Benefits of Keto

A little appreciated (but important) fact: for most of human history, a regular person would be regularly exposed to ketosis. This was mostly light and transient, sometimes more protracted. But they were never far from a mildly ketogenic state for many reasons. Food availability wasn’t always a sure thing, after all. Metabolic flexibility was honed with longer fasts as well as shorter stretches induced by compressed eating windows that came of a day away from camp or extended hours before morning meals. Even in recent decades, people relied more on set mealtimes with little to no snacking in between, meaning more chances for ketosis. Being fat-adapted as a result conferred benefits beyond the immediate flexibility in energy sourcing. The evidence is present in research today…. Fat Loss Although keto is not a classical weight loss diet, it can and does help people lose body fat. After all, to generate ketones without eating ketogenic precursors, you have to liberate stored body fat. But that’s not the main mechanism for ketogenic fat loss. Ketosis doesn’t melt body fat away like products touted on late night infomercials promise. Instead, it works for many of the same reasons a standard low-carb Primal way of eating works: by reducing insulin, increasing mobilization of stored body fat, and decreasing appetite. This is the very real “magic” of metabolism. Ketosis suppressing appetite may be the most important feature. The overriding drive to eat more food is the biggest impediment to weight loss, and it’s the reason why most diets fail. When people attempt to eat less food despite wanting more, they butt up against their own physiology. Few win that battle. Ketogenic dieting avoids this issue altogether, suppressing the increase in hunger hormones that normally occurs after weight loss. Ketogenic diets are especially effective for massive weight loss. If you have a ton of weight to lose, aiming for ketosis could help you lose body fat. Again, not because of any inherent fat-burning quality of the ketones, but because in order to make ketones you must liberate stored body fat. Many diets work in the short-term and fail in the long run. Weight loss isn’t worth anything if you can’t keep it off. Ketogenic diets appear to be good for long-term maintenance of weight loss, at least compared to low-fat diets. Treatment of Major Disease States The ketogenic diet first emerged as a tool for clinicians to treat their patients with epilepsy. It was—and remains—the only thing with the consistent ability to prevent seizures. Whether it’s Thai kids with intractable epilepsy, Scandinavian kids with therapy-resistant epilepsy, or adults with refractory epilepsy, ketogenic diets just work. Ketosis improves epilepsy via several mechanisms. It increases conversion of glutamate into glutamine into GABA, reducing neuronal excitability. It increases antioxidant status in the neuronal mitochondria, improving their function. It reduces free radical formation in neurons, a likely cause of seizures. These effects on neuronal function and health, along with the ability of aging or degenerating brains to accept and utilize ketone bodies, also have implications for other brain conditions, like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, bipolar disorder, and many psychiatric disorders. Ketogenic diets aren’t just beneficial … Continue reading Benefits of Keto