The keto diet is famous for its weight loss ability. Equally well-known are the numerous health benefits of this ultra low carb way of eating. As more people of all ages connect to this amazing diet plan, we take a look at the keto diet and older adults.
The science behind the keto diet remains the same for anyone from children to seniors. All age groups will achieve ketosis in the same way.
However, seniors often have some specific health issues. They are looking not just for a long life, but to remain active and in good health for all of their retirement years.
Far too often we have become so accustomed to seeing seniors in poor health that we now think of disease and poor mobility as a natural part of aging.
However, just because something is common doesn’t make it normal.
There is no real reason why seniors can’t enjoy a long and healthy life. It’s certainly not inevitable that we become disabled as we reach our 60s, 70s and beyond.
Often seniors find themselves in poor health for much the same reasons as younger adults. People of all ages are experiencing illness in greater numbers than ever before.
The single biggest cause of this epidemic of ill health and obesity is the modern diet.
In particular, it is the carb heavy standard American Diet that is causing weight gain, insulin resistance and a long list of other diseases.
Moreover, Alzheimer’s disease, certain cancers and Parkinson’s disease are just three conditions that were once rare. Now there is an explosion in diagnosis, and it’s getting worse.
And there is one major reason for all this ill health:
People are eating the wrong sorts of foods, and at the wrong times.
If you’re an older adult, the chances are that you’re eating the wrong foods at the wrong time too.
Worse, due to your age, you’ve had more time to do a lot more damage.
It’s possible that you’ve been over eating carbohydrates for your whole life.
There is now overwhelming evidence that this is the root cause of the diseases that we have come to associate with old age.
Thankfully, it does not have to be that way; you are not doomed to illness and incapacity as you grow older.
With a few tweaks to your diet you could greatly increase your chances of living a long and healthy life.
Fortunately, there is no magical age beyond which we are supposed to be ill. Forget the idea that becoming ill is inevitable.
Many times, seniors are more ill simply because they have been eating a poor diet and making poor lifestyle choices for longer than their children or grandchildren.
Their bad habits have now caught up with them, as they will catch up with us all.
However, there is now a growing understanding of how diet impacts upon health, and the chances of becoming ill.
We no longer have to be a victim of our diet or our genes. We can move the odds to be more in our favor.
These are changes we can make for ourselves, at home. For free. No special equipment or medication needed.
Are there some physical differences between seniors and younger adults?
One of the physical differences is that as we age there is a certain amount of muscle loss.
This is known as sarcopenia, and it’s a natural process. As an older adult loses muscle mass, their metabolic rate also decreases.
This puts seniors at a greater risk of gaining weight as they age.
Older people are also more likely to be deficient in vitamin B12.
What are the benefits of the keto diet, especially the keto diet and older adults
The keto diet offers multiple benefits for anyone over the age of 60.
It is a well proven way of losing weight quickly and keeping that weight off.
Further, it is great for losing that dangerous visceral fat which accumulates around your middle.
It can help to reverse or minimize the risk of developing multiple health problems.
In particular, the keto diet offers older adults:
- Increased bone health, and less joint pain
- Less inflammation, which will reduce the risk of multiple diseases
- Reversed Insulin Resistance
- Improved cognition and mood
The keto diet also offers some benefits that are of special concern for older adults. There is now a wealth of research that suggests being in ketosis can be beneficial for cognitive function.
Following on from this, it also appears that diseases such as Alzheimers can be prevented or controlled.
By swapping glucose from high carb diets for the ketones associated with the keto diet, you will be supplying your brain with an alternative source of energy.
It has been demonstrated that in conditions such as Alzheimer’s, the brain is unable to utilize glucose.
However, it can make use of ketones for energy instead.
Thus, the keto diet will help to prevent cognitive decline by keeping the brain fueled with ketones even when it can no longer use glucose from carbohydrates.
The keto diet will also reduce inflammation in the body, which is involved in the development of numerous diseases.
See What is inflammation in the body for more details.
It’s vitally important for your continuing health that you know how to prevent or reduce this dangerous inflammation.
Use MCT oil to super charge your keto diet
MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides, which are fatty acids containing between 6 -12 carbon atoms.
Due to the ability of MCT Oil to be rapidly converted into ketones, it is able to positively change some of the processes in your brain.
It has been reported that there is an improvement in clear thinking, alertness and focus. The combination of coffee and MCT oil is especially loved by fans of the Bulletproof coffee.
When caffeine and MCT oil combine forces many people find that they experience enhanced ability to think and create.
There have been several studies that have shown that ketones which are produced through the keto diet or fasting, may be beneficial in Alzheimer Disease.
As MCT oil can get you into ketosis quicker than diet alone, it is no surprise that the oil can help with certain neurodegenerative diseases.
MCT oil has been found to have a beneficial effect on memory difficulties and cognition in people with Alzheimer’s.
The increase in ketones caused by the MCT Oil provided Alzheimer patients with an energy source which compensated for their lack of ability to use glucose.
The MCT oil also doubled the uptake of ketones in their brains, giving them a notable improvement in cognitive function.(1)
By using MCT oil with your keto diet, you will be reaching all your weight loss goals quickly.
Further, you will be protecting your brain and enhancing your cognitive function.
For more information about MCT oil read:
The importance of Autophagy as we age
Less known is the fact that as we age our rate of naturally entering autophagy is reduced. This has many health implications.
Autophagy is the body’s cleaning and repair system, and when the rate of autophagy is decreased, there is more chance of illness or disease.
These diseases include cancer and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
If you’re not familiar with autophagy read:
As a senior, you’ll want to make sure that you are increasing the amount of time you spend in Autophagy.
This can be done with diet and exercise. Find out about all the ways to make sure you’re in autophagy often enough by reading:
By increasing the amount of times you enter autophagy, you will be giving your health an amazing boost.
Plus you will be controlling any weight issues that have been creeping up with the years.
Lack of Social Contact
However, many of the differences between seniors and their younger friends is as much social as it is biological.
It’s vital that we continue to enjoy the company of friends and family as we get older.
Sadly, all too many older adults have little social contact. Regular contact with friends or relatives is known to increase health and lifespan.
Many older people spend nearly all of their time alone due to lack of money or transport.
Sadly, they are much more likely to end up with some mental health issues such as depression.
When depressed, there are few of us who are interested in following a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle.
Too many elderly men and women are socially isolated, and spend far too much time alone.
To be healthy, we all need regular social contact.
Never underestimate the physical and psychological benefits of laughing with your friends:
Add in some time in the sun, and you will be making sure that your health is the best that it can be.
Exercise is a vital part of daily living if someone wants to live as long as possible.
Many of us enjoy the gym or regular walks. However, the reality can be a lot different for and older people.
They may lack the resources to join a gym, or be unable to drive themselves there.
Again, it’s not being older per se that is the issue.
So, at a time of life when it is extra important to take some exercise, this group who would benefit the most cannot always access this activity.
Strength training in particular is essential for the older age group.
As mentioned, sarcopenia will reduce muscle mass.
Therefore, it’s important that this loss is halted by two or three regular sessions of resistance training each week.
This study showed that just six months of resistance increased muscle mass and strength.
Further, autophagy with all its health benefits, is known to be triggered by exercise especially resistance training.
This makes training doubly important for older adults.
As already said, Autophagy is a necessary clean and repair process.
For further information on the benefits of resistance training see:
It is completely safe for older adults, who very often have more health issues than younger people.
Of special interest to this age group is the evidence that the keto diet can have a positive effect on many cognitive processes.
It has been shown to improve mood and memory, and is especially beneficial in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.
The cognitive function of those people already diagnosed with this disease has been demonstrated to improve.
For further reading about the keto diet and Alzheimers see How to prevent alzheimer’s with food.
So, if you’re in your 60s or beyond, the keto diet can be of amazing benefit to your health.
Also is can reduce your chances of developing many age related conditions.
The keto diet will keep you at a healthy weight, improve cognitive function and is 100% safe for older adults.
For more informating about the importance of when you eat and the timing of meals read:
When a doctor set about treating her husbands dementia, the results were amazing.
This is her book: