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Why is the keto diet trending? Keto specialist explains

Keto specialist joins Really Healthy Podcast to talk origins and what a healthy keto diet looks like (stock photo)

Salt Lake City, Utah — The Ketogenic, or Keto, diet is trending. Chances are if you’ve scrolled through social media or visited a grocery store in the past year you’ve seen keto recipes, specialty keto foods or someone raving about the results they’ve seen from the diet.

On Really Healthy Podcast Scott Mitchell decided to see what the hype is about during an interview with a keto specialist.

Tara Finnerty, ketogenic specialist and registered dietician with Intermountain Healthcare, is a keto believer. She began her ketogenic diet research while working at Primary Children’s Hospital where they used the ketogenic diet to treat children with uncontrolled epilepsy.

Where did Keto begin?

The ketogenic diet, known as the long-chain triglyceride diet, is defined by the Epilepsy Foundation as a diet that provides three to four grams of fat for every one gram of carbohydrate or protein.

On the Epilepsy Foundation’s website, it says the diet is typically used for children who don’t respond to medications and it is heavily monitored by a dietician.

The basics

The ketogenic diet puts your body into a state called ketosis. Ketosis is when the body uses ketones as energy rather than glucose. Basically, it’s using fats, rather than carbohydrates as fuel, according to Finnerty.

Low carb dieting may sound familiar to people who dabbled in different eating plans during the late 1990s because of the Atkins diet.

The Atkins Diet focused more on high protein and low carbohydrates rather than the high fat, low carbohydrate Keto diet, according to Finnerty.

A Healthy Approach to Keto

Mitchell, co-host of Really Healthy Podcast, is trying a new diet every few months to give an honest review to listeners and share his results. He began with Intermittent Fasting and has moved on to Keto.

“Is it possible for me to ingest too much fat even if it is good sources?” Mitchell asked.

The answer is yes. “At the end of the day, calories do matter,” Finnerty said. If your goal is to lose weight you need to monitor calories and portions.

Finnerty recommends that keto beginners don’t calorie restrict. She explained that when you start you are training your cells to burn ketones and they aren’t used to it.

Her advice is to start by getting your cells used to the new fuel source and later evaluate your calorie intake.

There is no one-size-fits-all diet that will work and be sustainable for everyone, Finnerty said. People are making Keto too hard with the intensive counting and specialty, processed “keto foods.”

“We need to chase healthy, optimal outcomes, not a diet. We are looking for outcomes and everybody’s will be different,” said Finnerty.

Keto and Type II Diabetes

During the interview, Mitchell explained to Finnerty that Really Healthy Podcast began because he is determined to find a way to get healthy after his father died from Type II Diabetes. He wondered if a ketogenic diet can have an impact on that.

A low carbohydrate diet may be effective for improving glycemia and reducing medications in patients with Type II Diabetes, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

Finnerty warned not to start a new diet without first consulting your healthcare provider. If your healthcare provider approves, it is important that they monitor you closely in case there needs to be changes in your medication as the diet progresses.

You can listen to the full interview on Really Healthy Podcast below.

If you like this and want more information on the latest health trends or if you are interested in Scott’s journey, subscribe to Really Healthy on the KSL Newsradio app or anywhere you find podcasts.