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There are many health benefits experienced by those on the ketogenic (keto) diet.
The diet is designed to get the body to burn fat instead of glucose.
Those on the keto diet eat normal amounts of protein, higher amounts of fat, and they keep their carbohydrate intake very low.
Want more information? Check out our longer article here.
Because carbohydrate intake is low, the blood sugar (glucose) level is low, and the brain pulls from this alternative energy source, which is fat. Before fats can be used, the liver has to convert them into ketones.
It is ketones that are used as energy for the body and brain when there is a lack of glucose.
The ketogenic diet originated as a tool for treating neurological diseases, such as epilepsy.
Studies have shown that this diet can have a wide variety of good side effects.
In this article, we will go over some of these benefits that the keto diet provides.
Weight loss is one of the benefits of the keto diet.
Due to lowered insulin levels and the body’s ability to burn stored fat, those who adhere to the diet find that they lose weight more quickly than with conventional diets.
Many of the foods that we eat today are full lots of carbohydrates. These foods are typically the ones with many calories as well.
Cutting out those foods by going on a restrictive diet like the keto diet, also slashes a majority of your daily calorie intake.
When your body burns down more calories than it ingests, then that contributes to weight loss.
There are many studies in which participants lost weight when they took part in the keto diet such as this one, this one, and this one. https://clinmedjournals.org/articles/ijsem/international-journal-of-sports-and-exercise-medicine-ijsem-3-054.php?jid=ijsem, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23651522, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25178568
Many people on the keto diet feel full quicker and are less likely overeat. This also aids in weight loss.
BUT, keep in mind that it is not guaranteed that you will lose weight on the keto diet.
Clarity of Mind
An almost unexpected benefit of the keto diet is how much your mind clears up.
An unbalanced diet can lead to a lack of mental clarity, and it feels like a foggy brain.
People find it difficult to remember facts or struggle with staying focused on tasks.
The keto diet produces ketones which provide a ready source of energy for the brain.
You can go much longer without eating than you might have when glucose was the primary fuel.
You don’t experience much of the highs and lows that running out of glucose causes.
Ketones are also readily used by your brain, and it can go for more extended periods of experiencing clarity and energy.
Many people are not aware that ketones are a more efficient energy source than glucose.
And for the brain, energy is everything.
This type of energy helps better protect the brain — and the rest of the body — from oxidative stress, which negatively affects mental performance and brain aging.
Using ketones as an alternate energy source trains your body to use your fat storage whenever it is running low on energy.
Because you don’t have to worry so much about when your next meal is, you have more opportunities to complete the actions that you want.
Improved mental performance, improved clarity, improved memory all combine to improve productivity.
Here is a good bit of news who struggle with skin problems.
On keto, you have fewer insulin levels because you are not using as much glucose.
Less sugar and processed foods on the diet can benefit those who suffer from acne. This is what the researchers in this study found. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/22327146/
Also, an increase in water intake will occur due to the lack of carbohydrates, offering good hydration of the skin.
Hydration is always good for the skin.
In addition to weight loss, risk factors of heart disease such as HDL levels and blood pressure seem to improve on the keto diet.
You would think that a diet that emphasizes high amounts of fat might not be suitable for your heart.
And the debate is still a bit controversial. However, the keto diet might even be an option for those with cardiovascular diseases. https://www.everydayhealth.com/ketogenic-diet/can-keto-help-prevent-manage-heart-disease/
In this 2014 study, it found that the participants who were on the keto diet had better reductions in cardiovascular risks than those who were on a low-fat diet instead. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4428290/
They found that there was higher HDL cholesterol, aka the “good cholesterol,” levels in those participants.
On the other hand, LDL “bad” cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides were lower.
Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States.
I want to emphasize STRONGLY the importance of consulting your healthcare professional before trying the keto diet.
Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Since the keto diet uses fat as energy instead of glucose, it has the potential to be helpful for those with diabetes. https://www.healthline.com/health/type-2-diabetes-ketogenic-diet
You don’t have as much glucose running through your blood, so your glucose levels can improve.
It can also improve insulin signaling.
Insulin is a hormone secreted by your pancreas when glucose is present in your bloodstream. Its primary duty is to tell the cells in your body that glucose is around so that they can take it and use it for energy.
In many people with diabetes, too much glucose floats in the blood, leading to a lot of insulin signaling.
The cells can get tired of insulin sen, and they can start to ignore insulin signals. Then glucose remains in the blood and isn’t used.
The keto diet has the potential to return cells to being sensitive to insulin again.
There aren’t enough studies out there about this connection, though.
Check with your healthcare professional if this is a possible choice for you.
The Epilepsy Foundation endorses the ketogenic diet because it has been shown to help control seizures in some people with epilepsy.
Back in the early 20th century, scientists discovered that changing the metabolism in the patient’s body to burn fat instead of carbs helped to treat those with seizure disorders.
The keto diet is still recommended today for both children and adults, who suffer from seizures and aren’t responding to available drugs and other treatments. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6361831/
Doctors usually recommend the ketogenic diet for children whose seizures have not responded to several different seizure medicines.
Talk with your healthcare professional before starting this diet if you have epilepsy or a related condition.
The keto diet has a lot of benefits. The ones mentioned here are only a few of those benefits.
Note: We are not health professionals. This article should not be considered medical advice. Please discuss the information in this article with your healthcare professional.
If you are interested in starting the keto diet, check out our article on 13 things you need to consider before starting keto.
Seun Oyeku brings you A Peek To Wellness. She has embarked on a journey to improve her well-being, and she’s bringing everyone with her. She believes that wellness is about improving your physical, mental, and emotional health together. From topics such as in meditation or workouts, she strives to you to bring you the information that can lead to your success. Even if that means you have to take things one peek at a time.
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