Why is the keto diet good for you? A keto diet is one that prioritizes fats and proteins over carbohydrates. It can help reduce body weight, acne, and the risk of cancer. Find out about the mechanisms through which it achieves these benefits and the research that supports it. This MNT Knowledge Center article also discusses the risks of the diet. Read now
Ketones are a special type of fat that can stimulate the pathways that enhance the growth of new neural networks in the brain. A ketogenic diet is one that is high in fats, and this diet has been a tool of researchers for years, used notably in a 2005 study on Parkinson’s patients finding an improvement in symptoms after just 28 days. The improvements were on par with those made possible via medication and brain surgery. Other research has shown the ketogenic diet to be remarkably effective in treating some forms of epilepsy, and even brain tumors.
When it comes to starting the keto diet (or any diet for that matter), there's one thing all experts agree on. You *must* have a plan. "Never try to wing a keto diet," says Julie Stefanski, R.D.N., C.S.S.D., L.D.N., a dietitian based in York, PA, who specializes in the ketogenic diet. "Set a start date and get prepared by reorganizing your pantry, planning out meal and snack options, and purchasing appropriate foods and dietary supplements," she says. "The biggest reason people have a hard time sticking with keto is that people don't have enough interesting foods to turn to, and high-carb favorites win out over good intention. If you didn't buy foods at the grocery store that fit the guidelines, there won't be an easy option in the fridge when you really need it." (A great place to start is this List of High-Fat Keto Foods Anyone Can Add to Their Diet.)
Another product of elevated levels of free FA is polyunsaturated FA (PUFA). The potential ability of PUFA to block seizure activity in the brain is speculated to be associated with KD. Some mechanisms are thought to be a direct inhibition of voltage-gated sodium and calcium channels, modulation of a lipid-sensitive potassium channel, the activity of the sodium pump to limit neuronal excitability, or the induction of expression and activity of proteins in the mitochondria, thereby inducing a neuroprotective effect by partially inhibiting the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) (Bough and Rho, 2007; Paoli et al., 2014).
A lot of people take their macros as a “set in stone” type of thing. You shouldn’t worry about hitting the mark every single day to the dot. If you’re a few calories over some days, a few calories under on others – it’s fine. Everything will even itself out in the end. It’s all about a long term plan that can work for you, and not the other way around.
The hypothalamus is the brain's main center responsible for hunger/satiety (H/S) control. In the theory that Mayer proposed more than 60 years ago, he assigned a central role to glucose levels in the H/S control: the so-called “glucostatic theory” (Mayer, 1955). Mayer suggested that depletion of carbohydrate availability leads to hunger, and the hypothalamic centers with receptors sensitive to glucose levels might be involved in the short-term regulation of energy intake (Mayer, 1955). The “feeding center” in the lateral hypothalamic area (LHA), according to the glucostatic theory, reacts to the between-meal fall of blood glucose and stimulates food intake. The LHA contains glucose-inhibited neurons that are stimulated by hypoglycemia, a process crucial to mediating the hyperphagia normally induced by hypoglycemia. The subsequent post-prandial hyperglycemia activates the “satiety center” in the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH), which contains glucose-excited neurons and inhibits both “feeding center” and food intake.
Schele E., Grahnemo L., Anesten F., Hallen A., Backhed F., Jansson J. O. (2013). The gut microbiota reduces leptin sensitivity and the expression of the obesity-suppressing neuropeptides proglucagon (Gcg) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) in the central nervous system. Endocrinology 154, 3643–3651. 10.1210/en.2012-2151 [PubMed] [CrossRef]
I like to make a double batch and use them for meal prep throughout the week. They are portable, and reheat well. Great served alone, or with eggs for breakfast. Serve them up with a hearty salad for lunch or dinner. The possibilities are endless. I also like to mix things up a bit and whip these sausage balls up with some cream cheese and fresh herbs. DELISH! What is your favorite way to enjoy keto sausage balls?
"It was extremely difficult," he recalls. "You spend your entire life hearing that fat makes you fat and causes heart attacks and strokes. Now, all of a sudden, you're eating 200 grams of fat per day. There is a huge psychological component to conquer before you can become successful with the keto diet. In the beginning, it's like trying to convince people 1,000 years ago that the world is in fact round, not flat."
If you’re looking to get a jump start on your health and fitness goals this year, you may be thinking about trying the ketogenic diet. Maybe you’ve heard the phrase before — it’s a huge diet buzzword — but aren’t sure what it means. Here’s a primer: The ketogenic diet is an eating plan that drives your body into ketosis, a state where the body uses fat as a primary fuel source (instead of carbohydrates), says Stacey Mattinson, RDN, who is based in Austin, Texas.