I am asked all the time about the Keto diet. Patients always want to know if they should be on it. Other docs want to know about the effects and if it is worth the commitment. Here are my thoughts. I am not a fan of dogma so I do not believe that someone should be on a specific “diet” for the rest of their life.
The goal is optimum health so we need to figure out what is best for each patient. People eat food for different reasons. The most important being the need to extract electrons to drive your mitochondria and to grab some micronutrients to aid in different reactions in the body. With that said, mitochondrial efficiency is critical.
Most people who live on a standard American diet have a carbohydrate bias in their mitochondria and to create greater efficiency, my feeling is that we want a fat burning bias. Therefore, using a Keto program to aid in this conversion can be really beneficial. Once this happens and the body becomes fat adapted (more efficient), I tend to want people to add back root veggies and quinoa and even rice if they feel good with it over time. Outside of seizure disorders, certain cancers and chronic neurodenegerative conditions, I think Keto is an amazing tool, but not a long term strategy.