What is the ketogenic diet?
The ketogenic diet is known as the lowest-carb diet, where the body produces ketones in the liver that are converted into energy.
The ketogenic diet now has many different names:
- Ketogenic Diet
- Super low carb diet
- Low-Carb-High-Fat (LCHF)
- Atkins Diet
Normally, on a normal, high-carbohydrate diet, the body uses glucose as the main form of energy.
When you eat something high in carbohydrates, your body produces glucose and insulin.
- Glucose is the simplest molecule that your body can convert into energy and use as energy, so it is selected over any other source of energy.
- Insulin is made to process the glucose in your bloodstream by moving it around the body.
Since glucose is used as the primary energy in a normal diet, fats are not needed and are therefore stored on the hips.
By lowering carbohydrate intake on the ketogenic diet , the body is put into a state known as ketosis.
Our body switches from glucose to fat as an energy engine.
In this state, we produce ketones, which are produced by the breakdown of fats in the liver.
The ultimate goal of a properly maintained keto diet is to get your body into fat metabolism.
So ketosis is a natural process that the body initiates in order to survive when food intake is low.
With the ketogenic diet, the body does this not because of a lack of calories but of carbohydrates.
This burns ketones as the primary source of energy.
Optimal ketone levels offer many benefits for health, weight loss, physical and mental performance. (more on this below)
Ketosis – what happens in the body?
The body is put into ketosis by ingesting proteins and fats .
This means that the metabolism burns more fat in adults with a sustained low intake of carbohydrates of less than 50g per day.
Under the influence of glucagon, to cover the required energy, there is an increased breakdown of fatty acids into ketone bodies in the liver as an alternative to providing glucose from the breakdown of carbohydrates. (Source Wikipedia ).
In the ketogenic diet, the muscles and the brain use the ketone bodies as energy suppliers.
“ Any remaining carbohydrate requirement, for example for the synthesis of secretions such as saliva, can be met by gluconeogenesis from amino acids and the glycerine in fats. “, It says according to Wikipedia.
Switching from a high-carbohydrate to a low-carbohydrate diet can lead to certain side effects such as headaches, you feel weak and you are no longer as productive as usual.
This usually only lasts for a few days and then you feel fitter again, at least that’s how we experienced it ( source ).
What are the benefits of the ketogenic diet?
Vegan ketogenic diet recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner
1. Helps prevent epileptic seizures
Those who think the keto diet is new are wrong. It has been around since the 1920s when it was used to treat childhood epilepsy.
Today it is still considered the right diet for epilepsy because research shows it can reduce the frequency of seizures by an impressive 30 to 40 percent.
2. Fights Parkinson’s
Parkinson’s is a devastating attack on the human nervous system, in part as a result of an abnormal build-up of a protein called alpha-synuclein.
Research suggests that the ketogenic diet may help break down these proteins and reduce the associated cognitive and motor symptoms.
3. Slows down Alzheimer’s disease.
Helps against Alzheimer’s disease thanks to the improvement of mitochondrial function.
4. Improves symptoms of multiple sclerosis
While research in this area is still in its infancy, a 2016 study found that the keto diet helped improve the quality of life, physical health, and mental health of patients with MS.
5. Keeps your heart strong
Especially with heart disease, the keto diet can help improve triglycerides, HDL, and LDL, and improve cardiovascular risk factors.
6. Regulates your blood sugar
The ketogenic diet helps regulate your blood sugar level and thus protects you from food cravings .
7. Helps fight cancer
The keto diet can have anti-tumor effects. Animal experiments have shown a reduction in tumor growth, stomach cancer and prostate cancer as a result of the ketogenic diet.
8. Helps in weight loss
Yes, this is probably the most important point for most: The ketogenic diet helps you lose weight because ketosis leads to suppressing the hunger hormone ghrelin and thus you also consume less food from the amount.
Ketogenic diet – the transition phase to ketosis
The reason for this is the changeover phase for the body.
If you previously obtained your energy primarily from quick carbohydrates (such as bread, pasta, rice, french fries or pizza) and now drastically reduce them, it is like suddenly trying to heat your grill with electricity instead of a fire.
The body needs a while to adapt.
In concrete terms : You will notice a slight discomfort in the first few days – called “Keto Flu” – but this will be gone after 1-2 weeks at the latest.
Where does this malaise come from?
Enzymes help the human body convert nutrients into energy.
They are the workers in the body and without them the workflow will not work.
Those who now use more fat as an energy source make their enzymes / workers who were previously responsible for the utilization of carbohydrates unemployed.
Conversely, there are not enough enzymes available to use fat as an energy source.
So he first has to create new enzymes that are so to speak “fat-burning experts”.
And that kind of thing takes time.
Usually this happens in about 3 to 4 weeks.
However, more severe side effects usually disappear after 3-4 days and you feel more energy than before.