Is Watermelon Keto?Silke Woweries – Getty Images
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If you’re on the keto diet, you’ve probably never paid more attention to the macronutrients you consume each day. What you may not know, though, is that the low-carb, high-fat, and moderate protein diet has been around for nearly a century.
“The ketogenic diet was developed by a Mayo Clinic physician, Dr. Wilder, in the 1920s to treat children with severe epilepsy,” explains Tara Schmidt, MEd, LD, lead registered dietitian for the New Mayo Clinic Diet. “While still used in seizure control, the keto diet has also become increasingly popular in the weight loss space.”
You can learn a lot more about the keto diet here, but the TL;DR is that the goal is for the body to use fat instead of carbohydrates for energy, and to form ketones (organic compounds your body uses in place of carbs).
“Although there are a variety of versions of the diet, they are all low in carbohydrates; most often less than 50 grams per day,” explains Schmidt. “Clinically, a percent of total calories or a ratio of fat to protein and carbohydrates is used, as calorie needs (each gram of carbohydrate has four calories) are dependent on age, sex, height, and weight.”
Meet the experts:
Tara Schmidt, MEd, LD, is the lead registered dietitian for the New Mayo Clinic Diet.
Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, is the creator of BetterThanDieting.com and author of Read It Before You Eat It: Taking You from Label to Table.
The keto diet consists of around 75 percent fat, moderate protein at around 20 percent and a severely restrictive carbohydrate intake weighing in at around 5 to 10 percent, says Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, creator of BetterThanDieting.com and author of Read It Before You Eat It : Taking You from Label to Table. This pretty much means consuming no more than 20 to 50 grams of carbs per day. “Just to put that in perspective, a small fruit provides around 15 grams of carbohydrates, and a cup of cooked pasta around 30 grams,” says Taub-Dix.
FYI: Sugar is a type of carb, but “keto followers strictly slash carb content, without necessarily distinguishing between natural sugars…