The keto/ketogenic diet, also known as the low carb diet or low-carb high fat (LCHF), is a diet that contains very little or no carbs and high fat, which only partially answers the question of “what is a keto diet”. And believe us when we say blending and juicing is a great way to achieve it.
What is a Keto Diet, Benefits and More
This diet is aimed at shifting the body’s metabolism from burning carbohydrates to fats. Let’s break up this keto diet process to help you understand the overall concept better.
When you eat a high carb diet, your body produces two things: Insulin and Glucose. Glucose is the smallest and the easiest substance that your body converts and uses as energy. Thus, being the easiest, the body chooses glucose over other sources of energy. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas and its work is processing glucose in the blood to make sure that blood sugar levels don’t go too low or too high.
Since glucose is used as the primary energy source, fats are stored because they are not required. However, when you shift to a low carb diet, you trigger a process known as Ketosis.
During this state of Ketosis, the body is inclined to use more fats for energy rather than carbohydrates. In the process, ketones are produced as a result of the breakdown of fats by the liver.
If carbs are eliminated, then insulin won’t store excess calories as fat. Instead, the fats are broken down to produce energy. Your body adapts to the food you feed it. If you eliminate carbs and replace them with fats, then your body will digest the fats to produce energy. Digestion of fats has huge advantages to the body such as weight loss benefits, mental performance benefits, and physical benefits.
Benefits Of The Keto Diet
Have you been struggling with excess fat in your body? Or are you searching for the best way to shed off some weight? The ketogenic is a natural and effective way of losing those excess pounds. Eating carbohydrates is one of the major causes of being overweight. Why?
Because the carbs will be given the first priority, digested into glucose to produce energy while excess calories will be stored as fat. Eliminating carbohydrates from your diet leaves your body with one item that can be digested to produce energy; Fat. The fats won’t be stored rather they will be digested to produce energy. Also, less insulin is produced, turning your body into a fat burning machine.
Controlling Blood Sugar Levels
A ketogenic diet is a natural way of lowering blood sugar. Studies have also shown that Keto diet can be used as a way of managing and preventing Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is caused by high blood sugar levels in the body.
Adopting a ketogenic diet and cutting down high carb intake reduces the levels of blood sugar. For non-diabetic patients, this helps to prevent this disease. For diabetic patients, keto diet helps them to control and manage their condition.
Improved Mental Performance
Ketones are more efficient than sugar and thus, they good source of energy for the human brain. Over time, brain cells lose their ability to use glucose. That’s where the significance of ketones reveals itself. Ketones are more efficient than glucose per unit oxygen and thus they help to maintain aging brain cells.
Also, ketones act as a neuroprotective antioxidant to prevent harmful reactive oxygen cells from destroying brain cells. This keeps the brain active, nourished and performing effectively.
Increased Energy and Normalized Hunger
As mentioned earlier, fats are more reliable and effective as compared to carbohydrates. Switching to a ketogenic diet means that you will be giving your body a more useful and reliable energy source. You will feel more motivated and energized throughout the day. Also, this diet induces a normal state of hunger.
Keto Diet and Epilepsy
To assess the effects of ketogenic diet on epilepsy, a study was done and published on The Lancet Journal of Neurology.
The study was conducted on 145 epileptic children of age group between 2 and 16 years. For a period of 3 months, 73 children were provided with the keto diet and while the other 72 continued taking epilepsy drugs. 54/73 children on keto diet completed the study while 49/72 children on drugs completed the study.
The researchers noted that 28 out of 54 children(who were on keto diet) had reduced their seizures by 50%. However, only 4 out of the 49 children (on drugs) had reduced their seizures by 50%.
The concluded that a ketogenic diet can be used effectively to control and manage epilepsy. Also, for children who are not responding well to anti-epileptic drugs, keto diet can be used instead. However, a doctor should be conducted before the switch to examine the overall health condition of the epileptic person.
Cholesterol and Blood Pressure
A ketogenic diet improves cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels. To be more specific, a LCHF(low-carb high fat) diet increases HDL (the good cholesterol) and reduces LDL particle concentration as compared to a high carb diet. HDL helps to prevent clogging of arteries and thus resulting in optimal cardiovascular health.
Also, a low-carb diet has been shown to improve blood pressure. Excess weight may lead to a high blood pressure. Switching to a keto diet not only helps you lose weight, it also keeps your blood pressure in check.
Insulin Resistance and The Keto Diet
If left uncontrolled, insulin resistance may lead to diabetes type 2. What is insulin resistance? This is a condition whereby body cells fail to respond to actions of insulin. Cells like liver cells, fat cells, and muscle cells have difficulties in absorbing glucose from the blood. This triggers the body to produce more insulin. As this resistance builds up, the pancreas becomes unable to produce enough insulin to regulate sugar levels which may then results in diabetes type 2. A ketogenic diet can help increase insulin sensitivity and thus reduce chances of type 2 diabetes.
Keto Diet and Acne
A high level of insulin is one of the factors that lead to acne. Also, insulin influences the production of other hormones that cause acne such as testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). A high carb diet may lead to elevated levels of insulin which contributes to hormonal imbalances.
These hormonal imbalances disrupt skin homeostasis and thus leading to acne. However, a low carb high-fat diet improves insulin sensitivity and thus resulting in reduced acne and better skin condition.
It may be challenging to switch from your diet to a ketogenic diet since a lot of foods have carbs. However, remember that you will be rewarded greatly with the above benefits. It’s important to check with your doctor first before making this switch.
Other Simple Steps
If you’re trying to improve your health, there are a few other simple steps you should consider that dove tail into the above.
One, is look closely at Gluten. While you might be explicitly allergic, it’s been shown that many athletes adopt this lifestyle and see vast benefits.
Also a consumption of more fiber and plant based foods are a good idea. But with that, you should consider some that will protect you from lectin, which naturally occurs in many plants, including nightshades and legume.