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What Ketosis Does To The Brain

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How To Use The Ketogenic Diet For Productivity And Mental Performance

Beginning in the 1920’s, the ketogenic diet, or “keto” diet — which involves eating mostly fat and protein as an energy source with low intake of carbohydrates — has been used by many for weight loss and in helping patients with diabetes or epilepsy. But there’s another less-talked about benefit of this diet: ketosis for mental performance. If you’re experiencing brain fog, lack of productivity, or poor mental performance, ketosis might be a solution for you. We’ll go over some of the ways ketosis can have a positive effect on cognition and may help you be more productive throughout your day. KETOSIS FOR MENTAL PERFORMANCE First, let’s start with a little refresher around ketosis and energy. The basis of the ketogenic diet is that it uses specially designed macronutrient balance to get a certain response from the body. Those on the keto diet eat normal amounts of protein, higher amounts of fat than the average person, and they keep their carbohydrate intake very low, less than 50 grams per day. When carb intake is this low, it triggers a response in the body that is similar to how it would act during starvation. Instead of simply utilizing glucose, the primary sou Continue reading >>

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  1. ufojoe

    Lots of assertions that need to be backed up.
    What does it even mean to say "the brain prefers ketones"?
    All the studies on healthy people that I'm aware of have shown ketosis doesn't improve brain function, and might impair some aspects. [1][2]
    Then saying the brain is 60% fat therefore it needs lots of fat is just bad unsupported logic. The thing you would want to know is how much much and what type of fat should be available for optimal maintenance of brain tissue. The answer usually isn't straight forward, given the body has feedback mechanisms that can turn up maintenance processes based on a lack of nutrient availability.

  2. snocorgurgl

    I agree about these kind of claims. They're ridiculously over-simplified.
    However, the cognitive effects of keto have been pretty real for me. I think the overwhelming enthusiasm for keto in terms of cognitive enhancement and mood is because of selection bias of 'unhealthy' people who cannot tolerate high carbohydrate diets. Definitely more trials on healthy samples are needed.

  3. [deleted]

    Yeah I have a feeling that there is a segment of the population that otherwise deals poorly with blood sugar spikes and troughs, keto probably positively impacts that, that's my theory as for why it works for me. Anecdotally I will never return to a carby diet; in terms of science simply saying "existing science says bad" isn't a strong backup either. There is a dearth of science re: keto because it's in its infancy for anything besides epilepsy and there aren't a lot of pharmaceutical or agricultural interests paying for keto studies like there are for drugs and carb diets.

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