The Keto Diet Is Gaining Popularity, But Is It Safe?
A new twist on extreme weight loss is catching on in some parts of the United States. It’s called the "keto diet." People promoting the diet say it uses the body’s own fat burning system to help people lose significant weight in as little as 10 days. It has also been known to help moderate the symptoms of children with epilepsy, although experts are not quite sure why it works. Proponents say the diet can produce quick weight loss and provide a person with more energy. However, critics say the diet is an unhealthy way to lose weight and in some instances it can be downright dangerous. Read More: What is the “Caveman Diet?” » What Is Ketosis? The “keto” diet is any extremely low- or no-carbohydrate diet that forces the body into a state of ketosis. Ketosis occurs when people eat a low- or no-carb diet and molecules called ketones build up in their bloodstream. Low carbohydrate levels cause blood sugar levels to drop and the body begins breaking down fat to use as energy. Ketosis is actually a mild form of ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis mostly affects people with type 1 diabetes. In fact, it is the leading cause of death of people with diabetes who are under 24 years of age. However, many experts say ketosis itself is not necessarily harmful. Some studies, in fact, suggest that a ketogenic diet is safe for significantly overweight or obese people. However, other clinical reviews point out that patients on low-carbohydrate diets regain some of their lost weight within a year. Where It’s Helpful The keto diet was created by Dr. Gianfranco Cappello, an associate professor of surgery at the Sapienza University in Rome, Italy. He claims great success among thousands of users. In his study, more than 19,000 dieters experienced significant, rapid weight loss, few side Continue reading >>
Ketosis And Fatty Liver
Fatty liver is usually associated with alcohol abuse, but even people who don't drink can develop nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD. NAFLD includes asymptomatic steatosis, meaning simple fatty liver, which can progress to steatohepatitis, meaning inflamed fatty liver. Later, the disease can cause fibrosis, or scarring, and ultimately cirrhosis, which is permanent. Alcoholic fatty liver can only be treated by abstaining from alcohol in the early stages of the disease. But, because NAFLD is likely diet-related, it might be reversible by substantially reducing carbohydrate intake by means of a ketogenic diet. Video of the Day NAFLD is associated with obesity -- especially abdominal, insulin resistance, elevated blood sugar, inflammation and high serum triglycerides. These are all signs of metabolic syndrome, considered the precurser to Type 2 diabetes. When the body cannot use sugar properly, some of it is converted to fat -- triglycerides -- by the liver, where it can accumulate. A 2009 study conducted at the Center for Human Nutrition and Atkins Center of Excellence in Obesity Medicine found that excess liver fat is probably the major culprit behind the health issues often associated with obesity. The Ketogenic Diet The ketogenic diet is a high-protein, high-fat, carbohydrate-restricted diet usually used for weight loss. Reducing or eliminating dietary carbohydrate forces the body to rely on stored fat for energy. However, the body metabolizes fat differently in the absence of carbohydrates, resulting in a condition called ketosis. Incompletely metabolized fat forms molecules called ketones, which accumulate in the blood and urine. Ketones have limited value as an energy source in the absence of carbohydrate, mainly for the brain, but most are excreted in the ur Continue reading >>
Keto: The Best Fatty Liver Diet
Fatty liver disease is exactly what the name suggests – a disease characterized by the build up of fat in the liver. There are two main types of fatty liver disease: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease Alcoholic fatty liver disease (also called alcoholic steatohepatitis) Both types of fatty liver disease are diagnosed when fat makes up at least 10% of the liver, but the cause of the fat build up is different for each type. The cause of alcoholic fatty liver disease is obvious. The amount of alcohol it takes to cause fatty build up in the liver, however, is not so obvious. The Liver Foundation suggests consuming no more than 14 drinks a week for men and 7 drinks a week for women. Anything more than may cause fat to build up in the liver. The treatment for alcoholic fatty liver disease is simple enough — stop drinking alcohol. Studies confirm that cessation of alcohol consumption can reverse alcoholic fatty liver disease. However, the cause and treatment of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease are not as obvious. This is because many different factors (other than alcohol) can cause fat to build up in the liver. The Truth About Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease affects 20-30% of adult populations in developed countries, but the mechanisms underlying its cause are incompletely understood. We can, however, take some clues from other common diseases to figure out why this happens. In epidemiological studies including people with type 2 diabetes, 62 to 69% of them also had nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Another study found that 50% of patients with dyslipidemia (abnormally elevated cholesterol levels) had nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Obesity, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease are also closely linked with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease Continue reading >>
Is Dietary Ketosis Harmful To The Liver?
The mild dietary ketosis, such as that which is experienced during the Weight Loss phase of the Lean for Life program, is not harmful to individuals with a normal, healthy, functioning liver. Here is some information about ketosis that may help you to understand its role in weight loss: The carbohydrates you eat are converted to glucose, which is the body’s primary source of energy. Whenever your intake of carbohydrates is limited to a certain range, for a long enough period of time, you’ll reach a point where your body draws on its alternate energy system, fat stores, for fuel. This means your body burns fat and turns it into a source of fuel called ketones. (Ketones are produced whenever body fat is burned.) When you burn a larger amount of fat than is immediately needed for energy, the excess ketones are discarded in the urine. Being in ketosis means your body has burned a large amount of fat in response to the fact that it didn’t have sufficient glucose available for energy needs. Dietary ketosis is among the most misunderstood concepts in nutrition because it is often confused with ketoacidosis, which is a life-threatening condition most often associated with uncontrolled insulin-deficient Type 1 diabetes. In the Type 1 diabetic, the absence of insulin leads to a toxic build-up of blood glucose and an extreme break-down of fat and muscle tissue. This condition doesn’t occur in individuals who have even a small amount of insulin, whether from natural production or artificially administered. Dietary ketosis, however, is a natural adjustment to the body’s reduced intake of carbohydrates as the body shifts its primary source of energy from carbohydrates to stored fat. The presence of insulin keeps ketone production in check so that a mild, beneficial ketosis Continue reading >>