Recently, most of my patients have been inquiring regarding a ketogenic diet. Is a ketogenic diet safe? Would you advise it? Inspite of the recent hype, a ketogenic weight loss program is not something totally new. In medicine, we have been using it for almost a century to deal with drug-resistant epilepsy, specifically in children. In the 1970s, Dr. Atkins popularized his very-low-carbohydrate diet for losing weight that began with a very strict two-week ketogenic phase. Over the years, other fad diets included a similar approach for weight loss.
What is a ketogenic (keto) diet? – In essence, it is a diet that triggers the body to release ketones to the bloodstream. Most cells would rather use blood glucose, which comes from carbohydrates, since the body’s main way to obtain energy. In the absence of circulating blood sugar levels from food, we start deteriorating stored fat into molecules called ketone bodies (the process is called ketosis). When you reach ketones, most cells will make use of ketone bodies to generate energy until we start eating carbohydrates again. The shift, from using circulating glucose to wearing down stored fat being a source of energy, usually happens over 2 to 4 events of eating less than 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. Remember that it is a highly individualized process, and some individuals need a more restricted diet to start producing enough ketones.
As it lacks carbohydrates, a ketogenic eating habits are rich in proteins and fats. It typically includes a lot of meats, eggs, processed meats, sausages, cheeses, fish, nuts, butter, oils, seeds, and fibrous vegetables. As it is so restrictive, it is really tough to follow over the future. Carbohydrates normally account for at least 50% in the typical American diet. One of the main criticisms with this weight loss program is that lots of people tend to eat too much protein and poor-quality fats from junk foods, with very few fruit and veggies. Patients with kidney disease need to be cautious since this diet could worsen their condition. Additionally, some patients can experience a little tired in the beginning, while many could have bad breath, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and sleep problems.
Is a ketogenic diet healthy? – We now have solid evidence showing that a ketogenic diet reduces seizures in children, sometimes as effectively as medication. Because of these neuroprotective effects, questions happen to be raised concerning the possible benefits for other brain disorders including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, sleep disorders, autism, as well as brain cancer. However, you can find no human studies to aid recommending ketosis to deal with these conditions.
Weight loss is the primary reason my patients utilize the ketogenic diet. Previous research indicates good proof a faster weight loss when patients go on a ketogenic or suprisingly low carbohydrate diet compared to participants over a ciegha traditional low-fat diet, or even a Mediterranean diet. However, that difference in weight-loss appears to disappear over time.
A ketogenic diet also has been shown to improve blood sugar levels control for patients with type 2 diabetes, at least in the short term. There exists much more controversy whenever we think about the effect on cholesterol levels. A couple of research has revealed some patients have increase in cholesterol levels initially, only to see cholesterol fall a couple of months later. However, there is no long term research analyzing its effects with time on diabetes and high cholesterol.
Key takeaways coming from a ketogenic diet review? – A ketogenic diet happens to be an interesting alternative to treat certain conditions, and may accelerate weight reduction. However it is tough to follow also it can be heavy on steak and other fatty, processed, and salty foods that are notoriously unhealthy. We do not know much about its long term effects, probably because it’s so hard to keep with that people can’t eat by doing this for some time. Additionally it is important to remember that “yo-yo diets” which lead to rapid weight-loss fluctuation are associated with increased mortality. Instead of engaging over the following popular diet that could last just a few weeks to months (for most of us that includes a ketogenic diet), make an effort to embrace change that is certainly sustainable over time. A balanced, unprocessed diet, abundant in very colorful fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish, whole grain products, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and a lot of water seems to have the best evidence for some time, healthier, vibrant life.