Everything in life is cyclical and one of the trends that we have noticed reemerge in the past few years is the low carbohydrate AKA the ketogenic diet. In this article we will discuss the benefits of going low carbohydrate, some of the possible drawbacks and emerging science on the subject. Carbohydrates are essentially compounds made of starch, cellulose and sugars which can be broken down into useful energy for the body. Most physiology classes tote carbohydrates as "quick energy" that can be easily utilized...Sounds good right?
So why would we want to reduce carbohydrates?
Well the answer is that YOU may not want to reduce carbohydrates. The factors that carbohydrates are broken down into are proven as the best sources for athletic activities like biking, hiking, swimming, etc. However, carbohydrates are inherently hard to stay away from... besides tasting amazing, consumption of carbohydrates create a spike in a digestive hormone called insulin. Insulin is responsible for getting sugars out of the blood and into storage...When insulin pushes the sugars from the blood into storage the body can have a type of withdraw that increases the craving for more sugar (and that’s why most people will eat dessert 3x/day over the holidays). Additionally, this blood sugar and insulin wave is thought to contribute after lunch lethargy and siestas (afternoon naps).
What is good about low carb/ketogenic diets?
Ketone bodies or ketones are the result of fatty tissue being metabolized. The brain and muscles use glucose and glycogen (carbohydrates) as an energy source. When carbohydrates are lowered the body will start creating ketone bodies and use them as an energy source. Possible benefits for switching to a low carb or ketogenic diet include weight loss, increased energy, decreased sugar cravings, clearer focus, and decreased systemic inflammation. Some of the leading-edge research is currently studying the benefits of ketogenic and low carb diets and positive effects on neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's. There is also promising research studying the benefits for people with traumatic brain injuries and seizures! More research is needed to be done, but if you feel you are at risk for any of the aforementioned it may be worth a try. What it all breaks down to is finding the best lifestyle for you. For some people eating low carb, or vegan, or whatever fad comes along will be amazing and the perfect fit for them. What we always recommend is self-experimentation and journaling the results. As you probably have heard us say before... Every Bo/img/uploads/keto.png dy is different!