Recently, most of my patients have been asking regarding a ketogenic diet. Is a ketogenic diet safe? Would you suggest it? Despite the recent hype, a ketogenic diet is not something new. In medicine, we have been using it for almost a century 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. Over the years, other fad diets included a similar way for weight loss.

What is a ketogenic (keto) diet? – Essentially, it really is a diet that triggers our bodies to discharge ketones in to the bloodstream. Most cells choose to use blood sugar levels, which comes from carbohydrates, as 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). Once you reach ketones, most cells will use ketone bodies to create energy until we start eating carbohydrates again. The shift, by using circulating glucose to deteriorating stored fat as being a source of energy, usually happens over two to four times of eating less than 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. Take into account that this is a highly individualized process, plus some people need a more restricted diet to start producing enough ketones.

Because it lacks carbohydrates, a ketogenic eating habits are abundant in proteins and fats. It typically includes a lot of meats, eggs, processed meats, sausages, cheeses, fish, nuts, butter, oils, seeds, and fibrous vegetables. Because it is so restrictive, it really is hard to follow over the long term. Carbohydrates normally account for around 50% of the typical American diet. One of many criticisms with this diet is that many people tend to eat excessive protein and poor-quality fats from processed food, with only a few fruits and vegetables. Patients with kidney disease must be cautious as this diet could worsen their condition. Additionally, some patients can experience a bit tired initially, although some may have foul breath, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and sleep problems.

Is a ketogenic diet healthy? – We have solid evidence showing which a ketogenic diet reduces seizures in children, sometimes as effectively as medication. Due to these neuroprotective effects, questions happen to be raised about the possible benefits for other brain disorders such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, sleep disorders, autism, and also brain cancer. However, you can find no human studies to back up recommending ketosis to treat these conditions.

Weight loss is the main reason my patients use the ketogenic diet. Previous research shows good evidence of a faster weight loss when patients continue a ketogenic or very low carbohydrate diet compared to participants over a ciegha traditional low-fat diet, or even a Mediterranean diet. However, that difference in weight-loss seems to disappear with time.

A ketogenic diet also is shown to improve blood glucose control for patients with type two diabetes, at least for the short term. There is certainly even more controversy when we consider the influence on levels of cholesterol. A couple of research has shown some patients have increase in cholesterol at first, only to see cholesterol fall several months later. However, there is not any long-term research analyzing its effects as time passes on diabetes and high cholesterol.

Key takeaways from the ketogenic diet review? – A ketogenic diet could be an interesting substitute for treat certain conditions, and could accelerate weight loss. However it is difficult to follow and it can be heavy on steak along with other fatty, processed, and salty foods which can be notoriously unhealthy. We also have no idea much about its long term effects, probably because it’s so hard to stay with that people can’t eat this way for a long period. Additionally it is important to understand that “yo-yo diets” that lead to rapid weight-loss fluctuation are related to increased mortality. As opposed to engaging over the following popular diet that will last only some weeks to months (for many people that includes a ketogenic diet), make an effort to embrace change that is certainly sustainable in the long run. A well-balanced, unprocessed diet, full of very colorful vegetables and fruit, lean meats, fish, whole grains, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and a lot of water may have the best evidence for some time, healthier, vibrant life.