What is a Keto Diet and How Ketones are produced?
The Keto or Ketogenic diet is a dietary approach that emphasizes high fat, moderate protein, and low carbohydrate intake. By restricting carbohydrates, the body is forced to enter a metabolic state called ketosis. In ketosis, the body shifts its primary fuel source from glucose (obtained from carbohydrates) to fat.
During ketosis, the liver converts fatty acids into ketones, which are molecules that serve as an alternative energy source for the body. Ketones, also known as “ketone bodies” can be used by the brain, muscles, and other organs as fuel. This process of breaking down fat and producing ketones is how the body generates energy on a Ketogenic diet.
The presence of ketones in the bloodstream is a key indicator that the body is in a state of ketosis. By limiting carbohydrate intake and increasing fat consumption, the Ketogenic diet promotes fat burning and can lead to weight loss. It also offers other potential benefits, such as improved insulin sensitivity, increased satiety, and potential therapeutic effects for certain medical conditions.
It’s important to note that the Ketogenic diet should be followed with proper guidance and monitoring, especially for individuals with certain health conditions or those on specific medications. Consulting with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian is recommended before starting any new diet regimen.
What is Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is a measure of the force exerted by circulating blood against the walls of blood vessels. It is an significant indicator of cardiovascular health. As the heart contracts and pumps blood throughout the body, it creates pressure within the arteries.
Blood pressure is typically measured using a device called a sphygmomanometer, which consists of an inflatable cuff and a pressure gauge. The measurement is recorded as two numbers: systolic pressure over diastolic pressure. The systolic pressure represents the force when the heart contracts and pumps blood, while the diastolic pressure represents the force when the heart is at rest between beats.
Maintaining a healthy blood pressure is crucial for overall well-being. If blood pressure becomes too high, it can strain the blood vessels and lead to various health problems, including an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, hemorrhages, and kidney issues. It is important to monitor and manage blood pressure levels to reduce the risk of these complications.
Lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, stress management, and medication can all play a role in maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. Regular check-ups with a healthcare professional are essential for monitoring blood pressure and taking necessary steps to manage it effectively.
Causes of High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure or hypertension can be caused by different lifestyle and diet factors. The most common factors leading to hypertension are the following:
Excessive Amount of Salt
While Sodium is a crucial mineral that the human body requires functioning, too much amount can lead to high blood pressure. Sodium intimately works with potassium to balance the fluid and blood volume in the body. The imbalanced ratio of Sodium to Potassium leads to high blood pressure.
Under stress, a human’s sympathetic nervous system, which is also known as “fight or flight” response, is activated. Stress turns on the sympathetic nervous system, which increases the blood pressure.
High Levels of Insulin
High levels of insulin can increase the reabsorption of Sodium by the kidneys. Insulin can activate the sympathetic nervous system as well, leading to hypertension. Therefore, keeping the insulin levels in control is necessary to manage the blood pressure.
Overconsumption of Fructose
Plain sugars and blood sugar play a crucial role in hypertension. Overconsumption of fructose can lead to high blood pressure in different ways – inducing excess amounts of Sodium and activating the sympathetic nervous system.
Adrenal disorders can cause high blood pressure. Especially, if the adrenals are secreting excessive amounts of the male sex hormone aldosterone, the Sodium/Potassium ratios will be imbalanced, leading to hypertension.
Owing to the nicotine found in most cigarettes, smoking can lead to increased heart rate and high blood pressure. Smoking can also activate the sympathetic nervous system and increased cardiac output, both resulting in hypertension.
Many medications have side effects, and increased blood pressure is common among them. Birth control pills, antidiabetic drugs, steroid drugs, and antidepressants can lead to hypertension.
What Happens When You Start a Ketogenic Diet?
Human brain requires a lot of energy to function, and fat cannot be utilized as the only energy reserve for bodily and brain functions. The human body only accepts glucose or Ketones as the energy source.
When a person starts a Ketogenic diet, the body switches to the fuel supply deriving from fat. With low insulin levels, the body fat burns quite easily.
Ketogenic diet is advantageous for people with hypertension issues. Obesity is one of the many reasons for high blood pressure. Ketogenic diet is an efficient way to lose bodyweight as compared to a low-fat diet for weight loss.
Is Keto Diet a Possible Way to Lower High Blood Pressure?
Keto diet effectively helps lower high blood pressure in many ways. The low-carb diet reduces blood sugar levels, as carbs tend to raise both blood sugar and insulin levels. The diet helps the body from sugar-burning to fat-burning, resulting in enhanced energy.
It also helps reduce the effects of metabolic syndrome, which include high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels.
Also Read: The Beginner’s Guide to Indian Keto Diet
Other Health Benefits of Keto Diet
Keto diet sources more calories from fat and protein than from carbs. It effectively burns the body sugar, breaking it down in protein and fat for energy. This process leads to Ketosis and weight loss. The protein-rich diet curbs unnecessary cravings and enhances metabolism as well.
To improve the health of the heart, the Keto diet includes some healthy fats such as coconut or olive oil, avocados, and chicken that help reduce cholesterol levels in the body.
Controls sugar levels
Carbohydrates break down into glucose to become the main energy source in the body. Upon consuming an excessive amount of carbs, the blood sugar levels can increase dramatically. However, switching from carbs to fats for energy can stabilize the blood sugar levels, helping manage diabetes.
Ketones provide the brain with fuel instantly by supplying up to 70% of the energy that the brain requires. This is a more effective source of energy compared to glucose.
As the human brain is made up of 60% fat, it requires a fair amount of good fats for flawless functioning. Full-fat milk, sour cream, avocados, cheese, and chicken are a few good fats included in Ketogenic diet.
High energy levels
The human body can only store a limited amount of glycogen. It requires constant refueling in order to maintain energy levels. However, this is not the case with fat. A Keto diet provides plenty of fat to draw energy from, keeping the energy levels up.
Lowers high blood pressure
The Keto diet is rich in fat and low in carbs, which can control high blood pressure. Eating healthy fats help maintain the perfect body weight while keeping the blood sugar and blood pressure in check.