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Ketoacidosis and Ketones
It's amazing how with millions of low carbers being healthy - that a single person who gets an UNRELATED ketoacidosis can cause a news scare. It shows how the media loves a horror story.
First off, what are ketones. I have an entire article on Ketones and Ketosis. To summarize, ketosis is simply the state of burning fat. It's the normal thing your body does. Ketones are the leftover bits from the fatty acids when they're burned by your body. So again, these are normal EVERYDAY things that happens when your body burns fat. This is something that every dieter wants to happen.
All diets cause fat to burn. It doesn't matter if it's low carb, Atkins, Weight Watchers, South Beach, or anything else. The aim in all of them is for your body to burn fat so that you have less fat in your body.
So in essence Ketosis happens when you are burning fat, and your body is handling and removing that fat. There is fat being processed in this situation - NOT protein or sugar.
In fact, according to Wikipedia, "The heart and brain operate 25% more efficiently using ketones as a source of energy." Your body just wasn't meant to run on sugar or Ring Dings.
OK, so now onto this ketoacidosis. We might assume that words that look alike must have similar meanings. After all, Cat means the same thing as Catatonic, right? How about Wig and Wigwam? They're similar because they have similar letters right? WRONG.
Ketoacidosis is a HIGH SUGAR condition. It doesn't have to do with fat or protein. It's an overabundance of SUGAR in your system. It happens to diabetics when their systems are in overload.
In fact, again quoting Wikipedia: "Ketoacidosis should not be confused with ketosis, which is one of the body's normal processes for the metabolism of body fat ... Unlike ketoacidosis, for most of human history, ketosis has been a normal condition and an essential capability."
Now of course many people who are heavy ARE heavy because they are diabetic. So therefore you have diabetics on low carb. Therefore some people on low carb are going to have ketoacidosis because of their diabetes. But in fact, if you are eating a PROPER low carb diet you won't have sugars in your system - because the whole point of low carb is to avoid all sugar! You're much more likely to end up with ketoacidosis if you're on other diets that involve eating sugar / carbs - and of course people on other diets DO have ketoacidosis. It's just that the media doesn't love to report those situations with the GLEE they report an Atkins / low carber having a problem.
So when the Lancet journal in 2006 reported a SINGLE case of a heavy woman having ketoacidosis who supposedly was on a low carb diet, I found it ludicrous that it got any media attention.
I really love how Professor Klaus-Dieter Lessnau was quoted in CNN as having said "This problem may become more recognized because this diet is becoming increasingly popular worldwide". If anything low carb diets are becoming LESS followed as a "diet" and more a normal, integral part of daily living. People eat less white bread, eat less sugar. People go for whole wheat. Is the Professor saying that more people eating whole wheat and broccoli instead of white bread and hot dogs is a bad thing?
I really believe that doctors who make statements like this have no idea what a proper low carb diet is about. Considering the junk that most people eat every day, a low carb diet is a HUGE step up. It's whole wheats, lots of veggies, lots of water and healthy meats. If you're going to say "nobody should eat a ton of fat", well Low Carb agrees. If you're going to say "because a diabetic woman had a diabetic-related issue and happened to be on low carb, even though millions of people eat low carb without issue, low carb is at fault", that's as silly as saying that because some people die of old age while eating low carb that low carb causes old age.
Lisa Shea's Library of Low Carb Books
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