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High on fat, low on evidence: the problem with the keto diet

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https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/jan/07/high-on-fat-low-on-evidence-the-problem-with-the-keto-diet

theguardian.com

High on fat, low on evidence: the problem with the keto diet
The ultra-low-carb ketogenic diet - which forces the body to burn fat - flies in the face of conventional nutritional advice. It is hugely popular, but is it healthy or sustainable?

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A ketogenic diet...

A ketogenic diet...

... is predominantly made up of high-fat foods , including butter, oils, meat, fish, eggs and cheese, and very low-carb vegetables such as cauliflower and leafy greens. 

Th...

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Ketosis discovery

Keto was developed as a clinical tool.

In 1911, doctors noticed that children with epilepsy stopped having seizures after 2 days of absolute fasting, when their bodies would hav...

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Keto popularity

Most newcomers are drawn to keto for its potential weight loss benefits, and, while it remains a topic of debate among nutritional scientists, its proponents typically gloss over the unknown...

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Ketosis

... is a natural process the body initiates to help us survive when food intake is low. During this state, we produce ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fats in ...

Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet

  • Weight Loss.
  • Keto naturally lowers blood sugar levels due to the type of foods you eat.
  • Mental Focus: Ketones are a great source of fuel for the brain.
  • Increased Energy & Normalized Hunger: Fats are shown to be the most effective molecule to burn as fuel.
  • Epilepsy: Keto diet has been used since the early 1900’s to treat epilepsy successfully.
  • Cholesterol & Blood Pressure: shown to improve triglyceride levels and cholesterol levels most associated with arterial buildup.
  • Insulin Resistance.
  • Improvements in your skin health.

Do Not Eat on a Keto Diet

  • Grains – wheat, corn, rice, cereal, etc.
  • Sugar – honey, agave, maple syrup, etc.
  • Fruit – apples, bananas, oranges, etc.
  • Tubers – potato, yams, etc.

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The Keto diet - documented uses

The keto diet is primarily used to help reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures in children. While it also has been tried for weight loss, only short-term results have been studied, and t...

Ketogenic diet

Unlike other low-carb diets, which focus on protein, a keto plan centers on fat, which supplies as much as 90% of daily calories. The keto diet aims to force your body into using a different type of fuel. Instead of relying on sugar (glucose) that comes from carbohydrates (such as grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits), the keto diet relies on ketone bodies, a type of fuel that the liver produces from stored fat. 

Keto diet meals

Followers must eat fat at each meal:

  • Some healthy unsaturated fats are allowed: almonds, walnuts, seeds, avocados, tofu, and olive oil. But saturated fats from oils (palm, coconut), lard, butter, and cocoa butter are encouraged in high amounts.
  • Protein is part of the keto diet, but it doesn't typically discriminate between lean protein foods and protein sources high in saturated fat such as beef, pork, and bacon.
  • You can have certain fruits (usually berries) in small portions. Vegetables are restricted to leafy greens (kale, Swiss chard, spinach), cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, bell peppers, onions, garlic, mushrooms, cucumber, celery, and summer squashes. 

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Ketosis

... is a normal metabolic process. When the body does not have enough glucose (derived from sugars and starches) for energy, it burns stored fats instead; this results in a build-up o...

Fast facts on ketosis

  • Ketosis occurs when the body does not have sufficient access to its primary fuel source, glucose.
  • Ketosis describes a condition where fat stores are broken down to produce energy, which also produces ketones, a type of acid.
  • In small amounts, ketones serve to indicate that the body is breaking down fat, but high levels of ketones can poison the body, leading to a process called ketoacidosis, a serious condition that can prove fatal.
  • People with type 1 diabetes are more likely to develop ketoacidosis, for which emergency medical treatment is required to avoid or treat diabetic coma.
  • Some people follow a ketogenic (low-carb) diet to try to lose weight by forcing the body to burn fat stores.

The ketogenic diet

The diet itself can be regarded as a high-fat diet, with around 75 % of calories derived from fats,  20 % from proteins and 5 % from carbohydrates.

Adhering to the ketogenic diet can lead to short-term weight loss, consuming fewer calories without feeling hungry while following the diet.

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