Recently, most of my patients have been inquiring about a ketogenic diet. Is a ketogenic diet safe? Would you recommend it? Inspite of the recent hype, a ketogenic eating habits are not something totally new. In medicine, we have used it for almost 100 years to deal with drug-resistant epilepsy, specifically in children. Within the 1970s, Dr. Atkins popularized his very-low-carbohydrate diet for weight loss that began with a very strict two-week ketogenic phase. Through the years, other fad diets included a similar method of weight loss.
What exactly is a ketogenic (keto) diet? – Basically, it really is a diet that triggers your body to discharge ketones to the bloodstream. Most cells would rather use blood sugar, which will come from carbohydrates, because the body’s main source of energy. In the absence of circulating blood sugar from food, we start breaking down 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 produce energy until we start eating carbohydrates again. The shift, from using circulating glucose to deteriorating stored fat as a supply of energy, usually happens over two to four events of eating fewer than 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates each day. Take into account that this is a highly individualized process, plus some young people need a much more restricted diet to begin producing enough ketones.
As it lacks carbohydrates, a ketogenic diet is abundant in proteins and fats. It typically includes plenty of meats, eggs, processed meats, sausages, cheeses, fish, nuts, butter, oils, seeds, and fibrous vegetables. Because it is so restrictive, it is definitely hard to follow over the long run. Carbohydrates normally account for at least 50% from the typical American diet. One of the main criticisms of this weight loss program is that many people tend to eat a lot of protein and poor-quality fats from processed food, with very few fruit and veggies. Patients with kidney disease need to be cautious as this diet could worsen their condition. Additionally, some patients may experience just a little tired in the beginning, while many could have smelly breath, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and sleep problems.
Is really a ketogenic diet healthy? – We now have solid evidence showing that the ketogenic diet reduces seizures in kids, sometimes as effectively as medication. Because of these neuroprotective effects, questions have already 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 back up recommending ketosis to treat these conditions.
Weight reduction is the primary reason my patients use the ketogenic diet. Previous studies have shown good proof of a faster weight-loss when patients continue a ketogenic or very low carbohydrate diet compared to 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 has been shown to improve blood glucose control for patients with type two diabetes, at the very least in the short term. There is even more controversy when we consider the influence on cholesterol. A couple of research has shown some patients have increase in cholesterol levels initially, simply to see cholesterol fall a few months later. However, there is not any long term research analyzing its effects as time passes on diabetes and high cholesterol.
Key takeaways coming from a ketogenic diet review? – A ketogenic diet could be an interesting alternative to treat certain conditions, and might accelerate weight reduction. But it is difficult to follow and it may be heavy on red meat along with 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 keep using that people can’t eat by doing this for a long time. Additionally it is important to remember that “yo-yo diets” which lead to rapid weight reduction fluctuation are associated with increased mortality. Rather than engaging over the following popular diet that will last just a few weeks to months (for most of us which includes a ketogenic diet), attempt to embrace change that is certainly sustainable over time. A well-balanced, unprocessed diet, full of very colorful fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish, grain, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and lots of water may have the best evidence for some time, healthier, vibrant life.