Basically speaking, a ketogenic diet is packed full of healthy fats while cutting down on carbohydrates, sugar, and protein.
The idea is that your body enters ‘ketosis‘ – where your body burns fat as its main fuel source, instead of sugar. By relying on fats instead of sugar, the way your body processes sugar and carbohydrates changes.
By managing your intake this way, you feel fuller for longer, and this can all have a positive impact on a number of conditions.
This diet has been found to improve drug-resistant epilepsy by producing a chemical naturally in the body. This chemical, decanoic acid, has been found to help reduce seizures in some epilepsy sufferers.
The use of a ketogenic diet to treat epilepsy is not new and has 90 years of evidence to support it. Not only that, but it has also been so effective in this way, that it is now being studied to see if it helps similar symptoms in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients.
2. Children with Metabolic Disorders
A ketogenic diet and its focus on healthy fats help to improve cell functions, including mitochondrial function. That may sound really complicated, but by helping your cells out like this, it will help regulate your metabolism.
Often carbohydrates and sugars work to speed up and slow down your metabolic rate at the same time. By reducing carbohydrate intake, a child’s system starts to balance itself out.
3. Obesity and Diabetes
With the body coming back to its natural metabolic rate, we get a firm grasp on insulin levels in our system. Our bodies handle the intake of fat and sugar at a manageable rate; we also feel fuller for longer as our system becomes less familiar with carbohydrates.
This can put a stop to unhealthy food cravings and binge eating. The resulting effects on weight and the insulin in the body help women with PCOS, who find their symptoms worsened by high levels of sugar and carbohydrates.
The ketogenic diet forces the body to interact with fat and sugar in a different way; while the healthy fats involved have been proven to lower bad cholesterol. Yet, as with all diets, some conditions mean that a ketosis diet may not be suitable for some people.
Some doctors even say that the strict nature of this diet means that it should only be done under medical supervision. While the diet is promising for certain conditions, it is not considered safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women, those with gallbladder disease, those with a BMI of 20 or lower, and several other conditions.
If you would like to try the diet yourself, here are some meal plans and recipes.