Is The Keto Diet Magic?
Some people may call the Keto diet magic – it may seem magical to some how it can shed the old pounds
This diet is all about reducing the carbohydrates (Carbs) in our diet and boosting our diet with the foods you see in the picture below. So believe it or not a well balanced keto diet isn’t solely about watching calories.
Well that’s a change from counting the old calories to shed the old pounds!
Yes, this diet is much more focussed on reducing the old carbs.
The Keto diet is also known as the Ketogenic diet, and perhaps obviously the Low Carb Diet – but it is often referred to as the LCHF – diet which means the Low-Carb-High-Fat Diet. The fats mentioned here are the “good fats” derived from fish, nuts and vegetables and oils like Olive Oil.
I’ve read somewhere that people think the keto thing is a diet fad!
Well people are entitled to their opinion, and remember not every diet will suit everybody. So we need to judge for ourselves what is going to work for us and not follow the crowd. In this way the Ketogenic Diet is no different from other diets, but, the Ketogenic diet does have the support of some pretty solid research findings that point to some of the benefits of this diet. We’ll discuss these in a minute.
Great, can’t wait!
Now it is called the Ketogenic Diet because when the food we eat is low in carbs, our bodies use a different metabolic pathway than is normal and use a different source of energy. Normally a sugar like glucose is our usual source of energy, but with the Ketogenic Diet the source of energy changes to things called Ketones.
What happens when we reduce our carbohydrate intake is that the glucose levels in our blood stream drop quite a lot. The brain gets messages about this drop in glucose and instructs the liver to start using the fat stored in our bodies for energy. This process of fat being converted to the Ketones is known as Ketosis.
Are you with me?
When we have a diet higher in carbohydrates like pasta and bread etc., the digestion process produces basically two things: Glucose which is a ready source of energy for our bodies, and Insulin which manages the Glucose levels in our blood.
One of the problems of using Glucose as the energy source in modern day society is that often a proportion of the food we eat that has been converted to glucose is not needed for energy so our body stores the glucose as fat for “a rainy day”. Now this can cause a bit of a problem because most of us today have jobs and lifestyles that do not require a lot of energy intensive physical activity, and food is abundant so there aren’t that many rainy days.
So unless our jobs are physically demanding, or we play sport or have a physically demanding hobby, the excess energy our bodies produce , is turned into fat. Result: The fat just builds up and our body shape changes……..oops not good!
You could say that again!
The fat just builds up and our body shape changes…….oops not good!
So when we reduce our carb intake, the level of glucose production drops, our body’s metabolism changes, and ketones are made from the breakdown of fats in the liver.
Gee that’s cool! Fats are broken down for energy – this means we use up the fat stored in our bodies – and as you say this is the fat that often changes our body shape… if you know what I mean.
Yes now you get the picture.
If the keto diet is followed carefully it has a number of health benefits as well as weight loss. These benefits affect both our physical and mental wellness.
Because the Keto diet uses fat stored in our body as an energy source, there will be a reduction in the amount of fat stored in our body and so there will be a reduction in our body weight!
In fact, scientific research indicates that the Ketogenic diet has shown superior weight loss figures when compared to other diets.
In some people this weight loss will help in the reduction of blood pressure (-:
One other benefit is that insulin levels in our blood decrease significantly.
With the use of fat instead of glucose as an energy source our blood sugar levels drop as mentioned above and so our body’s use of insulin decreases also.
This has obvious benefits for the management of Type II Diabetes.
Insulin resistance, if not managed, is one of the pathways to Type II Diabetes.
So a diet that makes our body burn fat and keeps blood sugar levels low will help those who suffer from diabetes, because the insulin in their blood can be kept at a more manageable level.
It has been shown that a Ketogenic Diet can assist in improving the Cholesterol and Triglyceride levels in our blood, which in turn means it can help us manage the plaque build up in our arteries.
Looking from another angle, the Keto diet being low carb/high (good) fat, means it produces a significant increase in the HDL cholesterol which is the good stuff and a similar decrease in the LDL cholesterol which is the bad stuff.
A ketogenic diet is good for the brain. This is because our blood sugar level becomes a lot more stable and so large variations do not occur. This low variation in blood sugar is great for mood stability and also mental concentration.
Part of the explanation for this mood stability is because of the increase in the intake of Fatty Acids like Omega 3 as part of the diet. Fatty acids are friends of the brain.
Perhaps one of the earliest relationships linking low carb intake, that is a Keto type diet, with disease management was back in 1924 where it was used with some success to manage epilepsy.
The Keto diet has been used to treat difficult to control seizures in children with substantial success. It has proven in some instances to be more effective than drug medications.
Because a Low Carb/High Oil diet reduces blood sugar levels in our blood, it allows insulin levels to be lower and more stable. This interaction provides for more energy, a clearer mind and as mentioned above a better mood.
Thanks for reading my post I hope it helped you figure out the magic in the Ketogenic diet.