What is the Keto Diet?

WHAT IS THE KETO DIET?

The standard Ketogenic (Keto) Diet is made up of a very low-carb & high-fat nutritional intake, typically consisting of 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbohydrates . Other versions of the Keto Diet consist of different % intakes, however these are not as thoroughly researched and recommended . By reducing carbohydrates and replacing it with fat, this can put your body into a metabolic state called “Ketosis” .When entering a state of Ketosis, your body begins to burn fat for energy much more efficiently. Blood sugar and insulin levels can reduce significantly, and fat is turned into ketones in the liver, which helps to supply energy in the brain . The body will adapt to whatever source of fuel it’s given, whether that’s protein, carbs, or fat . Ideally, the body likes to use glucose as its main fuel supply, but in its absence, it will turn to other sources . The basic principle behind the ketogenic diet is that the body switches from burning carbohydrates (glucose) for fuel to burning fat . But how does it do this?

HOW DOES THE KETOGENIC DIET WORK?

The ketogenic diet has been shown to have an antioxidant function in the body . This is because of the ketone bodies ability to activate protective antioxidant pathways within the brain .

IMPROVES COGNITIVE FUNCTION

Although the brain functions optimally on glucose, it runs extremely well on ketones, too. BHB, one of the major ketones produced in the body, can cross the blood-brain barrier rapidly and supply the brain with adequate fuel - helping to:• Improve memory, focus, learning and attention• Reduce inflammation• Protect against brain injury or trauma• Decrease risk of developing neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s and Dementia • Reduce and regulate free radical production 

WEIGHT LOSS AND FAT LOSS

For individuals looking to decrease their body fat percentage, the keto diet is a great way to do that . Studies have shown that when compared with a low-fat diet, a low carb ketogenic diet is superior for long-term fat and weight loss .

DECREASES INFLAMMATION

One of the most notable benefits of the ketogenic diet results from eliminating sugar from the diet. From doing so, inflammation levels in the body may drop drastically. Due to a drastic reduction in sugar intake — done so by removing added sugars and carbohydrates — the ketogenic diet can help to reduce inflammation levels. Studies have shown that excess sugar contributes to the onset of inflammation within the body, which can progress into chronic low-grade inflammation. Chronic inflammation may then lead to a host of health conditions such as obesity, CVD, diabetes, and arthritis .

SCIENCE BEHIND BODY FUEL

When an individual eats a meal rich in carbohydrates, it’s broken down to produce simple sugars in the form of glucose . In response to the production of glucose, the pancreas releases insulin to shuttle glucose into the blood . Once it enters the bloodstream, glucose the enter cells to provide an immediate source of energy .

KETONES FOR FUEL

When the body enters a state of nutritional ketosis, there is a different fuel supply pathway that is taken . By restricting carbohydrates in the Ketogenic Diet, this means that glucose isn’t available as an immediate source of energy, and therefore the body must find an alternative. To do this, the body starts to break down stored body fat for energy . In the absence of carbs, the liver will start to use fat as a source of fuel . It takes the fatty acids resulting from the breakdown of food and converts them to ketones (through the process of ketogenesis), which serve as another source of fuel for the brain and body .

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