Good nutrition is a critical part of maintaining and optimizing cognitive function and experts are continuing to explore just how various diets affect the brain. One diet that shows promise, is a ketogenic diet–a high fat, very low carb eating style.
When we eat the standard American diet, we rely heavily on carbohydrate-rich foods like bread, cereals, corn, and other grains. These carbohydrates break down to sugars, which become the main fuel for the body.
Unfortunately, with cognitive issues, there is a problem of getting glucose into brain or nerve cells resulting in a fuel shortage. In addition, utilizing sugar for fuel is extremely inflammatory creating free radicals and oxidative damage and promoting cognitive decline.
The good news is, when we reduce carbohydrate intake and increase fats, the body switches to using fats (ketones) as fuel. Ketones provide a “cleaner” fuel optimal for cognitive function as it increases insulin sensitivity and minimizes inflammation. Many report clearer thinking, improved memory, better mood, and increased energy after following a ketogenic protocol.
But not all ketogenic diets are created equal. Popular versions include processed foods and dairy which can compromise brain health. If you want to try a brain-healthy ketogenic diet, but aren’t sure where to start, join us for a Ketogenic Workshop. Attendees will learn about the benefits and pitfalls of a ketogenic diet and receive a toolkit to implement a ketogenic diet… including:
-Clean Keto guidelines
-Supportive supplement recommendations
-10-day anti-inflammatory keto meal plan and recipes
-Guide to additional resources
If you’re interested in learning more and want to participate in the virtual Keto Workshop, click here to sign up!
-Nikki Gould, RDN, CLT