The ketogenic diet or keto diet, consists of a low carbohydrate, minimum protein, and high-fat eating plan. It produces a transition in the metabolism in which substituting the carbs for fats and ketones, and you will achieve that these will convert into energy.
Ketogenic diets, or “keto,” have been around for a long time. Treatment for epilepsy have done in the 1920s; they provided the science behind the Atkins diet that became popular in the 1970s. And now they are back. These are the answers to questions about, and whether or not they are a sensible method for older adults to lose weight.
KETOSIS AND THE BRAIN
The brain consumes 20% of the energy of our body. For a long time, fats consider not to be a proper “fuel” since the brain cannot use it as energy for two reasons:
- They cannot cross the blood-brain barrier.
- Some brain cells do not have mitochondria.
- By cons, the brain can consume glucose very well.
It is one of the most used reasons to recommend carbohydrates as the primary source of energy.
Now you know that this is only half true. Even better food for the brain has discovered: ketone bodies.
There is a piece of evidence behind this claim proved by science:
- The ketone bodies are instrumental in reaching the brain.
- They have antioxidant and free radical reduction effects via the regulation of Coenzyme Q.
- Increase the concentrations of polyunsaturated fatty acids that have a neuroprotective effect.
- GABA neurotransmitter expression increased.
Our bodies do not store ketone bodies, so our liver is prepared to produce them from fats. Beta-hydroxybutyrate represents 70% of the energy used by the brain and is produced only in the liver from fatty acids.
Bottom line: The brain can get energy from fats through ketone bodies, and this has beneficial effects.
KETOGENIC DIET BENEFITS
THE KETOGENIC DIET FOR WEIGHT LOSS
The ketogenic diet not only helps in weight loss but rather a diet for metabolic systems. In most cases, this leads to natural weight loss.
The weight loss effect has been seen in many studies to be superior to other traditional diets. However, metabolic reeducation has a much longer-term effect.
It is also especially useful in burning fat that accumulates in the abdomen. Its effect we see in the feeling of satiety caused by slower digestion of fats.
The increase in ketone bodies in the blood also has an effect in reducing the sensation of hunger, which notably decreases the anxiety associated with weight loss diets.
THE KETOGENIC DIET AND SPORTS PERFORMANCE
The elite athletes need to eat 4 or 5 times a day to avoid losing muscle mass and recover well from workouts.
With the ketogenic diet and metabolism in ketosis, this is no longer necessary.
Fat metabolism is much more efficient. Therefore, eating less, we get more energy.
It implies that with just two meals a day, we can get all the energy necessary to perform and leave us time to fast, which induces more significant cell regeneration.
High concentrations of ketone bodies in the blood promote more excellent compaction of DNA, which is more protected from oxidative damage. It affects the speed of recovery after exercising.
But ketone bodies are not for everything.
When we enter anaerobic metabolism (sprints, HIIT), not enough oxygen reaches the cell. Glucose then goes into action with anaerobic metabolism.
This metabolism change does not have to worry you, on the contrary, it is very healthy for the body to adapt to different energy needs
In summary: ketosis gives us more energy to recover faster, and we need to eat less. Giving the body time to regenerate better, but always within the aerobic metabolism.
Studies have shown that levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin one beta, TNF alpha, and interleukin six will reduce when we enter ketosis.
KETOGENIC DIET AND CANCER
In many types of tumors, the mitochondria are degraded and therefore depend solely on glycogenesis to grow. It is called the Warburg effect. If we lower glucose levels, we can kill cancer by starvation.
There is positive evidence. Cancer cells eat mostly glucose; some cancer cells cannot metabolize ketones. “With a ketogenic diet, perhaps we can essentially make cancer cells starve,” says Prado.
In animal studies, researchers have shown that fasting or severe carbohydrate restrictions can slow or stop the growth of some tumors.
Small human studies suggest that this may be a useful adjunct to radiation and chemotherapy. But the research is still in very early stages to say for sure. “The results are promising,” says Prado. “But they are not consistent. And it is challenging for people to follow the diet.” Until there is complete information,
SUITABLE FOR PEOPLE WITH DIABETES
Keto diets can help people improve their insulin sensitivity, and also Type 2 diabetes will be in control. It can make it healthy by The ketogenic diet. An analysis of studies from the International Journal of Diabetes and Clinical Research concluded that keto diets “should be taken seriously into consideration as a possible standard therapy for diabetes.”
Ketogenic diets not only have a smaller effect on the loss of muscle mass compared to other foods but also allow to maintain this mass with lower protein consumption. These cases can be anecdotal, and we do not know what mechanism they follow.
The effect of ketosis on longevity, we see a clear association between improvement in energy performance and, therefore, a reduction in food consumption. Also, in a state of ketosis, it is easier to establish intermittent fasting.
We already know that a caloric restriction lengthens life. We are beginning to see that intermittent fasting has a similar effect.
It is using for a long time to mitigate neurological diseases such as epilepsy. It is considered one of the most effective interventions against this disease.
KETOGENIC DIET RISKS
The ketogenic diet doesn’t have many problems if we do it right.
If you do not watch well to consume enough vegetables or other foods rich in micronutrients, a deficiency of vitamins, minerals, and fiber can generate. This problem is easily avoidable if a varied diet is maintained, and vegetable-based fat is obtained, such as avocado, nuts, and fiber from leafy vegetables.
In my case, I also recommend that vegetables always keep as much macro and micronutrients as possible. Therefore, depending on the green, eat it without cooking, such as arugula, or cook it at low temperature for hours.
It is common to confuse low carbohydrate intake with high protein intake. Consuming too much protein activates the gluconeogenesis pathway that transforms the amino acids of the protein into glucose. Therefore we are unable to enter ketosis.
The ketogenic diet is not advisable in people with liver or heart problems since, in some cases, it has led to the development of arrhythmias.
People with diabetes, not to enter ketoacidosis, a state in which too low insulin levels cause a build-up of ketone bodies that lower blood pH. It resolves quickly with reasonable insulin control and is not a problem for non-diabetics.
The worst problem is the social pressure to eat carbohydrates. Undoubtedly many of you who already follow the paleo diet will have experienced episodes of social rejection for not eating pasta. Imagine if we also restrict all carbohydrates!
In our free course, I tell you much more about the potential problems of the keto diet and how to avoid them.
Another consequence that may appear is bad breath caused by the increase of ketone bodies in the body and in some people tiredness and fatigue when suppressing carbohydrates.
First of all, the best thing when it comes to dieting is to consult a nutritionist who develops a personalized plan that allows us to lose weight, without altering our health.
Without the supervision of a professional, since all food groups are essential and necessary for the body, so it is not advisable to permanently do without one.
The key is to avoid excesses, look for options, and have the opportunity to enjoy your diet, do not see it as a diet but as a lifestyle.
A specialist evaluates you and that according to your calorie needs to determine what diet you should follow based on the objectives you want to achieve.