The Ketogenic diet involves eating foods that are low in carbohydrates and high in fat content. The recommended composition of such a diet is 5% carbohydrates, 20% proteins, and 75% of fats.
When your body does not get its carbohydrate fix, it initiates a natural process called ketosis in which fats are broken down in the liver to produce ketones.
Ketones burn more cleanly and efficiently than carbohydrate-based sugars, while also improving the production and functioning of the body’s powerhouse cells – mitochondria. The Ketogenic diet forces the body into ketosis by starving it of carbohydrates. This causes the primary fuel source for the body to switch from glucose to ketones. This process leads to healthy weight loss without having to fast or go on a crash diet – which is why the Ketogenic diet is gaining popularity worldwide.
Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet
While research is still underway, several studies prove that the Ketogenic diet offers a number of beneficial results including fat loss. Here are a few common benefits of the Ketogenic diet:
- Weight loss: While on this diet, the body derives energy from unwanted body fat. This leads to a drop in insulin levels, allowing your body’s fat cells to travel to the liver to be converted into ketones. This burning of fat results in effective weight loss.
- Increased energy level: The carbohydrates stored in your body provide energy that last for short burst. On the other hand, burning fat provides heightened energy levels for longer durations. This gives you increased energy and higher physical endurance.
- Improved focus and brain functioning: When the body is in ketosis, your brain receives a steady flow of ketones, thus improving your focus and brain performance. In fact, many people go on the Ketogenic diet to get rid of “cloudiness” of the mind, and improve mental clarity.
- Heart health: Often, people following this diet experience an increase in HDL (the good cholesterol), which reduces the chance of developing heart diseases. The Ketogenic diet helps improve triglyceride levels in your blood, thus aiding blood flow and preventing toxic build-up in your arteries.
- Lowered blood pressure: Studies suggest that the weight loss benefits of the Ketogenic diet also help maintain healthy blood sugar levels in the body, which in turn aids in reversing type 2 diabetes. Regulated blood sugar levels also mean less strain on your digestive system.
- Gut health: Since the Ketogenic diet means an increased intake of healthy fats, it helps in the transportation of food through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract by making it slippery. This aids in easy digestion, thus improving your gut health. Moreover, eating less carbohydrates also makes your stomach calmer by reducing gas and cramps.
Long before this diet began trending on the Internet, it was used to manage epileptic seizures. In later years, studies conducted in mice indicated that bacteria in the gut may play a major role in these anti-seizure effects of the Ketogenic diet. Furthermore, burning ketones releases fewer free radicals as compared to carbohydrate-based sugars. Studies show that free radicals have a damaging impact on your cells and DNA, so this means that eating a Ketogenic diet is likely to prevent common chronic health conditions.
How Does the Ketogenic Diet Impact Your Gut Health?
According to the American Heart Association, the recommended daily intake of fiber is 25-30 grams, whereas most adults in the United States currently average approximately 15 grams daily. Fiber content feeds the good gut bacteria and helps it colonize the gut microbiome effectively. In a Ketogenic diet, the acceptable foods include loads of vegetables and prebiotic-rich items with high fiber content that makes it easier for you to reach your recommended intake goals.
Not only does a Ketogenic diet feed the good bacteria in your gut, but it also helps starve the bad ones. Bad gut bacteria feed on refined sugar and processed foods, which are off the table in a Ketogenic diet regimen.
The Ketogenic diet also protects your gut lining from deterioration by cutting out items like whole grains and beans which may break down the tight fit between the cells of your gut barrier. Since this diet focuses on getting the right kind of healthy fats into your system, you get your fill of omega-3 fatty acids from plant oils, organic meat, oily fish, and clarified ghee. Omega-3 fatty acids boost microbial diversity in your gut creating a happier and healthier microbiome.
Ketogenic Diet and Probiotic Supplements for Maximum Impact
The positive effects of the Ketogenic diet include a healthier gut and digestive system. While this diet has many benefits, the truth is that no diet is a one-size-fits-all solution. As your body gets used to a new way of eating, you are likely to face some fatigue, especially if you are not being creative and giving your body what it needs to adapt to the new changes. In addition to the Ketogenic diet, quality probiotic supplements help keep your digestive system balanced and improve your immune system, and supports your metabolism, which makes it easier for your body to acclimatize to a new diet.
If you are prone to digestive trouble, starting any new diet may causes an imbalanced nutrition level in your body. In such cases, supplementing your diet with appropriate strains of probiotics can make a world of a difference. Here’s the Skinny is a probiotic supplement specifically designed to restore gut health, repopulate the microbiome, and improve digestive function. Shown to improve mood metabolism and bolster weight loss, this supplement is the perfect companion to the Ketogenic diet, leading to a happier and healthier you.
Barañano, K. W., & Hartman, A. L. (2008). The Ketogenic Diet: Uses in Epilepsy and Other Neurologic Illnesses. Current Treatment Options in Neurology, 10(6), 410–419., M. (2018, July 06).
Rao, R. K., & Samak, G. (2013). Protection and Restitution of Gut Barrier by Probiotics: Nutritional and Clinical Implications. Current Nutrition and Food Science, 9(2), 99–107.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3864899/