These days, it seems like everyone is talking about the ketogenic (in short, keto) diet – the very low-carbohydrate, moderate protein, high-fat diet program that transforms your body into a fat-burning machine. Hollywood stars and professional athletes have publicly touted this diet’s benefits, from losing weight, lowering blood sugar, fighting inflammation, reducing cancer risk, increasing energy, to slowing aging. So is keto a thing that you should consider taking on? The following will explain what this specific diet is all about, the professionals and cons, in addition to the problems to look out for.
What Is Keto?
Normally, the body uses glucose because the main way to obtain fuel for energy. When you are on a keto diet and you are eating hardly any carbs with only moderate levels of protein (excess protein could be converted to carbs), your body switches its fuel supply to perform mostly on fat. The liver produces ketones (a type of fatty acid) from fat. These ketones become a fuel source for the body, especially the brain which consumes a lot of energy and can operate on either glucose or ketones.
When the body produces ketones, it enters a metabolic state called ketosis. Fasting may be the easiest way to accomplish ketosis. While you are fasting or eating hardly any carbs and only moderate levels of protein, your system turns to burning stored fat for fuel. This is why people tend to lose more weight on the keto diet.
GREAT THINGS ABOUT The Keto Diet
The keto diet isn’t new. It started being used in the 1920s as a medical therapy to treat epilepsy in children, however when anti-epileptic drugs came to the market, the diet fell into obscurity until recently. Given its success in reducing the number of seizures in epileptic patients, a lot more research has been done on the power of the diet to take care of 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 caused by these diseases.
Obesity and weight loss. If you are dieting, the keto diet is quite effective as it really helps to access and shed your body fat. Constant hunger may be the biggest issue when you try to shed weight. The keto diet helps avoid this problem because reducing carb consumption and increasing fat intake promote satiety, making it easier for people to adhere to the diet. In a report, obese test subjects lost double the quantity of weight within 24 weeks going on a low-carb diet (20.7 lbs) compared to the group on a low-fat diet (10.5 lbs).
Type 2 diabetes. Apart from weight loss, the keto diet also helps enhance insulin sensitivity, that 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 were able to significantly reduce their dependence on diabetes medication and may 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 not aware that cancer cells’ main fuel is glucose. Which means eating the right diet may help suppress cancer growth. Since the keto diet is very lower in carbs, it deprives the cancer cells of these primary source of fuel, which is sugar. When the body produces ketones, the healthy cells can use that as energy however, not the cancer cells, so 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.