Thursday, September 29, 2022

Why Does The Keto Diet Work

The Story Behind How The Ketogenic Diet Came To Be

The Real Reason Why Keto Diets Work

The ketogenic diet was originally formulated by doctors to help treat people with epilepsy, and it was found especially effective in children who didnt respond to medication.1,2 Indeed, the keto diet has been found to reduce the frequency and intensity of seizures, which are common complications of this condition.

This high fat/low carb diet may also help improve certain other neurological disorders like Alzheimers disease and Parkinsons disease,3 according to the Epilepsy Foundation. More than half the children with epilepsy who were put on the diet experienced half as many seizures, while 10 to 15 percent of the patients who followed this diet became seizure-free.

The keto diet has also been studied as a possible cancer therapy. In a study focusing on people with cancer who followed the ketogenic diet as a medical therapy,4 the authors reported: There is a great need for complementary approaches that have limited patient toxicity while selectively enhancing therapy responses in cancer versus normal tissues.

Ketogenic diets could represent a potential dietary manipulation that could be rapidly implemented for the purpose of exploiting inherent oxidative metabolic differences between cancer cells and normal cells to improve standard therapeutic outcomes by selectively enhancing metabolic oxidative stress in cancer cells.

The keto diet is not for children or adolescents either, and a long-term complication can be growth retardation in children.5

What Are The Health Benefits To Being On The Keto Diet

Weight loss is highly likely, because all that fat keeps you full. Proponents say it also boosts your energy and keeps food cravings at bay.

Research has shown the diet lowers blood sugar levels and improves insulin resistance in diabetics, and a growing number of studies suggest it might be beneficial in treating Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, some cancers, and other diseases.

The Keto Diet: Does It Really Work

Youve probably heard the hype about the keto diet. The high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet, as its formally called, is all the rage right now. Why? One reason could be because keto diet results are real, and it does worktechnically.

The keto diet works because when you restrict dietary carbs your bodys main source of energy your body breaks down stored fat and creates ketones to use for energy instead. However, calories still matter. If you overeat on protein and fat, and your total calories are beyond what your body is burning, you will still not see weight loss. High fat, high protein foods increase satiety, so typically total calorie intake is lower than what your body burns, and weight loss results.

The rapid weight loss people experience with their keto diet results initially is also in part due to loss of water weight your body stores carbs with water, so when you use up your carb stores, you lose water weight. Most people simply dont burn enough calories to lose more than about two pounds of fat per week, so keto diet results totaling more than that are likely due to losses in water weight.

Weight regain is extremely common on the keto diet, as most people cannot sustain this diet long term, and once carbs are reintroduced, people often see weight gain and diminished keto diet results.

Also Check: How To Get More Protein On Keto

Different Types Of Ketogenic Diets

There are several versions of the ketogenic diet, including:

  • Standard ketogenic diet : This is a very low carb, moderate protein and high fat diet. It typically contains 70% fat, 20% protein, and only 10% carbs .
  • Cyclical ketogenic diet : This diet involves periods of higher carb refeeds, such as 5 ketogenic days followed by 2 high carb days.
  • Targeted ketogenic diet : This diet allows you to add carbs around workouts.
  • High protein ketogenic diet: This is similar to a standard ketogenic diet, but includes more protein. The ratio is often 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs.

However, only the standard and high protein ketogenic diets have been studied extensively. Cyclical or targeted ketogenic diets are more advanced methods and primarily used by bodybuilders or athletes.

The information in this article mostly applies to the standard ketogenic diet , although many of the same principles also apply to the other versions.


There are several versions of the keto diet. The standard version is the most researched and most recommended.

Other Health Benefits Of Keto

How To Start A Keto Diet [The Exact Plan To Follow For ...

The ketogenic diet was originally created to treat neurological diseases like epilepsy. Over the last century, countless studies have been performed to examine the other health benefits of ketogenic diets. Keto has been shown to offer benefits for a myriad of health conditions:

  • Heart disease: The ketogenic diet can improve cholesterol levels and reduce body fat and blood sugarall risk factors for heart disease.
  • Cancer: Keto is currently being used to treat cancers and slow the growth of tumors.
  • Alzheimers disease: Keto may reduce the symptoms of Alzheimers disease or slow its advancement. Research is ongoing.
  • Epilepsy: Research has indicated that the ketogenic diet can cause a sizeable reduction in the number of seizures experienced by epileptic children.
  • Parkinsons disease: One study produced evidence that the diet helped improve Parkinsons disease symptoms, though more research is needed.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome: Keto can lower insulin levels, which may play a role in treating polycystic ovary syndrome.
  • Brain injuries: One study conducted on animals found that keto can aid in concussion recovery and post-brain injury recovery.
  • Acne: Eating less sugar and processed foods helps improve acne and reduce the frequency of breakouts.
  • Diabetes: Keto can increase insulin sensitivity and fat loss, which are significant benefits for people with type 2 diabetes .

Also Check: Which Vegetables Are Keto Friendly

Does Keto Work It Does When You Work It Properly

If youve been on keto for a while and are finding yourself wondering, Does keto work?, there are a lot of possibilities for where things might be going sideways. Of course, it can be frustrating, but start with this list of suggestions to troubleshoot the problem.

Remember to track your carbohydrates and protein intake, test your ketone levels to see how your meals affect those levels, and know what youre actually consuming to reap all the health benefits this diet has to offer. Use the points above to help you navigate through areas you might need to adjust, and youll be golden in no time.

Reviews And Customer Feedbacks

Before you choose a meal delivery service, look through the reviews and recommendations. The customer feedback will give you an understandable idea of what to expect when you commence your longtime meal relationship with the service.

Moreover, the reviews help you understand meal pricing, delivery options, and service operations management.

Read Also: What Fats Are Good For Keto

Who Shouldnt Try A Keto Diet

On the flip side, there are several groups of people who should NOT do keto, per Schaub. They include:

  • people looking to lose weight fast without having a plan on how to maintain the weight loss long-term
  • anyone with a poor relationship with food and/or disordered eating patterns
  • elite athletes
  • and anyone with pancreatitis, liver failure, kidney disorder, or other fat metabolism disorders
  • Diabetic patients who have ever been diagnosed with diabetic ketoacidosis.

Like with most restrictive diets, children and pregnant or breastfeeding women should also avoid keto unless otherwise instructed by their physicians.

What Is The Keto Diet And How Does It Work

Why Does The Keto Diet Work for Weight Loss?

There are several versions of the keto diet, but broadly speaking itâs a low-carbohydrate diet that restricts the number of vegetables, fruits, legumes , grains, and refined sugars that you eat.

Supporters of the ketogenic diet say that it aids weight loss by increasing how much body fat you burn, increasing insulin sensitivity, reducing blood sugar fluctuations, curbing your appetite, and helping you feel full. But what does the science say? Let’s take a lookâ¦â

Read Also: Is Vanilla Ice Cream Keto Friendly

Efficacy In Adolescents And Adults

The efficacy of the MAD is also proven for the treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy in adults and adolescents. In this patient group, carbohydrate intake is generally around 1520 g/day and the rates of seizure reduction and adherence are lower compared to those of the child population .

In a recent meta-analysis, eight studies were identified that used the MAD in adult patients with refractory epilepsy, aged between 15 and 86 years, with treatment times ranging from 3 to 36 months. In these studies, the proportion of patients who showed > 50% seizure reduction ranged from 20 to 70% and the rate of seizure freedom ranged from 7 to 30%. The rate of abandonment of the diet varied between 12.5 and 82% of the patients .

What Happens When Your Child Starts A Ketogenic Diet

Starting the keto diet is not a one-step process. Your child will likely be admitted to the hospital for monitoring when the diet begins. The hospitals ketogenic diet team may include a neurologist, a registered dietitian and a registered nurse.

Your childs ketogenic team will:

  • First, give your child small amounts of water or sugar-free liquids.
  • Within 24 hours, begin your childs new diet. For infants, premixed ready-to-use ketogenic formulas may be used.
  • Blood sugar will be monitored closely in the initial 48 hours of starting the diet and hypoglycemia may occur during initiation of keto diet.
  • Continually assess needs for supplements like calcium or vitamins.

Also Check: What Are Some Keto Friendly Snacks

Does The Keto Diet Improve Blood Sugar Control

Carbs make your blood sugar and insulin levels rise after you eat. This is all part of a healthy nutritional response, however, repeated, excessive peaks and dips in these biomarkers over time can overwhelm your body’s normal, healthy responses and lead to dietary inflammation.

You might think that because of the lack of carbohydrates, people who have poor blood sugar control, or insulin resistance might do better on a low-carb or keto diet. But when the DIETFITS team took a closer look at their data, they found that this wasnât true.

“The people who were most insulin resistant did not do better on low-carb than low-fat,” says Christopher. These results contradict previous studies suggesting that people with problems controlling their blood sugar may do better on low-carb diets.

He explains that these earlier studies allowed people in the low-fat group to eat added sugar and refined grains, which are likely to cause poor blood sugar control.

“By focusing on getting our low-carb participants to eat a high-quality low-fat diet, with minimal sugar and refined grains, we diminished the difference that other people had found.”

Christopher is currently running a study called Keto-Med, which is comparing the effectiveness of the keto diet and a Mediterranean diet for people with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes.

What Are The Risks

What is the Keto Diet and why does it work?

The keto diet emphasizes protein and fat but doesnt distinguish between lean protein food and food thats high in saturated fat or overly processed . Honestly, its easy and convenient to order a burger from your favourite take-out, minus the bun, and think youre nailing the keto credo. And yet, a diet too high in animal protein, in study after study, has been associated with cardiovascular disease and some cancers. The keto diet can also lead to nutrient deficiency , liver problems and kidney problems .

Don’t Miss: What Is Shark Tank Keto Diet

What Does Ketogenic Mean And How Does The Diet Work

The aim of the keto diet is to put, and keep, your body in a metabolic state called ketosis.

Our bodies normally burn carbohydrates for energy. When you restrict the amount of carbs, the body will break down stored fat, creating molecules called ketones to use as fuel.

Ketosis is a normal physiological process. There’s nothing dangerous about it. “It’s just that this particular eating style is keeping your body in that state all the time,” says Mangieri.

Keto Diets: Drawbacks And Criticisms

Going keto might sound like the ideal diet plan. You literally burn body fat for energy, you have more energy, and you improve your overall health. Whats not to love?

But no diet plan is perfect, including keto. Elevated ketone levels can create bad breath, but critics have other valid concerns about this way of eating. Some of these criticisms and potential solutions:

  • The plan feels restrictive. Eggs, avocado, and nuts as part of a fat loss diet? That might sound perfect in the beginning. After a few weeks on a keto diet, though, you might want comfort foods. Keto diets limit or eliminate legumes, many fruits, starches, and other favorite foods.

Solution: Add more variety to your plan. You can fit a wide variety of vegetables into a keto plan. Try fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi as well as keto-friendly starch alternatives, including our Mashed Faux-Potatoes.

  • You consume too many calories. High-fat foods a staple of keto diets are higher in calories. Too many calories mean your body will utilize dietary fat instead of body fat, which could slow down weight loss.

Solution: Track everything you eat along with how you feel and any symptoms that arise. Youll stay accountable, and you might be shocked to learn how many calories youre eating! One study found people who tracked everything they ate lost twice the amount of weight compared with those who didnt track what they ate.

Read Also: How To Snack On Keto

Are Any Other Medicine Changes Needed

  • Because the diet does not provide all the vitamins and minerals found in a balanced diet, the dietician will recommend vitamin and mineral supplements. The most important of these are calcium and vitamin D , B Vitamins, and selenium.
  • There are no anticonvulsants that should be stopped while on the diet. Topiramate and zonisamide do not have a higher risk of kidney stones while on the diet, but zonisamide can increase the chance of stones.
  • Medication levels do not likely change while on the diet according to recent studies.
  • All medications should be in as carbohydrate/sugar-free a form as possible to avoid hidden sugars. Most liquids are changed by pharmacists to pills.

How To Follow The Ketogenic Diet

Why Does Keto Work For Weight Loss? With Health Coach Tara

A modified version of the ketogenic diet, which allows you to eat protein more liberally at 20 to 30 percent of your total calories with the same carbohydrate restriction, is the more commonly used version of the diet today. Some of the aims of the latest version of the ketogenic diet are weight loss, weight management, and improved athletic performance.

Also Check: Is Keto Good For Menopause

Is The Keto Diet Right For People With Diabetes

Plus, because keto hasn’t been studied long term, researchers don’t know if the diet will result in nutrient deficiencies for those with or without diabetes.

If you’re considering trying the keto diet and you have diabetes, it’s crucial to consult your diabetes-care team before doing so to make sure it’s a safe and effective eating approach for you.

You Have A Medical Issue That Is Affecting Your Diet

As mentioned before, theres more to diet than just what you eat.

Your body is all connected and many other issues affect how your body is going to digest food or hold on to weight.

Hypothyroidism, PCOS, Cushings syndrome, menopause, depression and high insulin levels are some of the issues that can cause weight gain and make it difficult to lose weight.

Medications can also make it harder for you to lose weight. Its important to manage these medical conditions first, and in conjunction with your diet.

The great news is, many people find a cleaner diet can help reduce their symptoms of other, seemingly unrelated conditions.

If youre trying everything on keto and its not working, chat to your doctor about what else might be going on.

Read Also: How To Make Keto Drinks

Can Promote Loss Of Water Weight

Another potential weight loss mechanism of the keto diet is the loss of water weight that accompanies the significant reduction in carb intake.

This is because carbs, in their stored form in your body, hold water .

Thus, when you reduce your carb intake, such as during the initiation phase of the keto diet, stored carbs are released along with additional fluid, resulting in weight loss of varying amounts.

Troubleshooting For Step : Hidden Carbs And Keto

All the reasons you should and shouldn

When you start restricting carbs, youll notice that so many of your favorite foods come with added sugars and carbs. These foods can quickly kick you out of ketosis and turn your keto diet into a lackluster low carb diet.

To ensure that you are keeping your carbs as low as possible, use these strategies:

  • Read labels carefully. Anything that comes in a package may be filled with hidden carbs. Make sure the ingredients label doesnt have any ingredients like maltodextrin, dextrose, sugar, cane syrup, starch, etc. because these ingredients can increase blood sugar levels and impair ketone production.
  • Use keto friendly sweeteners and flours. Sugar and flour are hard to eliminate for the diet completely, but it is possible if you know what to replace them with. For more info on keto-friendly sweeteners that you can use, check out our guide to sweeteners. And if you are looking for keto-friendly baking ingredients, read through our guide to keto flours.
  • Eat keto versions of your favorite carb-rich foods. Just because you are eating keto foods doesnt mean you have to cut out pizza, pasta, desserts, and sweets. All you have to do is make sure they are keto-friendly. Check out these recipe round-ups for some delicious keto-friendly versions of foods that are usually loaded with carbs:
  • The 10 Best Keto Pizza Recipes

Also Check: What Nuts Can You Eat On The Keto Diet

Popular Articles
Related news