The popular keto diet has been gaining traction for a while now, embraced by an internet community that swears by it, as it’s deemed the fastest diet for weight loss.
San Diego native Janelle Rohner, 32, found social media fame this past year as the queen of keto and the diet’s biggest promoter, sharing her daily go-to recipes on TikTok. Rohner is a huge hit among keto lovers, but her recipes and ingredients have stirred up quite a bit of controversy to those unfamiliar with the diet.
Those skeptical of her recipes and keto lifestyle have begun a new TikTok trend, “stitching” her videos with the phrase, “Is it bussin, Janelle?”, a sarcastic blow at the questionable quality, taste and nutritional value of her keto meals.
You may know of Janelle through some of her more notable recipes including the “Chaffle”, made with shredded cheese and a mini waffle maker, and the bell pepper, cream cheese and bagel seasoning combo topped with pepperoni slices.
Weight loss is thought to be the main benefit of going keto, but with recipes such as the “chaffle” that are high in cholesterol, the health benefits of the keto diet remain questionable.
VALLEY got to sit down with Penn State nutrition student Heather Monachello to discuss the mystery behind the keto diet — is it really as healthy as it seems?
Monachello raised the concern that keto diets could increase the risk of high cholesterol and triglycerides, which at increased levels raise the chances of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
However, if this is the weight loss diet that works for you, Heather suggests there are more nutritious ways to go about eating keto that could fight disease.
“The best keto recipes involve meats and fish, incorporating that with cheese and then some vegetables. Fruits are not a huge part of the keto diet, usually, only berries are included as they have the least amount of carbs,” Monachello said.
Some of Janelle’s keto recipes, though, are nutritious keto options. Rohner’s meal of chicken cutlets with marinara sauce and parmesan on top of a bed of cauliflower is more nutritious and far lower in cholesterol than her chaffle and red meat recipes. One of her most famous snacks is bell pepper, cream cheese and pepperoni — though packed with micronutrients from the pepper, there’s no getting around the high amounts of fat in the cream cheese and highly processed pepperoni.
Highly processed deli meats are high in cholesterol and have long been linked to colon cancer, so if you are on the keto diet and craving this snack, your best bet is to buy leaner meat to put on top of your peppers, such as turkey slices.
To be frank, the best diet strictly for weight loss is whichever diet works for you that is sustainable, delicious, helps you maintain a calorie deficit, and makes you feel great.
So is it bussin, Janelle? She says keto works best for her because “healthy food can be fun,” and eating nutritious doesn’t “have to suck.”
As Monachello told VALLEY, “the keto diet essentially causes the body to rewrite its energy resources,” meaning it forces your body to use ketones instead of glucose, due to the minimal carbohydrate intake — any diet with carbohydrate restriction is proven to help with fast weight loss. Therefore, the keto diet is highly restrictive.
Janelle hears her criticism about promoting such a restrictive diet and acknowledges that she will work harder to showcase a greater variety of meals on her page.
VALLEY wants to know what you think of Janelle’s recipes and the keto lifestyle! Tag us with your thoughts @valleymag.