the Ketogenic Diet
The ketogenic diet is a high fat, moderate protein, very low carbohydrate diet that promotes rapid weight loss. It consists of about 75-80% of calories from fat, 10-15% from protein, and 5-10% from carbs. This approach to weight loss has come in and out of favor over the years in line with ever-changing beliefs about the link between dietary fat intake, weight gain, and heart disease. We are now in a period where nutrition experts and policy makers are moving away from recommendations to lower fat intake and instead are advising individuals to reduce sugar consumption as a means to lose weight and promote optimal health. This is great news! I find this a fascinating area of nutrition science and recently published a book on The Ketogenic Diet as a guide to following the diet and to discuss the role of fat and carbohydrates in weight loss.
Ketogenic diet therapies have also been used for centuries to treat epilepsy, particularly among children. For more information on this subject visit the website of the The Charlie Foundation. Ketogenic therapies are also used to treat certain forms of cancer, and to protect cells from damage due to radiation, aging, and other environmental stressors. Watch this TED Talk to learn more, or visit the website of Dominic D'Agostino who studies ketosis at the University of South Florida.
*It's important to note that the ketogenic diet is NOT a high-protein diet and does NOT promote excess meat consumption. Eating too much protein will PREVENT the metabolic changes that result in ketosis (the state in which the body uses primarily fats, rather than glucose, for energy).