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What is the ketogenic diet?

Khris Ramdeen

   The ketogenic diet was initially developed to treat epilepsy back in the early 1920s. The standard ketogenic diet is really high in fat. It's about 75% of your diet and there's also adequate protein intake making up about 20% of the diet. It's very low in carbohydrate making up only 5% of the diet. 

     Normally the body uses the carbohydrate glucose or sugar as its main energy source for the muscles but in the ketogenic diet, fat is being used as the main energy source and this results in a metabolic state that's consistent with starvation or ketosis. A carbohydrate intake of less than 50 grams a day is enough to get you into ketosis. Before I go any further though I want to talk a little bit about glycogen. 

     Glycogen is a polysaccharide that is made up of many glucose molecules, which is the main macronutrient energy source for the body and the muscles. Basically glycogen is the storage form of glucose in your body. Weight can be lost very rapidly in a ketogenic diet but it's important to remember that that weight is as a result of glycogen breakdown and the loss of water more so than fat loss. 

     The medical benefits of the ketogenic diet is that it reduces your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease and not only those two but certain types of cancers and neurologic disorders according to a study that was published by Yancey. 

     At all in the annals of internal medicine in 2004 some potential side effects of a low carbohydrate diet, where a ketogenic diet can include constipation diarrhea headache halitosis which is bad breath generalized weakness muscle cramps and even rash.