Although developed in the 1920’s and 1930’s, you might have been hearing more about the Ketogenic Diet lately. In fact, Google searches on the ketogenic diet have increased 200% over the past year as more people tout its health benefits and claims. So should we prepare ourselves for an onslaught of marketing promoting the Ketogenic Diet? Or is it the real deal?
Let us break it down for you.
The Ketogenic Diet was developed to reproduce the success and remove the limitations of the non-mainstream use of fasting to treat epilepsy. Eventually, pharmaceutical drugs became the preferred solution among medical professionals. However, for the small group who don’t respond to medication, the Ketogenic Diet became a solution.
Today you’ll see recommended as a fat-burning diet that promotes weight-loss, athletic performance, and overall improved health. So is it a diet that may be right for you or another hyped miracle diet?
The “keto” in the word ketogenic comes the small fuel molecules called “ketones” our bodies produce when it has very few carbs and only moderate amounts of protein. Which is what the Ketogenic Diet is, a low carb, high fat diet that allows our bodies to use fat instead of carbs for energy. The idea is that your body will burn the fat (ketones which are derived from fat) in addition to the fat stored in your body.
How do you know if your body has entered a state of Ketosis? There are actually testing strips for that.
Advocates of a Ketogenic Diet say that it has the potential to help reduce risk factors for diabetes, heart diseases, stroke, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, and more.
A quick Google search will bring up hundreds of cookbooks, blogs, and products on Ketogenic Diets. It can be hard to separate personal experiences and savvy marketing from scientific research.
Doctors have recommended a Ketogenic Diet based for children who suffer from seizures based on solid scientific research. It’s shown to be effective for their patients when medication isn’t effective or in addition to prescribed medication.
But the research doesn’t show it to be the cure-all miracle diet that it’s promoted to be.
If you are interested in giving this diet a try, consult with your health professional first to ensure it is right for you and your health goals.
Learn more about diet and health with our article on Folic Acid (And Why You Need It).