Ketogenic Diet: Is The Ultimate Low-carb Diet Good For You?
Recently, many of my patients have been asking about a ketogenic diet. Is it safe? Would you recommend it? Despite the recent hype, a ketogenic diet is not something new. In medicine, we have been using it for almost 100 years to treat drug-resistant epilepsy, especially in children. In 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 incorporated a similar approach for weight loss. What is a ketogenic diet? In essence, it is a diet that causes the body to release ketones into the bloodstream. Most cells prefer to use blood sugar, which comes from carbohydrates, as the body’s main source of energy. In the absence of circulating blood sugar from food, we start breaking down stored fat into molecules called ketone bodies (the process is called ketosis). Once you reach ketosis, most cells will use ketone bodies to generate energy until we start eating carbohydrates again. The shift, from using circulating glucose to breaking down stored fat as a source of energy, usually happens over two to four days of eating fewer than 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. Keep in mind that this is a highly individualized process, and some people need a more restricted diet to start producing enough ketones. Because it lacks carbohydrates, a ketogenic diet is rich in proteins and fats. It typically includes plenty of meats, eggs, processed meats, sausages, cheeses, fish, nuts, butter, oils, seeds, and fibrous vegetables. Because it is so restrictive, it is really hard to follow over the long run. Carbohydrates normally account for at least 50% of the typical American diet. One of the main criticisms of this diet is that many people tend to eat too much protein and Continue reading >>
Is A Keto Diet Right For You? Here Are The Pros + Cons
Though not a new diet, the ketogenic diet has in recent months become more and more popular as a means for prompting weight loss. The ketogenic diet has been used for many years, mostly in clinical settings like hospitals, as part of the treatment protocol for children and adults suffering from epilepsy. The ketogenic diet is extremely strict and requires following specific guidelines of about 25 to 35 grams of net carbohydrates (total carbs minus fiber) daily, about the equivalent of one apple. The rest of a ketogenic person's diet is comprised of 5 percent or so protein and then fat for the remaining 70 to 80 percent of the calories. The purpose of the ketogenic diet is to switch our bodies from using carbohydrates for fuel to burning ketones instead. When the body is starved of carbohydrates, fat is broken down and ketones are formed by the liver and then burned for energy instead of glucose. When followed strictly, the excess ketones that our bodies make can be measured in the urine; strict followers of the diet will sometimes check their urine to ensure they find ketones. While there’s reasonable evidence to support the use of the ketogenic diet for clinical purposes as mentioned above, the use of the ketogenic diet for people just looking to optimize their diet and lose weight is a bit more controversial. Here are the pros and cons: Insulin is a key hormone that helps move glucose from the bloodstream to the muscles and tissues. Higher levels of circulating insulin have been linked to increased inflammation (a bad thing for many reasons), and the ketogenic diet may help to reduce insulin levels and thereby help to potentially reduce inflammation in the body. Some people, especially at first, often notice some weight loss. This is partially because of the increas Continue reading >>
Expert's Insight: Is A Very Low-carb Ketogenic Diet Healthy?
Is a very low-carb diet suitable for you? What are the pros and cons and what you should expect from it? These and other questions are answered by Franziska Spritzler from Low Carb Dietitian. Franziska is a certified dietitian and has personal experience with very low-carb ketogenic diets! Very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets (VLCKDs) have been around for hundreds of years and were the standard form of treatment for diabetes prior to the discovery of insulin in 1922. William Banting, a British undertaker, deserves credit for developing the first VLCKD for weight loss in the mid 1800s. Cardiologist Dr. Atkins popularized it again in the early 1970s after reviewing decades-old nutrition research in his attempt to discover a plan that would allow people to lose weight without going hungry – his own Achilles' heel when it came to sticking to a diet. Over the years, the very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet has been criticized for being too restrictive, difficult to maintain long term, and unhealthy. However, many people find that this way of eating is the only one that allows them to lose weight and effectively control diabetes. Although at this time there isn't universal agreement on the term, a few years ago leading researchers in the field of carbohydrate restriction proposed the definition of very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets as those containing less than 50 grams of total carbohydrate per day. However, the degree to which carbohydrates need to be restricted to induce ketosis varies from person to person. Some may achieve elevated ketone levels consuming 60 grams of carbohydrate or more, while others may need to restrict carbs to less than 30 grams or even less than 20 grams to experience the same effect.1 Many people count net carbohydrates by subtracting fiber f Continue reading >>
The Pros And Cons Of Going Keto
Nowadays, there are so many different diet trends popping up that it can be hard to keep track of what's good and bad. And you'll likely find mixed reviews; while some experts tout the benefits, others shine a spotlight on what's bad. Still, humans are curious by nature — it makes sense that you'll want to give some of the more popular diets a shot. A hot one many of you know about by now? The ketogenic diet. Yet before embarking on any diet plan, it's important to prepare yourself for what you might experience throughout the journey. Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD, NYC-based registered dietitian, bestselling author, and founder of The F-Factor Diet, has weighed in on the short-term and long-term side effects of going keto. So you can decide for yourself whether it's the right fit. What's the Keto Diet? First off, what the heck is the keto diet, anyway? Put simply, it's a high-fat, low-carb, moderate-protein diet that puts your body in a state of ketosis. When your diet is lacking in carbs but is high in fat, your liver creates ketones, which are substances made when the body breaks down fat for energy, says Zuckerbrot. The process of ketosis metabolizes fat to provide energy, meaning you're burning fat, as opposed to carbs. As a result, you might lose some weight, as your body is in fat-burning mode. Potential Side Effects Sounds like a diet with benefits, right? Sure, this way of eating can be spot-on for certain individuals, and it may even be easy to sustain, but there's no way to avoid the shaky transition, which can result in some unsettling side effects, often called the "keto flu," says Zuckerbrot. When you stop eating carbs and replace them with a higher intake of fat and protein, your body needs time to adapt to the changes, and it can take days to weeks to recove Continue reading >>
Is Ketosis Safe And Does It Have Side Effects?
Some people think that ketosis is extremely dangerous. However, they might be confusing ketosis with ketoacidosis, which is completely different. While ketoacidosis is a serious condition caused by uncontrolled diabetes, ketosis is a natural metabolic state. In fact, ketosis and ketogenic diets have been studied extensively and shown to have major benefits for weight loss (1, 2). Ketogenic diets have also been shown to have therapeutic effects in epilepsy, type 2 diabetes and several other chronic conditions (3, 4, 5, 6). Ketosis is generally considered to be safe for most people. However, it may lead to a few side effects, especially in the beginning. First, it's necessary to understand what ketosis is. Ketosis is a natural part of metabolism. It happens either when carbohydrate intake is very low (such as on a ketogenic diet), or when you haven't eaten for a long time. Both of these lead to reduced insulin levels, which causes a lot of fat to be released from your fat cells. When this happens, the liver gets flooded with fat, which turns a large part of it into ketones. During ketosis, many parts of your body are burning ketones for energy instead of carbs. This includes a large part of the brain. However, this doesn't happen instantly. It takes your body and brain some time to "adapt" to burning fat and ketones instead of carbs. During this adaptation phase, you may experience some temporary side effects. These are generally referred to as the "low-carb flu" or "keto flu." In ketosis, parts of the body and brain use ketones for fuel instead of carbs. It can take some time for your body to adapt to this. In the beginning of ketosis, you may experience a range of negative symptoms. They are often referred to as "low-carb flu" or "keto flu" because they resemble symptom Continue reading >>
Pros & Cons Of A Ketogenic Diet—many Benefits Including Fat Loss & Better Health!
This article will give you the pros and cons and show you how to safely adjust your body to ketosis so you achieve the many benefits this lifestyle has to offer. The ketogenic diet was first designed as a therapeutic diet to treat epilepsy that mimicked the benefits of severe calorie restriction without the drawbacks of literal starvation. Based on the fact that fasting relieved epileptic symptoms by forcing the body to produce ATP (the energy source for the body) from fat instead of glucose, a doctor at the Mayo clinic designed the ketogenic diet to have a similar effect. Original recommendations for a ketogenic diet were to radically reduce carbohydrates to less than 20 grams per day, while providing a moderate protein intake of 1 g/kg/bw with the rest of the calories coming from fat. This makes fat the primary fuel source, with protein providing just enough amino acid building blocks to sustain lean tissue and produce other compounds in the body, including transmitters and enzymes. In the last 15 years, the ketogenic diet has been modernized to allow for higher carb intakes (around 50 grams a day). It has gained in popularity, with a wealth of research showing many benefits, which we’ll get into below. In order to truly appreciate the “pros” and troubleshoot the “cons” it’s important to understand how a ketogenic diet works, so let’s cover that first. On conventional high-carb diets, the body gets its energy from a steady supply of glucose in the blood (carbs are digested into glucose, which acts as the fuel source for ATP energy production). By restricting carbohydrates on ketogenic diets, blood glucose levels fall. This leads a fat-burning enzyme called hormone sensitive lipase (HSL) to increase, releasing stored triglycerides (fat) from fat cells. Tr Continue reading >>
What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of A Ketogenic Diet?
Here are 10 ADVANTAGES (with scientific references) of the ketogenic diet that you may not even me aware of! Advantages One study found that people on a ketogenic diet lost 2.2 times more weight than those on a calorie-restricted low-fat diet. Triglyceride and HDL cholesterol levels also improved.  ketogenic diets reduce hunger and lower food intake significantly more than do high-protein, medium-carbohydrate nonketogenic diets.  Keto diet is currently being used to treat several types of cancer and slow tumor growth.  study found that the ketogenic diet improved insulin sensitivity by 75%.  The ketogenic diet can improve risk factors like body fat, HDL levels, blood pressure and blood sugar.  ketogenic diets can lead to weight loss and favorable changes in serum triglycerides and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.  Studies show Keto Helps Improve Acne  The Effects of Ketogenic Dieting on Body Composition, Strength, Power, and Hormonal Profiles in Resistance Training Males.  Body composition and hormonal responses to a carbohydrate-restricted diet.  Ketogenic diet's affect on strength and performance.  Disadvantages: There are only a few disadvantages of keto such as the keto flu (where you’ll feel tired the first few weeks), suppress thyroid, and sometimes get constipation. That’s all I experienced, but there is one clever way to make keto even more powerful and I use it all the time. It’s called Cyclical Keto. This is where you cheat once a week to purposely throw yourself out of ketosis. This will reset leptin and thyroid levels so fat loss can continue in the right direction. References: The Ketogenic Diet has some pretty sweet benefits, including putting a high priority on bacon consumption. Beyond that, there’s: Fat Loss I Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet (keto Diet): Pros And Cons Of Following This Diet
Fad diets have now become a trend, thanks to their quick weight loss theories that have made them popular. One of the most talked about fad diets is thd Ketogenic diet which focuses on a high fat, low carb and moderate protein intake that puts your body in a state of ketosis. Basically, when your diet is lacking in carbs but is high in fat, your liver creates ketones that are substances made when the body breaks down fat for energy. This process of ketosis then metabolizes fat to provide energy, which means that you are burning fat, as opposed to carbs; resulting in some amount of weight loss as your body is in the fat burning process. Ketogenic diet may be the newest diet trend doing rounds, but it has its own impact on a person following the diet- be it good or bad. Here are some pros and cons of following the Keto diet that you must know about. Potential Advantages of the Keto Diet 1. Blood sugar balance According to an animal based study, ketogenic diet may help boost cognitive performance for animals; however, more studies are being done in order to get a clearer outcome. 2. Supports gut health Many who suffer from digestive issues may have an added advantage by following the keto diet. Increased fat intake can sometimes boost bowel movement. 3. Healthy response to inflammation Ketosis may actually help in reducing inflammation in the body and make the process smoother and further helps in soothing discomfort. 4. Stabilizes energy levels Fats are a readily available source of energy; so once someone is fat-adapted and in ketosis, they can stay full for longer and still have pumped up energy levels. Potential Disadvantages of the Keto Diet The transition from a normal to a keto diet may not be as smooth as expected and may result in unsettling side effects. When you Continue reading >>
Keto Diet Pros & Cons
Every year it seems people are jumping to try another diet craze. From Atkins to Paleo, there’s always a new diet plan that promises weight loss and a healthier life. You may have heard about a diet called the keto diet, or the ketogenic diet. There’s been a lot of talk surrounding this diet, but how much do you really know about it? It’s always important to know what you’re getting into before you commit to any diet. Not all diets work for every body type, so it’s important to do your research. Today, we’re going to help you answer some questions you may have about the keto diet and break down the biggest pros and cons from the experts. According to Authority Nutrition, the keto or ketogenic diet “involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake, and replacing it with fat. The reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. When this happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain.” Ruled.me says when you’re eating a high carb diet, your body produces glucose and insulin. Glucose is the easiest thing for your body to convert and use as energy. When this happens, the fats you take in are not needed for energy so they’re stored instead. When ketosis happens to your body, it produces ketones that come from the breakdown of fats in the liver. Through this, your body can now use the ketones and fats as energy, burning them off instead of storing them. Typically, this diet requires a carb intake of less than 50 grams daily (to help you picture that, a banana has about 23 g of carbs, a small slice of bread has about 15 g of carbs). While this diet has really only come into the spotlight more recently, it’s been studied f Continue reading >>
The Advantages & Disadvantages Of Ketosis
Although ketogenic diets, as with other forms of low-carbohydrate diets, are popular for use as weight loss diet plans, the original intended benefit of inducing ketosis was to prevent epileptic seizures. As the Epilepsy Foundation explains, ketosis is a state in which your body burns fat, rather than carbohydrates, for fuel. This phenomenon is triggered by a very low carbohydrate intake and a very high fat intake. Ketosis has pros and cons, but you should consult a doctor before attempting this or any other diet plans. Video of the Day For some, the main benefit of ketosis is its ability to aid in dieting. Ketosis may help you improve your body composition because your body burns fat in ketosis; if you eat a reduced calorie level, your body will burn stored body fat, not just fat from food. According to research published in the March 2010 edition of "Nutrition & Metabolism," ketosis can improve fat loss compared to other diet plans, when paired with an exercise program. Epilepsy Management While the exact mechanism that promotes success on the ketogenic diet is unclear, Epilepsy.com suggests that it is ketones -- special molecules -- that ketosis produces that aid in controlling seizures. Because your brain normally runs on glucose, which is derived from carbohydrates, ketosis may induce a change in brain chemistry that limits seizures. According to Epilepsy.com, most children who follow ketogenic diets experience half as many seizures as before the diet. Up to 15 percent may even stop experiencing seizures completely. Because of the highly restrictive nutritional guidelines -- a ratio of four grams of fat for every one gram of protein or carbohydrate is standard -- it can be difficult to adhere to a diet that induces ketosis. Having to remain in ketosis can make it d Continue reading >>
The Ketogenic Diet: Does It Live Up To The Hype? The Pros, The Cons, And The Facts About This Not-so-new Diet Craze.
If you believe the buzz, ketosis — whether via the almost-zero-carb ketogenic diet or via ketone supplements— can curb appetite, enhance performance, and cure nearly any health problem that ails you. Sound too good to be true? It probably is. Want to listen instead of read? Download the audio recording here… ++++ Wouldn’t it be awesome if butter and bacon were “health foods”? Maybe with a side of guacamole and some shredded cheese on top? “I’m doing this for my health,” you could purr virtuously, as you topped your delectably marbled, medium-rare steak with a fried egg. Well, many advocates of the ketogenic diet argue exactly that: By eating a lot of fat and close to zero carbohydrates you too can enjoy enhanced health, quality of life, performance, brain function, and abs you can grate that cheese on. So, in this article, we’ll explore: What are ketones, and what is ketosis? What, exactly, is a ketogenic diet? What evidence and scientific research supports the ketogenic diet? Do ketone supplements work? Is the ketogenic diet or ketone supplementation right for me? How to read this article If you’re just curious about ketogenic diets: Feel free to skim and learn whatever you like. If you want to change your body and/or health: You don’t need to know every detail. Just get the general idea. Check out our advice at the end. If you’re an athlete interested in performance: Pay special attention to the section on athletic performance. Check out our advice for athletes at the end. If you’re a fitness pro, or interested in geeking out with nutritional science: We’ve given you some “extra credit” material in sidebars throughout. Check out our advice for fitness pros at the end. It all started with the brain. If you’ve called Client Care at Pr Continue reading >>
Pros And Cons Of The Ketogenic Diet
The obesity epidemic is overwhelming, to say the least. With so many diets circulating around, it can be tough to keep track of which is best. One minute it’s recommended that you cut fat out of your diet — while the next minute, carbs are the enemy. Although frustrating, maintaining a healthy weight does not need to be this complicated. If you have been trying to lose the same 20 pounds for the last five years, it’s time that you take your weight loss journey to the next level — starting with your diet. Today, the ketogenic diet is on my radar. I’m going to break down the ways you can benefit, but also what you should be weary of. Why try the ketogenic diet? For those of you who have not yet heard of the ketogenic diet, it was actually created in order to potentially treat epilepsy in children. Focusing on a high-fat, adequate protein and low-carb intake, this diet forces your body to burn fats instead of available carbohydrates. As overall carb intake is reduced, your body goes into a metabolic state, known as ketosis. Forcing your body to burn fat for energy, you experience reduced blood sugar and insulin levels. Sounds pretty good, right? Well, in many ways it is — you can adopt some good habits through the “rules” of this diet. I’m forever an optimist, so we’ll start with the pros, as the ketogenic diet most certainly makes some valid points. Benefits of the ketogenic diet Researchers have extensively studied this diet, stating that it is superior to the overly recommended low-fat diet. As mentioned, once your body has reached a metabolic state of ketosis, you will be able to utilize fat for fuel. Since this diet is mainly fat and protein, with just a small intake of carbs, you significantly reduce your intake of sugar — which in many ways, is Continue reading >>
Adverse Reactions To Ketogenic Diets: Caution Advised
As the ketogenic diet gains popularity, it’s important to have a balanced discussion regarding the merits of this diet. Let me emphasize right out of the gate that this is not a diet without merits (excuse the double negative); in fact, it has significant therapeutic potential for some clinical pathologies. However, it is also a diet with inherent risk, as evidenced by the extensive list of adverse reactions reported in the scientific literature—and this has not yet been a thorough enough part of the public discussion on ketogenic diets. The AIP Lecture Series is a 6-week video-based, self-directed online course that will teach you the scientific foundation for the diet and lifestyle tenets of the Autoimmune Protocol. This is the first of a series of articles discussing various facets of a ketogenic diet with an inclination toward balancing the discussion of the pros and cons of this high-fat, low-carb, low/moderate-protein diet. My interest in this topic stems from concerns I have over its general applicability and safety, simultaneous with its growing popularity. I feel a moral and social obligation to share what I understand of these diets, from my perspective as a medical researcher. The dangers of a ketogenic diet was, in fact, the topic of my keynote presentation at Paleo F(x) this year (links to video will be provided once available). This series of articles will share the extensive research that I did in preparation for this presentation, including all of the topics covered during my talk as well as several topics that I didn’t have time to discuss (also see the free PDF Literature Review at the bottom of this post). For every anecdotal story of someone who has regained their health with a ketogenic diet, there’s a counterpoint story of someone who derai Continue reading >>
The Pros And Cons Of Ketosis
If you’ve been following the Paleo lifestyle for more than five minutes, you’ve probably heard about ketosis. You’ve also probably heard of low-carb vs. high-carb camps of people making up the Paleo world. So if you’re wondering what ketosis is, what it can do for you, and the pros and cons surrounding it, here’s some helpful information: Ketosis Ketosis is the state your body goes into when you have elevated levels of ketones circulating. Confused yet? Don’t be. Ketone bodies are used for energy and are formed by ketogenesis when your glycogen stores are depleted. When your glycogen stores are low, fat goes through a process to produce fatty acids — some of which further change into ketone bodies. When your body needs energy, it uses fatty acids instead of glucose as a source of energy. One ketosis side effect is that your breath and urine may smell similar to nail polish remover. This is due to the breakdown of acetate, which is the base ingredient found in nail polish remover. How to Get Into Ketosis One way to kickstart ketosis is to eat a low-carb (and high fat) “ketogenic” diet. Generally, these diets make up less than 30g of carbohydrates. The remaining food comes from a mix of fat and protein. These foods should be lean meat from healthy pastured and grass-fed proteins. Look for grass-fed beef, wild-caught salmon, and eggs from pastured chickens. Low-carb vegetables are also a great choice. When you don’t feed your body enough carbohydrates to convert into glycogen for energy, it begins converting fat stores into energy through a process called “neoglucogenisis.” The more energy you need, the more fat stores your body will burn, and the more weight you will lose. So you can see the draw, right? People want a get-thin-quick plan, and keto Continue reading >>
Pros And Cons Of The Ketogenic Diet
Ketogenic, Atkins, South Beach: call it what you like, low-carbohydrate diets have existed for over 40 years. Their perennial appeal lies in the promise of quick, effective weight loss, while still allowing ‘treat’ foods such as butter, cream and bacon. Simple carbohydrates – i.e. refined sugars and white bread – are banished. With sugar becoming such a dirty word in the last 10 years, it’s no surprise these diets have captured the popular imagination. But are they all they’re hyped up to be, or are they simply another quick fix? What is the ketogenic diet? The ketogenic diet, whose eating plan consists of 70% fats, 25% proteins and 5% carbohydrates, is the latest incarnation of the low-carb diet. Ketogenic is derived from ketosis – the state the body enters when in starvation mode. When the body can no longer make glucose from its usual carbohydrate sources, it resorts to using stored fat. The Ketogenic diet forces the body to enter into ketosis, thus eating into fat reserves and, in theory, helping you lose weight quickly. Also read: Can You Overdo Avocados? Pros of the ketogenic diet 1. You eliminate simple carbohydrates This is a big one. Simple carbohydrates from refined sugars are known to spike blood sugar levels, leaving you exhausted and fatigued a short time after consumption (think: that 3pm sugar-induced slump). Simple carbohydrates can also convert quickly to fat in the body, particularly around arteries and organs. 2. You’ll feel ‘fuller’ for longer Protein and fats promote increased satiety. For example, eating a spoonful of sugar-free peanut butter will keep you satisfied for longer than a spoonful of Nutella (energy-wise, at least!) Another perk of feeling full is that you won’t be tempted to snack. This will bring your overall dai Continue reading >>