In what is bound to be a controversial decision, the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) is pondering establishing a mandatory keto diet for its maritime operators. The rationale behind the move is that such a diet would make diving operations more efficient and effective.
A ketogenic diet is high in fat with a moderate intake of protein and very limited carbohydrates. The goal is to force the body into ketosis, which means instead of using carbs for fuel, the body adjusts and utilizes fats, thereby making it easier to burn through a person’s established stores of fat. Butter, oils, nuts, cheese, meat, fish, eggs, and low-carb vegetables are the staples of a keto diet.
“You can carry even more calories because fats weigh less, which is an advantage,” said Dr. Jeff Volek, a professor at Ohio State University’s Department of Human Sciences, in a statement to Military Times.
Lisa Sanders, SOCOM’s director of science and technology, said in a press interview during the 2019 Special Operations Forces Industry Conference, that “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 depths for longer periods of time and not go into oxygen seizures.”