How the Ketogenic Diet Affects Insulin Sensitivity and the Aging Process
It’s thought that we cannot control aging, but scientists are looking for ways to slow down the aging clocks.
Although this is actually a new branch of science, the scientists found many things. It seems that there are specific factors which might be the key to controlling how fast we age.
As a matter of fact, one leading factor is the insulin signaling and also the daily metabolic engines which are controlled by the food we consume. Surprising, right? Read on, to find out more.
More About the Aging
According to one 2013 study published in Cell Reports, the “Mtor Gene” is actually an important regulator of the aging process.
It’s thought that this gene is involved in insulin signaling. This gene has a role in energy balance and cellular metabolism. According to researchers, this gene is part of the effects of calorie restriction, which is connected with longevity.
In fact, it’s known that animals that consume less food actually live longer. And people who live on restricted calorie diets live longer as a result of the improved regulation of insulin since insulin resistance is a crucial factor when it comes to many chronic conditions.
The researchers note that this gene is an essential regulator of aging. Moreover, they are optimistic that this gene might someday be part of the strategy for anti-aging.
Can a Diet Lengthen Our Life?
It turns out, yes it can. Many studies came to the discovery that by lowering the caloric intake, we might slow down the process of aging, extend life, and last but not least, prevent chronic conditions which are related to age.
As people age, the levels of triglycerides, insulin, and sugar gradually increase. A 2010 study looked at the effects of a diet high in fat on the typical signs of aging. The participants in the study were given a low-carb, high-fat diet with a suitable amount of protein.
The results were amazing health improvements. In fact, the fasting glucose decreased by 40%, serum leptin by 8%, free thyroid hormone T3 by 6 %, insulin by 48%, and triglycerides by 8%.
Due to these results, it’s safe to conclude that much of that phenomenon of longevity might be attributed to the improved signaling of insulin.
To be more precise, longevity depends significantly on what we decide to eat, and not how much we eat.
What Is the Ketogenic Diet?
This diet shifts the metabolic engine of our body from burning carbs to burning fats. Yes, this is possible. The cells come with the metabolic flexibility to adapt from using sugar for fuel to using ketone bodies.
These ketone bodies come from the breakdown of fats, and this is where the name “ketogenic” comes from. In the ketogenic diet from 50 to 70 % of our intake of food must come from beneficial fats.
Beneficial fats are raw nuts (mainly raw macadamia and pecans), coconut oil, avocado, grass-pastured butter, and organic pastured eggs.
Radical Experiment with the Ketogenic Diet
One doctor experimented with this ketogenic diet in order to discover whether is beneficial or not. Dr. Peter Attia is a Stanford University-trained doctor, who has a passion for metabolic science.
Dr. Attia decided to use himself as the laboratory lab, and it had incredible results. He decides to follow the ketogenic diet in order to see if he might improve his own overall health.
For 10 years, he consumed 80 % of his calories from fat, and he frequently monitored the metabolic markers like lipid levels, blood glucose levels, blood pressure, percent body fat, etc. In the end, he had an improvement in every single measure of health.
How To Start with the Ketogenic Diet
If we decide to follow the ketogenic diet, the first thing we need to do is to get rid of the excess grains and sugar from our diet. In that way, we will teach our body how to use fat for fuel.
Usually, in order to starve the brain into ketosis, we need to restrict our carbs intake from 30 to 40 % on a daily basis with a suitable amount of protein.
Exercise is also useful to jumpstart our engine which will burn fat. Regular exercise can improve the way our body uses fat stores for energy. Remember to consult a doctor before making any changes in the usual diet.