Is the ketogenic diet effective?

For ketogenic diet, we do not need to mention a lot, it’s a diet in which you need to consume little carbohydrates for a long time in order to achieve the so-called ketosis, a process whereby the body breaks down fat to meet its energy needs. If you read on many forums and blogs, you will find that many people are positive and hyped about the ketogenic diet. Last week, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study, which essentially wanted to shed light on the effectiveness of the ketogenic diet [1].

In the blog I have mentioned the dangers of such a diet, especially if it is long-term. Although many can say that they have lost a lot of weight from such a diet, you can not know if:

1) At the end, they got bored from the same foods, resulting in greatly reducing the calories they received (moreover, on such a diet, you can get fat easily from the fat you eat) and

2) if in addition to fat, they also was burning muscle tissue. This was what this research wanted to see, so it was carried out in the so-called “metabolic department” [2], where volunteers from the study are constantly monitored.

Seventeen overweight volunteers participated in this research without being able to eat anything other than the diet they received during the study and every two weeks they measured the fat with a special scanner (DEXA). For the first four weeks, volunteers were fed a diet high in carbohydrates (338 grams per day) and sugars (25% of their total calories), with a total of 2,739 calories per day.

For the next four weeks, they fed a low-carbohydrate classic diet (36g a day), the same calories (2,738 and 15% of them were from protein). Note that the calories were the same to confirm that fat is lost by choosing foods instead of reducing calories.

Initially, the results showed that by making a ketogenic diet, volunteers were losing weight fast, something that is expected especially at the beginning, as you lose a lot of fluid and, compared to the diet of many carbohydrates, burn more calories. But taking a better look, you will find that it is not as imaginative as it sounds.

Although volunteers initially lost fat, their bodies stopped burning fat after a period of two weeks and the worst thing was that when the body stopped burning fat, it began to break down the muscles to have the energy it needed. Yes, muscles and not fat, that’s why those who do such a diet for a long time, seeing their body “hangs”.

As I have previously analyzed, this diet should not be long-term. It may initially imagine an ideal diet, but in the process the body does not – as it seems – take the necessary ingredients and starts to take the energy it needs from the muscles, something that was not seen in the high carbohydrates diet.


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