The Keto diet (Ketogenic) is not a fad diet, it has actually been practiced since the 1920’s and is based upon an understanding of nutrition and how the body breaks down food for energy. Yes, it helps you lose weight but it does much more than that. Keto helps fights heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hormonal imbalances, neurological disorders, and overall it will help you to live longer. Now we all want that don’t we?!
What sets this diet apart is that it is not about will power or counting calories, but it is about changing the way the body makes fuel for energy. In this blog we are going to explain exactly what keto is, the stages of ketosis and the benefits of the keto diet.
What is Keto
The Keto diet was created in the 1920s for a patient that was struggling with epilepsy. They found that short term fasting helped with seizures, in addition it aided with sugar levels, body fat, cholesterol and hunger levels. Long term fasting is of course not the best option long term, so the keto diet was created.
The Keto diet is basically restricting the intake of foods that are full of sugar and starch. When we eat too much of these foods they are broken down into sugar and easily stored in the body instead of being burned and used as fuel. But when the glucose levels are brought down the body begins to burn fat instead. Basically we are wanting the body to burn fat for energy instead of carbohydrates and the result is weight loss and an overall healthier functioning body.
Most people run on glucose for energy, and you only have about a days worth stored inside your body. Once the glucose runs out then your body begins to burn off stored fat or fat from your diet. So your body burns through sugar first before burning off fat. However with the keto diet, your body is burning fat for energy, and not just any fat but the good healthy fats that are much better for your body overall.
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The Stages of Ketosis
Ketosis happens when the the liver breaks down fat into fatty acids and glycerol. When you drastically cut back sugar, the body is forced to find another fuel source, fat.
Here are the stages of Ketosis:
- Cut down the consumption of glucose from carbohydrates. (grains, starchy vegetables, fruits, etc.)
- Body is forced to find another fuel source, fat. (avocados, wild caught fish, coconut oil)
- Body begins to burn fat and produce ketones(molecules produced in the liver)
- Ketones rise, you enter into a state of ketosis
- This results in quick stable and weight loss
Now you can still eat carbohydrates. A good rule is you should get 75% of fuel from foods that contain the good fats, and then 5% from carbs and 20% from protein.
There are a lot of great benefits that come from the keto diet other than weight loss. Here is a list of some of the great health benefits.
High fat and low carb lifestyles help burn fat quickly. When we eat less carbs we release less insulin (sugar). When we do that, the body doesn’t store fat, it burns the fat that is already there.
Helps Fight Neurological Disorders
Using ketones for fuel can help to reverse neurological disorders and cognitive impairment. The brain is able to use the fat for energy instead of the cellular energy pathways. The keto diet has been used to treat patients with Alzheimers and other brain diseases because the ketones correct abnormal cells that have not been functioning properly.
Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
This diet is very helpful in lowering all of the bad cholesterols in your body, therefore it is a great aid to helping those who are at risk for heart disease. It not only decreases the bad cholesterols but it elevates the good! It’s a win win!
Reduce Type-2 Diabetes
While controlling the release of insulin we are able to create normal blood sugar levels. Studies have shown that this type of diet helps people who struggle with diabetes, but it should always be consulted with your doctor before trying.
Certain studies have found that the keto diet starves cancer cells, therefore killing them off. What does this have to do with cancer? Well, studies believe that cancer cells only use sugar to duplicate themselves, they can’t use fat. Crazy isn’t it?
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