(NaturalNews) A ketogenic diet is a very low carbohydrate, moderate protein and high fat based nutrition plan. The diet trains the bodies metabolism to run off of fatty acids or ketone bodies. This nutrition plan has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation, leading to improved muscle development and fat metabolism.
The ketogenic diet is built around good fats such as grass-fed butter, coconut products, avocados, nuts/seeds, pasture-raised animal products and extra-virgin olive oil. Fat levels should be between 60-80% of one's daily calorie intake. The diet also focuses on low-carbohydrate fruits, vegetables and herbs as staple components.
How ketones are formed?
The body has two major energy sources, it burns glucose or ketone bodies. The majority of people burn glucose primarily because they are constantly eating a steady form of sugar, starches and proteins that can be turned into blood sugar. When one fasts, or goes on a high-fat, low-carb and moderate protein diet, they switch their energy source to fat.
Specifically, fatty acids are broken down into ketone bodies. The three major ketones metabolites produced in the body include acetoacetate, acetone and beta-hydroxybutyric acid. These are released into the blood from the liver when insulin levels are low and hepatic liver metabolism is increased.
Healthy cell membranes:
The cell membrane is the double outer layer of fatty acids. This structure is made up of a blend of saturated, monounsaturated and highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFAs). The cell membrane and particularly the HUFAs are very susceptible to free radical damage.
This free radical damage causes lipid peroxidation and negatively effects hormone sensitivity. For example, elevated lipid peroxidation leads to issues like insulin resistance and poor blood sugar metabolism. Subsequently, this leads to fat storage and muscle tissue breakdown.
The two biggest dietary factors that reduce lipid peroxidation include: 1) The Anti-oxidant content of the diet 2) Carbohydrate level of the diet
Research has shown that a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet reduces oxidative stress in the body (1). The reduction in oxidative stress on the cell membrane allows for the formation of healthy insulin receptors and normalized blood sugar regulation. This improves insulin sensitivity, which further reduces inflammation and fat storage in the body.(2)
Protein sparing & healthy muscle tissue:
A desirable physique is strong, having well-developed muscle tissue that is genetically congruent for the individual. The antagonist to this is again poor blood sugar sensitivity and insulin resistance.
A properly formed ketogenic diet maintains circulating branched chain amino acids (BCAAs). These BCAA's (leucine, isoleucine and valine) and especially leucine are critical for protein and muscle synthesis in the body. As a powerful powerful regulator of muscle protein synthesis, blood leucine levels increase on a ketogenic diet. Meanwhile, insulin levels decrease, as does muscle inflammation.
This keto-adapted state improves the efficiency of protein utilization. This greater economy of protein allows for less protein to be consumed while still maintaining healthy blood leucine levels for proper muscle development and recovery. As a result, muscle cells will have an environment that promotes proper development and optimal functioning.
About the author: Dr David Jockers is a Maximized Living doctor and owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Georgia where he specializes in functional nutrition, functional medicine and corrective chiropractic care to get to the underlying cause of major health problems.
His website features great articles on natural health and incredible recipes. He is the author of the best-selling book SuperCharge Your Brain - the complete guide to radically improve your mood, memory and mindset. He has over 50,000 active followers on his social media and email newsletter and is a big influencer in the Primal Health movement.
Dr. Jockers is also available for long distance consultations and health coaching to help you beat disease and reach your health goals. For more information got to www.drjockers.com