The Keto Diet: What is it all About?

What is the ketogenic diet? 

The keto diet is becoming more and more popular, commonly used for weight loss and to help improve overall health. Interestingly enough this diet was originally developed and used as a treatment for epilepsy.  The premise behind this diet is that if you follow it correctly, you will put your body into ketosis, burning fat instead of glucose for fuel. 

Normally when carbohydrates are consumed, glucose rises in your blood stream and the pancreas then releases insulin to help rid the bloodstream of the extra glucose so that it can either be used as energy or stored as fat.  The ketogenic diet is very low in carbohydrates, moderate in protein and high in fat.  When carbohydrate intake is severely restricted and fat and protein intake become the main sources of nutrition, over time cells will burn stored and dietary fat as a primary source of energy. 

When following the keto diet, enough protein is consumed to maintain lean body mass but not so much so that ketosis cannot be preserved.  If too much protein is consumed the amino acids glutamine and alanine can convert into glucose through gluconeogenesis preventing the body from staying in ketosis (1,2).  This diet allows 20-50 grams of carbohydrates per day.  This is very limited (as a frame of reference, a recommended intake of carbohydrates for someone on an 1800 calorie diet is around 200 grams per day).  After 3-4 days of following the ketogenic diet the body reduces insulin secretion and primarily burns fat for fuel.  Some of that fat burned will convert into ketones.  Muscle can use broken down fat molecules for energy, but the brain cannot.  The brain however can use the ketones.  Ketones can cross the blood-brain barrier, therefore, providing energy to the brain and other tissues (2,3). 

Using Great Lakes Gelatin Company’s Organic MCT (medium chain triglyceride) Oil or Organic MCT Powder helps to support the ketogenic diet by providing the necessary fat that is metabolized into ketones providing quick energy for the brain and body and metabolism support. Their MCT products are from non-GMO sources and are Kosher.  They are also certified USDA Organic which means that it is cold-pressed, and no solvents were used in the processing with no preservatives or additives.

 

References:

  1. Abbasi J. Interest in the ketogenic diet grows for weight loss and type 2 diabetes.  2018; 319 (3): 215-217.
  2. Browns F. Overweight and diabetes prevention:  is a low-carbohydrate – high-fat diet recommendable?  Eur J Nutr. 2018; 57 (4): 1301-1312.
  3. Paoli A. Ketogenic diet for obesity: friend or foe?  Int J Environ Res Public Health.  2014; 11 (2):2092-2107.

Disclaimer: The information provided is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical conditions. Nor is it intended to replace the advice or diagnosis of a medical professional. Individual results may vary.