'Lazy keto' is touted as an easier version of the low-carb diet, but experts don't recommend it
keto" is a style of dieting that cuts out carbs but doesn't strictly track eating habits.
- It often includes processed foods, an approach known as "dirty keto," and is less restrictive.
- Experts say it may not be effective and might be lacking in nutritious foods.
If you're curious to try a high-fat, low-carb keto
The "lazy keto" diet keeps carbohydrates below roughly 10% of daily calories, or about 20 grams of net carbs a day.You don't have to track specific ratios of other macronutrients - such as 70% of daily calories from fat and 25% from protein - as you do with strict keto.
Lazy keto versus keto
An example of a lazy keto diet would be sticking to high-fat, low-carb foods like cheeseburgers (minus the bun), bacon, steak, and eggs while avoiding fruit, potatoes, legumes, and grains.Keto, in contrast, is more concerned with food quality and includes low-carb vegetables and even some fruits like berries.
Lazy keto may be easier to maintain for some people than strict tracking
Lazy keto is less restrictive and time-consuming, which may make it easier to stick to.Traditional keto often requires tracking everything you eat (at least initially) and sticking to an extremely low carb limit. This helps maintain ketosis, a metabolic state in which the body burns fat instead of carbs for fuel. However, it can be hard to sustain in the long term. Lazy keto may be an easier way for some people to reach their
The benefits are less certain
The downside of lazy keto is that without tracking consistently, it can be difficult to know whether you're getting the keto-diet benefit. Small amounts of carbs can add up quickly, said Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, a professor at West Virginia University's School of Medicine who studies low-carb diets.
"If people stick to a list of foods that are naturally low-carb, they don't need to count," he told Insider. "If you include foods like fruit, I would encourage people to pay attention."Some experts argue that modified keto is a misnomer.
"For you to be in the degree of ketosis for keto, it has to be very low carbohydrate, low protein, super, super high fat - and anything other than that is not keto. So you can't have a modified keto," Kathie Beals, a registered dietitian and associate clinical professor at the University of Utah, previously told Insider.
Lazy keto can lack nutritious whole foods
Lazy keto is often combined with another keto strategy called dirty keto. (The terms are also sometimes used interchangeably.) Dirty keto follows a keto ratio of fats, protein, and carbs but allows people to eat any food that falls within those parameters, including fast food. It also encourages keto-friendly junk food.Processed foods could increase your risk of chronic illnesses like heart disease and cancer and even stall weight loss.
If you're going to cut carbs, most experts recommend a well-formulated keto diet with high-quality fats from sources like fish, nuts, and avocados, and lower-carb veggies like leafy greens."Taking a bun off a McDonald's hamburger is better than eating it with the bun, but it's not optimal," Cucuzzella said. "If you're eating a cheeseburger you made at home with a colorful plate of nonstarchy veggies, that's a diet to live with for the rest of your life."
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