Tel Aviv’s Dr. Alex Winderman Weighs in on Keto
The Keto diet is one of the most popular eating plans of the last decade, and its popularity was fueled by celebrities. Dr. Alex Winderman’s interest in aesthetics has increased since he came to Israel, and diets and their role is one area he has monitored closely. Here he gives us his thoughts on the Keto diet.
Studying Medicine Led to a Career in Israel
Dr. Alex Winderman was drawn to medicine from a very personal experience of his own. When he was just 12, Winderman was involved in a serious car accident that nearly cost him his life and could have left him disabled. The excellent medical attention he got, his family’s love, and his will to survive helped him fight all the odds, finally making a full recovery. This pursuit of helping patients recover is what motivates him daily.
It was while attending a European conference on infectious diseases, an area of interest for Dr. Alex Winderman, that got him noticed. For the Ukrainian-born doctor, being offered an internship in Israel was an opportunity of a lifetime, and he immediately grabbed it.
Dr. Alex Winderman’s interest in aesthetic medicine was sparked at a conference where he met the renowned Israeli dentist and aesthetics practitioner, Dr. Chen Hajbi. This led to a period of training for Dr. Alex and eventually, the two became life partners.
Diet and the Immune System
Infectious diseases remain a point of interest for Dr. Winderman, but he is determined to continue exploring the role of the immune system in fighting them. Diet and the immune system are closely linked, an area where lots of research is currently concentrated.
Diets are often used for cosmetic reasons but are also essential for those wanting a healthy body. Over the years people have followed a variety of extreme diets, including those entailing the use of meal replacers, dietary fiber supplements, low fat/ high carbs, and low cab/ high fat.
In their search for the perfect body, people often forget that some diets are effective because they are so extreme, but can have consequences if not followed carefully.
The ketogenic diet has proven extremely beneficial to patients with epilepsy and those who want to reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes. Recently, research also found evidence that it reduces acne because of the extremely low carbohydrate intake of only 5%.
“The keto diet aims to get the body to enter ketosis,” Dr. Alex points out. “This means that the body starts burning fats for fuel instead of carbohydrates (glucose). This is done by feeding the body with 75% fats, 20% protein, and only 5% carbs. Ketosis needs about 72 hours to kick in.”
How safe is the Keto Diet?
“The keto diet does lead to weight loss and lowering of blood sugar,” Dr. Alex continues, “but it needs to be practiced with care and the supervision of a dietician or doctor. This is because it aims to shift the way the body’s metabolism works.”
Dr. Alex Winderman outlined the reasons why he believes this is a difficult diet to sustain. These include that the weight loss often comes back once the diet is stopped, it can cause low blood pressure, nutrition deficiencies, and is not safe for people with some medical conditions of the gallbladder, liver, thyroid, and pancreas.
He pointed out that there is a danger of some people eating the wrong types of fats that increase the chances of heart disease. The right sources of fats come from fatty fish, nuts, vegetable oils, eggs, seeds, and dairy and most fat intake needs to contain unsaturated fats. According to Dr. Alex, some foods should be avoided at all costs because they are highly saturated. The biggest culprits here include foods like coconut oil and unsweetened chocolate.
To follow or not
A dietician or doctor needs to monitor patients following the keto diet. Anyone trying it out on their own should first research it carefully. As the body adapts to keto, people often have mood swings, decreased energy, dizziness, and have an upset stomach. Doctors call this the “keto flu.”
Today, Dr. Winderman is practicing medicine in Israel, where he is currently completing his military duties and is assigned to a military base in Tel Aviv. Besides his passion for medicine, Dr. Alex has many other interests. He enjoys traveling, follows the arts, and is a strong supporter of all peace efforts in the region.
For now, he is dedicated to serving the unique medical challenges faced by the people serving their country.