Hopefully by now you’ve got some idea of just how awesome keto is. Just to emphasize this point, here we’ll delve into all the other benefits of the ketogenic diet beyond weight loss, along with the scientific evidence to prove it.
If you’ve been reading the previous articles then you already know that keto has some incredible benefits for your health, mind and body. But how do you know that you’re actually in ketosis? Well, my friend, allow me to illuminate the possibilities.
Diabetes Reversal and Prevention
This might shock you but the keto diet could hold the key to the treatment and prevention of one of the biggest disease epidemics of our time. Although technically classified as a ‘disease’, diabetes is better described as a form of slow food poisoning. Our bodies simply cannot cope with the overdose of sugar pumped into our food supply. Typically the body turns excess sugars into fat to get it out of the blood stream.
There comes a point when the body doesn’t want more fat to store, so it stops ‘listening’ to its own signals, via the hormone insulin, and we become ‘insulin resistant’ otherwise known as Type 2 Diabetes. The medical treatment is to ‘force’ the body to respond to insulin (also forcing it to store fat). The nutritional treatment, which makes much more sense, is to stop eating the sugars which are causing the problems in the first place!
Cutting out all refined sugars and reducing carbs gives the body time to recuperate. Blood pressure, blood sugar and other indicators of metabolic disease all reduce when you cut out sugar! With time, and without the daily insult of toxic sugar, the body, specifically the pancreas, will heal and recover. Ketosis does not treat diabetes, it merely provides the sugar-free conditions the body needs to heal itself.
The Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism published an amazing study: in a 6 month trial, 95% of the diabetic patients involved had either come off or significantly reduced their medication by simply cutting out carbs. This might be surprising news, it wasn’t reported in the mainstream media. Unfortunately diabetes has become a cash-cow for big pharma. Many doctors are simply unaware of the power of nutrition and that diabetes can be reversed with a keto diet.
Ketosis is Neuroprotective
In the last few decades there has been an alarming increase in neurological conditions like dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s – these conditions are becoming more common and occurring in people of younger ages.
However, just like many of our modern diseases, the increase in these conditions is linked to diet, specifically to our consumption of addictive and refined sugars and carbohydrates (Alzheimer’s has actually been nicknamed “Type 3 Diabetes”).
Ketosis seems to protect the brain from these degenerative diseases, because, firstly, the increased efficiency of using ketones for fuel helps brain neurons adapt to metabolic challenges. Secondly, the reduced production of free radicals also has an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect on the brain.
Further studies in the journal of Gerontology found that giving patients with Alzheimer’s a meal high in carbohydrates reduced their memory and made symptoms worse. Studies in the journal of Neurobiology and Aging found that giving patients with Alzheimer’s disease MCT oils IMPROVED their memory and reduced their symptoms.
The journal of Neurology published an amazing study showing a 48% reduction in Parkinson’s symptoms after just 28 days on a ketogenic diet. Carbohydrates, in comparison to fats, are in fact a relatively ‘dirty’ fuel with lots of metabolic by products. These by products, called reactive oxygen species or free radicals, react with healthy tissues and reduce their function over a prolonged period of time.
Many of the brain disorders and so-called diseases of old age are, in fact, another form of slow food poisoning from sugar. But with keto you will be protecting your brain by providing it with a much cleaner, and safer fuel: fat.
Increased Mental Wellbeing
Yet another huge brain benefit from consuming ketones is improved mental health. Specifically, ketosis increases your concentration, improves mood and reduces anxiety and depression. Just reflect for a moment, who wouldn’t benefit from that?
Ketosis changes the way in which the brain processes a specific amino acid called glutamate. When you eat carbs glutamate is made into aspartate which is stimulatory. But, during ketosis glutamate is made into a substance called gaba which is calming. When you have higher levels of gaba you feel relaxed and less anxious.
The brain, like most systems in the body, is controlled by mechanisms that act like accelerators and brakes – eating carbs, and specifically sugar – is like putting your foot onto the accelerator, sending your brain into overdrive. No wonder people are so stressed out. You’ve probably witnessed this when children consume sugary products and, if they’re your kids, drive you nuts.
The typical high-carb Western diet is linked to an increase in depression and anxiety, the two leading
mental health disorders afflicting people worldwide. Consuming ketones also provides a steady source of fuel avoiding the typical highs and lows of carb based diets. This means the body never has to feel physically stressed about a lack of fuel.
Many people report increased feelings of concentration, calm and mental well-being on a keto diet, this is due to many factors, including: a reduction in sugar-craving bad bacteria and yeast which are linked to brain fog.
Ketones fuel the brain more efficiently so more energy is given to tasks that require focus. Ketosis also increases the number of mitochondria (the body’s cellular power houses), thus providing more energy for the brain.
So, unlike most typical low-fat diets which make people cranky and miserable, when you are on ketosis you will more than likely feel calmer, clearer and more focussed.
Scientists discovered a correlation between rates of sugar consumption and cancer. Further investigation revealed that cancer cells prefer sugar as a fuel and yet more research revealed that, due to genetic defects, cancerous cells can only use sugar for fuel.
More recently a groundbreaking study was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation which concluded that sugar not only feeds cancerous cells, but actually causes some cancers. They present radical yet powerful evidence that high blood sugar levels create an ‘oncogenic environment’ (an environment which pushes cells to become cancerous) by switching on cancer causing genes and metabolic pathways.
Sadly, it’s unlikely you’ll come across this breath-taking news on the TV or in the newspaper. The sugar industry, and its lobbyists, are immensely powerful, and hugely profitable. Just like the tobacco industry they pay to prevent information like this reaching public awareness, and big profits drive big propaganda campaigns and they pay off scientists and officials to allow them to continue making immense profits from their toxic goods.
If you know somebody who is currently impacted by cancer you could save their life by simply sharing this information. We do not need to continue getting sick with a disease which can be treated with our diet. As Hippocrates, the father of modern Western medicine said, “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
The human immune system is an amazingly adaptive and intelligent defence against all the bacteria, viruses and pathogens that can make us sick. However, there is a plague of auto-immune problems where the immune systems seems to be attacking itself, these include disease like: multiple sclerosis, lupus, arthritis, psoriasis and many more.
In these conditions something is going wrong with the signalling mechanisms which tell the immune system what to destroy and what to protect. One of the culprits for why this might be is sugar. Sugar, as we’ve been learning, is a dirty fuel which creates a lot of free radicals.
The free radicals damage DNA, cellular membranes, fats, blood vessels and enzymes.
Normally, the free radicals are mopped up by ANTI-oxidants in the diet or produced in the body. But many people do not have enough antioxidants in their diets to prevent this damage. When the free radicals build up it sends the immune system into a state of “inflammation without infection.” When you have an infection, from a cut for example, you WANT inflammation as it brings all of the immune ‘good guys’ along to the scene to protect it and repair damage.
But, when you have chronic inflammation without infection, in the case of a high sugar diet, the immune system is like an armed squad with guns loaded and nothing to shoot at. When this happens, the immune ‘guns’ go off accidentally and it starts shooting at its own cells. We call this auto-immunity, but really the blame should not be on our amazing immune systems, but the free radicals produced by excess sugar.
Even more support for the anti-inflammatory nature of ketosis was published in the journal of Nature Medicine demonstrating that one of the metabolites of ketosis, beta-hydroxybutyrate, actually inhibits inflammatory cells, making the whole immune system much calmer and able to tackle real problems and perform regular repairs.
Really this is the aging effect of the sugar diet that we are preventing with keto. The free radicals from eating sugar have a very negative impact on two common proteins in the body called collagen and elastin. Our skin and blood vessels are made from these two proteins which give it strength and suppleness.
When free radicals attack these proteins the results are fine lines, wrinkles, sagging skin and other common signs of aging. On the surface we can see aging as wrinkles and looking older, but the same aging effects are also happening internally. This means the keto diet will naturally slow down the progression of time and help you keep your radiant youthful looks, inside and out.
Beyond weight loss, keto offers even more awesome benefits
These include diabetes reversal and protection, being neuroprotective, increased mental wellbeing, treating and even preventing cancer, supporting the immune system and being anti-aging