The keto genic diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that helps some people with epilepsy control their seizures. It’s also used as a weight loss plan for those with diabetes or other conditions that affect metabolism.
Ketosis is a metabolic process that occurs when your body breaks down fat to produce ketone bodies. These help protect your brain from oxidative damage.
1. Weight loss
The keto genic diet is high in fat and low in carbs. This diet works by keeping your blood sugar low, reducing the amount of insulin your body produces.
Insulin is a hormone that allows your body to use sugar for energy or store it as glycogen, a type of storage fuel. The ketogenic diet keeps your insulin levels lower so that your body can burn fat for energy more easily.
This makes it easier for your body to lose weight because you don’t have a lot of glucose (blood sugar) available for use as energy.
It also reduces hunger, which can cause people to overeat.
It’s important to note that the keto genic diet is not suitable for everyone, so it’s best to consult a dietitian before trying it out. This way, you can learn about the benefits and drawbacks of this diet and find one that’s right for you.
2. Improved brain function
The keto genic diet uses fat as its primary energy source, releasing a set of hormones called ketone bodies into the bloodstream. These ketones can also cross the blood-brain barrier and enter the brain, where they can help maintain normal energy levels for brain cells.
These ketone bodies have been shown to improve the function of brain tissue in several models of neurodegenerative diseases, including MS and dementia. They reduce oxidative stress, inflammation and the release of pro-inflammatory molecules in the brain.
Moreover, they promote mitochondrial functions and increase ATP production in the brain. This increases the amount of brain cells that can survive and regenerate, which improves memory, learning and cognitive function.
In epilepsy, a ketogenic diet has been shown to decrease seizures and increase GABA production in the brain. This antiepileptic effect may be linked to changes in the gut microbiome, according to a study by Olson and colleagues.
3. Reduced risk of diabetes
The keto genic diet is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet that forces your body to burn fats instead of sugar for energy. This process is called nutritional ketosis and it helps control diabetes by lowering blood glucose levels.
The diet reduces your carbohydrate intake by restricting foods that are high in carbohydrates, including refined grains and sugary snacks. The diet also encourages the consumption of healthy fats, such as nuts and seeds, to boost your metabolism and keep your insulin levels stable.
In a recent study, researchers found that the keto genic diet was effective in improving weight loss and glycemic control in people with diabetes or prediabetes. In addition, a reduction in blood lipids was observed.
The diet reduces triglycerides and raises HDL, which are all key components of good blood cholesterol. The results suggest that the keto genic diet can improve your lipid profile, which is associated with lower risk of heart disease.
4. Reduced risk of heart disease
Ketogenic diets lower the levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) and increase high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL cholesterol), which helps prevent heart disease. They also lower triglycerides and blood sugar, which is important for people with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.
The keto genic diet limits carbohydrates, so the body shifts to burning fats instead of carbs for energy. This is called “ketosis.” It results in a spike in LDL and triglycerides when the diet is started, but it usually drops within weeks or months.
Another reason why the keto genic diet is considered healthy is that it increases your intake of unsaturated fats, which have been shown to lower your risk of heart disease. These fats are found in foods like fish, nuts, avocado, and olive oil.
The diet does increase your saturated fat consumption, however, which is associated with a higher risk of heart disease. So be sure to keep your total fat intake to about 7% of your daily calories.