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WSP 161 — Ketogenic Diets and Intermittent Fasting: Fads, Facts, and Fiction

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Saturdays
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 2 days
Date(s): Sep 28—Oct 5
Time: 10:00 am—4:00 pm
Drop Deadline: Sep 21
Unit: 1
Grade Restriction: No letter grade
Tuition: $340
Instructor(s): Lucia Aronica
Limit: 55
10:00 am—4:00 pm
Sep 28—Oct 5
2 days
Drop By
Sep 21
1 Unit
Grade Restriction
No letter grade
Lucia Aronica
What are fast-mimicking diets, and are they actually good for you? In this workshop, we will take a close look at two increasingly popular diet trends: extreme low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets (aka “keto”) and intermittent fasting (IF). By reproducing the biological effects of fasting, these diets promise to accelerate weight loss, enhance longevity, boost performance, and help treat a variety of diseases including diabetes, autoimmune disease, and neurological disorders. But do these diets really work? And if so, can people eat this way for a long time? We will answer these questions together and explore the promises, perils, and pitfalls of keto and IF.

Using the information covered on the first day of the workshop, students will be able to design their owner’s manual for keto and IF, including specific foods to eat and avoid, useful versus useless supplements, and tips and tricks for staying on track. During the week between class sessions, students will either test one of these diets, or ask questions to help decide if keto or IF is something they would like to try. During the second session, students will get their questions answered and their diet challenge protocols and progress reviewed. Students also will learn about alternative, less-restrictive dietary patterns that may provide some benefits of keto and IF, including variations of the standard protocols for athletes and for long-term health. Guest speakers include cardiologist Aseem Malhotra and researcher Andrew Koutnik.

Please note: Students should consult their physician or other healthcare professional before modifying their diets.

Lucia Aronica, Lecturer, Stanford Prevention Research Center

Lucia Aronica’s research investigates how diet affects gene activity through epigenetic modifications, and how we can use these modifications to design personalized weight-loss strategies. She has presented workshops on ketogenic diets for athletes for the Poliquin Strength Institute and Stanford Athletics. She has published research papers in Cell, Genes & Development, and the EMBO Journal. Aronica received a PhD from the Universität Wien.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.