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Expert, diet-seekers sharing long-term concerns of Keto diet

Keto Diet eggs.jpg
Eggs and protein that can be eaten as part of the Keto diet. (WSYX/WTTE)

The Keto diet is all the rage these days. People are swearing off carbohydrates and swearing by diets high in fat and protein.

But is it for you? Keith Dailey, of Powell, thought losing weight on the Keto diet would be easy. For a full year, he ate a diet full of high fat and protein, but low in carbs.

"During that time, I lost 20 to 25 pounds," said Dailey.

Dr. Mary Jo Kendrick, of Clintonville, also tried it for a few years.

"The beauty of the Keto diet is people get very thin," Kendrick said. "I didn't do it the healthiest way. My typical breakfast would be bacon and eggs, which was quite delicious."

Liz Weinandy, the lead outpatient dietitian at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, said "The whole idea is to get the body to switch from using carbohydrates for energy to switching over to burning fat for energy."

If you're looking for permanent weight loss- Keto is not the way to go, she said.

"The big thing with the Ketogenic diet is people will lose a lot of weight initially, and most of that's water weight because it has a diuretic effect, so they lose a lot of water weight and they think, hey this is great," shared Weinandy. "They've lost ten pounds and think it's fat and it's not. You're kind of walking around slightly dehydrated."

Kendrick said a healthy approach to Keto would be to increase vegetables that are low carb and to eat certain fruits that are low carb, like berries.

Weinandy said one group that can benefit from the Keto diet is people with epilepsy.

"A lot of them have success where medications may not be helping them," she said. "All of a sudden they're on the Ketogenic diet and they're having fewer seizures."

She said other research showed it may also help people with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Dailey said a year on Keto was all he could take. His advice? Ask a doctor how long you should stay on it.

"Because in my case it was great for a while, and then it's not so great," said Dailey. "I regained the 20 pounds that I originally lost, and (added) an additional 20."|

Kendrick said she loved the diet, but got bored.

"I think what it boils down to is people want to be thin, but it's really important to be healthy overall," said Kendrick.

Join the conversation on the ABC 6 Facebook page, "What diet trends have you tried recently, and have they worked?"

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