Recently, many of my patients have been asking about a ketogenic diet. Is a ketogenic diet safe? Would you recommend it? Despite the recent hype, a ketogenic diet is not something new. In medicine, we have been using it for almost years to treat drug-resistant epilepsy, especially in children. In the s, Dr. Atkins popularized his very-low-carbohydrate diet for weight loss that began with a very strict two-week ketogenic phase. Over the years, other fad diets incorporated a similar approach for weight loss. In essence, it is a diet that causes the body to release ketones into the bloodstream. In the absence of circulating blood sugar from food, we start breaking down stored fat into molecules called ketone bodies the process is called ketosis.
The keto diet is a very low-carb, higher-fat diet. While you eat far fewer carbohydrates on a keto diet, you maintain moderate protein consumption and may increase your intake of fat. The reduction in carb intake puts your body in a metabolic state called ketosis, where fat, from your diet and from your body, is burned for energy. Watch the entire 8-part video course. When you eat very few carbs or very few calories, your liver produces ketones from fat. These ketones then serve as a fuel source throughout the body, especially for the brain. It can only run on glucose — or ketones. When insulin levels drop very low, fat burning can increase dramatically. It becomes easier to access your fat stores to burn them off. This may help keep you alert and focused. The fastest way to get there is by fasting — not eating anything — but nobody can consistently fast forever. It has many of the benefits of fasting — including weight loss — without having to fast long term.
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For most specialties, we now offer instant online appointment scheduling. Schedule an Appointment Online. MyChart UChicago Medicine. Care Connection Ingalls. For help with Ingalls Care Connection, call us at or email portalsupport ingalls. Written By Natalie Helms. Fad diets often come with big promises of weight loss and optimum health, but at what risks? University of Chicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial dietitians say the ketogenic or keto diet, which has gained popularity in the last several years, is extremely strict and difficult to maintain. Ketosis is a metabolic adaptation to allow the body to survive in a period of famine.