What is Keto
The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that involves reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis.
When this happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain.
In essence, it is a way of eating that causes the body to release ketones into the bloodstream. Most cells prefer to use blood sugar, which comes from carbohydrates, as the body’s main source of energy. In the absence of circulating blood sugar from food, we start breaking down stored fat into molecules called ketone bodies (the process is called ketosis). Once you reach ketosis, most cells will use ketone bodies to generate energy until we start eating carbohydrates again. The shift, from using circulating glucose to breaking down stored fat as a source of energy, usually happens over two to four days of eating fewer than 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. Keep in mind that this is a highly individualized process, and some people need a more restricted diet to start producing enough ketones
Ketogenic diets can cause massive reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels. This, along with the increased ketones, has numerous health benefits
The ketogenic diet actually originated as a tool for treating neurological diseases such as epilepsy.
Studies have now shown that the diet can have benefits for a wide variety of different health conditions:
Heart Disease: The ketogenic diet can improve risk factors like body fat, HDL cholesterol levels, blood pressure and blood sugar (32Trusted Source, 33Trusted Source).
Cancer: The diet is currently being used to treat several types of cancer and slow tumor growth (4Trusted Source, 34Trusted Source, 35Trusted Source, 36Trusted Source).
Alzheimer’s Disease: The keto diet may reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and slow its progression (5Trusted Source, 37Trusted Source, 38Trusted Source).
Epilepsy: Research has shown that the ketogenic diet can cause massive reductions in seizures in epileptic children (3Trusted Source).
Parkinson’s Disease: One study found that the diet helped improve symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (39Trusted Source).
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: The ketogenic diet can help reduce insulin levels, which may play a key role in polycystic ovary syndrome (40Trusted Source).
Brain Injuries: One animal study found that the diet can reduce concussions and aid recovery after brain injury (41Trusted Source).