Recently, the keto diet has become extremely popular for its health benefits such as weight loss and preventing disease. The keto diet can be hugely beneficial, but how does it work to provide these benefits?
The Ketogenic diet refers to a form of dieting where high fats, adequate protein, and low carbs are consumed. Its aim is to deplete the body’s glycogen reserves so that it relies on fat and protein for energy.
The body then undergoes ketosis, which is a metabolic state in which your liver produces a high number of ketones as an alternative fuel source for the brain.
The keto program recommends a diet that is low on carbs, moderate on protein, and high in fat.
A typical keto diet aims for meals with 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbohydrate. Eating a high-fat diet can still mean eating healthy.
The Keto diet menu often includes seafood, meat, dairy products, eggs, vegetables, and nuts. The idea is to fine-tune nutritional intake in order to send the body into the metabolic state known as ketosis.
The body enters a state of ketosis when it no longer has stores of glycogen sugar to fuel its energy needs. With sugar out of the way, the body has no choice but to tap its stores of fat to get by.
The liver converts fat reserves into ketones to present to the body as an energy source. This is why the keto program is a good way to lose fat.
This form of dieting is quite popular, with dozens of pictures showing before and after results circulating all over social media. These are some benefits of the keto diet and how it may help in achieving your goals.
Benefits of the Keto Diet
Unlike other diets, the keto diet comes with several benefits.
Without a doubt, weight loss is the primary goal of the keto diet. It works because it makes the body look to its fat reserves to power its metabolism. It can be interesting to go deeper into the process, however.
When the body is deprived of carbs, it enters a state of ketosis. Blood sugar and insulin levels fall when that happens. As the body taps the energy in fat cells, they release considerable quantities of water, making for some great weight loss.
The fat cells are then able to enter the bloodstream and make their way to the liver, where they are turned into ketones for energy processing.
Several studies have shown that people on high fat, low carb diet burn fat at a faster rate than those with a high carb, low-fat diet.
This is primarily because lower insulin levels caused by the low carb diet (keto), help to remove excess water from the body.
During ketosis, you experience reduced levels of hunger, which can be extremely beneficial in controlling caloric intake, promoting overall weight loss.
It has been noted that low-carb diets are also effective in reducing visceral fat, primarily stored in the abdominal cavity.
As long as your diet allows you to stay in a caloric deficit, you get to enjoy the weight loss benefits of the keto diet.
It takes the edge off your appetite
When your diet isn’t heavy on carbs, you’ll find that you don’t crave as much food as before. Many people who get on the keto diet are able to fast most of the day, and only eat at mealtimes. They are simply not as hungry as before.
Reduced risk of Chronic Disease
A ketogenic diet can boost the body’s defense against a variety of conditions. By reducing inflammation, and improving mitochondrial function, it can help to mitigate the risk of developing several chronic diseases.
Cancer cells typically possess abnormal mitochondria, which need an increased supply of glycogen.
Ketosis allows for normal cells to be fed while starving the cancer cells, as they are unable to utilize the ketones for energy because of their dysfunctional mitochondria.
You feel more energetic
When you are on a regular diet, your body is always on the verge of running out of energy. You need to constantly eat and refuel. With a keto diet, however, the body taps its fat reserves, a nearly unending energy source. The body, then, is able to maintain constant energy levels throughout the day. The result is, you end up feeling a lot more energetic.
It helps you fight diabetes
When you suffer from Type II diabetes, your body experiences high levels of insulin. Since the keto diet takes excess sugar from your diet, it helps stabilize HbA1c counts and reverse Type II diabetes.
You get better blood pressure
When you’re on the keto diet, it drops your blood pressure. Many people on the keto diet find that they are able to stop taking blood pressure medicine altogether.
High blood pressure significantly increases the risk of several diseases and is a leading cause of death worldwide.
A low-carb diet has been proven to be more effective than a low-fat diet in reducing blood pressure. In fact, some claim that it is just as effective as taking pills.
This combined with the weight loss derived from a ketogenic diet is sure to vastly improve
You get improved levels of good cholesterol
HDL cholesterol helps get rid of the body’s bad cholesterol reserves. When you’re on keto, your body’s triglyceride levels fall and your HDL cholesterol levels rise.
The ketones produced from a low carb diet are a much more efficient source of energy than glucose. Studies have indicated that they can improve cognitive impairment and even help with diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
The high-fat diet helps to support the balance of essential omega 3s and omega 6s which are vital for optimal brain function.
Additionally, ketosis is able to boost mitochondria production and adenosine triphosphate within the brain’s memory cells, thereby improving mental performance and clarity.
When you choose a regular diet that puts carbs into the body, your brain has to deal with the rise and fall in sugar levels that happen as a result.
Inconsistent energy levels can make it hard for the brain to focus. With the keto diet, however, the energy source is constant and consistent. The brain is better able to stay focused.