The Keto Diet: Can Eating Mostly Fat Help You Lose Weight?

Can eating mostly fat help you lose weight? On paper, the ketogenic diet sounds great The keto diet originated as a treatment for epileptic children in the 1920s

The diet requires getting 80-90 percent of daily calories from fat and proteins—almost none from carbohydrates But don't we need carbs? Breaking down carbs into smaller molecules is how the body fuels itself The average American gets 46-56 percent of their calories from carbs The keto diet forces the body into a state of mild starvation Your body is deprived of fuel—or carbs—and burns fat instead

The body enters ketosis—a process that turns fat stores into keto bodies They act as substitutes for molecules like glucose that you'd normally get from carbs Does the diet work? Weight loss on the keto diet might just be from a reduction in total calories Thinking about what you eat typically leads to decreased food consumption Initial losses are also probably due to shedding water weight

Is the diet good for you? Eating 90 percent fat isn't good for your heart health It's hard to get the nutrients of a "balanced" diet when you're limiting most of your fiber sources Low-carb diets can be dangerous to people with cardiovascular disease or diabetes Especially people prone to high lipid levels Your entire body is designed to run on carbs

The benefits of decreasing body fat won't necessarily outweigh the downside of eating mostly fats