Toasting 2017 Goodbye with Ketogenic Kool-Aid

I cannot profess to know why ketogenic diets are the flavor of the week, other than the fact that there always is one of those- ever in the interest of those selling them, and almost never in the interest of those buying. There is some fairly new, and quite rudimentary research on the topic that might be the reason for the current infatuation, but the pop culture claims are wildly at odds with those data, to say nothing of the overall weight of scientific evidence regarding diet and health.

Whatever the reasons, legions seem poised to toast 2017 goodbye and welcome 2018 with ketogenic Kool-Aid, and I consider them dangerously mistaken. Before you join their misguided ranks, I suggest we drain this topic to its low-carb dregs and see where it leaves us.

The historical case for ketogenesis- denying the body its customary fuel sources so that glucose is in short supply, and instead it metabolizes fat preferentially, and generates ketone bodies as fuel- resides in starvation. Rather predictably, starvation has profound effects on all aspects of metabolism. The body effectively turns to auto-digestion to sustain itself during a protracted fast. Fat and protein stores in the body are converted to fuel, and metabolism then does run on ketone bodies.

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