• Cherise & Owen

A Deeper look at Ketogenic Diets

Updated: Apr 3, 2018

KETOGENIC DIETS, are they better than conventional dieting strategies for weight loss?


Introducing Ketosis:


Definition: "A metabolic state characterised by raised levels of ketone bodies in the body tissues, which is typically pathological in conditions such as diabetes, or may be the consequence of a diet low in carbohydrates."


Ketosis is generally achieved when carbohydrates are restricted to <50g per day. The carbohydrates coming from fibrous sources such as vegetables as well as trace carbohydrates found in foods.


A typical macronutrient ratio as follows:

5:20:75 (carbs:protein:fat)


Theories and Hypothesis surrounding Ketogenic Diets:


Insulin hypothesis: whereby keeping insulin levels low results in increased fat mobilization in adipose tissue. 


Reasons as to why this isn't true:


> Carbs are not the only nutrient to spike insulin (protein is also very insulinogenic)

> Insulin isn't actually required for fat storage  (a hormone called acylation stimulating hormone becomes responsible)


There is also no metabolic advantage of ketogenic diets over conventional diets as many people believe.


"But my friend Susan lost 3kg in one week following a Ketogenic diet!" - Jane

This is due to glycogen depletion, water loss and a calorie deficit (majority of the weight loss is glycogen and water).


"Ketogenic diets may be attributed to a reduction in appetite due to higher satiety effect of proteins" - Paoli et al 2013.


Ketogenic Diets may be effective for weight loss due to:


>Calorie deficit due to the avoidance and elimination of certain food groups.

>Decreased appetite due to increased satiety following a high protein and high fat diet.

Ketogenic Diets are more of a nutritional challenge, as it's difficult to obtain proper nutrition (micronutrients in particular) when eliminating food groups.


My personal opinion: unless you suffer from epilepsy, there's no need for you to follow a Ketogenic plan. You're better off following prudent dietary guidelines for weight loss whilst maintaining a steady caloric deficit.  throughout.


Although I do believe that low carb diets (not necessarily keto) have their place if someone suffers from insulin resistance.


By Owen Dunderdale



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