What is the Ketogenic Diet?
The ketogenic Diet is a very low carbohydrate, high fat, “adequate protein” diet. Ketogenic diets have proven helpful to people with uncontrolled epilepsy and may be of benefit to epileptics in general, to victims of stroke and other forms of brain injury and possibly cancer. It has become somewhat popular among CrossFit-ters and followers of the paleo-type diet. They were developed for people with uncontrolled epilepsy. They are also used by some people who wish to lose weight rapidly.
The Ketogenic Diet may come with other effects that may not be worth the discomfort or unintended risks to healthy people. This includes kidney stones and, in women and girls, amenorrhea. Amenorrhea is associated with bone loss, increasing risk of osteoporosis, and indicates problems in hormone balance. Supplementation with calcium may help with this, but then again, it might not. Taking a supplement is not the same thing as absorbing a nutrient. Another thing to think about is that if something that causes hormonal imbalance in women chances are good it might also cause hormonal imbalance in men.
What is the optimal diet? Is the Paleo Diet the Optimal Diet?
It is very hard to say what is the optimal diet. Vegetarians, as described in some current diet books, are weak and “skinny-fat
“. But you can be a vegetarian and have great bone density, low blood pressure, low heart rate, low fasting blood sugar, excellent blood lipid profile. And be fit and strong.
The current state of research indicates no harm though, from short-term ketogenic diets
. There has been little, if any, research on the risks and benefits of long-term ketogenic diets in healthy adults.