Naheed Jehangir

A few days ago, I overheard someone at an event mentioning that she’s following a keto diet and has to be cautious about her food choices. While I’d heard about this diet before, I didn’t quite grasp what the keto diet entails.

Unveiling the Keto Diet

As per experts, the keto diet predominantly relies on proteins and fats, with a minimal intake of carbohydrates. Those adhering to this diet typically steer clear of rice and bread due to their high carbohydrate content, which can be detrimental for individuals managing sugar levels and striving to combat obesity. In the keto diet, carbohydrates are drastically restricted, while fats take center stage. Limited quantities of vegetables are also included in this dietary regimen, often complemented by a generous indulgence in cheese.

Samina, a school principal by profession, weighed 107 kg and aspired to shed excess pounds. She embarked on her keto journey about a month ago, and the results have been notably transformative.

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When I inquired whether she received professional guidance from a doctor or nutritionist, she revealed that she hadn’t. Instead, she extensively researched the keto diet online, influenced by the fact that numerous celebrities swear by it, citing rapid and impressive outcomes.

The Crucial Role of Nutritional Guidance in Ketodite

Many nutritionists worldwide strongly discourage the long-term adoption of the Ketodite. They assert that no reputable nutritionist would recommend this diet due to its potential dangers if sustained over an extended period.

Professor Bushra Khalil, a dietician at Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar, underscores the paramount importance of consulting a healthcare professional before embarking on any dietary regimen. Such consultations enable comprehensive health assessments and the crafting of a tailored, wholesome diet plan that aligns with an individual’s unique bodily requirements. She warns against pursuing diets independently or following the advice of unqualified individuals, as such actions can lead to internal harm in the pursuit of external aesthetics.

Root Causes of Obesity and Associated Ailments

When discussing the underlying factors contributing to obesity and its associated health concerns, Nutritionist Professor Bushra Khalil emphasizes that obesity serves as the primary trigger for conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and a host of other illnesses. Alarming trends of weight gain are observable not only among the youth but also in the elderly population.

Obesity’s genesis can be traced back to two pivotal factors: dietary choices and lifestyle. In the days of yore, diets primarily consisted of simple, home-cooked meals comprising vegetables, meat, pulses, and the wholesome goodness of milk, curd, lassi, eggs, and desi ghee. These dietary staples bestowed numerous health benefits. However, they have now been supplanted by a new repertoire of convenience foods readily available in the market. Burgers, pizza, and various forms of junk food, including an array of chips, have become commonplace. While convenient, these items are laden with artificial flavors and preservatives that pose health hazards.

Nutritionist Bushra Khalil further underscores the importance of cooking methods. Overcooking often compromises the nutritional value of food, further exacerbating health concerns.

Dr. Bushra Khalil also sheds light on the detrimental impact of modern lifestyles. Sedentary behaviors have become the norm, with individuals opting for screen time over physical activity. The pervasive use of mobile phones, especially among young children, contributes to reduced physical activity as individuals spend prolonged hours in one spot. The preference for elevators over stairs, the decline in walking as a daily habit, extended periods of waiting for transportation, and excessive TV consumption collectively contribute to the pervasive issue of obesity.

The Perils of the Keto Diet

Professor Bushra Khalil delves into the potential hazards associated with the keto diet, also known as the fat diet. While some may consider adopting this diet as a home remedy, she strongly advises seeking guidance from a nutritionist before embarking on any dietary plan. The importance of adhering to the recommended regimen prescribed by a qualified dietitian cannot be overstated, as veering off course can lead to adverse side effects.

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When it comes to weight loss, the methods chosen can either benefit or harm the body. The keto diet, if undertaken without professional consultation, can prove detrimental, even fatal. Dr. Bushra underscores the significance of preliminary tests to assess an individual’s suitability for a particular diet.

Moreover, she highlights a critical aspect of the keto diet: the potential for kidney damage if not followed correctly. Opting for a balanced diet that provides essential nutrients for overall health, including fruits and vegetables in appropriate quantities, alongside controlled meat consumption, is advised.

Substituting white flour with red, brown, or whole-grain flour is recommended, and the excessive consumption of fried foods should be avoided. Equally vital is the incorporation of regular physical activity, particularly walking, into one’s routine. Exercise should become a habitual part of a healthy lifestyle.