Despite the complex name, the idea behind the ketogenic diet is a simple one. When the body is fed a constant diet of foods with high fat and protein, it begins to burn fat rather than carbohydrates. When this occurs, the liver begins a conversion of fat into ketone bodies and fatty acids. The body then begins to use the ketone bodies as a source of energy. This stands in stark contrast to a typical diet in which carbs are turned into glucose which are then used as a fuel source for the body.
In this way, the ketogenic diet mimics some aspects of starvation while providing adequate nutritional needs. Unlike other diets which limit protein or calorie intake, a properly planned and implemented ketogenic diet does not lead to muscle loss.
There are many reasons to consider a ketogenic diet. The most obvious is to promote the aforementioned fat burning properties. Several studies have shown that the diet is effective for many trial participants. Some physicians also recommend a ketogenic diet to treat epilepsy in children. On another note, a ketogenic diet for adults has been promoted by weight lifters and bodybuilders for several decades to help muscle gains and fat loss. Since a well rounded ketogenic diet can encourage extreme fat burning, it helps in maintaining the sculpted look that fitness enthusiasts strive for.
Sufferers of type 2 diabetes may also be interested to know about a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet government study that has been published recently. It has shown that the ketogenic diet is an effective method of lowering insulin dependence. Some studies have also shown hemoglobin levels improving at a rate much greater than a low fat diet that also limits caloric intake.
A lot of the ketogenic diet for adults flies in the face of what many people consider to be dietary wisdom. Normally, fatty foods are associated with being fat. But our understanding of nutrition and how the body deals with carbohydrates is much more advanced in modern times than when these older principles were laid out.
Take a moment and start to think about all the sources of carbohydrates in your diet. The most obvious culprits are soda and other sugary beverages, foods made of refined flour as well as those that are high in starch, such as white rice and potatoes. These foods are easily digestible in the body. Although that sounds like a good thing, it simply means that the body processes the carbohydrates in them more quickly, and then pumps a large load of glucose into the bloodstream. Insulin is the primary regulator of lipoprotein lipase, which is what forms outside the cells in our body and promotes fats to come inside and be stored.
So what exactly can those on a ketogenic diet eat? A high fat and high protein ketogenic diet for adults is very easy to plan. Lovers of meat and cheese will be right at home while following this nutritional regimen. Deep fried foods are also great to have. Just make sure to keep the amount of breading or flour to a minimum. As with any diet changes, be sure to consult the doctor before taking the plunge. There are side effects on the ketogenic diet, and although rarely severe, your physician will be able to guide you through the process.