Ketogenic Diet – How Does it Work?

A ketogenic diet is an extremely low carbohydrate diet that allows you to consume protein moderately and consume more fat. Currently known as “keto”, there is the most ideal approach in these areas, allowing your body to switch from burning sugar (carbohydrates) to burning fat.

Fat burning is your main fuel, which allows people to feel much better, think clearer, and completely change serious health conditions. In practice, you get the opportunity to eat real food in the form of natural fats and proteins (meat, fish, poultry), while carbohydrates (sugars and starches) are limited. In this blog, I will talk about how the diet works, how it can improve your well-being, and share the intricacies of the best use of the keto diet.

Low Carbohydrate Breakfast
Low Carbohydrate, Moderate Protein, Healthy Fat (LCHF) meal. Credit: Wunderstock

Keto Diet is a Therapeutic Diet

A ketogenic diet was originally developed as a therapeutic tool for patients with refractory epilepsy and has since been used as a complementary treatment in many health conditions.

For almost 100 years, it has been used to treat drug-resistant epilepsy, especially in children. It is clinically proven that this diet helps to treat other chronic diseases, including cancer, depression, anxiety, epilepsy, obesity, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Atkins’ very low-carb diet for weight loss became popular in the 1970s, which began with a very strict two-week ketogenic phase. Other diets have used a similar approach to lose weight.

However, the ketogenic diet is not just a regular diet but is a powerful metabolic tool for treating a wide range of diseases.

How Does Ketogenic Diet Work?

When you eat carbohydrates (sugar and starch), your digestive system secretes sugar (glucose), which is formed in the bloodstream. Higher carbohydrate intake leads to an increase in blood sugar and insulin, a hormone in the pancreas that regulates blood sugar. If you instead consume mainly fats and proteins and strictly limit your intake of carbohydrates, over time your cells will switch metabolic pathways and burn stored and dietary fat as their main source of energy instead of sugar.

As more fat is burned, part of it turns into ketone bodies. Low carbohydrate intake will lead to a drop in blood glucose and insulin levels and an increase in ketone levels, as the fat is removed from the store and broken down. Your muscles (skeleton and heart) will use fats to nourish themselves, while your brain absorbs ketones. The result is more energy, clarity of mind, and health. Ketones are useful in many ways, and “nutritional ketosis” (where blood sugar is low and ketones are moderate) has a powerful effect on your metabolism.

Find more details about the ketogenic diet in Mark Sisson’s bestseller The New Primal Blueprint: Reprogram Your Genes for Effortless Weight Loss, Vibrant Health, and Boundless Energy.

Get The Keto Diet Cookbook Today with a collection of 60+ delicious recipes.

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There is strong evidence that these metabolically affecting diets can be used to treat the following diseases:

Cancer:  Metabolic Therapy

Current research on metabolic cancer treatments using the keto diet continues to grow. The keto or treatment of metabolic cancer is somewhat different from the treatment of other diseases. It is discussed in detail in the book “Anyway You Can: Doctor Bosworth Shares Her Mom’s Cancer Journey: A Beginners Guide to Ketones For Life”  which is based on studies of metabolic therapy.

Ketogenic diets for cancer are being studied nationally. Being in nutrient ketosis affects cancer by starving individual cancer cells of sugar and other types of fuel that they need to survive. In addition, staying in ketosis provides support and protection for normal energy processes in healthy cells. The advantage of this treatment protocol is that it is not toxic to the body, and in the “wait and see” cases it can provide the patient with great health benefits.

Dr. Boz Keto Supplements that help to switch your body from burning glucose to ketones are also available on Amazon.

Keto diet
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Diabetes in All Forms

Type 2 diabetes

Although the current guidelines for diabetes mellitus treatment regarding the consumption of 45-65% of carbohydrate calories are starting to change, many practitioners still give old advice. The simple fact is that carbohydrate intake causes an increase in blood sugar. As blood sugar rises, more medication and insulin are needed to lower it.

Chronic high blood sugar also leads to tragic and in many cases unnecessary health complications. In contrast, a ketogenic diet reduces and in many cases eliminates the need for diabetic medication and reduces the number of units of insulin needed to regulate blood sugar.

Find out more in the “Conquer Type 2 Diabetes with a Ketogenic Diet” book.

Type 1 Diabetes

Reducing carbohydrate intake and increasing fat intake are also beneficial for people with type 1 diabetes, type 1.5, and LADA. A low-carb diet can help reduce the number and severity of hypoglycemic episodes, lower the results of an HbA1c test, and minimize future complications of diabetes.

Find out more in  “The Ketogenic Diet for Type 1 Diabetes book. These benefits are also possible for children with Type 1, and their parents should be aware that they have options.

Keto diet
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Ketogenic Diets Can Improve Other Health Issues 

In addition, there is a lot of scientific evidence that the following conditions can also be changed or significantly improved with a keto diet:

  • Insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and prediabetes: these conditions are directly related to the effects of chronically high blood sugar and insulin, leading to insulin resistance (IR). In addition, related conditions, such as liver obesity and PCOS, are also caused by IR. Low-carb and high-fat diets have been used in studies to treat and eliminate all of these IR conditions.
  • Heart disease: Cardiac risk factors improve when blood sugar and insulin levels decrease as a result of dietary changes. HDL cholesterol rises on a low-carb, high-fat diet, and triglycerides drop sharply. I also discuss what causes heart disease, and not the intake of cholesterol or saturated fats.
  • Autism: A new study shows that keto diets are helpful in treating autism.
  • Neurological disorders include ALS, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease: studies show that ketone bodies have a protective effect on the nervous system and slow down the development of diseases associated with the nervous system.
  • Mitochondrial myopathy: Keto diets provide mitochondrial support and can improve metabolic energy disorders such as pyruvate dehydrogenase complex deficiency (PDHC), type 1 glucose transporter deficiency (GLUT1), glycogen storage diseases such as Macardle’s disease, and a number of mitochondrial myopathies.
  • Aging: a ketogenic diet reduces inflammation by suppressing free radical activity and suppressing some inflammatory markers. The end result is a slower development of the human aging process.

Regarding weight loss, the keto diet has one of the biggest benefits that ketones and ketogenic diets helped manage hunger.

Read next: How to Boost The Immune System Naturally

The Negative Effects of a Ketogenic Diet

However, like any diet protocol, there are also some cons, from mild side effects to safety concerns. Even though the keto diet has promising therapeutic potential in many health conditions, there are certain subgroups where caution needs to be exercised.

Research has shown that very low-carb diets can lower thyroid hormone levels, specifically T3, the most metabolically active form of thyroid hormone in the body.

The bottom line is that the ketogenic diet is a powerful metabolic tool for treating a wide range of diseases. However, this is not a regular diet, and if applied correctly, it adjusts metabolic functions at the cellular level.

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