Weight Loss Isn’t the Only Benefit
You may have heard about Keto because of the incredible amounts of weight people are losing. But did you also know that those people are healing their bodies from the inside out and stabilizing their hormones in the process of their weight loss journey?
When we seriously cut back the carbohydrates from our diet and enter a state of ketosis, things happen in our bodies that are nothing short of magical. Well, not really magical, the body just resets to what it’s suppose to be like: in a state of homeostasis. A state where it can heal itself and function at peak performance.
So, we see things like:
- Increased Energy
- Improved Cholesterol Profile (Lower LDL and Higher HDL)
- Lowered Blood Pressure
- Improved Brain Function, Clarity and Memory
- Improved Sleep
- Elimination or Reduction of Diabetic Medications
- Reduced Pain from Arthritis and Fibromyalgia
- Increased Fertility
- Elimination of Migraines
- Improved Liver and Kidney Function
- Clearing up of Skin Conditions: Acne, Eczema, Psoriasis
- Improved Thyroid Function
- Stronger Immune Systems
- Anti-Aging Effects through Autophagy
Ketogenic diets have also been used to successfully treat some cancers and eliminate seizures!
While weight loss may be a primary goal of getting into the Keto Way of Eating, it is most certainly NOT the only wonderful thing that is happening to you.
WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON HERE?
If you’ve been researching the benefits of the keto diet and ketosis you’ll have come across one key word: Inflammation.
Inflammation is the precursor to many and most chronic diseases, and a ketogenic diet reduces, and often times, eliminates inflammation.
There are two types of inflammation: chronic and acute.
Acute is the good kind. Acute means immediate, intense and necessary. The body is immediately responding to an injury that needs emergency attention. Like when you fall off your bike and scrape the skin off your knee. Your body’s immune system will send emergency help to that area of torn skin to keep you from bleeding out and to keep bacteria, viruses and toxins from getting in. It sends out an alarm to the army of immune cells in your body to go to work disinfecting, forming a barrier and repairing the injured area. The injury is contained and healed, and the inflammation alarm is over.
When inflammation is chronic, your body’s immune system becomes unbalanced and simply worn out. Chronic inflammation is like fighting a 1,000 year war with no end in sight. The troops get tired, confused, discouraged and some completely give up. This is seen in conditions like Pre Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Thyroid conditions, Auto Immune conditions, Coronary Artery Disease, PCOS, and even in Fertility issues.
OK, so what is causing this inflammation? The common denominator is insulin. Insulin is that hormone that is released when we eat carbs. Its function is to stabilize the blood sugar by getting it out of the blood stream and into the cells for energy or into the fat cells for storage. It unlocks the body’s cells to uptake the sugar and turn it into energy, AND it unlocks the fat cells to store any extra in case it’s needed later.
Unfortunately, when we are constantly eating carbohydrates (three, four or five times a day), we are incessantly creating insulin spikes. These repeated and continual insulin spikes lead to bouts of inflammation. The more frequent the spikes, the more intense the inflammation. So many so that the body becomes confused and thinks it’s under attack. Sound the alarm!
The body’s immune system goes into high alert and starts producing more and more of its army to head off the threat. Now the threat is detected everywhere and nowhere. It’s in ALL the cells. It’s like sniper terrorists hiding inside each cell in the body. The immune cell army doesn’t know who’s friend or foe. It becomes tired and confused; sometimes accidently attacking its own body and creating injury where there was none.
This is seen in coronary artery disease. The lining of our arteries is very receptive to changes within our bodies and is designed to instantly respond. However, when that lining becomes inflamed, it is easily injured. Let’s look at what happens:
- The artery lining becomes inflamed from insulin spikes and the immune system cells searching for “the bad guys”.
- The inflamed artery lining sounds the alarm to the immune system, and the artery is more prone to small injuries due to inflammation. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1860901/)
- Small injury occurs.
- The Immune System rushes in and fixes the arterial lining by building a patch of cholesterol and fibrin.
- Cholesterol is sticky and draws even more cholesterol, circulating triglycerides and calcium to it.
- Cholesterol, triglycerides and calcium builds up (plaque) to the point where it causes a blockage.
- In the worst cases, Heart Attack or Stroke ensues.
Do we treat this with medications? Surgery? Well, that would be up to your medical doctor. But one thing you absolutely can control, is the insulin spikes that are initiated the spiraling crescendo of inflammation that started it all.
BRINGING THIS FULL CIRCLE:
- Being on a Ketogenic Diet reduces insulin spikes in the body.
- A reduction of insulin spikes seriously decreases, or completely eliminates, inflammation.
- When we reduce/eliminate inflammation, hormone and immune system responses go back to normal.
- With hormone and immune responses operating normally, inflammatory diseases are lessened or eliminated, and the entire body functions better and heals quicker.
Who knew that by kicking carbs and refined oils to the curb, and eating bacon, salmon, prime rib and broccoli with butter could result in such amazing things.
Oh yeah, did I mention you’ll also lose weight?