US government officials have said a ketogenic diet could be used to improve military success.

At a high-level defense industry conference, a top boss confirmed the Pentagon had been looking at nutritional research and the effects of how following a ketogenic diet could positively impact their servicemen.

Ketogenic diets are very low in carbohydrate, with a higher proportion of energy coming from protein and fat. Ketogenic diets have been used to great success by some people with diabetes to help with weight loss and blood glucose control.

The ketogenic diet helps the body burn fat for fuel, and US government officials think that this could help military divers stay underwater for longer.

Lisa Sanders, director of science and technology at US Special Operations Command, said: “One of the effects of truly being in ketosis is that it changes the way your body handles oxygen deprivation, so you can actually stay underwater at [deeper] depths for longer periods of time and not go into oxygen seizures.

“That kind of technology is available today. We can tell whether you are or are not in ketosis. We have really good indications of how to put you in ketosis. And we know statistically what that does to your ability to sustain oxygen.”

However, she did accept that the Pentagon does not have the “authority” to enforce an eating plan on people.

In the UK, a significant number of people are turning to lower carbohydrate approaches that swap out processed foods that can often be sugary for healthy whole foods.

More than 415,000 people have joined Diabetes Digital Media’s Low Carb Program since its launch in 2015, which has demonstrated one in four people put type 2 diabetes into remission at the one-year mark.

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