Recently, most of my patients have been inquiring about a ketogenic diet. Is a ketogenic diet safe? Would you advise it? Despite the recent hype, a ketogenic weight loss program is not something totally new. In medicine, we have used it for almost a hundred years to deal with drug-resistant epilepsy, specifically in children. In the 1970s, Dr. Atkins popularized his very-low-carbohydrate diet for weight loss that began with a very strict two-week ketogenic phase. Over the years, other fad diets included a similar way for weight loss.
What exactly is a ketogenic (keto) diet? – In essence, it is a diet that triggers the body to discharge ketones in to the bloodstream. Most cells choose to use blood sugar, which will come from carbohydrates, as the body’s main way to obtain energy. In the absence of circulating blood sugar from food, we start deteriorating stored fat into molecules called ketone bodies (the procedure is called ketosis). Once you reach ketosis, most cells will make use of ketone bodies to generate energy until we start eating carbohydrates again. The shift, by using circulating glucose to breaking down stored fat as being a way to obtain energy, usually happens over 2 to 4 days of eating less than 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. Remember that this is a highly individualized process, and some young people need a much more restricted diet to begin producing enough ketones.
Because it lacks carbohydrates, a ketogenic weight loss program is abundant in proteins and fats. It typically includes lots of meats, eggs, processed meats, sausages, cheeses, fish, nuts, butter, oils, seeds, and fibrous vegetables. As it is so restrictive, it really is tough to follow over the future. Carbohydrates normally account for about 50% from the typical American diet. One of many criticisms with this diet is that lots of people have a tendency to eat excessive protein and poor-quality fats from processed food, with not many fruit and veggies. Patients with kidney disease have to be cautious since this diet could worsen their condition. Additionally, some patients may experience just a little tired initially, while some may have smelly breath, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and sleep problems.
Is really a ketogenic diet healthy? – We have solid evidence showing that the ketogenic diet reduces seizures in children, sometimes as effectively as medication. Due to these neuroprotective effects, questions have been raised regarding the possible benefits for other brain disorders such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, sleep disorders, autism, and also brain cancer. However, you will find no human studies to aid recommending ketosis to take care of these conditions.
Weight loss is the primary reason my patients make use of the ketogenic diet. Previous research shows good proof of a faster weight-loss when patients go on a ketogenic or suprisingly low carbohydrate diet when compared with participants on a ciegha traditional low-fat diet, or even a Mediterranean diet. However, that difference in weight loss seems to disappear as time passes.
A ketogenic diet also is shown to improve blood sugar control for patients with type 2 diabetes, at least for the short term. There exists much more controversy once we take into account the impact on cholesterol. Several research has shown some patients have increase in cholesterol in the beginning, simply to see cholesterol fall a few months later. However, there is absolutely no long-term research analyzing its effects with time on diabetes and cholesterol.
Key takeaways from the ketogenic diet review? – A ketogenic diet happens to be an interesting substitute for treat certain conditions, and may accelerate weight-loss. However it is hard to follow and it can be heavy on red meat as well as other fatty, processed, and salty foods which are notoriously unhealthy. We have no idea much about its long-term effects, probably because it’s so hard to stick with that people can’t eat in this way for a long period. It is additionally important to understand that “yo-yo diets” that lead to rapid weight loss fluctuation are related to increased mortality. Instead of engaging within the next popular diet that will last only some weeks to months (for most people that includes a ketogenic diet), try to embrace change which is sustainable over time. A healthy, unprocessed diet, full of very colorful fruit and veggies, lean meats, fish, whole grains, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and plenty of water may have the very best evidence for a long, healthier, vibrant life.