A dietitian weighs in on the Ketogenic diet for weight loss

Things are always changing in the realm of health and wellness, but fad diets and marketed “quick fixes” for weight loss seem to be  here to stay. A fairly new diet that has made national headlines lately is the ketogenic diet – a high fat, low carbohydrate diet that shifts metabolism from carbohydrates to fat.

The diet claims to result in rapid weight loss, and more importantly, fat loss. Unlike most trendy diets, this one didn’t rise to fame with celebrity promotion. It was developed in 1920 as a treatment for children with epilepsy who were not responding to multiple medications. According to the National Epilepsy Foundation, the ketogenic diet is “usually not recommended for adults, mostly because the restricted food choices make it hard to follow.”

The diet requires that 70-80 percent of your daily calories come from fat, 15-20 percent from protein, and 5 percent from carbohydrates. This is not in line with USDA dietary guidelines, which recommend that 20-35 percent of your calories come from fat, 10-35 percent from protein, and 45-65 percent from carbohydrates. Consuming high amounts of dietary fat with minimal carbohydrates forces the body into ketosis, a natural, physiological condition that occurs when there is not enough glucose (carbs) to break down for energy, causing the body to turn to fat as fuel.

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