Have you heard about the "new" keto diet? Actually the keto, or ketogenic, diet isn't new at all. The ketogenic diet has been around for thousands of years!
What's a ketogenic diet?
The ketogenic diet involves a dramatic reduction and replacing of sugars and carbohydrates with healthy fats. The purpose behind these changes is to shift the body's energy-making powerhouse centers (aka, the mitochondria) away from making energy from sugar and carbohydrates (or glucose) as your body's main source of fuel to actually burning fat in the form of ketones for energy. These ketones (acetoacetate, acetone, beta-hydroxybutyrate) are manufactured in the liver. When a person is using ketones as a fuel source, he or she is considered to be in "ketosis", which is the goal of the ketogenic diet.
The incredible amount of sugar and carbohydrates typically consumed in the standard American diet makes ketosis a difficult shift most people. As difficult as it may be, however, the more we begin to rely on fat as our predominant fuel source, the better our health can be.
It's very imporant to mention that for the keto diet to actually be effective, you not only have to increase your intake of healthy fats, but you absolutely have to reduce your consumption of sugar and carbohydrates. If you just start adding fats to your diet, you'll end up doing more harm than good to your overall health.
What are people saying about keto?
1. Keto might increase insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar.
Decreased insulin sensitivity is a precursor for type 2 diabetes, coronary artery disease, and even Alzheimer's disease. The keto diet has been shown to both lower blood sugar while increasing insulin sensitivity.
2. Keto may help in the treatment and prevention of neurodegenerative disease.
From epilepsy and dementia to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, keto has been used to treat even prevent such diseases.
3. keto could be more effective than a low-fat diet .
Time to toss out those fat-free foods! Studies show that a keto diet is not only better at controlling hunger and regulating appetite but actually leads to more weight loss than a fat-free diet.
4. Keto is thought to help reduce inflammation
Inflammation is thought to be the root cause of chronic diseases like diabetes, dementia, heart disease and even cancer.
5. The ketogenic diet May Reduce free radicals in the blood.
Free radicals are the by-product of the energy produced by the mitochondria (mentioned earlier), and it's these molecules that damage fat, protein and even your DNA. The mitochondria produce more free radicals when burning through sugar and carbohydrates than when they're burning through fat in the form of ketones.
The keto trend will only continue to grow in popularity but before you hop on the keto bandwagon, be sure to talk with your doctor before making any dietary changes. This is a lifestyle change, you must drastically reduce your carb intake while simultaneously increasing your fat intake for keto to be safe and effective.
Fortunately, you can still have your keto cookies and eat them too!
Chocolate Keto Cookies
Gluten Free, Keto, and Paleo
- 3/4 cup Sunflower seed butter
- 3/4 cup tahini
- 2 eggs [Quality matters! Be sure you know where the eggs come from and what the chickens were fed]
- 2/3 cup raw cacao powder + 2 Tablespoons
- 1/3 cup xylitol powder
- Pinch of pink himalayan salt
- *optional - Lily's stevia sweetened dark chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 330°F and line a baking tray with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, stir together seed butters, eggs, salt and xylitol. Sift in cacao powder and stir in optional stevia chocolate chips.
The dough will be slightly sticky. Using your hands, roll cookie-sized pieces between your palms and press them onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake 11-14 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool before enjoying them.