Do Ketogenic Diets Really Work?

Do Ketogenic Diets Really Work?

Some fads never die, right?
Low carb diets were a thing in the late 90s
and they’re still a thing now.
But does this fad have staying power because
the benefits are real?
Or is that greasy low-carb burger fried in
snake oil?
We can try to address some of those questions
with science.
Low carb diets do have their place in the
medical world.
It just might not be where you’d expect.
Before we get started, remember that we aren’t
medical professionals.
If you need real health and dieting advice,
that’s what your doctor is for, not Youtube.
There are about as many low-carb diets out
there as there are people who can get a diet
book published.
But right now we’re specifically talking
about ketogenic diets – the ones that usually
require people to eat under 50 grams of carbohydrates
[On screen: sugars and starches] per day.
For a normal diet, carbs deliver most of a
person’s daily energy.
With ketogenic diets, carbs account for roughly
Eating so few carbs can kinda, sorta trick
your body into thinking it’s starving, convinces
your body to totally revamp its approach to
energy production, and it goes into a state
of metabolic uproar called ketosis.
We can derive energy from carbs or fats or
protein, but our giant, energy-hungry human
brains have a strong preference for sugar.
It’s all that thinking we all do all the
That takes fast, digestible fuel.
In fact, our brains are such picky eaters
that they can’t really make use of the other
stuff at all.
Fats can’t even cross the blood-brain barrier.
So with your brain running out of fuel, your
liver panics, and starts breaking fats down
into brain-digestible molecules known as ketone
In organic chemistry, a ketone is a molecule
with a carbon double bonded to an oxygen,
and more carbons on either side of that carbon.
The ketone bodies that your liver makes are
beta-hydroxybutyrate, acetoacetate, and acetone
— yes, as in nail polish remover.
The acetone is actually volatile enough to
escape your from bloodstream into your breath,
which makes it smell sweet.
So why would you intentionally go on a diet
that rearranges your metabolism so dramatically?
Actually, there are good reasons.
For example, when people, and especially children,
who have epilepsy don’t respond to drug
treatments, getting put on a ketogenic diet
can help manage symptoms for huge numbers
of patients.
But it doesn’t work for everybody.
Brains and diets are two of the most complicated
and poorly understood things about the human
So even though it’s clear that ketogenic
diets help with epilepsy, despite tons of
research, we still don’t understand exactly
One leading hypothesis is that keto diets
help switch on the neurotransmitter GABA.
GABA is responsible for generally calming
things down in your brain, so it stands to
reason that more inhibitory activity would
tamp down seizures.
Another hypothesis is that ketone bodies themselves
can help protect against seizures.
But while there’s evidence for a bunch of
different ideas, like we said — brains.
It doesn’t stop with epilepsy.
Keto diets seem to have a protective effect
on the brain, and diseases from Alzheimer’s
to ALS could stand to benefit.
This is an active area of research, so don’t
expect a keto diet to cure Parkinson’s tomorrow.
But the main reason most people go on a keto
or other low carb diet is to lose weight.
Nothing wrong with that, but can a ketogenic
diet help?
Some studies say it can.
When researchers rounded up the effects of
multiple studies of keto diets compared to
traditional low fat diets, it seemed like
people lost more weight, although their cholesterol
went up more too.
Keto diets reduce your body’s level of insulin,
which helps you feel full and might explain
that weight loss.
Low insulin can also lead to ketoacidosis,
which is different from ketosis.
It’s a dangerous condition where blood ketone
levels are high and pH is low, and it’s
mostly people with diabetes who are at risk.
But that’s a whole ‘nother video.
It seems clear from clinical studies that
keto can help people lose weight, but because
diets are complicated, we don’t quite know
It might be because the process of breaking
down fats is less efficient than breaking
down carbs, so more of the energy you eat
actually gets wasted — instead of going to
your waistline.
But, like with any diet, keto works a whole
lot better under a doctor’s supervision
and with careful adherence to the rules.
And ketosis can be a double edged sword, with
side effects like brain fog and fatigue in
the first few weeks.
In fact, keto diets require a drastic change
in lifestyle for most people.
The weight loss benefits could end up being
only as strong as your ability to stick to
bunless burgers day in and day out.
Doctors might hesitate to recommend keto on
this basis and put patients on a low fat diet
But low carb diets are something your body
can totally deal with, thanks to the chemistry
of ketones.
And from our brains to our love handles, those
lil guys seem to be on our side — most of
the time.
Remember to share and subscribe on your way
out, and thanks for watching.
Pinned comment: Have you tried going low or
no carb?
Did it work for you?
Or do you find fad diets to be so much bacon
grease — smells good, but doesn’t deliver?

34 thoughts on “Do Ketogenic Diets Really Work?

  1. Oh, boy. Let's get ready for the comment war between armchair nutritionists talking about meat vs plant based diet as if it's a heated political debate.

  2. Have you tried going low or no carb? Did it work for you? Let us know below or what other fads you'd like us to cover.

  3. "We don't know how a keto diet helps people lose weight". That's basically saying we don't know how burning fat helps people to burn fat

  4. Let's not talk about the debunked fat-is-bad dogma. Low-Carb helps with a lot of civilisatory illnesses such as diabetes t2 etc. Low fat on the other side typically just adds more sugar to food so it's actually edible and doesn't taste like shit, while not helping anything at all.

  5. Going to a doctor for health and dieting advice? Yea… Sure…. The only thing doctors are really trained for is treating your surface symptoms with medications. They aren't really taught about nutrition and healthy living. For crying out loud, they will probably prescribe you the standard american diet because they just don't know any better. Maddening.

  6. You are so bad in explaining and obviously you didn't' much research on the diet.
    Just to make you think
    Why Navy SEALs and NASA are interested in ketogenic diet ?

  7. The word for "diet for weightloss" in Swedish is "bantning" which comes from William Banting, who first popularized the diet and himself lost weight with a low carb diet in the early 1800's. Sure.. a "fad". It was being used as diabetes treatment even before that.

    Fasting is a natural state. You're in ketosis soon after you start fasting.

    Your liver doesn't "panic".

    Sugars lead to inflammation, which is one of the reasons we need the anti-inflammatory effects of vegetables, and why a ketogenic diet can be used to combat neurodegenerative disease such as alzheimers, parkinsons and epilepsy.

    Some people have problem switching between burning carbs and fats, which means that some people have a really hard time losing weight on a carbohydrate rich diet. So for those people, switching to a low carb diet will help. But people without that, can lose weight just as easily on any diet with calorie deficit.

  8. ketogenic diets are life savers for diabetics. your brain LOVES ketones, though. at least the get the basic facts straight!

  9. For me personally, the biggest benefit is feeling satisfied after eating. If I'm not on keto, I can eat until my stomach feels like it's going to explode and I still have an appetite. When I'm on keto, my brain actually gets the "I'm satisfied" signal after a reasonable amount of food and I literally lose interest in food for a while – appetite is *gone*. It's the only way I can keep my weight down because without keto I tend to binge.

  10. It is the low carb, high protein that makes it successful. I personally only utilize plant-based protein sources and any packaged/processed (rarely consumed) items used are low carb (under 7g per serving). This type of diet has been successful for me personally in weight loss. On occasion use saturated fats such as ghee or butter, mostly polyunsaturated fats in cooking. Gluconeogenesis seems to serve just fine for providing the necessary energy compounds for brain function (glucose or ketone bodies).

  11. oh i have family antecedents of alzheimer , but wait also of colesterol ehhhh welp im fucked no matter what i chose XD

  12. ANY successful diet to lose weight always banks on the rule "eat less calories than you burn"…The ketogenic diet is no different. The real reason people lose weight on this diet is because the diet demands you to eat in a daily caloric deprived state. It's not really this fabled manipulation of fat calories for carb calories that is being pushed. The insulin nonsense. The body has many pathways to make energy from all foods being eaten and to store it as fat……The ketogenic diet is a hoax diet in the sense it doesn't do anything really different…On any diet plan if you eat more calories than you burn, you will gain body weight. Eat more fat calories on a ketosis diet than you burn and you will gain body fat. There is no other outcome. The pushers of this diet like to hide this fact behind insulin/sugar response…End of the day, Calories in Versus Calories out RULE THE ROOST OF WEIGHT LOSS OR WEIGHT GAIN…NOT MANIPULATION OF CALORIES FROM FAT, PROTEIN, OR CARBS.

  13. Hi Reactions!
    I learned quite well and listened to my clients' feedback the ketogenic diet. I think it's good, but not for everyone
    Thank you share!!!

  14. I had watched how carbs were linked with weight gain as well as generally to avoid carbohydrate, on the contrary had actually never viewed using them to trim inches away. The number one idea behind the four cycle fat loss strategy is to actively train your system to melt fat for energy as opposed to carbs. It’s built around research into the higher than average carb eating habits of the Japanese and additionally their outstanding long lifespan expectancy. The investigation would suggest that it’s their high carb-cycling dieting approach that helps to keep on being healthier into old age with a lower than average body mass index (lesser incidence of overweight).Read even more here

  15. "Don't know how" keto diets help you lose weight "cause diets are complicated"!? What a bold statement of ignorance. Keto diets work because they are very low in carbohydrate and thus inhibit the secretion of insulin, this stimulates gluconeogenesis & lipolysis and inhibits the reverse I.e it causes fat to be metabolised instead of generated. Yes, ultimately energy in minus energy out determines weight change but the equilibrium point is heavily determined by circulating average insulin levels, without carbs and hence insulin secretion lipogenesis cannot occur.
    Also the mention of DKA is totally out of place and has absolutely nothing to do with physiological ketosis. In fact DKA occurs only type 1 diabetes or severe type 2 where there is an absolute deficiency of insulin combined with hyperglycaemia leading to osmotic diuresis and severe dehydration with resultant metabolic acidosis. In no way can DKA be caused by a ketogenic diet, quite to opposite! Please check your facts. None of this is controversial.

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