Episode 28 – Keto

Key Topics Covered


Ketosis is a metabolic state that the body goes into after being restricted from carbohydrates for a certain amount of time.

  • High-fat diet.
  • Measured by blood ketones. Ideally aiming for above 3mmol.
  • Ketones are the byproduct of breaking down body fat.
  • 3 types of ketones – beta-hydroxybutyrate, acetoacetate, acetone.
  • They are used as an alternative energy source for the body.


The ketogenic diet originated in the early 1920s to treat epilepsy in children. It became a popular diet to lose weight when the Atkins diet was introduced by Atkins himself.

  • Epilepsy is categorised based on how resistant an individual is to medication.
  • The most serious is SRSE – a continued seizure even with multiple levels of anti-seizure medication.
  • The research shows that individuals who comply with a therapeutic ketogenic diet and medications will reduce/ eliminate seizures.
  • Therapeutic – 80% fat, 15% protein & 5% carbs.
  • Certain amino acids can be broken down into glucose, this can take you out of ketosis.

Weight Loss

  • For those who prefer an all or nothing approach, keto can be useful.
  • Reduced calorie intake – Keto eliminates a lot of high palatable foods. ie. Cakes, biscuits, etc.
  • Reduced appetite – Fat is a more satiating (filling) macronutrient compared to carbohydrates.
  • Stable BGL – High carb consumption can increase insulin production; drawing carbs from the blood into your cells. In turn, making your body crave more carbs.
  • Scale weight fluctuations – For every 1g carb stored, roughly 2.7mL water will be stored.
    • Eg. An individual who eats 300g carb/day then drops to none will see a significant weight drop in a few days due to this fact alone. It can lead to misleadingly large weight fluctuations that do not fully represent fat/muscle changes.


  • “Carbohydrates are essential for brain function”
    • This is false. The body can break down other macronutrients into glucose to fuel the brain.
    • The brain can also use ketones very effectively.
  • Ketoacidosis
    • This is an unregulated or uncontrolled production of ketones, often seen in people with diabetes.
    • This cannot be reached by the average, healthy person. Even with additional ketone supplementation.
  • Blood Lipids
    • Blood LDL will most likely increase if weight stays the same.
    • This can be an issue for those who already have a disproportionate LDL:HDL ratio. In the absence of a high amount of sugar, this probably won’t be as much of a concern for cardiovascular health.
    • Mitigated by choosing healthier fats, ie. Avocado and olive oil. Also by increasing exercise.

Overall, the benefits are very individual and depend on adherence to the diet.

Relevant Links/ Resources

Studies Mentioned

Useful Resources

Useful Blog Posts