It may seem counterintuitive to how you currently structure your daily meals, but science has revealed that the ketogenic diet has a variety of benefits and it may be an effective way to lose weight.
WHAT IS THIS DIET?
Simply put, it is a fat-focused, low-carbohydrate way of eating. Unlike the traditional American diet that consists of approximately 65% to 75% carbohydrate-based calories, the ketogenic diet is made up of only 5% to 10% carbohydrates. The protein intake is moderate, at 20% to 25% of the daily caloric total. The rest of the calories, around 80%, are coming from healthy fats.
Examples of popular foods on the keto diet include: heart-healthy salmon, versatile avocado and delicious coconut oil. It’s also recommended to use an omega-3 fatty acid supplement to ensure balance between all of the healthy fats.
The goal of the ketogenic diet is to promote the use of ketone bodies, not glucose, as the primary source of fuel in the body. Glucose comes from ingesting carbohydrates. Ketone bodies, on the other hand, are created in the liver from stored and ingested fatty acids.
Ketone bodies are suggested by some experts to be a more efficient form of fuel without the metabolic risks that glucose presents (such as a build-up of cell-damaging free radicals). Aside from potentially being a better fuel source, does the keto diet provide any other benefits?
Naturally, you may be inclined to place this diet in the fad category of “here today and gone tomorrow”, but studies have been consistently showing that this diet has real benefits and it’s here to stay.
Boosts Brain Health
The healthy fatty acids that make up the foundation of the keto diet have been shown to support the growth and maintenance of your brain.
Lowers Disease Risk
Cardiovascular disease is one of the most preventable forms of illness and mortality in the United States. Ketogenesis has been shown to decrease the risk of disease by directly lowering cardiovascular risk factors such as cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood glucose.
Inflammation and Pain
While more studies are needed, current research suggests that the keto diet is an effective anti-inflammatory. The implication is that it may be useful in alleviating inflammation-based pain, such as with arthritis. It may also provide relief and prevention from inflammation-based diseases such as diabetes and cancer.
DOES THE KETO DIET HELP WITH FAT BURNING?
The ketogenic diet has been shown to be an effective way to promote weight loss especially in those who have been diagnosed with obesity. It can help with weight loss in 3 key ways:
First, by cutting out carbohydrates, you are lowering your intake of the infamous fat-promoting simple carb, also known as sugar.
Next, once you enter a state of ketosis, the body will be primarily fueled by ketone bodies, which are made from fatty acids. These fatty acids are ingested through your diet; but the body will also utilize stored fat as well, helping to promote fat loss.
Lastly, you will be eating less calories but feeling more satiated on the keto diet. Fat takes longer to digest, allowing you to feel fuller for a longer period of time without hunger pangs.
HAVE YOU TRIED THE KETOGENIC DIET?
What benefits did you see? Did you lose weight? Did you find the diet difficult to follow? Let us know in the comments below!
Written by David Sautter
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.