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keto diet, ketogenic diet, diabetes, military

Why the U.S. Military Endorses the Keto Diet

The keto diet is often recommended for diabetes to control blood glucose levels. Now, the military is recommending the diet for its divers and other members of the armed forces.

Research has shown that putting the body in a state of ketosis allows it to handle oxygen differently, and helps Navy SEALs stay underwater for longer periods of time. The technology is available today to detect whether the body is in a state of ketosis and can handle being under water at deep levels for longer.

In addition to deep sea divers and those on submarines, the keto diet increases lean muscle mass and overall physical health for all members of the armed forces.

Controversy sparked by U.S. military

However, this idea has sparked controversy due to the fact that the Pentagon does not have the authority to tell anyone how to eat. It brings up the issues of free will, personal choice, and freedom. Not to mention that each individual will respond to the keto diet in different ways, so what’s safe for one person may not be safe for someone else.

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What is the keto diet?

What is a ketogenic diet? A keto diet is a diet high  in protein and fat and low in carbs, in which the body produces ketones in the liver to be used for energy.

In a normal diet (high in carbohydrates), your body will use glucose as the main source of energy. Since glucose is your primary energy, fats are not needed and end up being stored. When you lower your carb intake for the keto diet, your body enters a state called ketosis, a normal metabolic process in which the body doesn’t have enough glucose for energy, so it burns stored fats instead.

The ketogenic diet can help you lose excess fat, which is found to be closely linked to type 2 diabetes and prediabetes. One study showed that a ketogenic diet improved the insulin sensitivity by 75%. Another study produced results showing that some type 2 diabetics found that they were able to stop all diabetes medications.

Side effects of the keto diet

Although it’s generally regarded as healthy, the keto diet does have a few side effects. The state of ketosis should not be confused with ketoacidosis, which can be very dangerous for those with diabetes.

  • Possible flu-like symptoms that can occur when you first start the keto diet, that will soon pass.
  • Occasional constipation.
  • Vitamin deficiency.
  • Muscle loss.
  • Kidney damage if you don’t drink enough water.
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Conclusion

It remains to be seen whether the Pentagon will officially recommend the ketogenic diet for its members. Eating a diet low in carbs and high in protein and good fats is beneficial to health for those with and without diabetes.