The ketogenic diet is now hugely popular and seemingly successful. So what exactly causes success of this diet? The physiology behind the diet is quite simple. You eat very few carbohydrates and therefore force your body to burn fat for fuel. This decreases the insulin your body releases and therefore decreases oxidative stress in your body which benefits pretty much every system in your body.
So why I am I not sold on this diet? There are several reasons.
1. It's not maintainable.
Living in a state of ketosis requires eating about 5% of your calories from carbohydrates and the remainder from fat and protein. This essentially limits your fruit intake and some vegetables that are higher in carbohydrate content. As soon as you intake more carbs, you lose your state of ketosis.
2. It may be dangerous.
A study released in September 2018 (Low-Carbohydrate Diets and All-Cause Mortality: A systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Observational Studies) showed a 53% increase in mortality when people who had previously had a heart attack followed a low-carbohydrate diet. If you read the article you will find that they concluded this risk was likely from an increase in animal base protein instead of plant-based proteins but more research needs to be done which leads to my next point.
3. There's a lack of long-term studies.
The ketogenic diet was created in the 1920's and is well researched in the use of helping seizure disorders in children. There are the obvious benefits of the ketogenic diet because it does work in weight loss. But in fact, anyone can experience the same benefits with other weight loss methods. Almost anyone who loses weight will see a decrease in cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure.