What You Need to Know About a High Fat Diet

What You Need to Know About a High Fat Diet

Obesity has reached epidemic proportions and with it a linear correlation in cardiovascular and metabolic disorders such as type II diabetes, hypertension, atherosclerosis and various forms of cancers. To monetize this trend in obesity, a diet-based industry has boomed and propagated the marketing of an abundance of lackluster dietary recommendations and fad eating trends; the latest is the low-carb, high-fat diet. Marketed in different ways (Atkins, Paleo, Ketogenic) the low-carb, high-fat diet has become extremely popular but is it truly friend or foe?

What is it?

A ketosis diet is essentially a meal plan void of all forms of carbohydrates with the exception of some fibrous vegetables. After a few days of fasting or a drastically reduced carbohydrate diet (below 20 g per day), the body’s glucose reserves become insufficient for the production of oxaloacetate for normal fat oxidation in the Krebs cycle and for the supply of glucose to the central nervous system.  Because no glucose exists at this point, the CNS creates an alternative energy source by way of the liver which produces ketone bodies from acetyl-CoA overproduction. Ketone bodies are then used by the body and brain for energy through a complex physiological pathway.

Does it Work?

There is an abundance of research indicating that a ketogenic diet is optimal for rapid weight and fat loss but the mechanisms of exactly how this occurs are still under review. Some of the maintstream hypothesis as it how it occurs are

  • Increased satiety from protein consumption results in lower caloric intake
  • Low levels of insulin in the body, which causes greater lipolysis and free-glycerol release compared to a normal diet
  • Reduction in lipogenesis and increased lipolysis (less fat storage due to fatty acid mobilization for ketone production and increased ability to use fat as energy)
  • Lowered respiratory exchange ratio resulting in greater lipolysis
  • Increased metabolic cost (calorie burn) due to the thermic effect of protein and high effort in making ketone bodies

Who can Benefit

Ketogenic diets have shown to be beneficial for the overweight and obese population, yet it should be noted that there can be a refractory period or yo-yo phase that occurs when someone cycles off of a ketogenic diet. This effect should be monitored closey and carbohydrates should be slowly tapered back into a diet to avoid weight gain. In addition to weight loss, ketogenic diets have also proven beneficial for populations experiencing a variety of ailments.

  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Certain Cancers
  • Hypertension
  • Cardiovascular Disease
[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3945587/

[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2716748/

About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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