Keto diet: more than just a trend
Often, the ketogenic diet (or “keto”) is portrayed as the latest dietary fad. It may surprise you to find that this is not the case.
In fact, the ketogenic diet was developed around the year 1920 as a therapeutic system. Its origins, however, date even further back: scientific research shows that this way of eating has been part of human history and played an important role in the evolution of our species.
In simple terms, the keto diet involves reducing proteins and carbohydrates to a minimum and replacing them with healthy fats as the main energy source. The resulting improvement in energy metabolism and reduction in oxidative stress translate into more energy, less inflammation and reduced fat deposits. The benefits of keto have been confirmed by recent studies on longevity. These have identified the mechanisms by which simple carbohydrates, refined foods and an excess of proteins can activate the genes of ageing, promote fat storage in the body and cause metabolic diseases such as diabetes and obesity. By drastically reducing these stressors, a balanced, individually tailored ketogenic diet can offer significant health benefits.
How keto works
Cutting down carbohydrates intake induces a metabolic process called ketosis. To understand what ketosis is, we need to look at how the body converts food into energy. Normally, the body gets energy from carbohydrates. If these are lacking, the body begins to break down the fat stored in the liver into substances called ketones, which are used as fuel instead of carbohydrates. This leads to a considerable reduction in fat deposits, as well as reduced inflammation and water retention in body tissues. After an initial phase in which the body adapts to the new regime, other benefits have frequently been reported, which include improved mood and a decrease in stress eating.
The perfect opportunity to reset
If you are considering a change in your eating habits, your next holiday could be the perfect time to take up keto. By combining a personalised nutrition plan with daily check-ups, detoxifying treatments and adequate physical activity, you can reshape your body and ease into a healthy routine in a relatively short time.
To maximise the detoxing and anti-inflammatory effects of the keto diet, we recommend including specific supplements in your regime, which are also available for purchase at our health centre, as well as taking a food intolerance test to eliminate foods from your diet that are not well-tolerated and restore proper digestive function. Interestingly, the keto diet also improves microbiota composition, i.e. the gut flora, with positive effects on health and general well-being.
Who should consider a ketogenic diet?
Anyone struggling with chronic fatigue syndrome, excess weight, abdominal fat, water retention, high cholesterol, menopausal symptoms, insulin resistance, or a fatty liver (steatosis) can benefit from a ketogenic regime. However, it is important to point out that this diet should always be approached under the guidance of an expert medical practitioner. The customised programmes at ADLER Spa Resort THERMAE are devised by a team of medical doctors, therapists and fitness coaches, who work together to help you achieve your health goals in a safe, risk-free way.
Dr Stefania Mazzieri, MD
Surgeon and nutrition specialist