Keto And Your Brain
Keto And Your Brain
The modern prescription of high carbohydrate, low-fat diets and eating snacks between meals has coincided with an increase in obesity, diabetes, and increase in the incidence of many mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, and eating disorders.
The opposite of a low fat, snacking lifestyle would be the lifestyle our ancestors lived for tens of thousands of generations, the lifestyle for which our brains are primarily evolved. It seems reasonable that we would have had extended periods without food, either because there was none available, or we were busy doing something else.
Fortunately, we have a terrific system of fuel for periods of fasting or low carbohydrate eating, our body (and brain) can readily shift from burning glucose to burning what are called ketones.
How Keto And Low Carb Diets Provide Energy For The Brain
The brain turns to the ketone bodies to satiate its hunger, which improves long-term cognitive ability and supports cellular growth since the brain is primarily composed of fats. The ketone fueled mind also enjoys a far more balanced mood and better hormone regulation than the glucose fueled mind, leading to less stress and anxiety long-term.
Low-carb diets have a fascinating way of providing your brain with energy via processes called ketogenesis and gluconeogenesis.
Glycogenolysis and Gluconeogenesis are two types of processes occurring in the liver to release glucose into the blood. Glycogenolysis, as the name specifies is the breakdown of glycogen to release glucose molecules. ... Gluconeogenesis is the process which results in the formation of glucose from non-carbohydrate sources.
On a very low-carb diet, up to 70% of the brain can be fueled by ketones. The rest can be fueled by glucose produced in the liver.
Low carb Foods For Brain Function
You can eat for brain health even if you're following a very-low-carb diet. Make sure to include salmon, chia seeds, flaxseed and walnuts in your low-carb meal plans. These supply omega-3 fatty acids, nutrients your brain needs to make myelin, an "insulator" that helps your nerves communicate properly. The meats, leafy green veggies, nuts and beans in your diet contribute B-complex vitamins, which help you make myelin as well as produce brain hormones, like serotonin. And protein supplies tryptophan, an amino acid needed for serotonin production.
Other Health Conditions That Can Benefit From The Keto Diet
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes
High Blood Pressure
High Blood Sugar Levels
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Fatty Liver Disease
Although ketones save the brain and body in times of need, this isn’t the main reason why the ketogenic diet is so powerful. Ketones don’t just provide another source of energy for the brain — they provide a more efficient source of fuel that confers many astounding benefits. To say it more succinctly, the unique benefits of keto are all in your head.
By using the ketogenic diet to enter ketosis, you provide your body and brain with a more efficient fuel source that decreases inflammation and neuronal damage, improves brain cell growth and function, and regulates your brain’s neurotransmitters.
As an added bonus, you will be eating highly-satiating, healthy foods that will help you eat fewer calories, improve health, and lose fat rapidly.