The ketogenic diet is high-fat, moderate-protein and low-carbohydrate. Ketogenic diets make the body produce ketones, which are used as an alternative fuel when blood sugar levels are low. Ketones are produced in the liver from fat, making the ketogenic diet a popular approach to weight loss.
There is also evidence emerging that the keto diet may help treat serious mental health disorders. A new clinical trial by James Cook University in Australia will undertake clinical trials to determine whether a diet high in fat and low in carbohydrates could be used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
“The way ketogenic therapy works is to provide alternative energy sources in the form of so-called ketone bodies (products of fat breakdown) and by helping to circumvent abnormally functioning cellular energy pathways in these mental disorders,” said Associate Professor Carlo Longhitano, Head of Psychiatry at JCU and a co-investigator in the study.
He added that only well-designed and controlled clinical trials such as those now underway can allow conclusions that support evidence-based medicine. “Without them it is just anecdotes and hearsay,” said Dr Longhitano.
Andy Welch, CEO of Keeto Life, which sells products to over 250,000 consumers in 15 countries, stressed the wider, positive mental wellbeing effects of a healthy diet, but remains excited about the potential for ketos diets to answer many diverse problems including mental health.
“Typically today’s western diets lack a lot of the nutrients required to feed the body and look after our precious organs – especially our brain,” he told FoodNavigator. “Introduce a keto diet, or a Low Carb Lifestyle, as I like to call it, and you essentially ditch many of the highly processed carbs and sugars that dominate Western lives. An appreciation of healthy foods like leafy greens and the essential nutrients they offer such as superior brain health sits at the heart of keto thinking, namely how to help your body operate at the peak of its powers.
“In the case of leafy greens your brain gets what it needs at a nutrient level, functions better and as a result you will too. By maximizing your…