The Keto or ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that in medicine is used primarily to treat difficult-to-control epilepsy in children. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates.
It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis.
What is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a normal metabolic process. When the body does not have enough glucose for energy, it burns stored fats instead; this results in a build-up of acids called ketones within the body.
Health Benefits of Keto Diet
While weight loss alone can offer monumental health benefits to many people, the keto diet may provide additional perks for a variety of medical conditions including diabetes, heart disease, and epilepsy.
Here are some common health conditions that may be positively influenced by a keto diet done right:
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when the body is not able to process sugar properly. Of note, carbohydrates are broken down by the body into sugars. Therefore people are often referring to the same thing when they use the words sugar, carbohydrate and glycemic control in relation to diabetes.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure (also called hypertension) can be caused by obesity. Losing significant weight, as often seen on the ketogenic diet can therefore significantly improve high blood pressure.
Similar to diabetes, there are a few precautions to consider if you are diagnosed with hypertension.
One would think that eating a high-fat diet would make your body more full of fat – specifically cholesterol! But studies suggest that the bad type of cholesterol (LDL) is often lower in people on a keto diet and good cholesterol (HDL) is higher.
Heart disease is rampant in our country and persists as the number one killer of Filipino’s today by way of heart attacks, strokes and heart failure, just to name a few. And each of the conditions discussed above – obesity, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol – are all major risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Improving any one of these conditions inherently decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Epilepsy (Seizure Disorder)
The ketogenic diet has been studied and utilized as an effective treatment for epilepsy for over 80 years. While it may seem surprising that a diet can demonstrate such dramatic effects on a neurological disorder, multiple well done studies in adults and children alike have found it to be a successful treatment in epilepsy. This diet can help improve and even cure some cases of epilepsy that are refractory to medications.
Polycystic Ovarian Disease
Polycystic Ovarian Disease (aka polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS) is a condition in which women have many cysts on their ovaries. While these cysts aren’t cancer and are not usually dangerous, they often cause women pain, and they can cause complications.
Watch the Video – Top 3 Recipes for Your Keto Diet
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