Are you interested in losing weight but don’t want to give up your favorite foods? Are you tired of diets that advocate low or no fats while you crave meats, butter and cheese? Is the idea of going on a plant-based diet just not for you? You may do very well going on the Ketogenic or Keto diet. Endorsed by many celebrities including Halle Berry, Tim McGraw, Gwneyth Paltrow, LeBron James, Katie Couric and the Kardashians just to name a few, the keto diet has been the subject of much debate among dietitians and doctors. Here are some reasons why the Keto diet could be just right for you.
What is the ketogenic diet anyway?
At this point in time even my dog is on a keto diet! He has diabetes and the Vet informed us that this is his best option to keep his blood sugars low.
You must be aware that the body uses sugar in the form of glycogen to function. The keto diet is extremely restricted in sugar which forces your body to use fat as fuel instead of glucose.
When the body does not get enough sugar for fuel, the liver is forced to turn the available fat into ketones that are used by the body as fuel – hence the term ketogenic.
This diet is a high fat diet with moderate amounts of protein. Depending on your carb intake the body reaches a state of ketosis in less than a week and stays there. As fat is used instead of sugar for fuel in the body, the weight loss is dramatic without any supposed restriction of calories.
While Weight loss is only one of the major benefits of switching to the Ketogenic diet, it is also amazing for people with glucose problems, autoimmune disorders, and gluten sensitivity.
One of the major benefits if the Ketogenic diet is also the increased energy most people experience. Its also a great diet for people who want to stop consuming highly processed foods and start eating natural, wholesome foods that fully nourish your body and mind.
The keto diet is such that it you should aim to get 60-75% of your daily calories from fat, 15-30% from protein and only 5-10% from carbohydrates. This usually means that you can eat only 20-50 grams of carbs in a day.
Medical Benefits of Ketogenic Diets
The application and implementation of the ketogenic diet has expanded considerably. Keto diets are often indicated as part of the treatment plan in a number of medical conditions.
This is basically the main reason for the development of the ketogenic diet. For some reason, the rate of epileptic seizures reduces when patients are placed on a keto diet.
Pediatric epileptic cases are the most responsive to the keto diet. There are children who have experience seizure elimination after a few years of using a keto diet.
Children with epilepsy are generally expected to fast for a few days before starting the ketogenic diet as part of their treatment.
Research suggests that the therapeutic efficacy of the ketogenic diets against tumor growth can be enhanced when combined with certain drugs and procedures under a “press-pulse” paradigm.
It is also promising to note that ketogenic diets drive the cancer cell into remission. This means that keto diets “starves cancer” to reduce the symptoms.
There are several indications that the memory functions of patients with Alzheimer’s disease improve after making use of a ketogenic diet.
Ketones are a great source of alternative energy for the brain especially when it has become resistant to insulin. Ketones also provide substrates (cholesterol) that help to repair damaged neurons and membranes. These all help to improve memory and cognition in Alzheimer patients.
It is generally agreed that carbohydrates are the main culprit in diabetes. Therefore, by reducing the amount of ingested carbohydrate by using a ketogenic diet, there are increased chances for improved blood sugar control.
Also, combining a keto diet with other diabetes treatment plans can significantly improve their overall effectiveness.
Many individuals with gluten allergy are undiagnosed with this condition. However, following a ketogenic diet showed improvement in related symptoms like digestive discomforts and bloating.
Most carbohydrate-rich foods are high in gluten. Thus, by using a keto diet, a lot of the gluten consumption is reduced to a minimum due to the elimination of a large variety of carbohydrates.
This is arguably the most common “intentional” use of the ketogenic diet today. It has found a niche for itself in the mainstream dieting trend.
Keto diets have become part of many dieting regimen due to its well acknowledged side effect of aiding weight loss.
Though initially maligned by many, the growing number of favorable weight loss results has helped the ketogenic to better embraced as a major weight loss program.
Besides the above medical benefits, ketogenic diets also provide some general health benefits which include the following.
Improved Insulin Sensitivity
This is obviously the first aim of a ketogenic diet. It helps to stabilize your insulin levels thereby improving fat burning.
Since protein is oxidized, it helps to preserve lean muscle. Losing lean muscle mass causes an individual’s metabolism to slow down as muscles are generally very metabolic. Using a keto diet actually helps to preserve your muscles while your body burns fat.
Controlled pH and respiratory function
A ketoc diet helps to decrease lactate thereby improving both pH and respiratory function. A state of ketosis therefore helps to keep your blood pH at a healthy level.
Improved Immune System
Using a ketogenic diet helps to fight off aging antioxidants while also reducing inflammation of the gut thereby making your immune system stronger.
Reduced Cholesterol Levels
Consuming fewer carbohydrates while you are on the keto diet will help to reduce blood cholesterol levels. This is due to the increased state of lipolysis. This leads to a reduction in LDL cholesterol levels and an increase in HDL cholesterol levels.
Reduced Appetite and Cravings
Adopting a ketogenic diet helps you to reduce both your appetite and cravings for calorie rich foods. As you begin eating healthy, satisfying, and beneficial high-fat foods, your hunger feelings will naturally start decreasing.
When using a ketogenic diet, your body becomes more of a fat-burner than a carbohydrate-dependent machine!
Once you know that you’re going to start on the Keto plan for maximum weight loss and health benefits you need to know what foods to eat, ingredients you need and the best ways to prepare them. Plus they’re great for the entire family!
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