The ketogenic diet is a low-carbohydrate, fat-rich eating plan that has been used for centuries to treat specific medical conditions. In the 19th century, the ketogenic diet was commonly used to help control diabetes.
In 1920 it was introduced as an effective treatment for epilepsy in children in whom medication was ineffective. The keto is durable and used for cancer, diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, and Alzheimer’s disease.
The premise of the ketogenic diet for weight loss is that the main source of energy for all cells in the body is obtained by eating carbohydrate foods. The brain demands the most glucose in a steady supply, about 120 grams daily, because it cannot store glucose.
During fasting, or when very little carbohydrate is eaten, the body first pulls stored glucose from the liver and temporarily breaks down muscle to release glucose. If this continues for 3-4 days and stored glucose is fully depleted, blood levels of a hormone called insulin decrease, and the body begins to use fat as its primary fuel.
The liver produces ketone bodies from fat, which can be used in the absence of glucose. When ketone bodies accumulate in the blood, this is called ketosis. Healthy individuals naturally experience mild ketosis during periods of fasting and very strenuous exercise.