How a popular weight loss diet plan increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.

New research published in the Journal of Physiology indicates that ketogenic diets, which are low carbohydrate high fat eating plans that are known to lead to weight loss, may cause an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes in the early stage of the diet.

WHAT IS A KETO DIET

keto diet
Keto diet

A ketogenic diet is a very low carbohydrate diet designed to help your body burn away fat.

On this type of diet, you consume around 70-75% of your calories from fat. You can only consume around 5-10% from carbs and the rest must come from protein.

The daily diet consists of foods like fatty fish, meat, nuts cheese and oils.

How does it help you lose weight?

The keto diet essentially tricks your body into using body fat as energy and therefore burns it away.

When you eat carbs your body turns it into glucose and insulin and your body uses this for energy.

If you’re not eating many carbs the body will look for energy elsewhere. By lowering the intake of carbs, the body is induced into a state known as ketosis.

Ketosis is a natural process the body initiates to help us survive when food intake is low. During this state, we produce ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fats in the liver.

This kick-starts the body’s metabolism and helps aid weight loss.

A  study, which was conducted by ETH Zurich in conjunction with University Children’s Hospital Zurich, involved feeding mice two different types of diet (a ketogenic diet and a high fat diet, which causes the liver to become resistant to insulin) and then performing standard metabolic tests on them. Using specialized procedures the researchers were able to determine the effects of internal sugar production from the animal (mostly the liver), and sugar uptake into tissues (mostly the muscle), during insulin action.  The findings indicate that there may be an increased risk of insulin resistance with this type of diet that may lead to Type 2 diabetes

It is important to note that the research did not analyze whether the diet employed causes obesity, if given long term. The mechanism behind the whole process was undetermined; therefore, the existence of a shared physiological response between low carb and regular carb high fat diets that cause insulin resistance in the liver requires further exploration.

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