What is the Ketogenic Diet and How does it Work?

The ketogenic diet is also known as the low carb diet, and is based around placing the body into a state of ketosis. When we eat foods high in carbohydrates, such as sugary cereal, cake and bread, the body produces glucose and insulin.

Glucose is the body’s preferred energy source, as it’s the easiest molecule for it to convert and use as energy. Insulin is produced to take the glucose around the bloodstream.

As the fats taken in aren’t needed, they’re stored. By lowering the amount of carbohydrates you take in, the body goes into a state of ketosis. This is a natural process the body initiates when it’s in survival mode, due to low food intake. During ketosis, ketones are produced from the breakdown of fats in the liver.

What to eat on a Ketogenic Diet

Recommended – grass-fed and wild animal sources; healthy fats; non-starchy vegetables, and fruits.

Recommended Occasionally: vegetables; mushrooms and fruits; grain-fed animal sources and full fat dairy; nuts and seeds; fermented soy products and some alcohol.

Not Recommended: all grains; factory-farmed pork and fish; processed foods; artificial sweeteners; refined fats and tropical fruits.

Ketogenic Diet: 5 Things to Know

 

1. Increases insulin sensitivity and lowers blood sugar.

Decreased insulin sensitivity sets the stage for type 2 diabetes, coronary artery disease, and even Alzheimer’s disease. Going aggressively low carb and increasing dietary fat has a dramatic effect: it both lowers blood sugar and increases insulin sensitivity. This type of dietary change has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity as much as 75 percent!

2. Helps treat and prevent neurodegenerative disease.

Shifting brain cell metabolism away from sugar in favor of burning ketones is now being looked upon not only as a way of preventing neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s but actually treating conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and epilepsy.

3. Helps people lose more weight.

Multiple studies have demonstrated that the Ketogenic Diet is far superior to a low-fat program in terms of controlling hunger, regulating appetite, and actually leading to more weight loss. Weight loss is a powerful goal as it relates to health, as being overweight and/or obese is strongly associated with increased risk for a multitude of health-related issues including coronary artery disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and even cancer.

4. Reduces inflammation.

The Ketogenic Diet can dramatically reduce inflammation. This may be one of its greatest attributes in terms of what it can do for overall health because inflammation affects our propensity for disease. Inflammation is the fundamental mechanism underlying all of our chronic degenerative conditions that we so fear, and with good reason. The World Health Organization now recognizes chronic degenerative conditions, like Alzheimer’s disease, coronary artery disease, diabetes, and cancer, as representing the No. 1 cause of death in the world. And “going keto” works by reducing inflammation, the chief instigator of these and so many other dreaded conditions.

5. Keeps our genes healthy by reducing free radicals.

The Ketogenic Diet leads to a dramatic reduction in the production of free radicals. Free radicals are the by-product of energy production by the mitochondria, which is the energy powerhouse within our cells. When mitochondria are burning sugar, the amount of damaging free radicals produced is significantly greater in comparison to when mitochondria are burning ketones for fuel. Free radicals are molecules that can damage protein, fat, and even our DNA.

 

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The Ketogenic Diet is highly recommended, but it’s best done under a doctor’s supervision. Please contact us if you have any questions.