Most people have heard of ketosis, also known as ‘keto fever’ or ‘keto diet syndrome’. If you’re unfamiliar, in ketosis your body breaks down fats for fuel instead of carbohydrates, resulting in a rapid weight loss. It’s a popular diet among those who want to lose weight, but it’s not a diet for the faint of heart. You’ll need to understand the basics of ketosis if you decide to try it.
What Is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a metabolic state where your body switches to a fuel source called ketones.1 In ketosis your body’s primary source of energy comes from fat instead of carbohydrates,2 resulting in a range of health benefits for those who follow the diet.3
You may have heard of ketosis before specifically relating it to weight loss, however, it is actually a very useful state for numerous medical conditions.4 Ketosis has been shown to improve brain function,5 reduce inflammation,6 and even combat cancer.7
The most well-known benefit of a ketogenic diet is that it can help people reduce their weight. When you’re in ketosis you’re burning fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates, resulting in a much smaller waistline.8,9
What Is The Difference Between Ketosis And Ketogenic Diet?
Traditionally, the ketogenic diet is a very low-carb diet that provides a lot of fats and very little carbohydrates. However, in the last few years the diet has evolved and it’s now possible to follow a ketosis-based diet that is high in carbohydrates. For the purpose of this article, we will discuss what are the differences between these two diets.
- Ketosis Vs. Ketogenic Diet (What Is The Difference?)
- Benefits Of A Ketosis-Based Diet
- Health Risks Of A Ketogenic Diet
Ketosis Vs. Ketogenic Diet (What Is The Difference?)
A ketosis-based diet is simply a diet that promotes ketosis. So in other words, it’s a diet that makes you enter into and stay in ketosis. In a ketogenic diet, carbohydrates are restricted as much as possible, while fats are high. In ketosis, fats are restricted and carbohydrates are high.9
According to research, following a ketogenic diet can be highly beneficial for various medical conditions, particularly diabetes and epilepsy.10-13 However, there is no evidence that suggests that following the ketosis diet can achieve the same results. So while ketosis can be a useful metabolic state, it does not offer any special benefits for weight loss.14
Benefits Of A Ketosis-Based Diet
When you’re in ketosis your body begins using fatty acids for fuel, which have numerous advantages.
- Highly-sustainable. Your body is in a state of ketosis, so it has a natural advantage in conserving energy.
- Protects against cardiovascular disease. According to research, people who follow a ketosis-based diet have a lower risk of heart disease compared to those who eat a traditional diet.
- Has anti-cancer properties. As previously stated, ketosis has been shown in research to combat cancer. Studies have also suggested that an intermittent fasting ketosis-based diet can increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy in treating cancer.
- Has a positive effect on brain health. In a 2016 clinical trial, 25 patients with Alzheimer’s disease participated in a 6-month randomized controlled trial to compare the effects of a ketosis-based diet with a low-fat diet. At the end of the study, those on a ketosis-based diet had significantly improved cognition as compared to those on a low-fat diet.15
Health Risks Of A Ketogenic Diet
Although the ketogenic diet has numerous benefits, it also comes with some risks. Simply put, a ketogenic diet can increase your risk for certain medical conditions. The good thing is that you can easily identify the risks before you begin the diet and ensure that you’re aware of them.
- High cholesterol. Consuming too many carbohydrates (especially those that are processed) can increase your cholesterol levels. This can put you at risk for heart disease. If you’re already aware of your cholesterol levels and want to reduce the risk, you may want to consider reducing the amount of carbohydrates you eat.
- Type 2 Diabetes. Following a ketogenic diet can encourage the development of type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends that people with type 2 diabetes try a low-carb diet.16 If you have or are at risk for type 2 diabetes, you should consider the ketogenic diet cautiously.
- Obesity. Many people who try a ketogenic diet lose a lot of weight initially. While weight loss is often a side effect of the diet, it’s not always the case and it’s certainly not a recommended long-term solution. The key is to maintain a healthy body weight. Remember that the ketogenic diet can cause dehydration, so you may want to drink plenty of fluids to prevent excessive loss of weight.
- Dry Mouth. In some people, especially those who follow a ketogenic diet, the production of saliva is reduced, which can lead to an increased risk of dental erosion and other oral health problems. So if you experience dry mouth, you may want to eat more foods that are high in salicylates (i.e., apples, tomatoes, and cucumbers) to re-boost your natural defense system and reduce the risk of erosion.
At the end of the day, it’s not a one-size-fits-all situation when it comes to weight loss. Everyone’s body is different, and what may work for one person may not work for another. There are numerous examples of medical conditions where the ketogenic diet has been shown to be useful, but you should consult with your personal physician before you begin any kind of diet or supplement regime.
A ketosis-based diet is simply a diet that promotes ketosis. In other words, it’s a diet that makes you enter into and stay in ketosis. However, it does not offer any special benefits for weight loss.14 The ketosis diet also comes with some risks, especially if you have certain medical conditions. If you’re interested in trying a ketosis-based diet, make sure you’re aware of the risks beforehand.
The bottom line: If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to lose weight, you might want to consider trying a ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet is not a bad diet, but you have to be careful about what kind of carbohydrates you eat. If you’re not aware of how much of what you eat affects your body, then you may not be getting the best possible results.14