What do you think a ketogenic diet is? Recently, many have been confused about what a ketogenic diet is. Many think that it’s some sort of aged-people diet. This is not so. Below is a good elaboration on all you need to know about the ketogenic diet.
What is a ketogenic diet?
The ketogenic diet which may also be referred to as keto diet is a low-carb high-fat diet rich in proteins and fats. It offers so many health benefits ranging from losing weight to reducing the chances of diabetes, cancer epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s disease. It shares so many similarities with Atkins and low-carb diets.
Medically, the Keto diet causes the body to release ketones into the bloodstream. Normally, cells utilize blood sugar obtained from carbohydrates breakdown as the body’s main source of energy. At times when there is no circulating blood sugar may be due to hunger, the body through the process known as ketosis breaks down stored fat into small molecules called ketone bodies.
Once ketosis occurs, most cells then start using ketone bodies to generate energy until we start eating carbohydrates again. This unusual shift from using circulating glucose to using ketone bodies obtained from fat breakdown as a source of energy normally happens when only a little amount of carbohydrate is consumed within a few days. The duration for ketosis to occur varies in different individuals.
Since the Ketogenic diet contains ketone bodies, it’s of great health benefits to patients suffering from type 2 diabetes. Examples of the ketogenic diet include fibrous vegetables, seeds, oils, butter, nuts, fish, cheeses, sausage, few fruits, processed meat, and egg. Most people find it difficult to abide by this diet because it has no carbohydrates. Some people find this diet nauseating at the beginning.
Note from research, a ketogenic diet has been proven to worsen the health conditions of patients with kidney or renal diseases.
Why is a ketogenic diet healthy?
For some time now there have been controversies over the health benefits of a keto diet. Though evidence has shown that a keto diet reduces seizures in children, yet there are still several questions concerning the health benefits of a keto diet for other neuromyopathies like autism, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, sleep disorders, and even brain cancer. However, there to scientific research stating that these neuromyopathies can be treated with a keto diet.
Below we present you with some proven health benefits of a ketogenic diet.
1.Helps in Losing Weight
One of the main health benefits of a ketogenic diet is weight loss. Research has shown that patients go on a ketogenic or very low carbohydrate diet in order to lose weight fast compared to those on a more traditional low-fat diet, or even a Mediterranean diet. However, the only issue with this is that a Ketogenic diet is effective only for short-term weight loss. Therefore dieting on keto food for long-term weight loss effect produces no result.
2. Helps in losing belly fat
Belly fats are fats that tend to lodge around abdominal organs.
Ketogenic diets are very effective at reducing these deadly abdominal fat. In fact, a greater proportion of the fat people lose on ketogenic diets seems to come from the abdominal region.
3.Reduces blood sugar for patients with type 2 diabetes
A ketogenic diet also reduces the blood sugar level of patients with type 2 diabetes, at least in the short term. Because ketogenic food only involves the utilization of ketone bodies obtained from its breakdown, there is a reduced risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
4. Increases the Level of ‘Good’ HDL Cholesterol
Ketogenic diet increases the level of High-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol. This, in turn, lowers the level your risk of heart disease
“Good” HDL levels are best increased by eating fat and ketogenic diets.
People who have high “bad” LDL are much more likely to have heart attacks because smaller particles are linked to a higher risk of heart disease, while larger particles are linked to a lower risk.
It turns out that ketogenic diets increase the size of “bad” LDL particles while reducing the number of total LDL particles in your bloodstream. However, increasing your ketogenic diet intake can boost your heart health.
5. Provides you with more energy.
Ketogenic diets provide more energy to the brain than high carb diets because ketogenic diets through the process of ketosis help the brain create more mitochondria-the energy storage systems of cells.
Note that people with keto flu usually have low energy even after 2 or 3 weeks of eating a ketogenic diet.
6.Lowers body inflammation
Inflammation is a localized condition whereby part of the body becomes reddened, swollen, hot, and often painful, especially as a reaction to injury or infection. It is is a body’s natural response to antigens. The ketogenic diet switches off inflammatory pathways by producing fewer free radicals from ketones.
7.Strengthens your brain
Research has proven that Keto diets were used to cure epilepsy and seizure.
In relation to this research, keto diet and Alzheimer’s Disease have been given an interest. Scientists have discovered that Keto dieting brings about increased cognition and enhanced memory in adults with impairments in these areas. Keto diets have also improved at all stages of dementia and against Parkinson’s disease as well.
Studies have shown that switching to keto diets can protect your brain from cognitive decline and improve memory.
8.Keeps uric acid levels in check
Kidney stones and gout are mostly caused by elevated uric acid, calcium, oxalate, and phosphorus levels. These imbalances result from dehydration, obesity, sugar consumption, and eating or drinking high-purines and alcoholic food.
ketogenic diet temporarily raises uric acid levels, especially during dehydration. Over time, this drops to its initial low.
As the body’s uric acid level goes up, the body ketone level also goes up. But this is not so after some time since despite ketones level staying up, the uric acid level starts to drop. Based on these facts and clinical observations in many patients, uric acid returns to or below its pre-diet baseline even if the patient is in a state of nutritional ketosis.
9.Assists Women’s Health
Research and facts have shown that keto diets enhance fertility in females.
It has also been shown that Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) can be treated effectively with Keto dieting. When a PCOS patient is dieting on Keto food, there is a reduction in symptoms such as prolonged menstrual periods, acne, and obesity.
Apart from maintaining stable blood sugar levels low, keto diets also help in equilibrating and stabilizing other hormone levels, in women.
10.Gains muscle and improves endurance
A ketogenic diet has been shown to promote muscle gain. over the years, many bodybuilders have used ketogenic dietary approach to gain more muscle and less fat. Once athletes are fully adapted to consuming a ketogenic diet, their mental and physical performance is significantly improved.