DO VLCDs HAVE ENOUGH CARBOHYDRATE?
When the Atkins diet, a diet that seriously restricted carbohydrate levels became very popular, it caused a serious financial problem for the food industry, from bakers to farmers. The backlash against carbohydrate restriction was almost as strong as the previous demand for higher intakes of carbohydrates.
Fortunately, the demands for higher carbohydrates have been muted now that influential people have learned that dietary ketosis is not the same as the disease condition, ketoacidosis, and ketosis has many health benefits.
Ketosis is now being recognized as a valuable treatment for epilepsy (first reported around 500 BC) and accepted by modern medicine in the 1920’s, is increasingly being recognized as a potential cancer treatment and also a potential treatment for a number of neurological diseases from Parkinson’s to Alzheimer’s.
Ketosis is valuable for dieters. The conditions for ketosis are well recognized to be helpful in blunting hunger so that prolonged dieting is possible. Once ketosis is interfered with, even minimally, continued dieting is often very short lived. With ketosis, the dieters can remain comfortable for many weeks.
Ketosis is also very protective during weight loss.
All our cells use sugar as a fuel and the brain has a considerable need for sugar. When sugar is restricted, the brain has a problem. It needs sugar once the body’s glycogen reserves are depleted, so the body is quickly forced to convert proteins into sugar. Without ketosis there is a possible reduction in body protein when dieting through this need for conversion of body protein into sugar to fuel the brain. Over a prolonged dieting period this could be harmful.
Ketones, however, can replace sugar as the energy source for the brain. With a VLCD, the time period before ketosis is only a couple of days and the continued ketosis prevents the body protein from being lost.
This is a very important reason for continuous rather than interrupted dieting.
A number of people have been advocating various types of intermittent fasting. What this does is eliminate the metabolic benefits of ketosis and cause a dieter to re-start, with all its problems, very frequently.
Another reason ketones are so valuable is that ketones are produced from the fatty acids that are mobilized from fat as weight is lost. Some of hese fatty acids can be valuable as a source of essential fatty acids, which will be discussed later. Fatty acids, however, are unable to pass through the blood-brain barrier and directly provide energy for the brain. Ketones produced from the breakdown of the fatty acids, are small molecules and water soluble, so they can get into the brain and provide the necessary energy.
A build up of blood fatty acids can also become problematic as they are thought to induce heart arrhythmias. Converting excess fatty acids to ketones with VLCDs is therefore protective.
Lipotrim is a ketogenic, nutrient complete VLCD, one of the best and safest ways to diet.