- Dr. VW Recommends
The keto diet has ratios of about 70% to 75% fat, 20% to 25% protein, and 5% carbohydrates. When the body has limited glucose available—it makes glucose first from carbs and then from protein, if necessary—it goes into ketosis and burns more fat for energy, which can lead to weight loss. During ketosis, the body also makes more ketones—primarily acetone, acetoacetate and beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB); for instance, the brain prefers glucose and cannot use fat well as fuel, but it can run on ketones.
A recent clinical trial on 95 subjects with an obesity body mass index (BMI) of 37 found that after eight weeks of a keto diet, the mean weight loss was 17% for males and 15% for females.1 Even when the study subjects went back on their regular diets, the weight loss remained off until the study ended at 13 weeks.
Other researchers conducted a meta-analysis of keto diets, comparing a keto diet with a conventional low-fat diet with 12 months or more of follow-up.2 The keto diet led to greater weight loss compared to the low-fat diets. Also notable was that the keto diet led to improved outcomes in triglycerides, diastolic blood pressure, high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good”) cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels.
Because of these metabolic syndrome symptom abatements, the keto diet has also been researched to aid obese patients with type 2 diabetes
CDC reported that more than 100 million American adults are now living with diabetes or prediabetes (which, if not treated, often leads to type 2 diabetes within 5 years). Diabetes, CDC said, can often be managed through physical activity, diet, and the appropriate use of insulin and other medications to control blood sugar levels.
“More than a third of U.S. adults have prediabetes, and the majority don’t know it,” said CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D. “Now, more than ever, we must step up our efforts to reduce the burden of this serious disease.”
Can the keto diet come to the rescue and put a dent in the post-modern disease states of diabetes and obesity? The two conditions are now so prevalent that the two have been joined at the hip to form a new condition: diabesity.
Research is pointing to the keto diet not only helping with weight loss but also improving insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes.
In one small, short study among 10 patients for two weeks, patients experienced weight loss, improved 24-hour blood glucose profiles, improved insulin sensitivity and hemoglobin A1c (average blood sugar levels over the past three months), as well as decreased triglyceride and cholesterol levels.3
This landmark study was credited by other researchers as being “nicely done” and “shows the importance of scholarly evaluation of popular diets, which ideally should take place before they appear in a consumer-oriented book.”4
The typical fats encouraged in a keto diet include medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), as well as avocados, olive oil, nuts and seeds with moderate amounts of nut butters, butter and cheese.
Manufacturers are responding to the keto craze by rolling out products that meet consumers on their keto journey.
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