The Ketogenic diet was originally developed to treat epilepsy and got media’s attention for all the other health benefits it promoted. Those included:
- Improvements in body composition
- Better cognitive function
- Hormone regulation
- Decrease in inflammation
- Improved sugar metabolism
Keto is a high fat, moderate protein and low carbohydrate diet and besides all the controversy for being such a restrictive diet, compared to today’s standards, it is what is necessary after all the damage caused to our metabolisms by modern diet, so high in sugar and processed items. Generally speaking you need to limit your carbohydrate intake to around 10g/ day for your body to get into ketosis, which is when its finally burning fat for fuel and producing ketone bodies. Good fats should be increased and protein should be well balanced and tailored to individual needs.
As it substantially decreases the amount of carbohydrates, it decreases levels of glucose in the body. High levels of glucose are linked to metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, diabetes, hormone imbalances, inflammation and overweight and lead to high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the body.
The name ketogenic comes from ketones, what is produced when your body burns fat for energy instead of glucose. After much research it was found that the mitochondria, which is the part inside our cells that produce energy, uses ketones a lot better in that process than glucose, leaving a lot less free radicals. On top of that, our brain also runs a lot better on ketones than on glucose and when that pathway starts, the amino acid response changes and the neurotransmitters in our brain get balanced, leading to better mind clarity, concentration and mood. Ketones are also used to produce myelin, a substance the protects our nervous system, making it very beneficial for conditions like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and MS as well.
Written by Mariana Diniz – Potts Point