Discussion 9 – The ketogenic diet flies in the face of years of conventional teaching that individuals should eat a low-fat diet. What evidence is available to support this as a valid diet? Is there anything notable about the available research?
Discussion 9: The Ketogenic Diet
In the attainment of holistic health, people are opting for more natural remedies. The ketogenic diet has earned immense popularity nowadays by replacing the age-old myth of having a low-fat diet to combat nutritional problems. This diet is mainly composed of a high amount of fat, moderate protein, and low carbohydrate. Russel Wilder was the first inventor of the ketogenic diet to treat children with epilepsy in 1921 but in the modern era, this diet has proven to be beneficial for different metabolic diseases.
Generally, the body uses carbohydrates as the main source of energy production, but if there is a deprivation of carbohydrates, due to reduced consumption of 50gm per day, the insulin secretion decreased and the body enters the catabolic phase. Two metabolic actions emerge are gluconeogenesis and ketogenesis. In ketogenesis, phase body uses its stored lipids for the production of energy. This leads to the production of ketone bodies, which replace glucose and acts as a primary source of energy. This state is known as “nutritional ketosis” (Batch et al. 2020, p.13). The main function of this stage is to use the body’s stored fat and help in weight management.
Studies have shown that during the first 6-12 months of introducing KD, patients have shown a significant decrease in blood pressure, weight loss, glycosylated hemoglobin level, triglycerides, increased level of HDL, and decreased level of LDL. The beneficial effect of this diet has been seen only for a short duration (Masood, Annamaraju & Uppaluri, 2020, p.22). However, the prolonged consumption effect of KD has not been highlighted.
Some studies also listed some adverse effects of using KD, which includes, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, insomnia, deficiency in vitamin and minerals, kidney stones, etc. People suffering from pancreatitis, liver disorder, carnitine deficiency, and pyruvate kinase deficiency should not be advised of this diet. More research on this topic is highly recommended.
Batch, J. T., Lamsal, S. P., Adkins, M., Sultan, S., & Ramirez, M. N. (2020). Advantages and disadvantages of the ketogenic diet: a review article. Cureus, 12(8).
Masood, W., Annamaraju, P., & Uppaluri, K. R. (2020). Ketogenic diet. StatPearls [Internet].