The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, high-protein, low-card diet that is used primarily to treat epilepsy in children.
The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbs. Because the diet has little carb, the liver needs to convert fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The ketone bodies can replace glucose as an energy source.
Higher level of ketone bodies in the blood can help reduce epileptic seizures.
Recently, the ketogenic diet has been used to lose body weight because it can make the body burn more fat.
Different from other low-carb diets, the keto diet has very strict ratio for total grams of fat to combined grams of carbohydrate and protein. Usually, the keto diet has 80-90% of calories from fat, and only 5-10% calories from carb.
Studies on the use of classical ketogenic diets for weight loss is not much. But there are many studies that compare lower-carb diets to other weight loss approaches.
The research shows that if the carb restriction is 20-30 grams per day, people can lose 2-4 kg more than using other diets in six months.
Other studies show that moderate carb restriction can work well too.
For instance, A review of weight loss diets with a moderate carbohydrate restriction (45% or less of total energy intake) compared to low fat diets (under 30% fat) found they were equally effective in reducing body weight in studies from six months to two years.
For many people who are overweight or obese, one problem is that most of their carb is from discretionary, or junk foods.
These are commonly ultra-processed and contain refined carbohydrates and include burgers, chips, pizza, crumbed foods, biscuits, cake, pastry, cordial, sugar sweetened juices and soft drink.
Minimally processed foods that contain carb can be quite healthy, such as legumes, wholegrain breads, cereals and other grains, vegetables, fruit, nuts, milk and yoghurt.
These natural foods also have important nutrients to the body, including fiber, B vitamins, iron, zinc, magnesium, calcium, selenium and iodine.
Therefore, to burn body fat you can use the keto diet under supervision of your health care team, but a balanced eating plan (e.g., moderate carb, whole foods, high fiber) is the most important for health and wellness.
In addition, if you have a family history of bowel cancer then don’t follow a ketogenic weight loss diet.