Uses and Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet
On a ketogenic diet, your body becomes more of a fat burner than a carb-dependent machine. Several researches have linked consuming increased amounts of carbohydrates to the development of various conditions such as diabetes and insulin resistance.
Carbohydrates are naturally easily absorbable and can therefore be easily stored by the body. Carbohydrate digestion begins the moment you put it in your mouth.
As soon as you start chewing them, amylase (the enzymes that digest carbohydrates) is already at work in your saliva, acting on the carbohydrate-containing food.
Carbohydrates are further broken down in the stomach. Once they reach the small intestine, they are then absorbed into the bloodstream. When carbohydrates enter the bloodstream, they generally cause blood sugar levels to rise.
This increase in blood sugar levels stimulates the immediate release of insulin into the bloodstream. The higher the blood sugar level rises, the more insulin is released.
Insulin is a hormone that works by removing excess sugar from the blood to lower blood sugar levels. Insulin takes the sugar and carbohydrates you eat and stores them either as glycogen in muscle tissue or as fat in adipose tissue for future use as energy.
However, the body can develop what is known as insulin resistance when continuously exposed to such high levels of glucose in the bloodstream. This scenario can easily lead to obesity as the body tends to store excess amounts of glucose quickly. Health conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease can also result from this condition.
Keto diets are low-carb, high-fat and have been linked to reducing and improving several health conditions.
One of the most important things a ketogenic diet does is stabilize your insulin levels and restore leptin signaling. Reduced amounts of insulin in the bloodstream ensure a longer feeling of satiety and less cravings.
Medical benefits of ketogenic diets
The application and implementation of the ketogenic diet has expanded significantly. Keto diets are often indicated as part of the treatment plan for a number of conditions.
This is basically the main reason behind the development of the ketogenic diet. For some reason, when patients are put on a ketogenic diet, the rate of epileptic seizures decreases.
Epileptic cases in children respond best to the keto diet. There are kids who have experienced seizure elimination after a few years on the keto diet.
Children with epilepsy are generally expected to fast for a few days before starting the ketogenic diet as part of their treatment.
Research suggests that the therapeutic efficacy of ketogenic diets against tumor growth can be enhanced when combined with certain drugs and procedures under a “press-pulse” paradigm.
It is also promising to note that ketogenic diets push the cancer cell into remission. That means keto diets “starve cancer” to reduce symptoms.
There is several evidence that the memory functions of patients with Alzheimer’s disease improve after a ketogenic diet.
Ketones are a great source of alternative energy for the brain, especially when it has become insulin resistant. Ketones also provide substrates (cholesterol) that help repair damaged neurons and membranes. All of these help improve memory and cognition in Alzheimer’s patients.
It is generally accepted that carbohydrates are the main culprit in diabetes. Therefore, by reducing the amount of carbohydrates consumed through a ketogenic diet, there are increased chances for improved glycemic control.
Also, combining a keto diet with other diabetes treatment plans can greatly improve its overall effectiveness.
Many people with gluten allergy go undiagnosed with this condition. However, following a ketogenic diet, there was an improvement in associated symptoms, such as indigestion and bloating.
Most carbohydrate-rich foods are high in gluten. So, by cutting out a variety of carbohydrates on a ketogenic diet, much of the gluten consumption is kept to a minimum.
This is arguably the most common “intentional” use of the ketogenic diet today. It has found a niche for itself in the mainstream diet trend. Keto diets have become part of many diet plans due to their recognized side effect of aiding weight loss.
Although initially maligned by many, the growing number of favorable weight loss outcomes has helped the ketogenic diet become more widely accepted as a major weight loss program.
In addition to the medical benefits mentioned above, ketogenic diets also offer some general health benefits, including the following.
Improved insulin sensitivity
This is obviously the first goal of a ketogenic diet. It helps stabilize your insulin levels, which improves fat burning.
Because protein is oxidized, it helps maintain muscle mass. The loss of lean muscle mass causes a person’s metabolism to slow down, as muscles are generally very metabolic. Using a keto diet actually helps maintain your muscles while your body burns fat.
Controlled pH and respiratory function
A keto diet helps lower lactate, which improves both pH and respiratory function. A state of ketosis therefore helps keep your blood pH at a healthy level.
Improved immune system
Using a ketogenic diet helps ward off aging antioxidants while reducing inflammation in the gut, which boosts your immune system.
Reduced cholesterol levels
Eating fewer carbs while on the keto diet helps lower blood cholesterol levels. This is due to the increased state of lipolysis. This leads to a reduction in LDL cholesterol levels and an increase in HDL cholesterol levels.
Decreased appetite and cravings
Adopting a ketogenic diet will help you reduce both your appetite and your cravings for high-calorie foods. When you start eating healthy, filling, and beneficial high-fat foods, your feelings of hunger will naturally decrease.
Thanks to Marcus J Michael