The ketogenic diet has been referred to as the biggest diet sensation – ever – in the nutrition industry. So it’s worth looking into because of this alone.
A ketogenic diet is very high in fat (about 75%), moderate in protein (about 20%), and incredibly lower in carbohydrates (about 5%). It’s designed to put the body into a state of ketosis. In ketosis, your body breaks down fat to create ketones for energy, instead of burning One Shot Keto – Does It Work, Ingredients and More – AP News glucose.
Benefits of Keto?
Ketosis benefits we typically hear about are weight reduction, increased HDL (“good”) cholesterol, and improvement in type 2 diabetes, in addition to decreased epileptic seizure activity and inhibition of cancerous tumor growth.
Small studies show promise for women with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), an insulin-related condition. This can be because of its possible (not conclusive) capability to reset insulin sensitivity.
Everything Old Is New Again?
The current Keto diet is not the first time we’ve targeted carbs as a dietary villain. Medical trials with low-carb eating and/or fasting go back to the 1850s and even earlier.
In 1967, Stillman introduced The Doctor’s FAST WEIGHT LOSS Diet, featuring essentially nothing but low-fat protein and water.
Next came the Atkins diet in 1972, saturated in fat and protein, lower in carbs. It helped with weight loss and also with diabetes, hypertension and other metabolic conditions. It’s still popular today.
In 1996, Eades and Eades introduced Protein Power, an extremely low-carb diet that appeared to help patients with obesity, hypertension, raised chlesterol, and/or diabetes.
So reducing carbs, as the Keto diet does, includes a history of helping people lose weight and/or improve metabolic factors. Anecdotal evidence supports that.
Does Keto Have ANY Benefits?
Probable benefits could be seen with neurodegenerative conditions, such as for example multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, likely because these brain disorders are linked to metabolic disorders. In fact, Alzheimer’s is currently called Type 3 diabetes.
Care for these conditions is best done under medical supervision.
Ketones also appear to improve traumatic brain injury, predicated on research done on rats.
In the Interest of Full Disclosure…
Initial weight reduction with the Keto diet is rapid. Your body has used its stored glycogen (carb stored in muscle) and dumped the water that’s stored with it. From then on, weight reduction may continue, but at a slower rate.
Metabolism shows a short increase that appears to disappear within 4 weeks.
Keto doesn’t may actually offer long-term advantages in either fat reduction or lean mass gains.
In some people, Keto appears to increase LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.
What About Negative Effects?
The usually mentioned “cons” of a ketogenic diet are nutrient deficiencies because of missing food groups and a distressing transitional state called “Keto flu,” which might last for days. It comprises hunger, dehydration, headaches, nausea, fatigue, irritability, constipation, brain fog, sluggishness, poor focus, and lack of motivation. Because these symptoms are so much like those of individuals quitting caffeine, Keto has been posited as a “detox” plan.
Other negatives include issues with gut health on this type of low-fiber diet and difficulties with adherence.
Regarding workouts, the Keto diet probably offers no advantage for most people. In fact, the glycogen depletion it induces may lead to hitting the wall (bonking). Athletic performance involving speed and power may be lower without glucose and carbohydrates as fuel.
The International Olympic Committee has urged athletes in order to avoid low-carb diets. They may result in poor training adaptations and decreases in both power output and endurance. A colleague of mine induced cardiac arrhythmias in rats exercising on a low-carb diet.