It was developed as a treatment for epilepsy in the s, after physicians observed that fasting reduced seizure activity. Called the keto diet for short, the ketogenic diet is high in fat, very low in carbohydrates, and moderate in protein. According to the Harvard T. Chan School of Public Health, when following the keto diet, about 70 to 80 percent of daily calories should come from fat, 10 to 20 percent from protein, and 5 to 10 percent from carbohydrate. In contrast, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend consuming no more than 20 to 35 percent of daily calories from fat, 45 to 65 percent from carbohydrate, and 10 to 35 percent from protein for a generally healthy diet. Consuming very low amounts of carbohydrate causes the body to burn fat for energy rather than carbohydrate, which in turn causes the formation of chemicals called ketones as a by-product. The ketogenic diet is so called because following it causes the body to generate ketones. There’s also some evidence that following the diet may help people with type 2 diabetes lower their blood sugar levels, possibly by encouraging weight loss. And what about multiple sclerosis MS? Could the keto diet have any effect on the course of MS? After six months of the keto diet, their gut microbiome resembled that of the healthy control group in the study.
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