In this session on Healthy Choices, Dr. Joseph Maroon discusses dietary energy sources from carbohydrates, proteins and fats. He then reviews the targeted uses of the ketogenic diet (KD) and how it can shift energy metabolism from using carbohydrates to healthy fats. He discusses the health related problems associated with a high sugar diet and also the precautions and when not to use the ketogenic diet.
The ketogenic diet has been used in the treatment of certain seizure disorders for nearly a century. The KD limits carbohydrates and is low in protein, replacing these macronutrients with healthy fats. More recently, a KD has been shown to be safe and effective in the treatment of obesity and diabetes. KDs are generally well-tolerated with minimal side effects including constipation, salt and potassium loss, mild acidosis, and increased incidence of kidney stones when employed over 6 years. Other blood laboratory changes with a KD include a reduction of glucose, decrease in triglycerides, and increase in the “good cholesterol” – high-density and low-density lipoprotein.
A low-carbohydrate diet generally leads to the production of ketones by the liver. Ketones are an evolutionary source of energy that can be readily used by the brain and body during times of low blood glucose. As blood glucose drops and ketone concentration increases, cells begin to rely on energy from the breakdown of fats (short-chained fatty acids – SCFA) within the mitochondria.
See Video presentation below:
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