These days, it looks 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 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 down aging. So is keto something that you should consider dealing with? The following will explain what this diet is all about, the professionals and cons, and also the problems to look out for.
What Is Keto?
Normally, the body uses glucose because the main way to obtain fuel for energy. While you are on a keto diet and you are eating very few carbs with only moderate amounts 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 turn into a fuel source for your body, especially the mind which consumes a lot 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 accomplish ketosis. If you are fasting or eating hardly any carbs and only moderate levels 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 isn’t new. It started used in the 1920s as a medical therapy to treat epilepsy in children, however when anti-epileptic drugs came to the market, the dietary plan fell into obscurity until recently. Given its success in reducing the number of seizures in epileptic patients, increasingly more research is being done on the ability of the diet to treat a variety of neurologic disorders and other forms of chronic illnesses.
Neurodegenerative diseases. New research indicates the advantages of keto in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, autism, and multiple sclerosis (MS). It could 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. In case you are attempting to lose weight, the keto diet is very effective as it really helps to access and shed the body fat. Constant hunger may be the biggest issue when you make an effort to shed 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 quantity 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, 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 could actually 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 low in carbs, it deprives the cancer cells of these primary source of fuel, that is sugar. Once the body produces ketones, the healthy cells may use that as energy however, not the cancer cells, so that they are effectively being starved to death. As soon as 1987, studies on keto diets have already demonstrated reduced tumor growth and improved survival for several cancers.