What is ketogenic diet?
A ketogenic diet is a special form of diet in which a particular balance between proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins is used to help an individual achieve specific health objectives. In the case of cancer, such a diet is used to help a patient retain the body in a state that is appropriate to minimize the impact of the disease and enhance the overall outcome of treatment.
The uniqueness of the diet is that it is designed in such a manner that an individual consumes a high amount of required fats, an adequate amount of proteins and a low amount of carbohydrates. When such an approach is used in a person’s diet, the overall way in which the body makes energy is changed completely. Focus now shifts from breaking down carbohydrates to fats. The process by which fats are broken down to produce energy leads to the formation of ketones. These are important compounds in the body of an individual.
How does a ketogenic diet work?
The process by which a ketogenic diet works in the human body is best understood when one considers what happens to carbohydrates that we eat as part of our diet. Basically, our bodies have been conditioned to derive their energy by breaking down carbohydrates into glucose. This conditioning has been a result of our eating habits where carbohydrates form the largest part of our meals.
However, there is an alternative way by which our bodies can get the energy required to power our daily activities: breaking down of fats that are stored in them. This is what happens when one goes without food for some time, the body automatically resorts to the stored fats for its own energy supply.
Therefore, when we change our eating habits by drastically cutting down on the amount of carbohydrates, we change the way the body gets its energy. When this type of diet is used, the body begins to break down fats into ketones in the process of getting energy.
The presence of ketones in the body offers a number of advantages. For example, ketones have been associated with good management of the weight of one’s body. This implies that using a ketogenic diet can help one to manage the body weight. Besides, ketones have been associated with enhancing the ability of the body to combat different forms of chronic diseases, cancer being one of them. Therefore, a ketogenic diet can be useful in helping one to overcome the effect of chronic diseases.
There are several things that one should consider when choosing the right ketogenic diet for cancer. This is so because although ketogenic diet has been known to help the body to fight different types of chronic diseases, when it comes to cancer, there are special things that should be taken into consideration.
First, the basic principle of using a ketogenic diet to help the process of treatment against cancer arises from the fact that cancer cells largely depend on glucose for their survival. Right from the process of angiogenesis to metastasis, cancer cells require a heavy supply of glucose. Therefore, by reducing the amount of glucose in the body, this diet directly inhibits the growth of cancer cells while ensuring that normal body cells have an alternative source of energy.
Second, with regard to cancer, choosing a ketogenic diet takes into consideration the level of ketones and sugar that are required by the body. This is so because the body needs a particular amount of the nutrients so as the overall aim of the diet of killing cancer cells while nourishing normal body cells is achieved.
Third, choosing the right ketogenic diet to help one overcome the effects of cancer requires a careful selection of the kinds of foods that shall be used. This is so because some foods are not recommended for use by a person who is using this form of diet. Therefore, one has to select only the types of foods that are required for a cancer patient. This can be easily done with the help of a physician.
What are the benefits of a ketogenic diet?
There are several benefits that one gets by choosing the right type of ketogenic diet. First of all, a ketogenic diet has a direct effect on cancer cells. This is so because when one takes the diet, the amount of sugar in the body is greatly reduced. Yet cancer cells thrive on body sugars. Therefore, by inducing a state of ketosis in the body, one is able to inhibit the growth and development of cancer cells within it.
The second benefit that one gets from a ketogenic diet is that it helps the body eliminate cholesterol successfully. Cholesterol may cause a number of health complications when it is left to accumulate in the body. However, when one uses a ketogenic diet, a special form of lipoproteins that carries cholesterol to the liver for excretion is produced. The ability of the body to excrete excess cholesterol and other unwanted compounds is beneficial to an individual since it reduces the overall level of toxicity.
AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Centre is a leading destination for cancer treatment and management. Dr. Dalal Akoury is highly experienced in helping cancer patients choose the right kind of ketogenic diet for their overall wellbeing. You can visit us in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for professional help on how you can develop a ketogenic diet that is appropriate for your condition.