The ketogenic, or “keto”, diet is a low-carbohydrate and fat-rich eating plan that has been used for many centuries to treat certain medical conditions. The ketogenic diet was popularly used in the 19th century to control diabetes. It was first introduced in 1920 as a treatment for epilepsy in children who were unable to receive medication. It has been used in closely controlled settings to treat cancer, diabetes and polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, as well as Alzheimer’s disease. Our goal at Paleo Life is to provide a different source of information that can aid you in reaching your health goals. Each time we update our perspective changes due to the latest research findings. In a constant manner the scientific community is studying new aspects of the human body, and the ways that Keto Foods, exercise, light, and other methods affect longevity.
This diet is becoming increasingly popular as a weight-loss strategy because of the low-carb diet craze. It all started in 1970s with Atkins, a low-carbohydrate and high-protein diet that was a huge commercial success. Other low-carb diets, such as the Paleo and South Beach diets, are high in protein, but moderately fat. The ketogenic diet, on the other hand, is distinguished by its high-fat content (often 70% to 80%), but with only moderate amounts of protein.
How it works
The ketogenic diet is based on the idea that the body will lose glucose, the main source of energy, if it is depleted of carbohydrate foods, then a secondary fuel called ketones, is made from stored fat. (Hence, the name “keto-genic). Because it can’t store glucose, the brain needs 120g of glucose daily. Fasting is when there are very few carbohydrate intakes. The body pulls glucose from the liver first and then temporarily breaks down muscle to release glucose. After this process continues for three to four days, the blood levels of insulin, a hormone known as, decreases and the body starts using fat as its primary fuel. In the absence of glucose, the liver can produce ketone bodies from fat.
There is no “standard” ketogenic diet that has a certain ratio of macronutrients (carbohydrates and protein) The ketogenic diet reduces total carbohydrate intake by less than 50g per day, which is less than a medium plain bagel. It can also be as low at 20 grams per day. Most ketogenic resources recommend an average of 70-80% fat, 5-10% carbohydrates, 10-20% protein, and 5-7% fat from total daily calories. This means that a 2000-calorie diet would have 165g fat, 40g carbohydrate, 75g protein, and 45g sugar. Because too much protein can cause ketosis, the ketogenic diet has a lower protein intake than other low-carb diets. A ketogenic diet provides enough protein to maintain lean body mass, including muscle, while still causing ketosis.
A long-term ketogenic diet can have some negative side effects, such as increased risk of osteoporosis and kidney stones, and higher blood levels of uric acids (a risk factor for developing gout). If a wide variety of foods that are recommended for ketogenic diet aren’t included, there may be nutritional deficiencies. You should not eat only high-fat foods. It is also important to include a variety of foods other than meat, fish, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fruits. This will ensure that you get adequate amounts of fiber, vitamins, minerals (iron and magnesium), and other nutrients such as whole grains, which are often missing from the ketogenic diet. A registered dietitian can help you create a ketogenic diet that reduces nutritional deficiencies, as whole food groups are not allowed.
The research available on the ketogenic diet to lose weight is limited. The majority of studies have been limited in number, had short durations (12 weeks or less), and did NOT include control groups. Some people have experienced short-term weight loss, improvements in blood sugar and total cholesterol as well as improved blood pressure. These effects are not as dramatic after a year than those of traditional weight loss diets.
For those who have struggled to lose weight using other methods, a ketogenic diet might be an option. Due to individual differences in genetic makeup and body composition, the exact amount of fat, carbohydrate and protein required to achieve health benefits will differ. It is recommended that one consults with a physician and a dietitian before starting a ketogenic diet. This is to ensure that one is aware of any changes in biochemistry and to help create a meal plan tailored to individual health conditions. The guidance of a dietitian can also be provided regarding reintroducing carbohydrates after weight loss.