The most recent “fad” diet that’s been all over the internet and in the press, is the Ketogenic diet. What? Another crazy “eat a lot of fat” diet? This time there may be some merit to giving it a try. The articles have been flying around the internet and the magazine circuit for the last six months and the article traffic has picked up significantly this month. What’s causing all the stir?
“A ketogenic diet is a diet that derives most of its calories from fat and only a small number of calories from carbohydrates.
“The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates for energy. Normally, the carbohydrates you eat are turned into glucose in the body, which is used for energy around the body and in the brain. But, if you don’t eat enough carbohydrates, your body has a back-up system of burning fat instead. The liver can use stored fat and the fat you eat for energy. Stored fat is broken into two parts, fatty acids, and ketone bodies. Ketone bodies power the brain instead of glucose. This state of having a lot of ketone bodies in your blood is called ‘Ketosis’.”
A Ketogenic diet is very similar to the old “Atkins Diet”: low carb, high fat. There is still controversy surrounding the benefits of the Atkins Diet. The Ketogenic diet is moderate in protein and high in fat with a ratio of 2 to 4 gms. fat to 1 gm. protein.
There are a lot of claims for the Ketogenic diet. There are claims that it is a way to resolve Type 2 Diabetes. It is suggested as a way to stop seizures in children and some adults. There are some in the legitimate nutritional community who believe that thorough study of the principles of a Ketogenic diet may lead to a breakthrough in the quest for a cure for cancer. The research is beyond infancy but is still pre-puberty. Ironically, weight loss is the basis of most of the current promotional articles.
OK, the Ketogenic diet has a lot of possibilities, but is it healthy? Meat and high protein products are high acid, while many of the prohibited carbs are more alkaline. Other research shows that an alkaline diet is much more likely to keep you healthy and disease free, than a high acid diet. Milk products are also acidic and cheese is a “no-no” in many of the modern healthy diets. Carbs from vegetables are OK in the Keto diet but not from fruits. Bacon, sausage, cheese and unsalted butter are encouraged.
A Ketogenic Diet flies in the face of all the recent “breakthroughs” in healthy nutrition. While the diet can be rich in vegetables and leafy greens, it promotes dairy, meat and other high fat products that are not normally considered healthy. Grains and sugar are not allowed.
While personally, I have migrated to a diet with more veggies and less meat, it seems that when my wife and I sometimes have bacon or sausage and eggs for dinner, I sleep better and wake up more refreshed in the morning. But, Bob, that’s heresy coming from you. Maybe, but it’s true.
The jury is still out and has a long way to go before reaching a verdict, but apparently the Ketogenic diet has possibilities as a healthy alternative, as well as the potential for healing some medical challenges like Cancer and Diabetes. It’s something to keep your eye on in the future and not toss it out as just another fad — at least not yet.
Thank you for reading.