Is it just a fad and something that creates rapid
UNSUSTSAINABLE, UNHEALTHY weight loss?
NO, this approach is truly a step to the more correct kinds of foods we should be consuming in our regular, daily diets. And actually is more the way we used to eat 75 years ago when we did not have today’s common, chronic diseases.
Originally this dietary approach was created to improve brain function for childhood epilepsy with noted success. – It was not followed and used as a primary therapy after anticonvulsant drugs were approved for market. The ketogenic diet, the “Keto Diet” is a high fat; 70-80%, moderate protein;15-30% and very low carbohydrate intake; about 5-10%.
With such low carbohydrate/sugar intake your blood glucose dramatically drops and the body will look for an alternative energy source. – It breaks down fat stores into free fatty acids which can be used by your cellular metabolism for energy. In essence, you are burning fat and losing weight! Another byproduct of this breakdown process are ketones. When they are measurable in the blood you’ve established true fat burning thus your weight loss will be inevitable. This is dietary ketosis.
This is not type1, diabetes ketoacidosis at all but a natural shift your body creates in response to the plunge in glucose/sugar availability and the need for to establish continuing energy sources. This shifting process is called gluconeogenesis created by a series of enzymatic, oxidation processes that takes place primarily in your liver (1). The definition of Gluconeogenesis is: a metabolic pathway that results in the generation of cellular energy from certain non-carbohydrate sources, including lipids from triglycerides and amino acids from protein (2).
When you increase the percentage of fat consumed, as noted above there is a “protein sparing” effect that will not primarily decrease skeletal muscle mass while on a keto diet plan (3).
Understand, any successful weight reduction diet will have a form of gluconeogenesis, the burning of fat for fuel. They just approach decreasing overall calories in different ways.
The keto diet does get there very fast with its specific macro nutrient shift most notably, and uniquely here, very high fat content and low carbohydrate distribution.
The question one still may have in relation to this high fat and low sugar/carbohydrate intake is: How does this affect my cholesterol levels? Blood cholesterol and lipids generally improve with low-carbohydrate diets like this. Specifically the triglyceride and good cholesterol (HDL) measurements (4). In contrast, high-carbohydrate diets actually reduce good cholesterol and raise triglyceride levels creating a negative metabolic status.-This can create a pathway to pre-diabetes and insulin resistance syndrome.
“We can no longer dismiss very-low-carbohydrate diets… Dr. Atkins deserves credit for his observations that many persons can control their weight by greatly reducing carbohydrate intake…” (5).
In short, most all mainstream diets recently have embraced a lower carbohydrate approach like this. The science is changing as we understand more about healthy weight reduction/stabilization. This approach is not just metabolically healthier. – The opposite, high carbohydrate diets can actually be disease promoting. So, get on board and get healthy.
2. Silva, Pedro. “The Chemical Logic Behind Gluconeogenesis”. Archived from the original on August 26, 2009. Retrieved September 8, 2009
3. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 41, Issue 3, 1 March 1985, Pages 540–544, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/41.3.540
5. Prof. Walter Willett Harvard School of Public Health Annals of Internal Medicine, 2004 18;140:836-837