We eat to fuel our bodies, quiet our minds and help us perform to the best of our abilities. But with so many different conflicting notions of the healthiest diet, how do you decide which one is right for you?
Food is made up of calories. Calories are a unit of measure, specifically defined by the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius. But counting calories alone is not enough for optimal health. We need to concern ourselves with the number of vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients we eat, especially if we want our bodies to perform at their peak.
There are three macronutrients that we need to focus on. They are proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Each macronutrient has its place in how we function. A diet that is balanced in macronutrients is typically best. What happens when your body doesn’t benefit from a truly macronutrient balanced diet? You find other options that lead to better health, such as a Ketogenic diet.
First, let’s understand the different macronutrients and how they benefit us:
- Carbohydrates: carbs are fiber, starches, and sugars. The body converts carbs into glucose, so we have the energy to function throughout our day. Simple carbs, usually called processed carbs, give you that quick energy boost to beat that 3 p.m. slump. In contrast, complex carbs, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains provide us with disease-fighting vitamins and minerals as well as fiber to promote a healthy gut ( bonus is fiber keeps you full for longer).
- Proteins: Protein is the muscle-building macronutrient because it contains amino acids. Protein is essential for the structural support of our organs, hair, skin, and nails. It is typically found in animal products, but it can also be consumed in plant form (think tofu) or by eating nuts and legumes.
- Fats: fats are an essential part of a healthy diet. Historically given a bad rap, medical science has realized that consuming healthy fats is beneficial. Healthy fats, such as avocado, olive oil, olives, and nuts, helps lubricate our joints, keep our skin and hair soft, shiny, and supple, ease digestive issues, and balance hormones and cholesterol.
A Ketogenic diet focuses on eating higher amounts of proteins and fats while eating less than 50 grams of carbs per day. This style of eating dates back to the 1920s, when scientists discovered that a high-fat diet lessens epileptic seizures in children. Over the last decade, evidence has been compiled to show that high fat, high protein – low carb diet, is beneficial for many health issues. The keto diet puts your body into a state of ketosis where it burns fat for fuel and energy, creating ketones in the liver that supply the brain with energy for everyday function.
A typical day on a Ketogenic diet would be two eggs, with ½ an avocado, black coffee, or tea for breakfast. 3 oz of salmon on a bed of greens drizzled with olive oil for lunch, a handful of almonds or cashews for lunch, followed by 4 oz of steak with green beans sauteed in butter for dinner. Adopting a Ketogenic lifestyle can almost guarantee weight loss, as your body becomes efficient at fat burning. It will also give your skin a healthy glow and strengthen your hair and nails due to the high consumption of healthy fats and proteins.
Studies have shown that a Ketogenic diet can help alleviate the symptoms and progression of the following 15 conditions:
- Epilepsy – a high-fat diet reduces overactivity in the brain, the leading cause of seizures.
- Metabolic syndrome – a pre-diabetic syndrome caused by the body’s inability to break down simple sugars, devoid on Keto.
- Glycogen Storage Disease/Forbes Cori Disease – ketones alleviate symptoms by providing the liver with an alternate energy source.
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome – reducing insulin levels slows the growth of the disease.
- Diabetes – simple carbs elevate blood glucose levels; by omitting them from your diet, blood sugar levels decrease.
- Cancer (specific types) – cancer cells feed off of simple sugars. A Ketogenic diet starves cancer cells, and replication slows.
- Autism – a diet low in carbs reduces overactive brain activity.
- Parkinson’s Disease – keto helps reduce physical symptoms.
- Obesity – a diet high in healthy fats and protein turns the body into a fat-burning machine, encouraging the body to burn fat for fuel.
- Glut 1 Deficiency Syndrome – a rare genetic disorder caused by a missing protein that moves sugar to the brain. A Ketogenic diet provides an alternate fuel source for the brain for better performance.
- Traumatic Brain Injury – a diet high in healthy fats and proteins alleviates swelling in the brain.
- Multiple Sclerosis – a Ketogenic diet suppresses inflammation that causes swelling to the nerve endings.
- Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease – a Keto diet helps to reduce liver fat, which causes liver disease.
- Alzheimer’s – the increase in ketone levels helps increase brain function in Alzheimer’s patients.
- Migraine Headaches – a Ketogenic diet has been shown to reduce the frequency of migraines.
There are many health benefits to living a Ketogenic Lifestyle. Sometimes people need a coach or someone who can help them navigate until they are comfortable making the choices on their own. At Longevity Care Clinic, we make your health and wellness our priority. Our medical staff doesn’t look to treat the symptoms of your ailments. We do comprehensive screenings run various labs and tests to get to the root cause of your conditions. Our nutritionists create personalized dietary guidelines so that our patients can attain optimal health and wellness. If we recommend that you switch to a Ketogenic lifestyle, we will be with you via our one-on-one coaching until you are comfortable with your newly chosen lifestyle. Call us today and schedule your consultation so you can live a life filled with vitality and optimal health.