The ketogenic diet has been around for thousands of years and through modern science, it has been discovered that following a low carb, high fat lifestyle, may actually be the most effective weight loss tool in existence.
To successfully follow the keto diet means you must eliminate most carbohydrates from your diet and replace them with healthy fats and protein. It is important that the fat comes from the right sources and is “good fat”.
How does Keto work?
There are two main energy sources the body can use, glucose from carbohydrates and to a lesser extent, protein or ketones from fat. The only way to use ketones as the primary fuel source is to restrict carbohydrates and increasing your good fat intake. When you do this, you enter into a fat burning state called “ketosis”. When you highly restrict carbohydrates in your diet, you use fat, both that from your diet and also stored body fat as energy instead.
Ketones are molecules which can cross the blood-brain barrier and supply the brain and body with energy, in fact, many parts of our body prefer ketones as a fuel source over glucose. Not only will you receive the benefits of weight loss by becoming fat adapted, you will begin to experience mental clarity, improved mood, better sleep patterns along with various other benefits.
There is evidence that the ketogenic diet can decrease insulin levels and increase insulin sensitivity. Increased insulin levels contribute to both weight gain and some metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
Are fats bad for your health?
We have been told for many years that eating fat makes you fat and unhealthy. However, advice from nutritionists and researchers failed to mention that there are good fats and bad fats. Many parts of our bodies prefer to run on fats rather than carbohydrates. Ketones have been shown to help our mitochondria (the part of the cell responsible for cellular respiration) produce more energy and supply the brain with a more efficient energy source.
Below is a list of good fats to include on the ketogenic diet:
Butter, fat from red meat (especially grass-fed meat), cream, coconut oil, eggs, olive oil, macadamia oil, lard, avocados, walnuts, fatty fish such as; salmon, sardines, mackerel)
Unhealthy fats such as vegetable oils, sunflower oil, rapeseed oils and certain polyunsaturated fats can increase the risk of
.heart disease, harm your gut health (gut microbiome) and increase your Low Density Lipids (LDL) “bad” cholesterol levels
About the diet
The keto diet is not an all meat diet, in fact vegetables, particularly green leafy vegetables are to be eaten in large amounts. Nuts, seeds, olives, avocados, berries and all sorts of vegetables, along with fish, grass fed meats, eggs and dairy form the basis of the keto diet. These are all healthy unprocessed whole foods, which will nourish your body, brain and muscle with ketones.
The ketogenic diet is one of the most widely studies nutrition protocols for a reason, because it works and for many, it is the body’s preferred way of eating. Science is finally proving to us hat a low carb, high fat lifestyle isn’t just the most effective weight loss regimen but it may also be the best for overall health.
The ketogenic diet is considered an anti-inflammatory diet and has been shown to reduce inflammation. Inflammation is a major factor in several health conditions such as:
Arthritis, eczema, psoriasis, acne, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and joint pain.
Once you have become fat adapted, most people experience a dramatic increase in overall energy levels as well as a improved quality of sleep.
What is your gut microbiome?
It is an enormous community of bacteria and fungi which inhabit every inch of our gastrointestinal tract and has a major influence on our metabolism, body weight, susceptibility to illness, immune system, appetite and mood.
According to research, the richer and more diverse the community of gut microbes are, the lower your risk of disease and allergies.
The Magic Pill
We found this documentary very interesting, it gave us food for thought and encouraged us to change our eating habits. Have a watch of the trailer, the whole documentary is available on Netflix and YouTube.