An article found in a 2014 issue of the “International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health” explained studies concerning the ketogenic diet. Many scientists believe the dietary regimen has a biochemical and physiological basis, which offers various benefits. Adopting the diet may aid in weight loss efforts and reduce cardiovascular disease risk factors.
Ketogenic Diet Basics
Keto is an abbreviation of the word ketosis, which refers to a metabolic state. The ketogenic diet initiates a state of ketosis in the body. In this state, the body gets energy from the ketone bodies found in the blood instead of from glucose. Researchers from the John Hopkins Medical Center originally developed the low-carbohydrate diet for epileptic patients during the 1920s. At the time, scientists discovered fasting and reducing carbohydrate intake reduced the number of seizures patients experienced. Additionally, the diet had a direct effect on blood sugar, body fat, cholesterol levels and hunger.
Enhances Weight Loss Efforts
When the majority of people decide to shed weight, they typically cut calories and increase physical activity levels. Weight loss diets often contain more carbohydrates in the form of fruits and vegetables. They may change their protein intake to include lean meats, nuts and whole grains. While this type of diet offers some weight loss benefits, over the long-term, individuals usually suffer hunger from drastically cutting fat intake.
On the other hand, low-carbohydrate diets prevent hunger and elevate weight loss via the hormones produced and released. When on a low-carbohydrate diet, the pancreas releases less insulin. When there is insufficient insulin, the body does not store fat for energy. The body uses existing fat for energy.
Diets containing healthy fats and protein are more filling, which enables people to avoid eating empty-calorie foods. Low-carbohydrate diets are also easier to stick to for long lengths of time. Empty-calorie foods are generally off limits. Examples include baked goods, cereals and desserts in general.
Reduces Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Patients diagnosed with pre-diabetes may benefit from a ketogenic diet. The low-carbohydrate diet limits sugar intake and grains, which improves lipid levels and factors contributing to metabolic syndrome.
The ketogenic diet has been proven to reduce blood pressure, postprandial blood sugar levels and insulin secretion. However, patients should consult with their physicians before starting a low-carbohydrate diet.
Some research suggests ketogenic diets do not provide the nutrients malignant cells need to grow, replicate and survive. Processed and empty-calorie foods encourage inflammation. The high sugar content also causes cancers to thrive. While the cells in our body are readily able to use fat for energy, cancer cells require glucose and cannot change their metabolic processes to use fat. In this way, ketogenic diets may prevent or be useful in the fight against cancer.
Reduces Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors
Although the ketogenic diet has a higher fat content, studies indicate the fat intake does not raise LDL cholesterol. Recent research indicates cardiovascular disease develops secondary to inflammation and the consumption of sugar, trans fats and processed foods.
Low-carbohydrate diets consist of healthy fat found in olive oil, nuts and fish. This easy ketogenic diet plan also encourages consumption of unprocessed non-starchy plant-based foods and healthy proteins.
Make sure to check out the subreddit dedicated to the keto diet, for awesome recipes, tips and guides.
And if you need some inspiration on what to buy? Easy as pie: