Reducing Inflammation on a Keto Diet
Chronic inflammation is one of the leading causes of serious disease. While a keto lifestyle is often touted for weight loss, the benefits extend far beyond just reaching your weight loss goals.
Reducing inflammation is one of the huge advantages of the keto lifestyle diet. Let’s delve into the topic of inflammation and how the keto lifestyle can prevent the onset of many common illnesses.
What is Acute Inflammation?
Let’s make the important distinction between healing inflammation and chronic inflammation. Injured areas often respond with swelling and inflammation. It’s a natural and healthy part of the healing process.
Inflammation improves injuries by bringing in leukocytes (body’s white blood cells), increasing fluid to the area, and releasing growth factors. This short-term response is known as acute inflammation.
What is Chronic Inflammation?
By definition, chronic means recurring or long-term. Chronic inflammation, as opposed to acute inflammation, is linked to serious health problems.
These debilitating issues include everything from obesity to inflammatory bowel disorders, cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Diabetes, kidney disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and cancer.
Worldwide, chronic inflammation-connected diseases are responsible for more than 50% of all deaths! That astronomical figure tells us that reducing chronic inflammation is a key to long-term health.
What’s one of the best ways to reducing inflammation?
You guessed it: The keto lifestyle diet. Let’s look at some of the common inflammatory diseases.
Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is caused by high blood sugar levels over an extended period of time. This can lead to increased insulin resistance and eventually diabetes.
Obesity is thought to account for 80-85% of the risk of developing type 2 diabetes according to this research. And obese individuals are up to 80 times more likely than those with a BMI less than 22.
Inflammatory Bowel Disorders
Chrone’s disease and ulcerative colitis are inflammatory bowel diseases that cause long-term inflammation in the digestive tract.
Chrone’s disease is caused by inflammation in the lining of the digestive system. Ulcerative colitis is characterized by inflammation and ulcers in the large intestine.
Genetics and diet play a role in the development of these disorders. An alteration in diet will mitigate the debilitating symptoms of these diseases.
Cardiovascular disease includes a range of conditions, including heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. According to the CDC, it’s the primary cause of death in the United States.
The buildup of cholesterol and fat along artery walls restricts blood flow. Also known as atherosclerosis, it narrows the arteries.
Beyond high levels of cholesterol, research from Johns Hopkins shows that inflammation plays a central role in the development of cardiovascular disease.
Neurodegenerative diseases include a wide range of conditions from memory loss to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, disease.
In general, neurodegenerative diseases have been linked to the death of neurons in key areas of the brain. Research has shown that chronic inflammation is a contributing factor.
Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a common chronic illness that’s linked to obesity and diabetes. It is characterized by excess fat in the liver cells.
Science shows that a healthy lifestyle and diet, along with weight loss will improve this condition.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), “Recent data have expanded the concept that inflammation is a critical component of tumor progression.”
Furthermore, the NCBI states that “These insights are fostering new anti-inflammatory therapeutic approaches to cancer development.” Harvard Medical School states that an individual can control 70% of the risks of getting cancer and diet is one of them.
Chronic inflammation is also present in chronic kidney disease (CKD). CKD affects 15% of America’s adult population with a mortality rate higher than prostate cancer and breast cancer. When diagnosed early, the progression of CKD can be stopped.
Early detection and treatments include a nutritious diet, exercise, medications, lifestyle modifications, and the management of risk factors such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
Keto is Power
As Francis Bacon, the English philosopher, wrote: “Knowledge is power.” I’ve provided a brief description of inflammatory-related diseases and you’ve probably noticed the common denominator to reduce your risk to all of them: Diet.
Knowing that diet can prevent, and can be the key to reducing inflammation, gives you the power to improve your health.
A keto lifestyle diet is particularly effective since it offers a path that helps you navigate around illness. Read my story and discover how it worked for me. I started years ago and I’ve never looked back.
Keto is a high-fat, moderate protein, and low carbohydrate diet that induces ketosis. Ketosis means that your body is using ketones as its primary fuel source instead of carbohydrates (sugar).
In this metabolic state, the body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy.
Not only does it promote weight loss, this process also has the concurrent benefit of reducing inflammation.
When our bodies go into ketosis, there are three ketone bodies released. They are acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate, and acetone.
The NLRP3 inflammasome is activated rapidly in response to dangers to the body, such as infections, poisons, or too much glucose.
Although beneficial in many situations, this receptor is stimulated excessively by eating inflammatory meals on a daily basis. Therefore, It stands to reason that by producing beta-hydroxybutyrate through ketosis, the body reduces inflammation.
Inflammation is associated with many serious threats to your health. Consider that a keto lifestyle diet can be an effective solution to reduce their onset.
The Best Anti-inflammatory Foods
While keto leaves room for a wide variety of cuisine, here is short list of some of the best inflammation beating foods:
- Avocado oil
- Fatty fish
- Dark green leafy vegetables (kale, chard, spinach, collards)
- Olive oil
The Worst Inflammatory Foods
- Alcoholic beverages
- Corn oil
- High fructose fruit (oranges, bananas, pineapple)
- Processed Foods
- Processed grains (barley, wheat, rice)
- Safflower oil
- Soybean oil
- Starchy vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash)
Keto Wins the Inflammation Battle
You probably discovered the keto diet since it presents a route to weight loss. Beyond achieving a healthy weight and looking better, keto is an inflammation fighter. And that helps reduce the risk of a host of serious illnesses.
A keto lifestyle diet has improved the health of so many. I’m committed to helping others join me on the path to a better lifestyle. If you ever feel the need for support reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m here for you.
MEDICAL AND NUTRITION DISCLAIMER…Please note that I am not a medical or nutritional professional. I am simply recounting and sharing my own experiences on this blog. Nutritional break downs are done using a commercial nutrition calculator. Nothing I express here should be taken as medical advice and you should consult with your doctorbefore starting any diet or exercise program. I provide nutritional information for my recipes simply as a courtesy to my readers, this should never be construed as medical advice.
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