What to Understand About the Keto Diet

December 15, 2022

Dr. Jerry Williams of Urgent Care 24/7 discusses the keto diet or ketogenic diet.

Dr. Williams has a lot of patients who come in and they're using the ketogenic diet to lose weight, a very effective, hard diet to stick to and but there's a lot of misinformation. A lot of people don't understand the ketogenic diet, and it's a very interesting history.

So we'll talk to you a little bit about it. The ketogenic diet actually goes back to ancient Greece, there were writings where, even back then in ancient Greece, they understood that fasting could control or cure seizures. There's even a mention of fasting for controlling seizures, actually, Jesus says in Matthew, He talks about how fasting and prayer could cure seizures or cure epilepsy.

It is a very old, well known, well described, treatment for epilepsy and then it kind of fell out of favor. It disappeared until 1924, a physician at the Mayo Clinic came up with a plan to create a diet that mimicked fasting. This was a high fat medium protein, a very low carbohydrate diet, that puts the body into ketosis, where the liver starts making water soluble ketone bodies, where the brain normally functions off of carbohydrates off of sugar, but instead of the carbohydrate, the brain can actually function off of ketone bodies.

When the body goes into ketosis, the body is preferentially burning fat over carbohydrates, which is why people will lose weight on the ketogenic diet. In 1924, this gave junk diets created to control epilepsy, especially in pediatric cases. At the time, it was there was a 50% reduction in seizures and these intractable intractable terrible seizure patients and which was a huge reduction compared to the medications that were available in the 1920s.

The ketogenic diet for epilepsy has fallen in and out of favor since 1924. But it's still used or utilized effectively by some, though it's very difficult because you eat one carbohydrate loaded meal, and you break out of ketosis immediately. If you're an epileptic, that means you can start seizing immediately, and that can happen. So it's also tough in children, because they're eating this high fat diet. There's very low in carbohydrates, and it's difficult for them, especially school aged kids, because the other children at school are eating typically a higher carbohydrate diet, and it's very difficult for them to maintain that. In regard to the favor of the ketogenic diet of late, I mean, I think if you've gone online, which I have done, there's some incredible visual stories, videos of people who've lost amazing amounts of weight and they've kept it off using the ketogenic diet. So kudos to them.

There is some mythology about the high fat diet that it is bad for people cardiovascular wise, but there's no data to support that the ketogenic diet worsens coronary artery disease or cardiovascular disease, the ketogenic diet is actually a very safe diet, but again, very challenging to maintain. We hope you find that that little bit of history, little information about the ketogenic diet and its usefulness for epilepsy interesting. If you're dealing with obesity or needing to lose some weight, maybe you check with your primary care provider and see if the ketogenic diet might be right for you. It's a challenge, but can be a very effective way to lose fat and lose weight.

So have you found that interesting?

Make an Appointment Today!

Find an Urgent Care 24/7 near you!

Book appointment