The ketogenic diet, more commonly known as the keto diet, is a low-carb, high-fat diet that not only offers several health benefits but has taken the world by storm. I am sure you have been bombarded with keto recipes, meal plans, tips for beginners, and so many other keto-related topics and begun to wonder how the keto diet works.
How Does It Work?
The keto diet is intended to coerce the body into using a different source of energy. Rather than depending on glucose derived from carbohydrates like grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits, the keto diet uses ketone bodies, which is an energy source the liver creates from stored fat.
What Is Ketosis?
Although burning fat appears to be the best way to lose a few pounds, getting the liver to produce ketone bodies can be difficult. First, you must get your body to enter a metabolic state known as ketosis where your body uses fat for fuel, rather than carbs, which is the primary source of energy for the cells. This involves limiting your carbohydrate intake to less than 20 to 50 grams of carbs per day. Furthermore, it usually takes a few days for the body to enter a state of ketosis, and consuming too much protein can affect ketosis.
What Are The Benefits Of The Keto Diet?
One of the many reasons the keto diet has gained popularity is because is it can stimulate weight loss by boosting metabolism and decreasing hunger. Additionally, keto diets are comprised of satisfying foods that increase satiety and can decrease the hormones that trigger the feeling of hunger.
Moreover, a meta-analysis of 13 different randomized controlled trials, scientists discovered people subscribing to a ketogenic diet showed a small but significantly larger decrease in weight, triglycerides, blood pressure, and a greater increase in HDL and LDL cholesterol than individuals on a low-fat diet at year 1.
Similarly, another systematic review of 26 short-term intervention trials assessed the appetites of overweight and obese persons on either a low calorie or ketogenic diet. Both participant groups lost a large amount of weight on both diets as well as reported fewer feelings of hunger and a decreased desire to eat.
Another benefit of the keto diet is it can potentially decrease the risk of certain cancers. Researchers have investigated the role that the ketogenic diet may play in helping to prevent or even treat specific kinds of cancers. One research study suggests the keto diet may be a reliable and acceptable treatment compatible with chemotherapy as well as radiation therapy in individuals who have particular cancers. This form of treatment raises metabolic oxidative stress in cancer cells ultimately resulting in sensitizing the cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapies.
Additionally, recent research suggests, limiting blood sugar may help to fight some cancerous tumor growths. Researchers regulated blood sugar levels in mice by supplying them with a ketogenic diet in addition to giving them diabetes medicine which inhibits the kidneys from reabsorbing glucose into the bloodstream. While this did not reduce lung and esophageal cancers in the mice, it did prevent their progression.
Even though some research proposes the ketogenic diet may be beneficial in cancer treatment, studies are still limited. Researchers need to conduct more investigations to completely understand how the keto diet can possibly aid cancer prevention and treatment.