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Ketogenic diet a ‘fad’diet – are the online websites scientific and safe?

The ketogenic diet is a high fat low carbohydrate and sufficient protein diet. It mimics the fasting effect on the body metabolism namely, forcing the body to use fat (either stored in the body or from the food ingested) as the primary energy source. Normally in a fed state the body uses carbohydrate from the food ingested. This is converted to glucose in the liver and is the primary energy source in normal circumstances. At times of stress as in fasting there being no ready source of carbohydrate for energy production the body turns to fat, the liver converting this to ketones. There is no doubt that ketones are a better and more efficient source of energy as compared to glucose. However, care is required to avoid inadvertent complications.

For a weight loss diet to be effective not only do the carbohydrates have to insufficient to meet the daily requirement but the total calories from carbohydrate and fat has to be less than the daily requirement so that the body is forced to burn the stored body fat and thus cause weight loss. This diet has to be carefully and individually calculated and prescribed by a nutritionist or dietitian trained in use of the ketogenic diet and monitored by a doctor who is similarly trained. This is because this diet can have complications some being serious. We regularly monitor all blood parameters before starting the diet and at regular intervals during the diet to ensure there are no side-effects. Therefore, this note is being put online as Dr J Nathan being the pioneer of the use of the ketogenic diet in Asia for uncontrolled epilepsy and recently for diverse medical conditions as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and autism our centre would not like this diet to be misused or get a bad name. Yes, it can be used for weight loss but with proper monitoring and adequate precautions.

We checked such websites and found that firstly the ratio of fat to carbohydrate + protein is very low i.e. 0.2:1 whereas in Ketogenic diet it should start from 2.0-3:1 as explained and mentioned above.
Any gym trainer cannot give you ketogenic diet as it is very restrictive diet and needs to be followed under expert supervision such as trained Ketogenic diet dieticians.
In gyms, trainers give you high protein diet for weight loss which he/she claims to be keto diet.
We use Ketogenic diet as a Therapeutic diet – we treat it as medicine for different neurological disease and disorder.
So we request you not to fall for such misleading advertisement which claims their diet as Ketogenic diet for weight loss.

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