The Ketogenic diet (high fat / low carb) has become the latest diet craze touted by movie stars and wellness fanatics. What’s the bottom line in about a minute?
This is the same diet promoted decades ago by the late Dr. Robert Atkins – The Atkins Diet. It just has a new name. It’s being widely promoted as the healthiest way to eat and a superior way to lose weight. Why? Well, the body needs glucose to function, and you only have limited glucose stores, but most have plenty of fat stores. If you lower the carbs in your diet, you will use up your glucose stores, and your body will break down your fat into a usable energy source called ketones. You can get into a state of “ketosis” by fasting or by drastically cutting the carbs in your diet.
What does the data tell us? There is robust scientific evidence for a ketogenic diet in patients with epilepsy to reduce seizures. The brain uses ketones which influence neuron activity. How about in diabetes? Diabetics do not produce enough insulin causing blood glucose to rise. Research studies have shown better glucose control in patients who cut carbs.
The data on weight loss is NOT robust and the dramatic claims of a super metabolic advantage have not been borne out in rigorous studies. And, most cannot stick with this diet of avoiding carbs year after year.
The Bottom Line for me: The majority of Americans eat too many carbs, often unhealthy ones. Their diets include a lot of cereals, breads, pasta, pancakes, pastries, donuts, pizza, sandwiches, sweets. Until research says otherwise, I’m an advocate of a healthy balanced diet composed of lots of healthy veggies, fruit (watch the amount), nuts (small portion sizes), olive oil dressings, and lean meats. My diet is low in carbs. I rarely eat bread, cereals, desserts, pastries, pasta, pizza, etc. I also often extend the nighttime fast (see my February newsletter: CLICK HERE).
Need to lose some pounds? Or, are you diabetic? Cut the carbs. They are EVERYWHERE!
It’s about Living WELL Aware!
STAY TUNED: Next week’s LWA March Newsletter will focus on the topic of CANCER PREVENTION. I will be reviewing the report from the American Cancer Society on 8 ways to reduce our odds of cancer.
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