These days, it seems like everyone is talking about the ketogenic (in a nutshell, keto) diet – the low-carbohydrate, moderate protein, high-fat eating plan that transforms your body right into a fat-burning machine. Hollywood stars and professional athletes have publicly touted this diet’s benefits, from slimming down, lowering blood sugar, fighting inflammation, reducing cancer risk, increasing energy, to slowing aging. So is keto something that you should consider dealing with? The following will explain what this specific diet is all about, the professionals and cons, as well as the problems to look out for.
What Is Keto?
Normally, the body uses glucose as the main source of fuel for energy. If you are on a keto diet and you are eating very few carbs with only moderate amounts of protein (excess protein can be converted to carbs), your body switches its fuel supply to run mostly on fat. The liver produces ketones (a kind of fatty acid) from fat. These ketones turn into a fuel source for your body, especially the brain which consumes plenty of energy and can run on either glucose or ketones.
Once the body produces ketones, it enters a metabolic state called ketosis. Fasting is the easiest way to attain ketosis. When you are fasting or eating hardly any carbs and only moderate amounts of protein, your body turns to burning stored fat for fuel. This is why people tend to lose more weight on the keto diet.
Benefits Of The Keto Diet
The keto diet isn’t new. It started being used in the 1920s as a medical therapy to take care of epilepsy in children, but when anti-epileptic drugs came to the marketplace, the diet fell into obscurity until recently. Given its success in reducing the number of seizures in epileptic patients, progressively more research is being done on the ability of the diet to treat a variety of neurologic disorders and other types of chronic illnesses.
Neurodegenerative diseases. New research indicates the benefits of keto in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, autism, and multiple sclerosis (MS). It may also be protective in traumatic brain injury and stroke. One theory for keto’s neuroprotective effects is that the ketones produced during ketosis provide additional fuel to brain cells, which may help those cells resist the damage from inflammation due to these diseases.
Obesity and weight loss. For anyone who is trying to lose weight, the keto diet is very effective as it really helps to access and shed your system fat. Constant hunger may be the biggest issue when you make an effort to lose weight. The keto diet helps avoid this issue because reducing carb consumption and increasing fat intake promote satiety, making it easier for people to adhere to the diet. In a study, obese test subjects lost double the number of weight within 24 weeks going on a low-carb diet (20.7 lbs) when compared to group on a low-fat diet (10.5 lbs).
Type 2 diabetes. Aside from weight loss, the keto diet also helps enhance insulin sensitivity, which is ideal for anyone with type 2 diabetes. In a study published in Nutrition & Metabolism, researchers noted that diabetics who ate low-carb keto diets could actually significantly reduce their reliance on diabetes medication and could even reverse it eventually. Additionally, it improves other health markers such as for example lowering triglyceride and LDL (bad) cholesterol and raising HDL (good) cholesterol.
Cancer. Most people are unaware that cancer cells’ main fuel is glucose. That means eating the right diet can help suppress cancer growth. Because the keto diet is very lower in carbs, it deprives the cancer cells of their primary source of fuel, which is sugar. Once the body produces ketones, the healthy cells may use that as energy but not the cancer cells, so that they are effectively being starved to death. As early as 1987, studies on keto diets have previously demonstrated reduced tumor growth and improved survival for a number of cancers.