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‘Keto Diet’ new trend for rapid weight loss

Is diet good for long-term health?

Darcie Ortique | 9/5/2019, midnight

For decades, most doctors and dietitians thought the key to weight loss was simply following a low-calorie diet that is high in vegetables and exercising regularly. Today, celebrities, nutritionists and even social media gurus are all raving about the rapid weight loss results they are experiencing with the trending ketogenic diet, also known as “keto.”

Stephanie Person, a 52-year-old Los Angeles-based fitness coach and personal trainer, has been following the keto diet for 12 years and counting. “I almost never talk about weight loss, I always talk about trying to get people healthy because the reason why people have issues with body fat is not a calorie job, it’s a hormonal problem,” Person said.

More often than not, she suggested, most people struggling with obesity have other health concerns such as irregular blood sugar, abnormal estrogen or insulin levels. The disproportionate storage of body fat causes inflammation in the body and also results in a slow metabolism. On the contrary, when the body goes through ketosis- the metabolic state in which the body burns fat instead of sugar, weight loss occurs.

“If you fix the hormones, then you can fix the body fat composition,” Person said. She advocates for keto because it is very similar to how human beings would eat if we were required to survive in a natural habitat. The keto diet requires individuals to minimize carbohydrates, while focusing on foods high in healthy fats like avocados, oils and protein.  

Person’s mother was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma brain tumor, when she realized the power of keto through her mother’s testimony.

“I was looking for a therapy that would slow the cancer growth,” Person explained. “Keto does really, really well with different types of brain tumors. They (doctors) gave her a less than 1-percent chance of survival, but she survived,” Person said.

After witnessing her mother’s recovery—thanks to the help of the ketogenic diet—Person decided to try the high-fat, low carb diet too and has been in ketosis ever since. “After trying it on myself, I tried it with my personal training clients,” Person said. “I watched eight people for two years on this dietary measure and learned a lot.”

Person was so impressed with the consistency in the weight-loss results and the overall health improvement of her clients, that she decided to use social media as a way to educate others about keto. “After trying it on them, I wanted to talk about this on the Internet because this is great information for people to know,” Person noted.

From there, Person grew a large population of online followers who encouraged her to create meal plans and answer questions regarding keto and how to go about changing their eating habits. “It wasn’t until I really started coaching people and I really started learning about, not just keto, but all of the different health problems everyone has,” Pearson said. She offers virtual, one-on-one consultations and keto memberships via her website, www.stephanieperson.com.  

“The Classic Keto” diet was created in 1923, at the Mayo Clinic for Epilepsy, by Dr. Russell Wilder. According to the Charlie Foundation for Ketogenic Therapies, Dr. Wilder introduced the 4:1 ratio, where there are four portions of fat for every single portion of protein or carbohydrates.

By substituting a diet high in sugar or carbs for healthy fats, the body is forced to convert fatty acids into energy, or “ketones.” While on the keto diet, refined or cane sugars are eliminated and alternatives like Stevia, an all natural and plant-based sweetener, or Sucralose (Splenda), a zero-calorie, artificial sweetener can be used to alleviate sugar cravings and doesn’t throw the body out of ketosis.

Keto devotees can also indulge in low-carb vegetables like cauliflower, spinach, zucchini and protein-rich meats like turkey, lamb and beef. Dieticians say it is imperative to avoid nutrient-lacking carbs like pasta, white rice and bread, for best results. Studies show that consuming too many carbohydrates result in excess weight gain and abnormal sugar levels in the body. 

Contrary to ordering expensive, pre-prepared meals or reading books on how to shred body fat, the keto diet is designed to simplify the process of losing weight and speed up metabolism. Unlike most diets, keto allows anyone struggling with weight management or looking to maintain their current weight, not to feel completely deprived or restricted to their food choices. Staying away from non-organic meats and/or farm-raised animals that have been infused with pharmaceutical products is essential.

According to a study conducted by the Harvard University Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology “PURE”, researchers discovered “high carbohydrate intake was associated with higher risk of total mortality, whereas total fat and individual types of fat were related to lower total mortality.” 

Dr. Nick Zyrowski, founder and chief officer of NuVision Health Center, a health education company in Detroit, Mich., wants to provide more educational and dietary resources to those interested in the keto-craze.

“We try to offer 100 percent research-based, holistic education to many people out there who can’t find it anywhere else,” Zyrowski said. “There’s a lot of areas where you can’t find anything, but your more traditional, medicinal models to healthcare, so what we try to do is actually use and locate some of the methods that people have used for thousands of years in order to treat conditions and get people well.”

With the touch of a button, Zyrowski has an online store for non-GMO vitamins and supplements to assist with ketosis. 

Zyrowski also has a popular YouTube channel and a video titled, “How to Start The Ketogenic Diet,” where he informs his growing, 7 million subscribers on the benefits of keto. Unlike most doctors who prefer the pharmaceutical approach to health-related illnesses, Dr. Zyrowski and his colleagues focus on reversing health concerns, as opposed to temporarily treating them.

“It’s really about getting to the root cause of the problem and there’s not enough of that in healthcare today,” Zyrowski explained. Some of his top-selling products like his “MCT Octane Powder” and his “Keto Ignite” capsules contain high quality ingredients that not only promote ketosis, but brain health, increased exercise performance and sleep.

“When we look at the statistics and the painkiller issue in the United States and the mass amount of medicine used in the United States compared to other places in the world, it’s alarming and devastating,” Zyrowski said.

The American Pain Society concluded in a recent study (later published in the “The Journal of Pain”) that obesity and pain have a correlation to family history and even mood disorders.

“What we try to do is, go ‘Hey look, here is what put you in this position, here’s how we go in and reverse it… You’ve eaten a terrible diet for thirty years, this is what has caused you to have fatty liver, this is what has caused you to have diabetes,” Zyrowski noted. “It’s really about getting to the root cause of the problem… The approach that we take, it works so well for so many people.”

Zyrowski and his team offer consultations and holistic wellness programs through his website, www.nuvisionhealthcenter.com.