You don’t have to look too hard to find someone talking about the ketogenic diet. It is currently trending as the most popular diet for weight loss – just take a look at this Google Trends chart to see how it compares to other popular terms like "paleo," "Whole 30," and "intermittent fasting."
The demand for info on the keto diet is strong, and so the market has responded with mountains of content on the topic. With the keto diet showing up everywhere from conversations at the gym to Good Morning America, you almost certainly know the basics about the diet – it’s a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet where the goal is to have your body burn fat (instead of carbohydrates) for energy.
As with all things nutrition and weight loss, though, it’s a lot more complicated than that. And so here we have a recipe for chaos – surging interest in a complicated topic relating to peoples’ health and wellness.
Fortunately, a lot of the information that is put out is comprehensive, credible, and rooted in fact. Unfortunately, myths about the diet run rampant as people try to make sense of it by parsing through dozens or hundreds of articles, conversations, and studies.
On that note, have you taken our quiz about keto myths? If you can answer all eight questions correctly, you’re in elite territory. More than 6,000 people have taken the quiz as of this writing, and less than 10 percent have achieved a perfect score. The average score so far is 70 percent.
The good news here is that most of you aren’t falling for many of the myths that may have been discussed elsewhere about the keto diet. After all, 70 percent is a passing score. Cs get degrees, right?
But when we analyzed the data, it’s clear that two questions in particular are tripping people up. Nearly half of all quiz takers have answered these two questions incorrectly. We’re going to tell you more about them below, so consider this your spoiler alert if you haven’t taken the quiz yet and want to see if you can get all the answers right without us giving you a couple of freebies.
At the moment, 6,433 people have answered this question, and 3,013 of them (47%) have answered it incorrectly.
The correct answer here is… wait for it… FALSE.
The keto diet has been described in various places as the “Atkins diet on steroids,” and this may be a big reason for the confusion. A key difference between the two diets is that protein needs to be eaten in moderation on keto. You should be limiting protein to around 20 percent of your daily calories, while there is no cap on Atkins.
So, why do you need to limit protein on keto? The goal of the keto diet is to put your body in a state of ketosis, and excessive protein consumption on a low-carb diet can prevent this from happening. When you eat too much protein, some of the amino acids in the macronutrient will be turned into glucose via a process called gluconeogenesis.
This is the question that had yielded more incorrect responses than any other on the quiz. With 6,518 responses, a staggering 3,124 (48%) have gotten the wrong answer.
The correct answer? FALSE.
It's actually ketosis that you enter on the keto diet. The similarities between the two words (ketosis vs. ketoacidosis) explains most of the confusion on this one, but it’s important to distinguish between the two terms because they aren’t the same thing.
Diabetic ketoacidosis is a potentially life-threatening complication of diabetes that happens when your body does not get enough insulin with rising ketone levels. Ketosis, on the other hand, is harmless. It is just the presence of ketones, a chemical your body produces when it burns stored fat.
Even the harshest critics of the keto diet will not accuse it of causing ketoacidosis. Nevertheless, they often try to discredit the diet as dangerous, and so it’s important to distance it from serious health complications.
That’s not to say keto is easy and doesn’t have its own side effects, though. It’s always a good idea to talk to an expert before making big changes to your nutrition. Then, if you are able to follow a recommended plan and use effective supplements, you can put yourself in the best position to get the results you want.
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