What is keto and why should I consider it?
Every now and again I like to revisit this question and take it back to the basics.
Keto first came across my radar about two and a half years ago.
Within a year, I committed my nutritional therapy practice to it because I saw that it was a game changer. There are very few people who do not benefit from doing what we call keto-adapting (this does not necessarily mean keto forever; more on that later.)
Keto is short for KETOGENIC. A ketogenic diet is a very low carb diet that retrains the body to burn fat, instead of carbohydrate, for fuel.
This fat can come from your diet or your body.
Ketones are great fuel for the body, including the brain. With keto, we swap glucose (from sugar or carbs) for ketones (from fats).
Keto-adaptation is the process of retraining your body to use fat as fuel, which we are all born knowing how to do (think nursing babies- human milk is high fat, low carb!).
Keto-adaptation allows us to burn fat very efficiently and to not need sources of glucose, from sugars or carbohydrates.
Why do we want to do Keto?
Once we are keto-adapted we are no longer subject to the brief supply of glucose, or sugar, in our blood to feel good.
We retrain the body to make quick use of our fat stores as well as fats from the diet to stay satiated and fueled for much longer. We release stored fat, and we can go longer between meals, without that HANGRY feeling. (this is great for travel and airports!)
Our bodies (all of us) have thousands of calories of energy stored as fat. Let's use it.
Our energy is then steady and plentiful. We have access to the thousands and thousands of calories in our stored fat versus just the 1200 or so available from glycogen (stored carbohydrate) supplies. Our bodies prefer to store energy as fat, which must mean they know how to burn it! That's what keto can do, unlock all of that energy!
Insulin sensitivity improves, insulin levels come down, and therefore weight set points come down.
Those with pre-diabetic or diabetic conditions see blood sugar markers improve in big ways, and quickly. (it is always amazing to see this in my clients, and I never get tired of it!!)
Keto often reduces inflammation.
Inflammatory conditions are improved. Often chronic pain lessens. Migraines recede or virtually disappear.
Our brains run better on ketones; we have less brain fog, clearer thinking, and more chance for creativity. Brain cells last longer when they run on ketones.
Mood is steadier and more even on keto.
Those with any kind of degenerative brain diseases can see significant cognitive improvement.
Those with epilepsy or autism see improvement in interactions, and fewer seizures.
Hmmm....it's almost like we are meant to run (at least some of the time) on ketones.
What are the benefits of Keto?
To continue and summarize the list:
-Better energy, more steady throughout the day
-Can improve digestion and digestive issues
-Can lose weight with less or without hunger
-Satiated for much longer without needing to refuel
-Access own body’s fat for fuel
-Eliminate hypoglycemic energy patterns
-Improve chronic inflammatory conditions, insulin resistance, and diabetes
-Reduce metabolic disease factors
-Improves triglycerides and HDL cholesterol level
KETO is a game changer.
When I started to see my own changes through keto and those of my clients, I just decided that I wasn't doing anyone any favors not putting this front and center in my work, so that's what I did.
It's not the only piece of the puzzle (think sleep, stress, and sunshine), and everyone must find their balance once they regain their keto-adaptation. This is what I mean by 'not necessarily forever keto'. I see keto-adaptation as a time to reclaim your ability to burn fat for fuel; once you accomplish that, then you must find the right balance of fat burning and healthy carb burning that works best for your body.
KETO keeps us YOUNG!
And feeling good throughout our full lives. Keto can help us ward off the ravages of many degenerative diseases considered 'normal' in old age.
Watch 'The Magic Pill'
For a great picture of how our bodies are meant to be fueled and more on keto from lots of amazing leaders in the field, watch the movie 'The Magic Pill' on Netflix. It's free and it just might change your life. You will be moved by the stories of these families as we follow along on their keto journey.
Want to chat about your situation?
I welcome your questions about keto and if it is a good fit for you! Please contact me for a free 20 minute phone consult. Find me on my webpage: www.nourishstrength.com
And be sure to join my Nourish Strength Keto Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/NourishStrengthKeto/