The Ketogenic diet is a diet designed to create a metabolic state termed ketosis, where the body changes from a sugar-burning metabolism to a fat-burning metabolism. This occurs when carbohydrate consumption is decreased and fat consumption is increased.
Why is this beneficial?
Fat is a much more sustainable and efficient fuel for the body than glucose. It has twice the calories but produces four times the amount of energy. Glucose is great for quick energy, it is like adding lighter fluid to a fire, but it burns off very quickly, or is stored either as glycogen in the liver or as fat rather than used for energy. It is useful in times of sudden stress, or fight or flight, emergency situations. ALL starchy foods such as grains, legumes, fruits, and root vegetables convert into glucose for energy metabolism. All of these foods must be minimized in order to achieve ketosis.
Most cells in the body have tiny organelles called mitochondria that produce the energy in the cell in the form of a compound called ATP (adenosine triphosphate). These cells can all be converted to a fat-burning metabolism for more efficient energy production. For those cells that do not contain mitochondria, such as red blood cells, the retina, cornea, and lens of the eye; or those that contain very few mitochondria such as white blood cells, testes, and some kidney cells, glucose is required for energy production. The body is actually capable of manufacturing all of the glucose it needs, so there is no absolute requirement for this type of carbohydrate in the diet.
The increased energy from ketosis will help all of the fat-burning cells to function better and your pet will feel better with more vitality. But this is only the beginning of the potential health benefits.
Excess sugars combine with protein and fat in a process called glycation resulting in an inflammatory substance called an advanced glycation end product (AGE). These are what lead to many of the chronic aches and pains associated with aging. Ketosis can actually create a youthful regeneration in your pet’s body!
But wait, the benefits continue…
Fat is an essential component of cell membranes, immune system cells, hormone s, and the central nervous system. Fats that have been vilified as being unhealthy, such as saturated fats and cholesterol, are actually vital components of cellular structure and function. Without them, cell membranes become weak, cannot transport nutrients, and cells cannot communicate properly. Lack of appropriate fat content in the diet has been linked to cognitive decline, seizures, diabetes, heart disease, weight gain, autoimmune disease, and even cancer.
Are you interested yet?
Healthy fat contains important nutrients such as vitamins A, E, D3, K1 and K2; omega 3 and GLA fatty acids, and CoQ10. In addition, some of these nutrients are essential for the proper absorption of other substances such as minerals, calcium balancing, hormone regulation, proper gene expression, and appetite regulation.
Fat is the best source of vitamins A (retinol), D3, and K2. These vitamins are not found in adequate amounts elsewhere in the food supply and it is important that they are consumed together for maximum benefit.
The ketogenic diet is a very important tool when treating cancer as cancer cells have a unique metabolism that prevents them from using fat as fuel. In the state of ketosis, when blood glucose levels drop, cancer cells literally starve!
Achieving a state of ketosis is simple in dogs and cats because we regulate their food intake. You just have to watch the snacks, as fasting between meals is an important part of maintaining ketosis. I can help your pet get started on a ketogenic diet starting with a number of quality, fresh food products, and adding in fat as needed.
Choosing a ketogenic diet for your pet will not only help treat a number of serious disease conditions, but it will also help prevent them from starting in the first place, and support a healthy immune system. It is an appropriate dietary approach for most pets.
Please ask about using this valuable dietary approach for your pet!