Why the Keto Diet is Good for Both Your Body and Brain
A lot of people are jumping on the wagon and trying out one of today’s most popular ways to lose weight quickly, the keto diet. The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat, protein-filled diet designed to make you lose weight by inducing your body to use ketones instead of carbohydrates. Besides helping you lose weight, the keto diet is said to offer significant benefits to both the body and the brain.
Ketogenic Diet Can Help with a Wide Range of Health Conditions
The most significant advantage of a keto diet lies in the fact that it can help with improving a wide range of health conditions. You can experience many unique benefits that not many other diets can offer thanks to keto diet’s ability to increase the body’s ketone levels. Among those health benefits that the keto diet offers include improvement of conditions such as:
- Type 1 Diabetes
- Type 2 Diabetes
- High Blood Pressure
- Chronic Inflammation
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Heart Disease
- Fatty Liver Disease
- Migraines, and more
As mentioned before, the main advantage of the ketogenic diet is in burning ketones. Restricting carbs result in a couple of things just so the body can meet its sugar needs. The body will first burn your glycogen stores. When it’s depleted, the body turns to break down the muscles. The body converts the muscle into sugar through the gluconeogenesis process.
With the massive sugar needs of the brain, it would need around 2.2 lbs. of lean mass each day. It means your body will be burning through your muscle so fast to meet the brain’s needs, leaving you without strength to even search for food. Thankfully, there is ketogenesis, which serves as an alternative to fat and energy source for the brain.
Benefits of Ketones to the Brain
Unlike fat, different enzymes and pathways are used to burn ketones than with sugar. That difference provides the body and brain with fantastic health benefits. Some of the brain health benefits of increasing ketones include the following:
More Efficient Energy Source
Ketones, compared to sugar, are a more effective source of energy per unit oxygen than that of glucose. Because of this, burning ketones could be a critical aspect of maintaining the aging brain cells’ health knowing that over time, they lose the ability to use glucose as a powerful brain fuel.
Increase the Efficiency and Production of Mitochondrial Cells
Ketones can increase the efficiency and production of the brain’s mitochondrial genes. It means that your brain cells’ capacity can be overall enhanced. With that means that through keto diet, the brain can be protected from strokes as well as neurodegenerative illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Trigger the Brain-derived Neurotropic Factor (BDNF)
With ketones, your brain-derived neurotrophic factor or BDNF, a protein that stimulates specific neurons across the nervous system, is triggered. The BDNF aids the brain’s existing neurons to survive while at the same, it encourages the new neurons and neuronal connection to grow and differentiate.
With a keto diet, your body can enjoy an improvement to a wide array of health conditions. At the same time, it also helps boost the health of your brain with ketones serving as a better energy source. Thanks to ketones, the functions of different areas of the brain such as the cortex, hippocampus, and basal forebrain, is significantly improved.