“Let Food Be Thy Medicine:” Keto’s War Against Insulin Resistance & Cancer

Photo by Elijah O'Donell on Unsplash
Photo by Elijah O’Donell on Unsplash

The keto (ketogenic) diet is the ultimate medicine for treating insulin resistance, cancer and obesity. When food is consumed responsibly, the body can fuel itself with fat rather than sugar; thus achieving the ketotic state beneficial to hormonal balance, anti-aging and weight loss in women aged 45 to 65. The keto diet can also prevent breast and other forms of cancer due to its richness in anti-oxidizing, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial elements.

So, how does the keto diet work? Once the body is deprived of carbs, it enters into a state of ketosis. Dietary and excess body fat is converted into liver ketones (organic compounds) used to fuel the brain and muscles. The keto diet forces the body to power itself via fat rather than sugar, and by keeping carbs below 50g daily, women can enhance their hormonal balance, anti-aging, and weight-loss efforts.

An estimated 24% of US adults 20 years of age or older experience insulin resistance, and the keto-diet can be protective. Insulin resistance is clinically defined as “the inability of a known quantity of exogenous or endogenous insulin to increase glucose uptake and utilization in an individual as much as it does in a normal population.” It occurs when body cells cease responding to normal insulin activity; as muscle, liver, and fat cells experience difficulty absorbing glucose from the bloodstream. To compensate, the body produces more insulin; and as resistance builds up, pancreatic beta cells do not produce sufficient insulin to regulate blood glucose. As a result, blood glucose levels rise causing chronic health disorders like metabolic syndrome, prediabetes, and diabetes.

According to Ruled.Me, “the best way to treat insulin resistance is to modify one’s lifestyle behaviors.” The site recommends ketogenic (low-carb) dieting and exercise to reduce weight and restore proper tissue response to insulin, thus lowering and regulating insulin.

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Weight Loss Impact
According to Livestrong.com, “the main benefit of the ketogenic diet is the ability to cause your body to use fats for fuel, helping you to lose fat rapidly.” However, the high protein intake helps the body to preserve muscle mass in favor or fat.

Hormonal Impact
A high-fat keto diet is rich in estradiol, a female hormone, which regulates growth hormones for tissue and reproductive organs. It is also rich in dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), which enhances reproductivity and memory and acts as a powerful antidepressant. Besides, a high-fat ketogenic diet is rich in testosterone, which strengthens sex drive, muscles and bones.

Cellular Impact
The high-protein aspect of the keto diet cleanses cells saturated with unhealthy protein matter. In effect, ketosis unsaturates the unhealthy proteins, thus having an anti-aging effect on the body.

Dietary Practice
For women aged 45-65, the following dietary practices may further enhance the above ketogenic effects:

– Limit carbohydrates containing added fats, sugars or sodium and incorporate healthy carbohydrate sources like vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fruits, and dairy.

– Avoid artificially sweetened beverages like soda, fruit drinks, iced tea, and energy drinks. Opt for water, coffee and tea naturally sweetened with raw honey or organic stevia.

– Eat high-fiber foods like artichokes, avocados, quinoa, sprouts, beans, and peas. These low-calorie foods are anti-inflammatory and rich in vitamins and minerals.

– Consume high-protein foods which neutralize glucose and lipid metabolism, and prevent muscle mass and bone density loss secondary to insulin resistance.

– Improve your dairy intake to increase trans-palmitoleic acid – a fatty acid in cheese, yogurt, butter and milk which reduces insulin resistance and related health risks.

– Eat wild-caught fatty fish, egg yolks, and walnuts which are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.

– Avoid saturated fats in favor of unsaturated fats can be found in avocados, olive oil, seeds, and nuts.

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

A keto diet can also be effective against breast cancer and other variations of the disease. The following ketogenic foods and elements can enhance disease prevention and healing:

– Turmeric: this popular spice contains the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredient “curcumin,” which can be effective against stomach, bowel, breast, skin inflammation and cancer.

– Mushrooms: they carry the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory amino acid ergothioneine, which boosts the immune system.

– Tomatoes: one of their main ingredients, lycopene, which causes their red color, is a cancer-fighting antioxidant.

– Cabbage: it contains many antioxidant protectants against colon, breast and prostate cancers.

– Broccoli: its ingredient, sulforaphane, can detoxify from cancer-causing chemicals.

– Garlic: it contains selenium which has been shown to reduce cancers by 20%.

– Berries: these contain ellagic acid, which is believed to have anti-tumor properties.

– Chilli spices: these contain capsaicin tend to be anti-diabetic and anti-bacterial.