Can I completely replace rice with meat to lose weight?

April 23, 2024 | 05:00 pm PT
I’d like to eat more meat, fruits, and vegetables while avoiding rice and starchy foods for weight loss. Is this practical, and are there any considerations I should be aware of? (Ngoc Han, HCMC)


Substituting meat for rice in a weight loss plan is often recognized as the ketogenic (keto) diet. This diet involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and boosting protein and fat consumption, leading the body into a state called ketosis. During ketosis, protein intake is kept at about 10-25% of total daily energy, prompting the pancreas to enhance fat burning. The fats are transformed into ketones, which then fuel the body.

Adopting a ketogenic diet can result in quick weight loss and notable decreases in blood sugar levels. Nevertheless, here are some important considerations:

First, a ketogenic diet focuses on minimizing, not completely excluding, starchy foods.

Second, relying heavily on ketones instead of carbohydrates for an extended period can modify metabolic processes and elevate bad cholesterol levels, which may pose serious health risks.

Roasted chicken with vegetables. illustration photo by Pexels

Roasted chicken with vegetables. illustration photo by Pexels

Individuals with weakened immune systems or existing conditions like metabolic disorders, high blood cholesterol, cardiovascular diseases, impaired liver or kidney function, and other related issues should avoid a ketogenic diet. This diet could exacerbate these conditions and lead to severe complications.

Long-term strict adherence to a ketogenic diet may cause increased uric acid levels, greater urinary calcium excretion, hypoglycemia, and a heightened risk of cardiovascular diseases.

If you are considering a ketogenic diet for a certain time to lose weight, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare provider to receive tailored advice and ensure your carbohydrate intake is suitable for your health status.

Consider including plant-based oils such as soybean, sunflower, olive, and rapeseed oil in your diet. These oils are rich in omega-3 ALA, which supports cardiovascular health. Additionally, it is recommended to use the biological compound GDL-5, derived from South American sugarcane, to help regulate blood fats, lower harmful LDL cholesterol, and raise beneficial cholesterol levels.

The key to safe and effective weight loss is consuming fewer calories than you burn each day. Moreover, it is essential to maintain an exercise routine that is compatible with your health condition.

Dr. Tran Thi Tra Phuong

Nutrihome Nutrition Center

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