Intro to Nutrition #41: LOW CARB HIGH FAT! Is the Keto Diet Dangerous or is the Ketogenic Diet Safe?
The keto or ketogenic diet is a low-carb,
moderate protein, higher-fat diet that can help you burn fat more effectively. The “keto”
in a ketogenic diet comes from the fact that it allows the body to produce small fuel molecules
called “ketones.” Ketones are an alternative fuel source for the body, used when blood
sugar, or glucose, is in short supply. When you eat very few carbohydrates or very few
calories, the liver produces ketones from fat. These ketones then serve as a fuel source
throughout the body, especially for the brain. The brain is a hungry organ that consumes
lots of energy every day, and it can’t run on fat directly. It can only run on glucose
or ketones. On a ketogenic diet, your entire body switches its fuel supply to run mostly
on fat, burning fat 24-7. When insulin levels become very low, fat burning can increase
dramatically, and it becomes easier to access your fat stores to burn them off. When the
body produces ketones, it enters a metabolic state called ketosis. The fastest way to get
there is by fasting, but nobody can consistently fast forever. The keto diet, on the other
hand, also results in ketosis and can be eaten indefinitely. It has many of the benefits
of fasting, including weight loss, without having to fast long-term.