GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)– In recent years, it’s earned the top spot as one of the most popular diets– the Keto diet.

As part of our “Ask the Expert” series, in partnership with Bon Secours St. Francis, we spoke with a dietician who unpacks the low-carb, high-fat diet to tell us if it’s really worth the hype.

The Ketogenic diet or for short Keto diet goes against the grain– literally.

“Traditionally, we consume carbohydrates. Carbohydrates break down into glucose and we use that glucose as our energy source… when we are following a keto diet, we’re kind of shifting gears a little bit. We’re going into using ketones which are digested fats as our energy source.”

Jalak Patel, Registered Dietician, Bon Secours St. Francis

Jalak Patel, a registered dietician, says the USDA recommends about 50% of our diet comes from carbs and less than 30% from fat.

“In a keto diet, we’re looking at about 5% of carbohydrates coming from our calorie source and about 70% coming from fat,” said Patel.

Patel says the “fad diet” has some short-term perks…

“So, keto has been shown to support weight reduction short-term. So, if you’re looking to lose some weight, it can help with that. It can also support insulin resistance. So, we’re seeing a little drop in blood sugars,” said Patel.

The long-term effects of the diet, however, she says, are unknown.

“We’re looking at cutting out a macronutrient. So, in this case, we’re cutting out carbs, long term, it is not sustainable,” said Patel.

She says, most patients who lose weight at first on the Keto diet end up plateauing several months in, so they go back into eating carbohydrates.

“But in that process, you’re shifting your metabolism,” said Patel.

That shift can be jarring to your body.

Patel also warns some report feeling very sick on the Keto diet.

“They’ll start having these flu-like symptoms… Sometimes they’re getting GI distress a little bit longer term,” said Patel.

Overall, Patel says she would not recommend the Keto die” to her patients. Instead, she suggests following the USDA’s ‘healthy plate’.

To submit a health topic for our ‘Ask the Expert’ series, click here.