It seems like new diets and nutritional recommendations are popping up every week. As nutritional science discovers more about the composition of food and how it reacts inside the human body, it’s only natural that each new discovery quickly gains popularity within the health community.
Plus, as more people try each diet and get positive results, more studies take an in-depth look at the benefits of the nutritional regimes. One of the most popular diets of the moment is the ketogenic diet.
Ketogenic Diet Benefits
Developed by Mayo Clinic’s Dr. Russel Wilder in 1924, the ketogenic diets overhauls your meals to ensure that 50-70% of your plate is comprised of healthy fats like olive oil and avocado.
It also requires a large quantity of high-protein foods. Plus, you have to dramatically cut your carbohydrate intake.
Typically, the diet provides 3 to 4 grams of fat for every 1 gram of carbohydrate and protein.
Although the ketogenic diet is incredibly beneficial. To make sure you’re doing it safely, consult with your doctor or nutritionist before making the switch.
Here are some of the reasons why you should consider giving it a try.
1. Weight Loss
Your body’s first source of energy is glucose. Primarily, it’s used in high quantities by your brain and liver. Glucose is also the first thing to be stored as fat in times of inactivity or overeating.
However, when you restrict your carbohydrate intake, your body isn’t receiving as enough glucose. This forces your body to turn towards fat (including adipose tissue) as its primary source of fuel.
The diet also boosts weight loss by lowering your blood sugar levels and insulin levels. This prevents insulin resistance and other obesity-promoting conditions.
2. Managing Type 2 Diabetes
Because it promotes insulin sensitivity, the ketogenic diet can help reduce the quantity of insulin required by diabetic patients and even completely wean them off the medication.
It also has beneficial effects in reversing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, obesity, food cravings, high blood sugar, gout, and high blood pressure.
3. Cancer Treatment
The diet prevents cancer by affecting cancer cells directly.
To put it simply, cancer cells thrive off glucose, the same molecule in sugar and carbohydrates. Cutting glucose out of your life starves cancer since it cannot survive on alternate energy sources.
Some doctors, including cancer researcher Dr. Thomas Seyfried, go so far as suggest that the ketogenic diet might be more effective at treating cancer than chemotherapy.
4. Mental Health Improvement
Ketones, which are produced when your body breaks down fat, actually act as an alternative energy source for your brain. They can even help your neurons regenerate and repair themselves.
When patients suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, brain cells become unable to use glucose as energy and die off. The ketogenic diet is thus effective in treating Alzheimer’s by giving your brain an alternate source of energy to slow cognitive decline.
Further, one study found that the diet reduced symptoms of a schizophrenia-like disease in mice while case studies have also observed benefits for patients suffering from depression and bipolar disorder.
Because it maintains gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels in the brain, which is essential for mental health, the ketogenic diet benefits people with anxiety and even autism disorder.
Starting A Ketogenic Diet
To begin, you’ll have to start gradually cutting your carb intake to eventually reach no more than 50 grams a day.
Protein, on the other hand, should be limited to less than 120 grams a day while fat can go up to 200 grams of dietary fat daily. If your goal is to lose weight, cut the fat by 30 grams.
Get your fat through rich foods like butter, avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, fish, nuts, cheese, and seeds. You can also fill your diet with protein-rich meats, eggs, and lentils, and fill up on low carb fruits and veggies.