These days, it seems like everyone is talking about the ketogenic (in short, keto) diet – the very low-carbohydrate, moderate protein, high-fat eating plan 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 levels, fighting inflammation, reducing cancer risk, increasing energy, to slowing down aging. So is keto a thing that you should consider taking on? The next will explain what this specific diet is all about, the professionals and cons, in addition to the problems to check out for.
What Is Keto?
Normally, the body uses glucose as the main way to obtain fuel for energy. While you are on a keto diet and you also are eating hardly any carbs with only moderate levels of protein (excess protein can be converted to carbs), the body switches its fuel supply to run mostly on fat. The liver produces ketones (a type of fatty acid) from fat. These ketones turn into a fuel source for your body, especially the mind 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 may be the easiest way to attain ketosis. While you are fasting or eating very few carbs and only moderate amounts of protein, the body turns to burning stored fat for fuel. That is why people tend to lose more weight on the keto diet.
Benefits Of The Keto Diet
The keto diet is not 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 marketplace, the dietary plan fell into obscurity until recently. Given its success in reducing the amount of seizures in epileptic patients, progressively more research is being done on the power of the diet to take care of a variety of neurologic disorders and other forms of chronic illnesses.
Neurodegenerative diseases. New research indicates some great 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 might help those cells resist the damage from inflammation due to these diseases.
Obesity and weight loss. For anyone who is dieting, the keto diet is very effective as it helps to access and shed your body fat. Constant hunger is the biggest issue when you make an effort 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 amount 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. Apart from weight loss, the keto diet also helps enhance insulin sensitivity, which is ideal for a person 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 reliance on diabetes medication and could even reverse it eventually. Additionally, it improves other health markers such as 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 their primary source of fuel, which is sugar. When 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 already demonstrated reduced tumor growth and improved survival for several cancers.