The ketogenic diet mimics the fasting state not only by utilizing fat for energy, but by keeping hunger low.
If food is not available for days or weeks, the low blood sugar and high ketones during fasting prevent hunger from becoming an overwhelming distraction during the search for food. But a keto dieter gets these hunger suppression benefits while still being able to eat satisfying foods.
Imagine how you would feel after eating a typical fast food meal of a burger, fries, and a large soda: an initial food coma (which is just your blood sugar surging higher and faster than your pancreas can control) followed by climbing hunger over the following hours. But if you emerged from the drive-through with a typical keto meal (such as a few burger patties with cheese, mayonnaise, and lettuce), you would not experience a food coma and could probably go more hours without hunger.
Although we would not recommend it for other reasons, it is possible to eat an all-fast-food keto diet and lose weight. Perhaps Morgan Spurlock’s 30-day stunt did not damn Mcdonald’s as much as demonstrate the negative effect of a massive intake of refined carbohydrates.
Americans are officially recommended to eat between 225 and 325 grams of carbohydrate a day, while the ketogenic diet requires staying under 50 grams a day. This departure from the Standard American Diet will result in weight loss for many people who try it.
Obesity and diabetes both take time to develop, and occur along a spectrum of worsening health outcomes. The persistent over-taxing of the pancreas and oversaturation of tissues with insulin will gradually result in insulin resistance, higher body weight, and potential complications from high blood sugar.
But the good news is that the body has a great capacity to heal if given a chance to return to normal levels of glucose and insulin. This is fundamentally what the ketogenic diet does, although more research is needed on the long-term effects of all the possible dietary choices a person can make.
We believe that everyone should understand the role of the ketogenic state and fasting on health, so that each person can make informed decisions about their health.