The keto diet was undoubtedly the biggest weight loss trend of 2017 and 2018, but to keto or not to keto still remains a controversy with health and fitness experts. But Jillian Michaels, eight-time New York Times-bestselling author of The 6 Keys: Unlock Your Genetic Potential for Ageless Strength, Health, and Beauty, says it’s a no-brainer: just say no to keto.
Michaels tells Prevention that there she has several issues with the high-fat, low-carb diet:
There’s no calorie restriction
The first issue Michaels has with keto is that it doesn’t require any calorie restriction. At all. “Even if you’re not trying to lose weight, moderation should be practiced with your calorie intake,” she explains. It’s not just that overeating can lead to weight gain; according to Michaels, it can also trigger processes within your body that may age you faster, slow your metabolism, and make you prone to chronic diseases.
You may miss out on important nutrients
Keto restricts intake of nutrient-rich fruits, whole grains, and even some vegetables. “This is terrible for your health, immunity, longevity, and anti aging,” Michaels maintains, adding that because the diet can be low in fiber (unless you are not meticulous about vegetable intake), it can have a negative impact on your digestion and heart health.
It could shave years off your life
Michaels points to countless studies that have shown that diets high in saturated fat and animal protein take years off our lives due to too much oxidative stress. “They are terrible for our telomeres, the little caps on our DNA that protect our chromosomes,” she explains.
The one type of diet Jillian Michaels does endorse
U.S. News & World Report’s recently ranked the Mediterranean diet as the best overall diet of 2019 — and Michaels concurs. “The bottom line is that a Mediterranean diet has proven time and time again as the most healthy,” she says. However, she does suggest making some modifications to it. First, make sure to watch your calorie intake. Next, consume an abundance of antioxidant-rich foods whenever possible. And lastly, taking a page from the keto playbook, she suggests adding an intermittent fast period of 12 to 16 hours between dinner and breakfast.
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