Diets will come and go – South Beach, Scarsdale, Atkins, Paleo, Vegan, Intermittent fasting….and the list goes on. Many diets tap into an individual’s desire to improve their health/fitness level, but most of them are not sustainable. Diets do have their place in jump starting an individual’s nutrition, but most of them turn out to be a fad and aren’t sustainable. Do you still know of people on the Scarsdale diet? The South Beach diet? Any others?
Generally, what happens with diets is that they have an immediate impact – either real or perceived – and then it has it’s negative impacts. What happens with those diets, is that they are not sustainable. The best thing to do is clean up your diet, eat cleanly, eat wisely with regard to the number of calories and when you’re ingesting them, and then eat with a purpose for your workouts. This is a sustainable way to live.
What causes me to write this blog, is a new study that has recently come out on the popular low-carbohydrate, high-fat keto diet. This study showed that the keto diet could alter bone health in athletes. The study was performed on elite race walkers. The study showed that the athletes showed early signs indicative of bone loss.
Ketogenic diets can change the way bodies refuel themselves. Carbohydrates are rapidly metabolized; our bodies use them first for energy as glycogen. Carbs can come from food or stores of them in our muscles and livers. If you aren’t ingesting carbs, then your body will start to burn through the carbs stored in your body, and then it will start to rely upon fat for energy. When the fat is broken down by the liver, it creates ketone bodies that are converted into energy. People turn to keto diets to lose weight, control blood sugar and athletes will use the diet to improve performance since fat is slow-burning and long-lasting.
The study that was performed took athletes in Australia and divided them into two groups. The athletes were intensely training for their upcoming competitions. One group was fed a keto diet, and another just a traditional diet.
The researches check various levels of blood markers that are known to be associated with bone breakdown, rebuilding and overall metabolism. The researchers found that the markers of bone breakdown were higher among the athletes on the keto diet while the bone formation markers in the athletes on a more balanced diet remained the same. than the other athletes on a more balanced diet. Simply, the athletes on the ketogenic diet showed signs of impaired bone health.
More research needs to be done on this issue, but the rule I take from this study is a well-balanced diet is better for you than a diet that is not really sustainable long term.