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Keto is everywhere; it’s the new buzzword, the new favorite among those looking to shed pounds, and the new hate victim of the food-pyramid-spouting-eat-your-whole grains mainstream medical industry. The keto diet, while it is not the magic cure-all for every single disease on the planet, does a pretty dang good job at being the potential causer of healing many horrible conditions. So let’s cut through the science, separate fact from fiction, and look at the benefits of the keto diet.
What exactly is a Ketogenic Diet?
The keto program recommends a diet that is low on carbs, moderate on protein and high in fat. 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.
5 Benefits of the Keto Diet
Unlike other diets that offer practitioners a weight loss benefit and little else, the keto diet comes with several benefits.
Benefit #1: Weight Loss
Okay, so this one isn’t so astounding, but it is one of the most common reasons people embark on the keto diet. So why is weight loss usually so easy on the ketogenic diet instead of other regular diets? For all of the following reasons:
- The keto diet is composed of approximately 75% fat, 20 % protein, and 5% or less carbohydrates. The high fat content and lack of sugar means diminished cravings, lack of blood sugar swings and binges, and increased satiation. Increased satiation=eating less. Many people also have food sensitivities to grains, even gluten-free ones, so eliminating them may lead to an increased ability to absorb minerals like magnesium and potassium, which in turn means your body is more nourished and you have fewer cravings
- Ketones. When your blood sugar is running low, your body turns to its glycogen stores for energy. Typically glycogen stores house about 2000 calories of “backup” energy for when you run out of glucose. Like the intelligent machine it is, your body depletes the glycogen stores and then turns to your own body fat for fuel.
IMPORTANT: The ketogenic diet is not a free-for-all eat however much cheese or super low-carb fat bomb treats you want diet. If you are eating way more calories than you need, you will not lose weight. So focus on keeping your diet around fatty cuts of grass-fed meat, butter, eggs, avocados, lots of green veggies and cruciferous, and be modest with the keto desserts, dairy, and sweets.
Benefit #2: 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.
Benefit #3: 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.
Benefit #4: Brain Function
A poorly functioning brain, as you may have already experienced, leads to lessened work productivity, which in turn means an unhappy boss, lack of job satisfaction, sugar cravings for energy, and depression. It’s a horrible domino effect. The original ketogenic diet was formulated by Dr. Russell Wilder in the early 20th century to treat epilepsy. The success rate was phenomenal and it is still used today to treat epilepsy and other brain disorders. Research also indicates that ketones are more efficient brain fuel than glucose.
Benefit #5: 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.
If you’re reading this article now, chances are you are in some sort of pain, whether physical and/or mental (being overweight, struggling with autoimmune disorders, thyroid disease, fatigue, brain fog) and want to change. Use this information, don’t just skim through it and store it in the back of your brain and say “that’s nice for some people”, motivate yourself to change.
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