More and more research is being done on the effect of a ketogenic diet in people with obesity or diabetes. The results are promising and often better
More and more research is being done on the effect of a ketogenic diet in people with obesity or diabetes. The results are promising and often better than a conventional low-fat diet. In an overview article in JAMA, the instructions are listed and various researchers have their say.
Maximum 50 grams of carbohydrates
With a ketogenic diet, the carbohydrate intake is between 20 and 50 grams per day. As a result, insulin production decreases, the body switches to fat burning and the liver forms ketones from fatty acids, which serve as fuel for at least the brain. These ketones could also be responsible for a reduced feeling of hunger. This is often reported in people on a ketogenic diet.
Greater weight loss
A ketogenic diet is associated with greater weight loss than a low-fat diet in research. For example, weight loss from a ketogenic diet was 9.7 percent and from a low-fat diet was only 2.1 percent in a recent 8-week randomized study of 34 obese older adults. This is in line with an earlier meta-analysis of 13 randomized studies involving over 1,200 participants who followed a ketogenic diet or a low-fat diet for at least a year.
This summer, the American Framingham State University will start a new 3-year study of the ketogenic diet in people who are overweight or obese. The ketogenic diet is compared to a low-fat diet with little or a lot of added sugars. According to Prof. David Ludwig, one of the principal investigators, a ketogenic diet has a different effect on metabolism than other diets. In previous research, he found that a low-fat diet lowers resting metabolism by more than 400 kcal / day, while a ketogenic diet showed no significant decrease. Ludwig: “The quality of the calories eaten can therefore influence the amount of calories that are burned.”
Beneficial effect on diabetes
The ketogenic diet also shows a beneficial effect in type 2 diabetes, according to the ongoing Virta Health study by the University of California among 262 people with type 2 diabetes. After 10 weeks, not only the weight is on average 7.2 percent decreased, but there are also improvements in insulin sensitivity. The percentage of participants with HbA1c values below 48 mmol / mol increased from 20 to 56 percent. Diabetes medications could be reduced or stopped in 57 percent of the participants. After 6 months, 89 percent of the participants were still on the diet, and weight loss averaged 12 percent. The study will run for a total of 5 years and the 1-year figures will be published shortly.
Good for heart and blood vessels?
You might not expect it from a diet that is high in fat and saturated fat, but the ketogenic diet seems to benefit heart and blood vessels, experts say. Triglyceride and blood pressure levels drop and HDL cholesterol levels rise. Although the LDL cholesterol level is rising, there seems to be a shift from harmful small LDL particles to less harmful large LDL particles. According to Dr. Rick Hecht, research director at the University of California, the potential disadvantages of saturated fat far outweigh the benefits of cutting carbohydrates.
Not a do-it-yourself diet
Experts emphasize that the ketogenic diet is not something people can follow on their own. Guidance is needed in formulating nutrition and physician supervision is desired if people are taking diabetes medications or blood pressure reducers. The carbohydrate restriction is not always necessary for life. When the target weight is reached, the amount of carbohydrates can usually rise again. The maximum amount of carbohydrates without gaining weight again varies from person to person.