Keto Diet: Burn Fat For Fuel

Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet and Reducing Meal Frequency Can Solve Many Common Ailments

Traditional weight loss advice suggests all you need to do is count calories, eat less and exercise more. Somewhat better recommendations specifically recommend cutting down on sugar. However, while many will initially lose weight doing this, it usually doesn’t take long to gain the weight back. Before you know it, you’re caught in a loop of yo-yo dieting. There’s a better way. A great many of the disease epidemics facing us today could be turned around by educating people about the benefits of:

  • A diet high in healthy fats, moderate in protein and low in net carbohydrates (total carbs minus fiber)
  • Intermittent fasting
  • Longer water fasting

It’s important to realize that calories are not created equal, and this is why counting calories doesn’t work for weight loss and health in the long run. The metabolic effects of calories differ depending on their source — a calorie from a Twinkie is not equivalent to a calorie from an avocado or a nut. That said, excessive snacking is a significant contributing factor to obesity, so, to lose weight and keep it off, you may need to reduce your meal frequency.

Burning Fat for Fuel Improves Mitochondrial Function

Eating a diet low in net carbs and high in healthy fats and/or fasting will allow your body to burn fat rather than glucose as its primary fuel. This has the sought-after side effect of improving mitochondrial function, which is foundational for disease prevention and optimal health. The mitochondria within your cells are largely responsible for generating the energy (adenosine triphosphate or ATP) your body needs to stay alive and thrive.

They’re also responsible for apoptosis (programmed cell death) and act as signaling molecules that help regulate genetic expression. When your mitochondria are damaged or dysfunctional, not only will your energy reserves decrease, resulting in fatigue and brain fog, but you also become vulnerable to degenerative diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and neurodegenerative decay.

Fat Is Your Body’s Preferred Fuel

When your body is able to burn fat for fuel, your liver creates water-soluble fats called ketones that burn far more efficiently than carbs, thus creating far less damaging reactive oxygen species and secondary free radicals. This is why being an efficient fat burner is so important for optimal health. Ketones also improve glucose metabolism and lower inflammation.

Recent research suggests a ketogenic (high-fat, low-carb) diet may even be key for reducing brain inflammation following stroke and other brain trauma. Chronic inflammation is a hallmark of most chronic disease, including pain-related conditions such as arthritis. As noted in one study, ketogenic diets appear to be helpful for inflammation-associated pain by:

  • Generating fewer inflammatory reactive oxygen species
  • Lowering the excitability of neurons involved in pain signaling
  • Boosting signaling of the neuromodulator adenosine, which has pain-relieving effects

For more information or to set up a nutritional assessment with our dietician, please call or contact us today.

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