Ketogenic Diet

What is a ketogenic diet?

Here are the basics of keto: The diet aims to force your body into using a different type of fuel. Instead of relying on sugar (glucose) that comes from carbohydrates (such as grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits), the keto diet relies on ketone bodies, a type of fuel that the liver produces from stored fat.

Burning fat seems like an ideal way to lose pounds. But getting the liver to make ketone bodies is tricky:

  • It requires that you deprive yourself of carbohydrates, fewer than 20 to 50 grams of carbs per day (keep in mind that a medium-sized banana has about 27 grams of carbs).
  • It typically takes a few days to reach a state of ketosis.
  • Eating too much protein can interfere with ketosis.

In a ketogenic state, the body uses primarily fat for energy instead of carbohydrates; with low levels of carbohydrate, fats can be converted into ketones to fuel the body. For ketosis, a typical adult must stay below 20 to 50 grams of net carbohydrates — measured as total carbs minus fiber — each day.

Who should and shouldn’t do a ketogenic diet?

The ketogenic diet has been shown to be useful for people who’s body mass index (BMI) is over 40 — or if you have insulin resistance without Type 2 diabetes — the keto diet can be very helpful as well. It can be used as a short-term strategy to reset your metabolism and you don’t have to be on it forever. A number of people with famous names have also stated that they follow a ketogenic diet such as Joe rogan who stated he “had an increase energy level” after reaching true ketosis and apparently the Kardashians who said they went on it for a “mental detox”.

It has been shown that “keto is not safe for those with any conditions involving their pancreas, liver, thyroid or gallbladder. Someone new to the keto diet can also experience what’s called the “keto flu” with symptoms like upset stomach, dizziness, decreased energy, and mood swings caused by your body adapting to ketosis” according to UChicago Medicine.

What are the main benefits of a ketogenic diet?

  • lowering bad cholesterol (HDL) and increasing tryglycerides
  • Increases visceral adiposity (deep fat)
  • Appetite control

What are the drawbacks of a ketogenic diet?

  • Can cause low blood pressure
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Potential constipation