Scientists doubt the benefits of the keto diet for women

American scientists from the University of California at Riverside are studying how the popular keto diet and intermittent fasting work at the molecular level and whether men and women benefit from them equally.

Scientists have doubted the benefits of the keto diet for women 8597

Ketogenic diet or the keto diet is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat, moderate-protein diet. Initially used in the treatment of epilepsy in children.

The idea behind the keto diet is that low carbs and high levels of fat and protein force the body to use fat for fuel. And the person loses weight. The diet is very popular – there is a whole industry of keto products in the world.

Intermittent fasting works on a similar principle, limiting food intake to small periods of time during the day. During hours without food, the body depletes sugar reserves and switches to burning fat. Fat is converted into ketone bodies, which the brain uses as fuel.

Despite the popularity of these diets, scientists have not yet identified the genes that are responsible for their effectiveness. So far, experts have come to the conclusion that the keto diet is less effective for women, since fats are consumed differently in the male and female bodies.

“The keto diet doesn't seem to work for women because we metabolize fat differently and have different genes that turn on and off in response to fasting. But we don't really know why this happens or how it happens – that's what we hope to understand,” said professor of radiology and cell biology Francis Sladek.

You can even gain weight from carrots if you eat tons of them

Regardless of whether diets are effective for men and women, researchers do not recommend taking any food restrictions to the extreme. It is not clear whether all the fat is processed by the body during keto diets or intermittent fasting, or whether it is simply stored in the body. Standard Japanese diets contain 20% fat, American diets average 35%, and keto diets can contain up to 70 or 80% – possibly unacceptably high fat, scientists warn.

“If you eat a lot of fat , it will eventually make you fat. Basically, if you eat too much of anything, you will gain weight. Even if it's just one carrot. The most important thing is the quantity and quality of the foods you eat. And also the time you do it,” said Francis Sladek.