The Ketogenic Diet: Evidence for Optimism but High-Quality Research Needed
For >50 y, dietary guidelines in the United States have focused on reducing intakes of saturated and total fat. However, rates of obesity and diabetes rose markedly throughout this period, with potentially catastrophic implications for public health and the economy. Recently, ketogenic diets have received substantial attention from the general public and nutrition research community. These very-low-carbohydrate diets, with fat comprising >70% of calories, have been dismissed as fads. However, they have a long history in clinical medicine and human evolution. Ketogenic diets appear to be more effective than low-fat diets for treatment of obesity and diabetes. In addition to the reductions in blood glucose and insulin achievable through carbohydrate restriction, chronic ketosis might confer unique metabolic benefits of relevance to cancer, neurodegenerative conditions, and other diseases associated with insulin resistance. Based on available evidence, a well-formulated ketogenic diet does not appear to have major safety concerns for the general public and can be considered a first-line approach for obesity and diabetes. High-quality clinical trials of ketogenic diets will be needed to assess important questions about their long-term effects and full potential in clinical medicine.
A century ago, the ketogenic diet was a standard of care in diabetes, used to prolong the life of children with type 1 diabetes and to control the symptoms of type 2 diabetes in adults. Because all forms of diabetes share a basic pathophysiological problem, carbohydrate intolerance, restriction of carbohydrate on a ketogenic diet (typically ≤50 g/d with >70% fat) often produced rapid and remarkable clinical improvement. Discovery of insulin in the 1920s enabled people with diabetes to control hyperglycemia on high-carbohydrate diets. However, the human toll and economic burden from diabetes complications continue to mount, despite increasingly sophisticated insulin analogs and drugs for associated conditions such as dyslipidemia, hypertension, and coagulopathy. Contrary to expectation, adoption of a higher-carbohydrate (lower-fat) diet by the US public in the second half of the 20th century could have contributed to the increasing prevalence of obesity, a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Despite commonly voiced concerns about the safety of, and lack of supporting evidence for, this putative fad, the ketogenic diet has a long track record—not only in clinical medicine but also through human evolution—providing evidence for optimism in the search for more effective dietary prevention and treatment of chronic diseases.
Carbohydrate Restriction Is More Effective than Fat Restriction for Obesity Treatment
Low-Carbohydrate Diets Show Promise for Diabetes Treatment
Low-Carbohydrate Diets Might Lower CVD Risk despite High Saturated Fat Content
Chronic Ketosis Might Provide Unique Metabolic Benefits
Ketogenic Diets Have a Long Track Record of Safety
There Is No Human Requirement for Dietary Fibre or Carbohydrate
All the above with detailed report plus conclusions, acknowledgements, notes and all references can be seen here
Introduction to low-carb for beginners – see here
Why low carb – see here
What is LCHF Anyway – see here
This blog brings a variety of articles and recipe ideas, and it is important to note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use a reliable meter.
All the best Jan