Schedule an Appointment Online. MyChart UChicago Medicine. Care Connection Ingalls. For help with Ingalls Care Connection, call us at or email portalsupport ingalls. Written By Natalie Helms. Fad diets often come with big promises of weight loss and optimum health, but at what risks? University of Chicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial dietitians say the ketogenic or keto diet, which has gained popularity in the last several years, is extremely strict and difficult to maintain. Ketosis is a metabolic adaptation to allow the body to survive in a period of famine. Your body will break down ketone bodies, a type of fuel the liver produces from fat, instead of sugar or glucose from carbohydrates. To achieve ketosis, the diet requires you eat 75 percent of your calories from fat, compared to percent normally.
Recently, many of my patients have been asking about a ketogenic diet. Is a ketogenic diet safe? Would you recommend it? Despite the recent hype, a ketogenic diet is not something new. In medicine, we have been using it for almost years to treat drug-resistant epilepsy, especially in children. In the s, Dr. Atkins popularized his very-low-carbohydrate diet for weight loss that began with a very strict two-week ketogenic phase. Over the years, other fad diets incorporated a similar approach for weight loss. In essence, it is a diet that causes the body to release ketones into the bloodstream. In the absence of circulating blood sugar from food, we start breaking down stored fat into molecules called ketone bodies the process is called ketosis. Once you reach ketosis, most cells will use ketone bodies to generate energy until we start eating carbohydrates again. The shift, from using circulating glucose to breaking down stored fat as a source of energy, usually happens over two to four days of eating fewer than 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day.
This content references scientific studies and academic research, and is fact-checked to ensure accuracy. Our team of licensed nutritionists and dietitians strives to be objective, unbiased, and honest. We are committed to bringing you researched, expert-driven content to help you make more informed decisions around food, health, and wellness. We know how important making choices about your overall health is, and we strive to provide you with the best information possible. The rise of the keto diet is hard to overlook. From keto cruises to keto-friendly product lines from food manufacturers, it seems like everyone knows someone who has embraced the keto lifestyle. With such a boom in popularity, many dieters are turning to the internet and social media for keto inspiration. However, there can be conflicting and confusing information about what this diet actually entails, which leaves some people asking, “what actually is the keto diet—and is it safe?