Many of you have probably heard about the recent “trendy” ketogenic (keto) weight loss diet for humans (a variation of this diet popped up in the last few decades as the Atkins Diet). It is otherwise known as a Low Carbohydrate/High Fat/Adequate Protein diet or lifestyle. The ketogenic diet, as it is known today, was developed in the 1920s at the Mayo Clinic to treat epilepsy. However, fasting, which mimics ketogenic-type diets, has been used by humans in attempts to treat illness since 500 B.C.
What is a ketogenic or “keto” diet?
The mammalian body (be it human, canine, feline, etc.) has two major metabolic pathways involved in energy production. The body’s main two pathways use either glucose (sugar derived from carbohydrates, and in some cases protein/amino acids through a process called gluconeogenesis) or ketones (derived from fat) to power its cells. We generally think of the glucose pathway as the “standard” pathway for bodies to derive energy.