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Low Carb Keytogenic Effects

Fitness for mind and body.

The Ketogenic Diet is similar to a low carbohydrate diet. The difference is that it is even more restrictive in carbohydrates and calories.

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The goal of some very low carbohydrate dieters is to produce a metabolic state known as ketosis. Being in ketosis is an indicator that your body is running on fat for fuel. That is why achieving ketosis is a goal of so many low carbohydrate diets.

Even in the most restrictive and least balanced of low-calorie diets, the Ketogenic Diet, there are no serious negative effects documented.

Ketogenic diets are extremely strict and nutritionally unbalanced. They are what you could call "extreme measures." It's an irrevocable law that the more extreme a nutrition program is, the greater the side effects will be and the more difficult the diet will be to stay on.

High carb gurus often argue that ketogenic diets are dangerous and unhealthy. Ketogenic diets might be dangerous, depending on the parameters of the diet and a person's health status, but no sweeping conclusions can be made about their safety because the research is inconclusive. Many people have stayed on ketogenic diets for months or even years without complications - including epileptics who use ketogenic diets to treat their condition.

Studies described in peer-reviewed medical journals reported the following:

  • The Ketogenic diet did not impair aerobic-exercise capacity.
  • The Ketogenic diet did not decrease performance on attention tasks.
  • The Ketogenic diet did not significantly change brain metabolism.

An interesting tidbit regarding the Ketogenic Diet: This is a diet practiced as a conventional medical program in at least 35 states in the United States as well as ten countries worldwide.

It is important to note however, there is not enough specific data to support or not to support the diet. Long-term effects have yet to be firmly established, therefore there is little data to confirm or negate rumors and opinions of experts on both sides of the fence.

Althought it's not certain whether or not ketogenic diets are unhealthy, it's probably best to avoid them. Ketosis is not a requirement to burn fat. Only a calorie deficit is necessary to burn fat.

Ketosis Warning

Natural Sugars Our brains have high fuel needs, particularly for natural sugars. If you don't supply your body with enough of this fuel, it will break down muscle tissue by day two of a fast; or, it will enter a process known as ketosis.

Ketosis is a process by which your liver converts stored fat and other tissue into substances called ketones, which can then be used by the brain, muscles, and heart for energy. This is the process that high-protein, low-carb diet proponents encourage to achieve fat-burning. It will work to eliminate excess weight; however, over long periods of time, ketosis can be dangerous because your body thinks it is starving.

Bottom Line

It is simply not necessary to remove all your carbohydrates or go into ketosis to accelerate fat loss. A moderate reduction in carbohydrates is often all it takes to help to control blood sugar and insulin better. It is really just a matter of balancing carbohydrates with protein instead of eating mostly carbohydrates and small amounts of protein.

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