Fad diets are always in demand as they offer instant gratification. What most people need is slim figure, for the time being. Yet, very few realize the absurdity of this approach; it is easy come and easy go. Not only are fad diets ineffective in the long run, but they are also not always the best for the health.
One such rad diet is the ketogenic diet. The fundamental of keto is to change the macro-nutrient intake. Fats comprise around 75% of the diet, 20% is protein and only 5% carbohydrates are allowed. Thus, when the body needs energy, it breaks down fat as carbohydrates are not available otherwise.
Is keto good or bad?
Keto is still up for debate. Like any fad diet, keto does not address the fundamental problem of weight gain. Moreover, it is very difficult to follow through. It also can also potentially lead to kidney and liver problems as well, if sufficient care is not taken with the meal planning.
However, there are plenty of benefits of keto diet as well. It is very popular for amongst kids suffering from epilepsy and has showed promising results. However, confer with the best neurologist in Karachi before supplementing it with the patient’s treatment plan.
Keto also helps with weight loss. It also helps to cut down carbohydrates and therefore eliminate the processed food and white complex carbohydrates that are not good for the health.
However, an important part of keto is its impact on the cognitive health.
Connection between keto and brain
Brain maybe a tiny organ, but it needs significant number of calories to function properly. Hence, what we eat has a deep-rooted connection with the brain. It, much like the body, has glucose as the basic source of energy.
Therefore, yes, carbohydrates serve as an important fuel in the body, however, their deficiency can be made up by fat and protein. So, technically, a zero-carbs diet is possible, but, it’s not possible to live without zero protein or fats diet.
Brain gets its nutrients, regardless!
In the dearth of glucose, liver breaks down fat into ketones that are then used up by the brain; ketones can cater to up to 75% of the brain’s energy needs.
In fact, when we sleep, that is precisely what goes in the body. Hence, ketones are an old hack for the brain; keto does not deprive the brain of anything!
Similarly, body can also produce glucose through the process of gluconeogenesis by using protein and the glycerol. Therefore, brain parts exclusively needing glucose are also provided with the respective nutrients by the body.
Omega-3 fatty acids are important compound that is imperative for healthy functioning of the brain. It helps in the development and maintenance of brain function. Therefore, memory, learning and other cognitive abilities are enhanced due to omega-3 fatty acids.
It also aids in preventing the age-related damage to the brain. Moreover, its antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties are also conducive for promoting health in general, and brain health in particular.
Omega-3 fatty acid is found foods like fatty fish, green vegetables, nuts, seeds etc., which are all of the foods that are to be taken during keto diet.
Ketones help with mitochondrial enhancement
Mitochondria are the power houses of the cells. The more they are, the merrier is the health of the cells and they are better able to deal with stress as well. Ketogenic diet is great for increasing the quantity and functionality mitochondria.
As brain contains most mitochondria, naturally it benefits most from the keto-diet.
Protects against oxidative stress
Oxidants are an unfortunate by-product of many of the metabolic reactions occurring in the body. These particles endanger other cells and induce neural stress by damaging the neurons.
Ketones help in inhibiting the production of these dangerous particles due to its anti-oxidative effect.
Neural communication is a composite of firing of the neurons and controlling this response. If there is any issue with the delicate balance of excitation and inhibition, neurotoxicity occurs.
Ketones helps in preventing hyper-excitement and the subsequent damage to the body.
Prevents from many brain diseases
Keto diet enhances the neuroprotective feature of the body i.e. it protects against the neurodegenerative diseases. When there is dearth of glucose in the body, brain functionality is gravely compromised.
Many of the mental illnesses occur to the metabolic issue or metabolic dysregulation, one case of which is insulin sensitivity. Brain cannot properly use the glucose present in the blood which leads to damages to the cells. However, ketones can address this issue by providing an alternative source of fuel to the cells.
Ketogenic diet therefore is good for prevent of degenerative disease like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s etc. People who are in early stages of the disease or at risk of it should hence consult with the top Neurologist in Karachi for going on keto diet to preserve their brain functionality.