Does a Keto Diet Help Lower Inflammation?
Do you know why some people experience inflammation and others do not? Have you tried to understand how changes in your diet might help inflammation in your body? Or maybe you are worried that what you are eating is contributing to it? Perhaps you are someone that is suffering from inflammation and wonder how the ketogenic (often referred to as “keto”) diet might compare to other diets in easing the symptoms of inflammation. We want to assist you in choosing fuel for your body that will help you achieve your goals, be sustainable, and help you be successful in remedying these issues. We will learn about what inflammation is and what causes it. Then we will explore how the keto diet and inflammation can work together in your body.
what is inflammation?
Your body experiences things that harm it including: infections, injuries, and toxins. In an attempt to heal itself, the body fights against these things when they occur. As damage occurs to your cells, the immune system is triggered by chemicals that your body releases. When this happens antibodies, proteins, and blood flow increases surrounding the damaged area. This is known as inflammation. It is a good thing, that your body can stimulate healing and eradicate damaging invaders. On the other hand, chronic inflammation can have negative effects on your body over a long period of time. It can contribute to obesity, heart disease, diabetes and many other diseases. You will want to try and minimize inflammation in the body and not let it go on too long untreated, should it occur.
what causes inflammation?
Inflammation can occur acutely, as mentioned above, as a response to an infection or injury. It can also be a symptom of an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases occur when the body is attacked by the immune system in response to something going on inside it. It is working, trying to protect you from illness but instead causes it. Food can also play a role in your body’s level of inflammation. Different foods can instigate inflammation and others can minimize it. We will explore this a little further next.
Here are some common foods that cause inflammation: sugar and high fructose corn syrup, artificial trans fats, vegetable and seed oils, refined carbohydrates, excessive alcohol, genetically modified foods, artificial sweeteners, and processed meat. It is wise to watch consumption of these products not only to avoid inflammation but also to promote healthy gut bacteria growth.
- If an infection or injury goes untreated
- Autoimmune diseases that are not managed
- Long term exposure to irritants such as polluted air and industrial chemicals
We noted in the beginning that not everyone experiences inflammation. Of the individuals that do experience it, some will not always find a clear cause. There are other factors that can contribute to inflammation, especially that of the chronic kind:
- Chronic stress
best diet for inflammation
It is difficult to say that there is one “best diet” for inflammation. What we can say is that you should focus on overall body health and the risk for inflammation will decrease. Based on research, the best diet to reduce inflammation should improve your healthy gut bacteria. You should eliminate foods that are highly processed and those that contain artificial ingredients. A diet that focuses on natural ingredients and whole foods is best to create a balanced environment within your body where an inflammation is not likely to occur. Food is very powerful in keeping your body in optimum health.
Did you know that over 75 percent of people are suffering with chronic inflammation and many don’t even know it? You could have inflammation in your gut, your joints, your digestive tract; or you may have allergies, food sensitivities, or any other chronic inflammation issue. Because inflammation of the body can happen as a result of other health issues, one key is to minimize other instigators of it, as mentioned above.
keto diet and inflammation
Many people would say that their body’s main energy source is carbohydrates. In a ketogenic diet, you are eliminating the carbohydrates that your body burns first. In doing this, your body will begin to burn fat for energy. This may sound a little confusing at first, mostly because most people are not used to having high fat diets. You likely have been told that you should avoid foods high in fat because it could cause serious risks to our health. With that being said, let’s answer the question: what does the keto diet focus on? The basis of the keto diet is to devise an eating plan that helps your body reach ketosis. More simply put, it is a low carbohydrate and high fat diet. It consists of very little carbohydrates, moderate protein and focuses on healthy fats. Fats will constitute approximately 60-80 percent of your daily calories. For some, making a switch to a ketogenic diet can be hard. With the right tools it can be a smooth transition that your body will adjust to quickly.
Ketosis is a metabolic process where your body uses fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. A ketogenic diet encourages your body to become efficient at burning fat. An interesting response within the body while practicing the keto diet is that the liver can turn fat into ketones and supplies energy to the brain! They are a byproduct of breaking down fat. When following a keto diet, they are the main source of fuel because ketones cause your body to burn fat as an energy source, rather than just burning up the glucose (carbohydrates and sugars). The ketogenic lifestyle may take a little getting used to but there are many resources available, so it does not have to feel overwhelming.
Most of the foods that cause inflammation (as noted above) will be removed or dramatically reduced if you are following a ketogenic diet. Therefore, you will naturally experience a decrease in inflammation in your body which could promote a healthy intestinal tract. The following foods are recommended to improve your gut health, they are also on the suggested food list when following a ketogenic diet:
- Vegetables: Broccoli, arugula, kale, eggplant, Swiss chard, spinach, zucchini.
- Fermented vegetables: Kimchi, sauerkraut.
- Fruit: Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries.
- Sprouted seeds: Chia seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds.
- Healthy fats: Avocado, avocado oil, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil.
- Fish: Salmon, mackerel, trout, herring.
- Meats and eggs: Chicken, beef, lamb, turkey, eggs.
- Beverages: Bone broth, teas, kombucha, water.
- Nuts: Pecans, walnuts, macadamia nuts.
How do keto diet and inflammation work in your body? Remember that inflammation and a healthy gut are connected. If you have a healthy gut, there will likely be less inflammation in your body. With that being said, there are also many foods that can negatively impact the healthy bacteria in your body. They include: wheat based products, grains with gluten, baked goods, junk food (chips, candy, fast food, etc.), and artificial sweeteners. Most of these foods will also be removed or dramatically cut if you are following a ketogenic diet. Therefore, you will be encouraging healthy bacteria in your intestines. Promoting this healthy bacteria growth will reduce your risk of inflammation.
Exogenous ketones have become very popular. What are they? Exogenous literally means “external or out of the body.” So exogenous ketones, are a way to ingest ketones in your body through a nutritional supplement.
Keto Magic is an exogenous ketone product developed by Top Notch Nutrition. You might be questioning if they actually work. There is a lot of science behind exogenous ketones to support how they support the body. Particularly, Keto Magic not only raises blood ketone levels & induces ketogenesis, but with patent-pending ingredient butyric acid it is also the only exogenous ketone supplement that helps lower glucose levels at the same time as raising ketone levels.
It is important to note that exogenous ketones are not a band aid for poor dietary choices or the idea that you can eat whatever you want because you have this product. Remember that ketosis is 100% achievable & maintainable through diet alone.
Keto Magic is intended & proven to enhance your benefits of ketosis by:
- Increasing fat burning
- Improving athletic endurance
- Raising blood ketone levels
- Improving focus & mental clarity
- Increased energy
- No crash or jitters
What does all this information about ketosis and ketones have to do with keto diet and inflammation? Keto Magic contains a highly concentrated smaller dose of beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) and it has been coupled with the short chain fatty acid (Butyric Acid) that induces ketogenesis. This is when your body is actively converting your body fat into its own ketones! Let’s take a closer look at how beta-hydroxybutyrate and butyric acid can impact inflammation.
What is BHB?
It is one of the ketones that the liver produces as your body burns fat for energy. BHB is a byproduct of fat breaking down. One advantage of BHB is that is can block inflammasomes, specifically the NLRP3 inflammasome. Inflammasomes are in the body and they are responsible for the inflammatory responses in the body. Research has been done that shows that BHB inhibits the inflammatory molecules from NLRP3 that trigger negative responses in the body. Some of these responses include: gout, type 2 diabetes, cancer, metabolic syndrome, skin diseases, neuroinflammation, bone diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, and insulin resistance. Because these activities are blocked by BHB, the risk of inflammation is decreased.
What is Butyric Acid?
This is a short chain fatty acid supplement. Short chain fatty acids are categorized by having fewer than five carbon atoms. Acetate (C2), Propionate (C3) and Butyrate (C4) constitute about 95 percent of the short chain fatty acids in your body. Where do short chain fatty acids come from? Soluble fiber is fermented into short chain fatty acids by good bacteria in your gut. Most of the cells in your colon rely on these short chain fatty acids for fuel. Eating foods that are rich in fiber are linked to an increase in production of short chain fatty acids. These foods include: vegetables, whole grains and legumes. If you are not eating enough foods containing soluble fiber, supplementing will help your body produce the short chain fatty acids it needs. Short chain fatty acids are also aid in reducing inflammation. Butyrate is known for its anti-inflammatory effects on the digestive system. They are also known for blocking cholesterol production, aiding with blood sugar control for diabetics, and lowering the risk of heart disease.
A lot of work goes into finding a sustainable diet that will produce results. Despite the research and information available to us today, not everyone will have the same results even if they are following the exact same plans. Everyone’s body will respond differently, and it is up to you to make changes until you find the plan that works the best for you. It can be overwhelming to deal with inflammation, but there are ways to deal with its effects.
You will want to find plan where whole foods, particularly ones that you enjoy consuming, can be incorporated. A lot of focus should be put on the quality of food consumed. Other lifestyle changes such as increased physical activity and improving sleep can also contribute and improve overall results. Remember that regardless of your diet choice, it is important to stay hydrated by drinking water. It is also suggested to avoid soda, drinks with added sugars, and alcoholic beverages.
We know that the benefits to finding a healthy, balanced diet are great and that the decision is one that needs to be made based on your health history, overall goals and in consultation with your primary care physician. Our goal here is to assess your options regarding keto diet and inflammation so that you can make an educated decision regarding your health journey. In knowing the potential causes and issues it triggers within your body, you can take steps to avoid the possibility of experiencing inflammation.