A nutritionist brings science back into the promise of weight loss.
Women’s magazines are indigestioning the ketogenic diet that Anglo-Americans call it « keto diet ». This “fat burner” diet is supposed to make you lose any excess weight, regulate diabetes, or even repel the carcinogenic invasion. Dr. Boris Hansel, university lecturer, hospital practitioner, puts some science into all these promises.
• Force the body to consume its fat, really?
The principle of this diet is to cause the production of ketone bodies, molecules made from fat after the exhaustion of the body’s sugar reserves. The body will draw on fat to produce ketone bodies, which provide energy. This is “lipolysis”. To decrease the fatty mass, it is to lose weight well. But how do you “exhaust” the sugar? By fasting, for example. But a practice that is difficult to maintain, dangerous if it continues. The other “technique”: exclude almost all carbohydrates from your diet, a method tested by researcher Russell Morse Wilder. This is the very principle of the so-called ketogenic diet.
• The ketogenic diet, instructions for use
The idea is to drastically reduce foods rich in sugars, starchy foods (pasta, rice, potatoes, etc.), legumes (lentils, chickpeas), fruits and above all sweets. Without avoiding fats – cream, butter, various oils and mayonnaise. Enough to quickly deplete glucose stocks to force the body to find a source of energy in fat. Suddenly, we will consume proteins “normally”, in moderate quantities – eggs, cheeses, fish, meats.
Vegetables, depending on the sugars they contain, will be included in the total authorized carbohydrate ration (approximately 5% of energy intake, a maximum of 50 grams per day). Green beans, for example, provide 5 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams.
But does “it work”?
• An effective diet against several ailments
On epilepsy and its severe forms, yes, mainly in children, less in adults. On the diabetes side, we are witnessing an improvement in glycemic control (blood glucose levels). But not to his recovery, do not believe the false advertisements. And the weight ? The ketogenic diet is only effective … because of its effect on appetite! Eating less means greatly reducing caloric intake. Even if we consume, but less, so-called fatty products. But beware: this weight loss will only last as long as the intake is limited. Keto, yes, but then for life. As for cancer, no benefit to hope for. No one has ever shown that removing sugar eradicates cancer cells in humans. The scientific report of the National Food Cancer Research Network (Nacre) concludes that there is total lack of evidence of the effectiveness of a low-carbohydrate diet on cancer. Worse, a ketogenic diet in a person suffering from cancer could risk undernutrition, incompatible with chemotherapy. Moral: anything that helps reduce the amount of what you eat will affect your weight. Will included…
OM with The Conversation France