Introduction to the ketogenic diet

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Many readers may not be familiar with the ketogenic diet. This chapter discusses some general ideas about ketogenic diets, as well as defining terms that may be helpful.

In the most general terms, a ketogenic diet is any diet that causes ketone bodies to be produced by the liver, shifting the body's metabolism away from glucose and towards fat utilization. More specifically, a ketogenic diet is one that restricts carbohydrates below a certain level (generally 100 grams per day), inducing a series of adaptations to take place. Protein and fat intake are variable, depending on the goal of the dieter. However, the ultimate determinant of whether a diet is ketogenic or not is the presence (or absence) of carbohydrates.

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