The ketogenic diet has been popular for quite some time, but even though scientists have proven its benefits several times, there are still skeptics.
I've been following the career and research of Dominic D'Agostino, one of the top experts on the ketogenic diet and ketone supplementation, for a long time, so I decided to share his opinions and views with you.
Dr. Dominic D'Agostino's Story on Ketosis
Dominic D'Agostino, a professor at the University of South Florida, has been researching the keto diet for over ten years.
His focus is on human physiology and pharmacology, drug research, and energy metabolites.
However, he was also interested in enhancing the performance and safety of NASA astronauts and military personnel in extreme environments through the keto diet.
His lab tests and develops nutritional strategies and metabolic-based supplements for cancer, seizures, neurological disorders, and metabolic wellness.
The ketogenic diet was used 100 years ago to treat epilepsy symptoms and seizures.
Today, D'Agostino and his fellow researchers are trying to discover how this diet can be used against cancer, neurological disorders and enhancing military personnel's resilience and safety in extreme environments.
He's best known for his controversial idea that food can be used as medicine against severe illnesses like cancer, lifting 500 pounds after a week of fasting, and holding a record for most weight squatted in 24 hours.
D'Agostino also gives presentations and podcasts followed by millions of people.
Here's what he has to say on the keto topic.
Other diet plans:
What is Ketosis and What are Its Benefits?
D'Agostino approaches ketosis from the concept of fasting because people mostly know about this state in the context of diabetic ketoacidosis specific to type 1 diabetes.
He sees this state as a means to preserve brain energy fuel flow when our bodies are faced with starvation or eliminate or limit carbohydrates from foods.
He says that the ketogenic diet is the only diet defined by an elevation of a biomarker that can be measured with commercially available technology.
So, suppose you decide to start practicing the keto diet because of type 2 diabetes, epilepsy, or weight loss.
In that case, you can buy a ketone blood meter and measure blood glucose and the ketone body beta-hydroxybutyrate to monitor and document your journey.
This means that you can plan and construct your meals according to the ratio of essential macronutrient ratio that defines the ketogenic diet, that is, the fat to protein to carbs ratio.
Basically, ketosis is a metabolic state in which there's a high concentration of ketones in your blood.
While in this state, your body has limited access to glucose (blood sugar) and uses fat as fuel .
You can start this metabolic state if you follow the ratio of:
- 90–60% fat
- 10–30% protein, and
- 10% or fewer carbs
It depends on the person and their metabolism, but this diet will most certainly put you in a state of ketosis — a natural metabolic state.
While in this state, our bodies produce ketones from fat instead of carbs and use them for energy.
To put it in simpler terms, a high-fat, low-carb diet will put you in a state of ketosis that will reduce your body's glucose and water stores, resulting in quick weight loss .
In the long term, this state could suppress your appetite leading to fewer calorie intake.
As doctor Dom himself says:
“Enhancing your metabolic resilience can make you better in performing cognitively and physically under austere environments where you have limited food availability and also where the partial pressure of oxygen may be lower, for example at altitude, or higher, your extreme environments where you're breathing high-pressure oxygen.”
The Main Function of Ketones
It's a common misconception that our brain can't function without carbs.
However, research has revealed that even though some brain cells need glucose to function properly, the largest portion of our brain can use ketones as fuel.
Moreover, our brain, and other organs, can use glucose from protein and other molecules.
So, low-carb nutrition won't damage your brain or stress your organism.
6 Major Benefits
Research has also revealed the ketogenic diet provides numerous health advantages and is beneficial against things like:
- Weight loss
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes, and
- Parkinson’s disease
Does Dr. Dom Practice What He Preaches?
Absolutely, Dr. Dom eats a ketogenic diet 95% of the time. He believes the meals he eats are pretty indulgent and practical. In his own words:
“I can eat in the morning and not get hungry in the afternoon and that has a practical advantage. And I actually like the food, I think of it as fairly indulgent, not very restrictive because your palate adapts over time and you gradually wean yourself off of sweet foods and you gain a liking to fatty, salty foods.”
Keto Diet Mistakes People Make
According to Dr. Dom, the main mistake people make is they practice keto for the wrong reasons.
He believes people switch to keto mainly to lose weight, and he thinks that nutritional ketosis isn't essential for weight loss, even though it may help.
Another mistake he observed in people who use keto for general health purposes is they're afraid to go in and out of ketosis as they believe they're doing something wrong.
However, Dr. Dom thinks that unless you're using foods as medicine, it's not good to be in constant metabolic ketosis.
He actually says it's good to drift in and out and keep your metabolism flexible.
Why the Keto Diet Helped His Eczema
Besides research, Dr. Dom's own body showed him the health advantages of keto.
While eating diets different from keto, the scientist had a skin condition — eczema, which is essentially an inflammation.
Once he switched to keto, he could see a quick improvement, leading him to believe keto might also be medicine for inflammatory processes.
Final Verdict on Dr. Dominic D’Agostino's Keto Story
Personally, I love the idea of using foods to heal different diseases, and I believe it's possible to become healthy and achieve optimal performance by minding what you're feeding your body to and using keto supplements.
Dr. Dom's data is convincing, and he has excellent support in the medical world.
But, I'd like to know what you think about this.
Do you think consuming a specific dietary regimen could heal illnesses?
Please share your thoughts in the comments, I’d love to hear your opinion. Let's discuss!