You can’t talk about nutrition nowadays without someone bringing up ketogenic eating. It’s easy to understand why —the allure of butter, bacon, cheese and other “taboo” foods are encouraged. We covered the basics of the ketogenic diet last month. Check that out if you haven’t already and you’ll start to understand why keto made the list of Google’s Top 2016 Food Trends Report. Besides encouraging people to replace carbohydrates with fats as their main macro, why is keto such a buzz-worthy topic?
The roots of keto hold the key to the buzz. Since the 1920s, the ketogenic diet was discovered to decrease the rate of epilepsy in sufferers by a significant degree. Up until very recently, it was believed to be one of the only neurological benefits of the diet. Now with companies like Epigenix Foundation leading research into other categories like cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, we’re approaching a much deeper understanding of how ketosis may hold the keys to transforming our perceptions of nutrition. Regardless of your reasons for going keto, there are tons of benefits from making the switch.
1. Fight Cancer and Metabolic Disease
Cancer cells rely heavily on glucose for their own metabolism — but cannot use ketone bodies for fuel — meaning that starving the body of glucose denies cancer its favorite food source. Ketosis also helps rally against diabetes. Because glucose isn’t prevalent in your body, you completely avoid insulin spikes. Which brings us to:
2. Stable Blood Sugar Levels
Ketogenic dieting does an amazing job stabilizing blood sugar levels, which have long been connected to heart disease and diabetes. If you have diabetes, then it may come as a relief to hear that a keto diet can help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Many people see their cholesterol and blood pressure go down while on a ketogenic diet, lowering the risk of heart disease.
3. Increased Satiety
Fat is a very slow-digesting macronutrient, so if your main source of calories come from fats, you feel the urge to eat less often. This can be a huge benefit to bodybuilders who struggle to keep their numbers up. It’s like that old saying less is more — but this time, it’s actually true.
4. Keto for Bodybuilding
Many bodybuilders who go keto love its ability to allow them to push off meals for prolonged periods. This is usually a no-no in the fitness world, but the science behind keto backs up the practice. Once you’re keto-adapted, ketone production stabilizes blood sugar levels, removing the “sugar crash” experience on a high-carb diet. Those are just a few unsung benefits of entering ketosis and maintaining a ketogenic diet. With even more research being done on the benefits, there’s no telling where this nearly century-old diet will take our understanding of metabolism and its effects on our overall health.