What is the Ketogenic Diet?
The Ketogenic diet refers to a form of dieting where high fats, adequate protein and low carbs are consumed. Its aim is to deplete the body’s glycogen reserves so that it relies on fat and protein for energy. The body then undergoes Ketosis, which is a metabolic state in which your liver produces a high number of Ketones as an alternative fuel source for the brain. The idea is to fine-tune nutritional intake in order to send the body into Ketosis.
When the body enters a state of Ketosis when it no longer has stores of glycogen sugar to fuel its energy needs. With sugar out of the way, the body has no choice but to tap its stores of fat to get by. The liver converts fat reserves into Ketones to present to the body as an energy source. This is why the Keto program is known as a good way to lose fat.
Check out the Top 10 benefits below.
Top 10 Benefits of The Ketogenic Diet
1. Excellent for Weight loss
Without a doubt, weight loss is the primary goal of the keto diet. It works because it makes the body look to its fat reserves to power its metabolism. When the body is deprived of carbs, it enters a state of ketosis. Blood sugar and insulin levels fall when that happens.
As the body taps the energy in fat cells, they release considerable quantities of water, making for some great weight loss. The fat cells are then able to enter the bloodstream and make their way to the liver, where they are turned into Ketones for energy processing. As long as your diet allows you to stay in a caloric deficit, you get to enjoy the weight loss benefits of the Keto diet.
2. Less of an Appetite
Getting into a state of Ketosis balances blood sugar, provides the brain with stable energy, and completely eliminates cravings. Many people state that they barely think about food between meals anymore!
3. Improved Ability to Focus
The Ketones produced from a low-carb diet are a much more efficient source of energy than glucose. Studies have indicated that they can improve cognitive impairment and even help with diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The high-fat diet helps to support the balance of essential omega 3s and omega 6s which are vital for optimal brain function. Additionally, Ketosis is able to boost mitochondria production and adenosine triphosphate within the brain’s memory cells, thereby improving mental performance and clarity.
When you choose a regular diet that puts carbs into the body, your brain has to deal with the rise and fall in sugar levels that happens as a result. Inconsistent energy levels can make it hard for the brain to focus. With the Keto diet, however, the energy source is constant and consistent. The brain is better able to stay focused.
4. Feel More Energized
When you are on a regular diet, your body is always on the verge of running out of energy. You need to constantly eat and refuel. With a Keto diet, however, the body taps its fat reserves, a nearly unending energy source. The body, then, is able to maintain constant energy levels throughout the day. The result is, you end up feeling a lot more energetic!
5. Helps Stabilize Diabetes
When you suffer from Type II diabetes, your body experiences high levels of insulin. Since the Keto diet takes excess sugar from your diet, it helps stabilize HbA1c counts, and reverse Type II diabetes.
6. Improves Levels of Good Cholesterol
HDL cholesterol helps get rid of the body’s bad cholesterol reserves. When you’re on Keto, your body’s triglyceride levels fall and your HDL cholesterol levels rise.
7. Improves Blood Pressure
When you’re on the Keto diet, it drops your blood pressure. Many people on the Keto diet find that they are able to stop taking blood pressure medicine altogether!
High blood pressure significantly increases the risk of several diseases and is a leading cause of deaths worldwide. A low-carb diet has been proven to be more effective than a low-fat diet in reducing blood pressure. In fact, some claim that it is just as effective as taking pills. This combined with the weight loss derived from a Ketogenic diet, is sure to vastly improve cardiovascular health and function.
8. Reduce risk of Chronic Disease
A Ketogenic diet can boost the body’s defense against a variety of conditions. By reducing inflammation, and improving mitochondrial function, it can help to mitigate the risk of developing several chronic diseases. Cancer cells typically possess abnormal mitochondria, which need an increased supply of glycogen. Ketosis allows for normal cells to be fed while starving the cancer cells, as they are unable to utilize the Ketones for energy because of their dysfunctional mitochondria.
9. Radiant Skin
Skin conditions like eczema, acne, and psoriasis are often rooted in chronic inflammation or autoimmunity. Often, inflammatory processes unnecessarily attack different structures of the skin which results in various conditions. For example, acne is associated with inflammation of the sebaceous glands in the skin whereas eczema is generalized inflammation of the skin cells.
Things like chemical exposure, environmental allergies, chronic stress, hormone imbalance, and imbalances in gut bacteria can all contribute to these skin conditions. While the factors should also be addressed, following a Ketogenic diet can also help to quickly lower inflammation and accelerate healing. Who doesn’t want radiant looking skin?
What we are beginning to understand in recent health studies is that mitochondrial health may be more important then we know. Mitochondria has a profound impact on energy production, inflammation levels, and gene expression (and therefore overall function of the body), the mitochondrial theory of aging has emerged.
Does the Ketogentic Diet sound appealing to you? Are you looking to lose weight or improve your overall health?
Sources: The Ketogenic Diet and Chronic Disease by Greg Schmaus; 10 Benefits of Low Carb Ketogenic Diets (Section 7) – Healthline; Benefits of Ketogenic Diet – Dr. Jockers