Q: I’ve been on the keto diet for a month and I’ve lost about 10 pounds. Now I’m wondering if I should stick with any of it. Is it healthier than other types of food? —Freddie B., Largo, Florida
A: An estimated 12.9 million Americans follow the keto diet each year—a carbohydrate-restricted diet that can be 70 percent fat, 20 percent protein and 10 percent carbs. People change that, adding more protein or carbs to two days of the week, but either method – often used for weight loss – a study shows again it’s a problem to go to that extreme for a sustained period of time.
Researchers looked at the diet and health of more than 19,000 adults who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999 to 2018. According to their research published in Current Developments in Nutrition, people who limit their carbohydrate intake to less than 45 percent of their total calories are 15 percent less likely to have cancer, have a stroke or developing heart disease than those who ate a balanced diet of carbohydrates, fat and protein. And the more fat and polyunsaturated fat in the diet, the greater the risk of those cardiometabolic conditions. (More monounsaturated fat, like olive oil, and the fats in salmon, avocados, and walnuts don’t increase the risk.)
However, carbs, fat, and protein won’t do it if you want to maintain a healthy weight and protect your health. You want to get carbs from high fiber, whole foods, unprocessed grains, fruits and vegetables, fat from extra virgin olive oil, and protein from fish like seafood and salmon, and from skinless chicken. To lose weight (preferably one pound a week) or maintain a healthy weight, follow that meal plan and make sure not to overeat or eat after 7 p.m. good sleep habits, regular exercise and weight management will also help you cope. those goals.
Q: My husband says he doesn’t need a lot of sleep—he usually gets about five hours a night—but I think that makes him anxious and angry. What are the health problems? —Gena R., Omaha, Kansas
A: There are “short naps,” usually.
People who get less than six and a quarter hours a night, according to a study found that they are the type of people who promote good and healthy rest. These people don’t worry or get angry, because they don’t sleep. But most people who sleep less than seven to eight hours a day end up with mental and physical problems that include an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and gaining weight.
A new insight into the impact of sleep deprivation is a study in the European Heart Journal Open that looked at data on 650,000 participants. It has been shown that people who sleep less than five hours a night are 74 percent more likely to develop peripheral artery disease than those who sleep seven to eight hours. PAD is a condition that blocks the arteries in the legs and increases the risk of stroke and heart attack.
Another positive effect of lack of sleep: a stable response to medication. A study in Current Biology found that people who sleep less than six hours a night produce fewer antibodies in response to a vaccine than those who sleep seven hours. In fact, their ability to mount a resistance to a disease such as an antibody response “sleeps well” two months after being implanted. This is mostly seen in people from 18 to 60 years of age.
Lack of sleep also affects the brain’s “garbage removal,” also known as the glymphatic system, which removes toxins from the brain, helping to prevent inflammation dementia and Alzheimer’s.
These problems are serious and should make your husband understand the importance of talking to his doctor about finding a solution to his sleep problem.
Medical pioneer Michael Roizen, MD, is medical director emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. New York Times customer. His new book The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Long Code for Tomorrow. Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should write about in an upcoming column? If so, email questions@GreatAgeReboot.com.
(c)2022 Michael Roizen, MD Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.