The ketogenic diet is a high fat, a carb-restricted ratio that allows the body and brain to use ketones as a source of energy rather than glucose. Ketones are small four carbon molecules, which are a much cleaner source of fuel. The state of ketosis mimics the state of fasting.
The way I recommend implementing a ketogenic diet can be used not only for weight loss, but also for increased energy, performance, and even for improving the body’s ability to overcome certain health conditions.
There is definitely more than one way to follow a ketogenic diet. Technically, eating cheese wrapped in salami is ketogenic, however, this is obviously far from ideal. The way I see it, following a ketogenic diet is super beneficial primarily for its anti-inflammatory and mitochondrial-stimulatory benefits. (Basic Benefits)
To ensure maximum benefits, I like to recommend a ketogenic diet that is high in HEALTHY fats, clean-sourced proteins, and tons of antioxidant-rich vegetables and herbs. This combination of flooding the body with nutrients along with a ketogenic diet is where it truly becomes therapeutic.
May reduce the risk of certain cancers
Researchers have examined the effects of the ketogenic diet in helping prevent or even treat certain cancers.
One study found that the ketogenic diet may be a safe and suitable complementary treatment to use alongside chemotherapy and radiation therapy in people with certain cancers. This is because it would cause more oxidative stress in cancer cells than in normal cells, causing them to die. (Basic Benefits)
A more recent study from 2018 suggests that because the ketogenic diet reduces blood sugar, it could also lower the risk of insulin complications. Insulin is a hormone that controls blood sugar that may have links to some cancers.
Although some research indicates that the ketogenic diet may have some benefit in cancer treatment, studies in this area are limited. Researchers need to carry out more studies to fully understand the potential benefits of the ketogenic diet in cancer prevention and treatment. (Basic Benefits)
Improves PCOS symptoms
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that can lead to excess male hormones, ovulatory dysfunction, and polycystic ovaries. A high-carbohydrate diet can cause adverse effects in people with PCOS, such as skin problems and weight gain.
There are not many clinical studies on the ketogenic diet and PCOS. One pilot study from 2005 examined five women over 24 weeks. The researchers found that a ketogenic diet improved several markers of PCOS, including:
ratios of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
levels of fasting insulin
A different review of studies from 2019 found that a keto diet had beneficial effects for people with hormonal disorders, including PCOS and type 2 diabetes. However, they did also caution that the studies were too diverse to recommend a keto diet as a general treatment for PCOS. (Basic Benefits)
May improve heart health
When a person follows the ketogenic diet, it is important that they choose healthy foods. Some evidence shows that eating healthful fats, such as avocados instead of less healthy fats, such as pork rinds, can help improve heart health by reducing cholesterol.
A 2017 review of studies of animals and humans on a keto diet showed that some people experienced a significant drop in levels of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or bad cholesterol, and triglycerides, and an increase in high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol. (Basic Benefits)
High levels of cholesterol can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. A keto diet’s reducing effect on cholesterol may, therefore, reduce a person’s risk of heart complications.
However, the review concluded that the positive effects of the diet on heart health depend on diet quality. Therefore, it’s important to eat healthful, nutritionally balanced food while following the keto diet. (Basic Benefits)
Supports weight loss
The keto diet may help a person lose weight.
The ketogenic diet may help promote weight loss in several ways, including boosting metabolism and reducing appetite.
Ketogenic diets consist of foods that fill a person up and may reduce hunger-stimulating hormones. For these reasons, following a keto diet may reduce appetite and promote weight loss. (Basic Benefits)
In a 2013 meta-analysis of 13 different randomized controlled trials, researchers found that people following ketogenic diets lost 2 pounds (lbs) more than those following low-fat diets over 1 year.
Similarly, another review of 11 studies demonstrated that people following a ketogenic diet lost 5 lbs more than those following low-fat diets after 6 months. (Basic Benefits)
Most of us have been using sugar for energy our entire lives, this is what our mitochondria are comfortable with. The initial phases of keto-adaptation actually act as a powerful stressor and stimulus to your mitochondria.
During the transition phase, as your cells are stimulated to burn fat, old and weak mitochondria die off. This may sound harmful, but it actually stimulates the growth of new and stronger mitochondria. This typically equates to a higher amount of energy production.
improved energy production has a broadly beneficial impact on the body’s ability to heal and perform in general. (Basic Benefits)
Reduced Risk of Chronic Disease
Finally, if you haven’t come to the conclusion already, a ketogenic diet may protect your body against a wide array of disease processes. The combination of anti-inflammatory effects along with improving mitochondrial function simply allows the body to heal and mitigate disease processes much more effectively. (Basic Benefits)
It can be hard to conceptualize but a huge proportion of modern chronic diseases are rooted in chronic inflammation and mitochondrial dysfunction. Just a short list might include:
This list could go on, but you probably are beginning to understand the implications of having healthy mitochondria. A ketogenic diet is a foundational strategy for mitigating your risk of many of the chronic diseases we are facing today. (Basic Benefits)
C-reactive protein; however, this effect is also dependent on weight loss. Furthermore, low-carbohydrate diets have beneficial effects on insulin and body weight. Dietary approaches should mainly be tried to reduce macronutrients and enrich functional food components such as vitamins, flavonoids, and unsaturated fatty acids. People with MetS will benefit most by combining weight loss and anti-inflammatory nutrients.