People have been searching for a diet, which can help them lose weight easily and without harming one’s health. One of the most popular nowadays is the ketogenic Diet, which is a low carbohydrate-diet but high in good fats.
Our body produces ketones in the liver, from the breakdown of fats, when the glucose or sugar in the body is low. Ketones or keto acids are the alternative fuels in our body, to provide us with energy.
When our carbohydrate intake is low, the liver breaks down the fats to produce ketones. This process happens when a person exercises for long hours, when one is fasting or starving or when one is under the ketogenic diet.
The ketogenic diet has been around since 1924, when Dr. Russell Wilder developed this at the Mayo Clinic. The ketogenic diet is high in fat and low in carbohydrates, and supplies adequate protein.
Edwin Bien, an Integrative Medicine doctor, tells Radyo Klinika that the ketogenic diet was introduced to an epileptic child by his father, Mr. Jim Abrahams. The special ketogenic diet for his son, Charlie, consisted of 80 percent fat, 15 percent protein and 5 percent carbohydrates. This diet worked for his son who was having seizures since he was one year old.
Charlie was first operated on his brain when he was two, because he was having epileptic seizures 40 times a day. The operation and the medicine phenobarbital didn’t work for Charlie, according to Bien.
Abrahams decided to try the ketogenic diet on his son, and within a week of starting a special keto diet for his son, the seizure attacks decreased. Within a month, he was off his medications.
Bien said that the ketogenic diet worked on Charlie because when ketones are increased in the body, this leads to a state called ketosis, which improve seizure control. Ketones also provide mental energy.
Bien recommends ketogenic diet for diabetics as it can help in losing excess fats and improving insulin sensitivity. For heart disease patients, Bien said that the ketogenic diet can lower body fat and bad cholesterol levels, as well as blood pressure.
For cancer patients, the ketogenic diet can slow tumor growth by starving the cancer cells. And for women who are experiencing polycystic ovary syndrome, the ketogenic diet can help reduce insulin levels, which contribute to this hormonal problem.
There are specific fats that can provide ketosis like olive oil, fish oil like salmon oil, butter and canola oil.
Now, people are using the ketogenic diet to lower the body weight, lower blood pressure and blood sugar, improve good cholesterol levels and to increase energy.
Lowering the intake of carbohydrates from 20 to 50 grams a day can help those who want to go on a ketogenic diet. Limit the intake of sugary foods and drinks, starches, fruits like apples, bananas and oranges, root vegetables like potatoes, yams and carrots; beer and alcohol and distilled or sugary water.
People on a ketogenic diet should eat more red meat, fatty fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel; butter and cheese, nuts like almonds, walnuts, macadamia and flax seeds; healthy oils like avocado oil and coconut oil; berries and avocados, boiled eggs, more magnesium, potassium and protein in the body and alkaline or mineral water.
Bien warned though, that ketosis might make one feel weak, with headaches and flu-like symptoms. Also, he warns diabetics to be aware of diabetic ketoacidosis, which can turn blood acidic if ketones reach a dangerous level. Bien advised diabetics on ketogenic diet to take more water and take care of their immune system.
Dr. Bien is the medical director of Le Bien Wellness in Diamond Building, Edsa, Cubao, Quezon City. It has branches in Sucat, Parañaque and Antipolo City. He can be reached at 0999-414-5144.
Radyo Klinika is a KBP Golden Dove awardee for Best Radio Magazine Program in 2016. Its host, Marou Pahati-Sarne, is a two-time KBP Golden Dove awardee for Best Radio Magazine Program Host. Radyo Klinika airs every Tuesday to Friday, 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. on DWIZ 882 KHZ AM.
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