Is the ‘keto’ diet the latest celebrity diet or could it be the lifestyle modern society needs in order to address spiralling obesity rates and metabolic disease? If you haven’t heard of the ketogenic diet here is a run down:
Foods consumed are high in fat with a very low carbohydrate intake. By reducing carbs and replacing with fat the body goes into a metabolic state called ketosis. Ketosis is where the body uses ketones from the fats as its source of energy rather than from carbohydrates. Ketones are water soluble molecules produced by the liver from fatty acids when carbohydrate consumption is restricted. Ketones are converted into acetyl-CoA which are eventually used (after some complicated biological functions!) for energy by the mitochondria in our cells for physical as well as mental energy.
Make sense? It’s kind of confusing but supporters of the ketogenic diet say that this way of eating produces loads of health benefits and which is backed by over 20 studies.
The health benefits of being on a ketogenic diet include:
- Reduced blood sugar and insulin levels
- Weight loss
- Mental clarity
- Increased energy
- Balanced hormone levels
- Benefits with sufferers of Alzheimer’s and epilepsy
While there is plenty of supportive information that the ketogenic diet is good for helping to cure cancer, it’s important to note that ketosis is not recommeded for all cancers and it may actually hasten the disease. If you do have cancer you must consult a natural health or medical practitioner before making any dietary changes as ketosis may not be right for your circumstance.
Many ‘keto’ followers consume MCT oil daily. MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides which are fatty acids. The most common MCT oil comes from coconuts as its oil contains approximately 65% of MCT fatty acids. Despite being a saturated fat (which proponents of the low fat high carb diet say to avoid) the body is able to digest medium-chain easier than long-chain triglycerides (LCTs). LCTs are found in most fats and oils, including olive oil, soybean oil, fish, nuts, avocado and grain fed meat.
MCT oil is more concentrated than your standard coconut oil and is more beneficial when on the ketogenic diet. MCT oils can sometimes have other concentrations from oils such as flaxseed.
So if you love your butter, cream, bacon and full fat milk maybe the ketogenic diet is for you! But as always check with your natural medicine practitioner or doctor before making any major dietary changes. It is only recommended to be in ‘ketogenesis’ for no more than 6 weeks due to the risk of kidney damage. You can check if you are in ketosis using Bayer Ketostix.