It’s no secret that the ketogenic diet is a trendy diet right now. It’s probably right up there with the celery juice fad that you see all over Instagram. If you haven’t taken the dive into keto, I bet you know at least one person who has…and if not, you’ve at least heard of the diet yourself.
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Keto Diet Explained
The popularity of the diet is at an all-time high. And I have to assume that’s in part to the massive number of stories you can find online from people who have successfully reached their goals living a keto lifestyle.
The goal of the ketogenic diet is to switch the body’s main fuel source from carbohydrates (glucose) to fat (ketones). When this happens, it’s called ketosis.
If you’re not familiar with the benefits of the keto diet, let me pull a quick list for your from our keto diet guide.
Keto Diet Benefits
- Effective weight loss therapy
- Reduction in appetite
- Increases energy levels
- Encourages less body fat
- Regulates blood sugar levels
- Improves epilepsy
- Reduces sugar cravings
- Lowers cholesterol
- Lowers blood pressure
- Improves and prevents risk from type 2 diabetes
- Improves cognitive behaviour
- Reduces migraines
- Improves acne
- Non alcoholic fatty liver disease
- Could reduce risk of Cancer
- Could benefit Parkinson’s Disease
- Improves symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome
- Improves alzheimer’s disease
Our keto diet guide is also a great resource if you need to brush up on your keto knowledge. It has everything you need to know about going keto there. Also, check out our keto food list for all the foods you can eat to keep yourself in ketosis. (We’ve also got meal plans if you want to make keto as easy as possible on yourself…)
So we know the ketogenic diet has the potential to be beneficial for a number of reasons. But the news recently broke that Navy SEALs have been looking at the keto diet for a benefit that we haven’t listed above.
According to Business Insider, the United States military and the Navy SEALs are looking in to the ketogenic diet and its potential to enhance soldiers’ abilities on their missions.
The Military + Keto Diet
Navy SEALs are often required to go on deep diving assignments or start missions that require them to be in the water for extended periods of time.
When SEALs go on diving missions, they commonly use technology called closed-circuit rebreathers on their oxygen supply. These devices help them remain stealthy on missions, but they also come with the increased risk for seizures and other ill side effects that could compromise a mission.
This is where ketosis could come in handy.
Some preliminary studies have shown that ketosis allows for humans to stay underwater for longer.
Lisa Sanders, director of science and technology for the U.S. Special Operations Command, explained, “One of the effects of truly being in ketosis is that it changes the way your body handles oxygen deprivation, so you can actually stay underwater at [deeper] depths for longer periods of time and not go into oxygen seizures.”
Sanders noted that the military is funding more research to look at ketosis and its possible benefits for soldiers.
How It Works
You might be curious to know just how this process works. How is ketosis related to breathing?
Without going too in depth to the exact mechanism, being in ketosis reduces the amount of carbon dioxide the body produces in relation to the amount of oxygen it intakes. This is referred to as the respiratory quotient.
The accumulation of carbon dioxide in the blood is what triggers you to take a breath, so reducing that amount lowers the respiratory quotient – or how frequently you need to take a breath.
Ketosis has also been shown to prevent seizures, which could obviously benefit SEALs who are more prone to suffering from seizures when deep-diving.
The Bottom Line
We’ll have to continue to see what research comes out regarding ketosis and the benefits for Navy SEALs. When it comes to implementing diets into the lives of soldiers, the lines get a little fuzzy.
To make someone eat a certain way to optimize job performance…is that ethical? It it the right thing to do?
One could argue that forcing someone to implement a certain diet is crossing the line. A human should have free will – the right to do it, if they so choose.
Regardless of the ethical concerns this brings up, I definitely think that we’ll see more and more research about keto and the benefits and effects of ketosis come to light.
And as it does, we’ll do our best to keep you updated here.
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