's other concern is that there is little scientific evidence about its long-term effects.
Despite that, A-listers including Kim Kardashian, Halle Berry and Gwyneth Paltrow have all lauded the diet for weight loss.
And in 2017, a study found that the ketogenic burned ten times more fat than a standard diet, even without exercise.
The keto diet is not exactly a new fad – it was originally developed in the 1920s to help patients suffering from epilepsy.
It's also recommended to some people for managing metabolic disorders like PCOS and diabetes, as well as Parkinson's disease and even some cancers.
The diet relies on a normal metabolic process called ketosis – that helps the body keep working.
It's where the body, starved of carbs for energy, starts to burn fat reserves instead.
For healthy people, who don't have diabetes and aren't pregnant, ketosis usually kicks in after three or four days of following the plan and eating less than 50g of carbs a day.
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