Ketosis diets are sometimes called ketogenic diets or very low-carb diets. Ketosis is a biochemical phenomenon which occurs during starvation or extreme carbohydrate restriction, but the word is not supposed to be confused with ketoacidosis, which is something that happens to diabetics when their blood sugar goes out of control.
Ketoacidosis is dangerous, but only happens to diabetics. Ketosis is a natural phenomenon that is in no way dangerous and has some miraculous health benefits. Some people like to think that Ketosis is in some way harmful, but they are confusing these two terms.
Ketosis diets have been used in the past for controlling epileptic seizures in children who haven’t responded to any sort of medication. These diets were in common use for this purpose earlier in the 20th century. Interest in this diet plan has been reestablished for diseases such as brain cancer, obesity, diabetes and many, many more.
Ketosis Diets and Obesity
Low-carb, ketogenic diets have been studied and well documented with regards to obesity, and participants usually notice an appetite suppressant effect. When researchers compare low-fat to low-carb diets, they need to actively restrict calories in the low-fat group in order to achieve comparable results.
Low-carb diets are often high in saturated fat, but are still able to improve biomarkers such as HDL cholesterol, insulin resistance, triglyceride levels, and have a positive effect on LDL cholesterol patterns, changing them to large, fluffy type (good) instead of small, dense type (bad).
There are often claims about ketogenic diets being restrictive, but in many studies the people following those diets have a higher chance of completing the studies than the comparison groups (usually low-fat/high-carb diets).
Ketosis Diets and Epilepsy
Most research studies on the benefits of ketosis diets for epileptic seizures in children show a large improvement, which is especially significant since these children usually did not respond to previous medication therapy. In one study, 38% of the kids on the ketosis diet had more than a 50% reduction in the frequency of seizures while 7% had greater than a 90% reduction. A modified Atkins diet, basically an extended Atkins induction phase, showed similar results.
There are many other diseases that may massively benefit from ketosis diets, and it is strange that these kinds of diets are not more often used for therapeutic purposes. The side effects of drugs, which are often not that effective, are most certainly a lot worse than the mild side effects and minor nuances of following a restricted diet.