US News & World Report

  • The keto diet was rated the worst healthy eating diet by US News & World Report.
  • The high-fat, low-carb plan was considered too restrictive; Evidence suggests that it may have some benefits.
  • Experts say diets that exclude food groups are risky, including the popular Dukan Diet and Whole30.

It is high in fat and low in carbohydrates

keto diet

It was named the worst for healthy eating in 2022, according to the annual diet rankings from US News & World Report.

Each year, US News & World Report convenes a panel of health and nutrition experts to rank popular diets based on factors such as overall health, how easy they are to follow, and whether they can be followed.

Weight loss

and disease prevention.

The keto diet works by cutting down almost entirely on carbohydrates, causing the body to enter a metabolic state called “ketosis” in which it burns fat for energy instead of glucose from carbohydrates, its preferred fuel source. Dieters eat less than 30 grams per day (often measured as net carbs or total carbs minus fiber), and they consume large amounts of dietary fat, which makes up about 70% of the diet.

Keto dieters say a low-carb diet is a viable strategy for losing weight, boosting energy, and improving health. Some evidence suggests that it can be beneficial for some people and is as effective as low-fat for weight loss.

But nutrition experts have expressed concern that keto, and other diets that exclude food groups like the Dukan Diet and the Whole30 diet, can lead to excessive restriction and nutritional imbalances, and are difficult to follow in the long term.

Restrictive diets like keto that reduce whole food groups or ban certain foods are not recommended by experts

Low-carb diets like keto aren’t right for everyone. Cardiologists have warned against versions of the keto diet rich in saturated fats like red meat, butter and bacon, all of which are linked to an increased risk.

heart disease


Cutting carbs also restricts healthy, nutrient-rich foods, including fruits, starchy vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Eliminating a variety of foods may result in a loss of important nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

While it is possible to incorporate more balanced forms of keto with leafy greens, berries, and non-starchy vegetables, it is “too rigid and hard to achieve,” registered dietitian Robin Furutan told Insider previously.

“You can’t eat vegetables on a 10% carbohydrate diet,” she said. “Any diet low in vegetables is not one I would recommend.”

Other restrictive diets have also had poor results

Nutrition professionals have also given poor marks to the Dukan Diet, a four-phase eating plan and a complex set of rules for what you can eat. Reviewers said it was too restrictive, with little evidence of potential benefits and risks from eating too much protein and not enough vegetables.

Likewise, experts have not recommended diets like GAPS or Whole 30 that reduce the intake of foods such as grains, dairy, or legumes.

Research suggests that keto can aid weight loss and help control blood sugar

While experts caution against recommending the keto diet for most people, evidence suggests that the diet can help some with weight loss, manage blood sugar, and in some cases may help cure diabetes.

Anecdotally, keto advocates say the diet boosts energy and staves off hunger, even when you’re losing weight. Evidence suggests that including more fat in your diet is not necessarily harmful and can help with feelings of fullness.

However, short-term, strict diets increase the risk of yo-yo dieting, or falling into periods of restriction and overeating, and can lead to an eating disorder.

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