10 Health Conditions Benefitting from the Ketogenic Diet
- 13 Apr, 2020
What is the Ketogenic Diet?
The Ketogenic or keto diet is a diet that focuses on eliminating carbohydrates out of one’s daily caloric intake, thus it is a high fat, medium protein and low carb diet. . The diet works around the principle that the body will get more calories from the proteins and fats that enter the body, and less from the carbohydrates. When one reduces their carbohydrate intake, the body eventually runs out of fuel, or blood sugar, that it can use quickly; this usually happens after three to four days of minimizing your carb intake. When the body realizes that it does not have enough quick fuel, it starts to break down protein and fat for energy.
The word keto comes from the word ketones, which is an alternative source of fuel for the body, when there is a shortage of glucose in the body. Now typically, when we consume carbohydrates, it breaks down into sugars, which the body absorbs and uses as fuel. However, on the keto diet, the body switches its fuel supply, and runs on fat. In other words, the keto diet helps in weight loss by causing the body to enter into a Ketogenic state, wherein the liver starts to break fats into ketones, which is basically breaking down fats into acid, in order to supply energy.
Therefore, when one reduces their carbohydrate intake, the body eventually runs out of fuel, or blood sugar, that it can use quickly; this usually happens after three to four days of minimizing your carb intake. When the body realizes that it does not have enough quick fuel, it starts to break down protein.
The Ketogenic diet offers several keto benefits; however starting the keto diet is a real commitment. It is a strict diet that aims to restrict one’s carb intake to around 50 grams a day, and thus it is beneficial to consult a dietician to figure out and customize the diet as per one’s needs.
While the main benefit of Keto is the effective weight loss and boosting metabolism and reducing appetite. Other benefits include:
Keto Health Benefits:
1.Good for the Brain
The keto diet is supposedly supposed to be beneficial to the functioning of the brain; it helps in increase of memory, cognitive abilities, and helps in seizure control. It is also known t treat and cure migraines.
The Ketogenic diet was initially used in order to treat children with epilepsy in the 1930’s. Researchers believe that the keto diet has the ability to increase the stability of neurons and regulate the functioning of the brain’s mitochondria. The keto diet is also known to treat nurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, as it increases cognitive abilities and enhances memory.
Additionally, dieters who have accepted the keto lifestyle have reported feeling more focused and having greater mental clarity. Those who suffered from migraines also reported a reduction in the same.
2. Cure to Certain Cancers
The Ketogenic diet is increasingly being used to treat certain aspects of a cancer treatment, it is known to supplement and/or is seen as a complimentary treatment alongside chemotherapy and radiation, as it causes more oxidative stress to cancer cells thereby causing them to die. Ketosis apparently helps improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiation, as suggested in several research articles.
3. Improved Heart Health
The keto diet is designed to take the body into the state of ketosis wherein the body begins to use fats as a source of fuel, rather than glucose. This is an effective way of weight loss, as lowers the intake of LDL or bad cholesterol, obesity, high blood pressure and helps take in more good cholestrols and HDL, which protects against heart diseases.
Losing weight on the keto diet can help lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases, as one begins to cut out on bad carbs which are found in the form of bread, soft drinks, sugars, starches, etc. Instead it promotes consuming good fat, thereby promoting a healthy heart.
4. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
PCOS is a hormonal dysfunction that is marked with irregular perios and infertility. It also causes insulin resistance, thus a lot of women suffering from PCOS are challenged with obesity, and have a hard time losing weight.
However the keto diet has proved to be a promising method to treat pcos. It was found that women limiting their carbohydrate intake to 20 grams or less per day, for nearly 24 weeks, witnessed a 12% reduction in body mass and, reduction in the production of testosterone. Insulin levels also dropped.
The keto diet helps in impressive reduction of blood sugar levels in people who experience diabetes, be it type 1 or 2. The low carb diet helps cut out unwanted sugars. The keto diet lowers carb intake to the point that blood glucose levels drop, with that, less insulin is produced and used by the body, burning fat and potentially improving insulin sensitivity.
6. Improves Acne
Keto diet can reduce acne, as the reduction of carbs can alter the balance of bacteria in the gut, which affects skin.
7. Helps Kidney functioning and prevents Gout
8. Improves energy levels and sleep:
By the fourth or fifth day of the Ketogenic diet, dieters have reported an increase in general energy levels, They crave less carbs and sugary items. There is a stabilization of insulin levels.
9. Treats Epilepsy
The Ketogenic diet is one treatment option for children or adults with epilepsy whose seizures are not controlled. The diet may help to reduce the number or severity of seizures and may have other positive effects.
10. Gaining muscle and improving endurance
What to Eat on a Keto Diet?
The keto diet is focused in eliminating the carbohydrate intake of the person. Once the body’s carbohydrate stock reduces, fats become the primary mode to obtain fuel. This results in the metabolic stage of ketosis. The keto diet helps in weight loss as it eliminates sugars and refined carbohydrates. However all carbs are not bad. It is just that the keto diet focuses on eliminating carbs out of the picture.
It is important to understand that there are two kinds of carbs, there are good carbs which include foods like whole grains, beans, and fruits, vegetables, all which keep the body healthy by providing vitamins, minerals, fiber and other essential nutrients. Carbohydrates are indeed an important source of energy, however most people tend to consume carbs in the form of white bread, rice, sugar sodas, processed foods, etc. all which are referred to as bad carbs, and hence make one fat. The Keto diet aims to cut out this portion of carbohydrates, that’s unhealthy and thus aids to weight loss.
It is important to eat good fats like nuts, avocado, fatty fish, and not simply indulge on junk. While the keto diet is unconventional in the sense that it allows the individual to eat items like dairy, cheese, bacon, etc. it does not limit itself solely to that. While it is alright to include these items, when one talks about including fats in the diet, it means healthy fats. Keto suggests a person to eat items like that have natural good fats on them rather than just stick to saturated fats. Some healthy fatty foods are fatty fish, avocados, nuts, etc.
Therefore the keto diet has several health benefits apart from weight loss. If done correctly, keto foods help the dieter lose weight, along with feeling healthier both mentally and physically. It is a diet that focuses on eliminating the carbohydrate food group, and replacing the energy gained from there with healthy fats!