The upsides, downsides of the Keto Diet


A photo illustration.

Joseph Ciccolini

Listen to “The truths behind the keto diet” on Spreaker.

The Keto Diet has been taking social media by storm, and some trainers recommending it to lose weight. However, many others say it is unhealthy and starves the body of vital nutrients it needs. So what’s the truth?

Ashley Stavroff has been doing the keto diet for almost a year and has lost 70 pounds while following the diet.

“When I started, I was just hoping to lose some weight cause I had gained a bunch from pregnancy. It had been about 4 months and I hadn’t lost anything,” Stavroff said. “So, I was really eager to get back to kinda my normal cause I wasn’t used to having all that extra weight. So, with the ketogenic diet for me I know some people lose really really quickly. My goal has just been to stick with it and see if anything happened, so it was a little bit of a slower result than some others have, but I was okay with that and over a year I’ve lost 70 pounds.”

There are certain foods that Stavroff has been incorporating in her diet to get her needed nutrients but without some of the less necessary elements to remain healthier, including chicken salads, where she substitutes the lettuce for spinach and doesn’t use any dressing.

“Usually I’ll have a Cajun spinach chicken salad with green peppers, cucumbers, no dressings or anything like that, I just eat it plain or I’ll have cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, pickles,” Stavroff said.  “If I’m cooking at home it’s usually chicken with a veggie on the side, asparagus, brussel sprouts.”

Stavroff has done plenty of research, even going to her doctor after a few months on the diet to make sure all is well and has done the diet in the correct way but I did my own discussion with some experts to learn more about the diet.

Jamie Stoffer is a physical therapist who works at Performance Health. She works with many different companies across the country to study various types of exercise and diets that may be beneficial to recommend to clients.

Stoffer likes the diet but is cautious when recommending it because it is a restrictive diet that is no easy to follow. She said one issue she sees is that people focus on what they need to cut as opposed to what foods they should be incorporating and eating more of. She believes for short periods of time the diet can be a very effective way to lose weight and can help you kick some of the more negative habits when it comes to eating.

“Overall I would recommend it for short periods of time. Keeping in mind that as with any diet this is a lifestyle change,” Stoffer said. “If you go back to the way you were eating before you will gain all of the weight back. There is no quick fix for diets, there really isn’t. I mean it is something that truly it’s something that if you lose the weight and go back to reintroducing carbs you need to keep them on a low proportion of your diet or be exercises at a level where it can balance out the monocarb intake.”

However, Caitlin Thomas is a registered dietitian, and while she also agrees there can be quick results, the fact the diet itself is unsustainable gives her a different view of the diet.

Thomas’s main issue is she finds the diet too restrictive and too hard of a diet to follow. It eliminates too many healthy nutrients you need and there is a similar diet she recommends called the Mediterranean Diet which is similar but more sustainable and can still help you to see results and live a healthier lifestyle.

With that being said, and despite Caitlin’s overall uneasiness about the diet, she encourages anyone starting it or any other diet to see some sort of medical professional before beginning any new diet.

“I think whatever you decide to do you should always seek medical advice before starting anything major like this, whether it’s from a doctor, or some other medical professional, physical therapist, dietitian, just to verify what you’re doing is correct and you’re not following all the misinformation that is available online.”

Joseph Ciccolini is a Kent State journalism student. Contact him at [email protected].