Many of you may have heard about, or know of people using, a ketogenic diet or taking a bioavailable or another type of ketone supplements and wonder, “What’s the big deal?”
While most diets restrict calories, the ketogenic diet works mainly by changing the way energy is utilized in the body from a glycolytic state (which primarily uses glucose for fuel) to a ketotic state (which primarily uses fat for fuel). This change creates improved mental and physical states, which has many benefits.
Generally, a ketogenic diet is 65-80% healthy fats, 15-25% protein and 5-10% carbohydrates. Ketogenic diets can be very challenging to start and maintain because of the carbohydrate restriction, and increasing healthy fats is key to its success and toleration.
One of the reasons people lose weight using a ketogenic diet is they feel less hungry. Even on unrestricted calorie ketogenic diets, there is a tendency to take in fewer calories and lose more weight. However, by adding calorie restriction to a ketogenic diet, additional benefits have been shown. In a study of people with metabolic syndrome, participants on a calorie restricted ketogenic diet lost 14% of body fat and decreased triglycerides by more than 50%.
A ketogenic diet is accepted treatment for seizure disorders such as epilepsy and is one of the only successful treatments for Infantile Spasms, a particularly challenging form of seizures in children. Approximately half of epilepsy patients improve when following a ketogenic diet. Ketogenic diets are also lifesaving with patients who are unable to tolerate anti-seizure medications.
Ketogenic diets also reduce oxidative stress, which in turn has positive effects on aging and many chronic diseases such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), diabetes, autism, and multiple sclerosis (MS). Additionally, the “Spanish Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet” showed 93% had a reduction in liver fat, and 21% achieved complete resolution of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) on a ketogenic diet.
As with any significant change in diet, having professional support is highly recommended. There are also new supplements available that help get the body into a ketogenic state with a less restrictive diet, but these supplements are more effective when supportive diet and lifestyle changes (e.g., exercise) are simultaneously implemented.
If you would like to learn more about ketogenic diets or simply want to live at your healthiest potential, schedule an appointment with Wholistic Pediatrics and Family Care by calling (813) 960-3415 today.