10 Good Reasons to Try It…
The Ketogenic Diet is the current diet-of-the-moment. Unlike many fad diets, the Ketogenic Diet is therapeutic in nature and can benefit many people in many ways.
Who would benefit?
A Ketogenic Diet is well worth considering by anyone facing serious health challenges including
neurological issues or disease, mood disturbances, digestive problems, blood sugar regulation issues
including diabetes and insulin resistance, and those who need to lose weight. It is also a great option for generally healthy individuals who want to supercharge their health. Ketogenic eating has anti-aging and anti-cancer effects.
Ten Benefits of following a Ketogenic Diet besides weight loss include:
1. Optimize brain function and mental clarity
2. Stop food cravings
3. Anti-cancer strategy
4. Improve the gut biome
5. Improve energy
6. Increase muscle mass
7. Reduce or reverse insulin resistance
8. Reduce inflammation
9. Promote cellular detoxification
10. Slow down the aging process
What is nutritional Ketosis?
The Ketogenic diet is named after the biological state of ketosis, which is achieved when the human
body reaches a fat-burning state. Most Americans eat so many carbohydrates that the body always has a
plentiful supply of glucose to use for fuel. As a result, the body forgets how to
efficiently burn fat. By reducing carbohydrate fuel, the body is forced to
become an efficient burner of body fat and dietary fat. Fat is a cleaner source of fuel for the body
and produces less oxidative stress than carbohydrates.
What are the key aspects of a Ketogenic Diet?
Ketogenic diets have 4 main components.
1. low carbohydrate
2. high fat
3. adequate protein
4. combined with some degree of fasting.
Carbohydrates are primarily sourced from vegetables with good fiber content yet low carbohydrate content. There are a couple of fruits included as well, however grain, sugar and most dairy are excluded. Total net carbohydrate intake is usually recommended to be at or below 50 grams, a target that should be reached in a step like fashion over one to two weeks.
Fat content is high and very specific in source. Strong emphasis is placed on avoiding refined oils, trans
fats, and fats high in Omega 6 inflammatory oils. Recommendations are for fats to be anywhere from 50-80% of total caloric intake (e.g. 1200 calorie diet in which 600-960 calories come from healthful sources of fat). Caution should be used in reaching these levels of fats, accomplishing this by slowly increasing fat intake over several weeks to allow the pancreas and gallbladder time to adjust to a higher fat diet. Healthy fats provide satiation, improved mental clarity, and an excellent source of fuel for energy. They also help to balance overall cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation, and promote weight loss.
Adequate protein refers to the importance of getting enough protein without getting too much.
Most people will need between 30-70 grams of protein a day, spread throughout the day. This includes
protein from plant and animal sources. According to Dr. Mercola, in his book Fat for Fuel, excess
protein can stimulate a regulatory pathway in the body which can promote growth of cancer cells and
can convert to glucose, thus negatively impacting blood sugar and insulin levels (pp. 47-48). As with
carbohydrates and fat, source and quality of protein matters.
Finally, fasting is an integral part of teaching the body to burn fat efficiently. By working toward a slow
reduction in carbohydrates while at the same time increasing healthy, undamaged fats and introducing a fasting state 4-5 times a week, the body becomes an efficient burner of healthy fats instead of carbohydrates.
Once the body is “fat adapted”, meaning able to burn fats efficiently, recommendations are to then
cycle in and out of nutritional ketosis by feasting on higher carbohydrate vegetables and fruits once or
twice a week to maintain metabolic flexibility.
To minimize side effects and maximize benefits from the ketogenic diet, we recommend seeking guidance
from a nutrition expert knowledgeable about this diet. We also recommend that you read a book to ensure good
understanding and proper implementation.
Dr. Ron Rosedale (www.drrosedale.com) and Dr. Joseph Mercola (www.mercola.com) are both
proponents of this kind of diet for healing and good health. Information for this article has been taken
from these websites and Dr. Mercola’s book Fat for Fuel, published in 2017 by Hay House, Inc.