A Note From Dr. Powell, MD- The Ketogenic Diet

The latest diet craze that you are seeing across all of social media is the KETOGENIC diet. The catch phrase is ketosis and only the KETOGENIC diet can do this for you. Is that really true? The answer is no. Ketones or Ketosis is a normal metabolic process by the human body. When the body does not have enough glucose (sugar) or carbohydrates for energy, it burns stored fats instead; this results in a build-up of acids called ketones within the body. Ketosis can become dangerous when ketones build up. High levels lead to dehydration and change the chemical balance of your blood. The way I teach my patients is this example, when you burn gasoline you get carbon monoxide, when you burn fat the exhaust is a ketone. So any nutritional plan that causes you to burn fat puts you into Ketosis. Think about the following diets: Atkins, Sugar Busters, The Zone, Paleo, Mediterranean and South Beach what is the fundamental theme that they have you follow? You are getting rid of the simple carbohydrates which then causes you to burn fat which puts you into Ketosis. It doesn't mean that it's ok to eat all the fat in the world. Everybody's KETOGENIC diet is different depending on what book you read or website or social media you follow. Unfortunately it's even more complicated then just going low carb. How low carb do you go? How much fat do you eat? But most importantly how much protein do you eat? If you don't consume enough protein your body will start to take the protein you store to use for all it's daily functions. Where do you store protein? It's your muscle mass. But there is a huge list of other functions that your body needs a variety of different proteins for. For example, your immune system, red blood cell function, neurochemistry, hair and nail growth, and your skin elasticity just to name a few. So when you lose weight on any diet if you do not know what the nutrition is of that diet, you have to ask yourself what are you losing?
Haley Behrens
Haley Behrens

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