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Getting to know Keto
By Matt Mrazik RDN, LDN

Heard of keto? The ketogenic diet, often referred to as keto, is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that shares many similarities with the Atkins and other low-carb diets.

The diet involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake, and replacing it with fat. The reduction in carbs puts our bodies into a metabolic state called ketosis. Ketosis is a natural process the body initiates to help us survive when food intake is low and when this happens, the body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy.

Our bodies are extremely adaptive to what we put into them, so when we overload them with fats and take away carbohydrates, our bodies will begin to burn ketones as the primary energy source. Ketones are produced in the liver, from fat. They are then used as fuel throughout the body, including the brain. The brain consumes lots of energy every day, and it can’t run on fat directly. It can only run on glucose… or ketones. The main concern with the ketogenic diet is that when the individual begins increasing their carbohydrate intake, the body begins to store it into fat as it has been using fat, or ketones, as the main energy source.

A ketogenic diet may help people who are overweight, have diabetes or are looking to improve their metabolic health. There are over 20 studies that show that this type of diet can help in weight loss and lower risk factors for other diseases, but as with any other diet or meal plan, consult your physician first.

As this diet requires a drastic lifestyle change, it may be beneficial to also consider meeting with a registered dietitian to see if it is the right option for you. At the Wilfred R. Cameron Wellness Center, the registered dietitians meet with clients one on one to help make the right diet and lifestyle changes appropriate for each individual.

Schedule a consultation with a Registered Dietitian at the Wilfred R. Cameron Wellness Center by calling (724)250-6244 or email mmrazik@whs.org.

Matt Mrazik RDN, LDN, is a Performance Dietitian at the Wilfred R. Cameron Wellness Center.

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