Author: Ryan Dickey- Microbiologist, husband, dad, doer of healthy things.
Last Updated: 02-05-2019
Keto? Why Would You Do That?
Going keto sounds downright awful. To give up carbs so completely that you no longer eat any breads, pasta, rice, or delicious desserts? That’s not something that most people are running to do.
Myself included, but I had some encouragement in the form of an autoimmune disorder that makes me more likely to develop diabetes, and when those first signs of a prediabetic condition appeared, I decided to take action.
I started by weighing the choices between a ketogenic diet and a classic glycemic diet used for managing diabetes, and the recent research all favored ketogenesis for better results.
But I wasn’t following the online trends or fads, but rather, reading the research publications and clinical trials. Hunting down opinions from medical professionals about any inherent risks involved in diets like the ketogenic diet, where one must properly guide their body to use the metabolic process of their choosing.
Because really, that’s what it is. Our bodies are capable of using different methods to break down our food into the nutrients that it uses for fuel, and most of the time we’re using glycolysis to get our fuel, with ketogenisis being reserved for those longer fasting periods between our meals when the body still needs to be making energy.
Going keto means encouraging your body to use the ketogenic metabolic pathway as its primary source to make its energy. This puts you into ketosis, a state in which your body releases ketone bodies which flow from the liver to feed your brain and other vital tissues. New research continues to show that ketone bodies are an efficient fuel for you body and can be very beneficial to healthy living.
What are the Benefits
If you’re successful in transitioning to the keto lifestyle, then the benefits can be quite staggering.
Such as, potentially treating some forms of diabetes without the need for medication. Or significant weight loss that doesn’t just return like it does with standard low-carb diets (losing true adipose tissue, and not just water weight). Although, initially, the keto diet was developed as a way to reduce seizures in children with difficult to manage conditions.
And there have been numerous other benefits found as the diet has become more popular.
So I was encouraged not only by the fear of treating a looming diabetic condition for the rest of my life, which I very much did not want to do, but also out of curiosity- I wanted to know how true the claims were.
In my own experience, which has been just under a year so far, the biggest result for me is that my fears of developing diabetes have been put to rest (hopefully forever).
But I’ve also lost 55 lbs, don’t need as much sleep to function as I used to need, feel more energetic– as in, I now enjoy working out and running and being active, and feel like I have begun a new chapter in life.
Now, not all of this came at once. And initially I thought most of the claims among the trend-diet community were overblown. But the many of the benefits are there, and may even help you find and diagnose other issues you didn’t even know you had (I’m looking at you, gut health).
Going keto wasn’t something I jumped into with the intention of solving all my life problems, I was just running away from an impending doom. But the result has been nothing short of miraculous.
A month after I started, my wife decided to join me in the adventure and we haven’t looked back since.
My love of cooking and baking and confectionery crafting have adapted along with the rest, and I don’t feel like anything has been lost in this transition; just a whole lot of bad stuff that got left right where it belongs, behind me.