Author: Alex Reed
You probably have already heard a lot about low-carb diets and the magical effects they can have on the human body. Maybe you have also heard about the ketogenic diet and its magical effects? The keto diet is slowly becoming the superstar of the dieting world, mainly because it just is effective and sustainable.
The keto diet by its nature is super simple: it’s a very low carb, adequate protein and high-fat way of eating. Why low carb? Because removing carbs from your daily menu will force your body to find new sources of energy – fat sources. Most of your daily menu will be based on fats. Keto diet foods are delicious, like bacon, avocado, full-fat yogurts and so on.
But what are the main benefits of the keto diet?
1. Effective weight loss
This is the biggest benefit: a sustainable way of eating and losing fat at the same time. As a bonus, you have very low levels of cravings, if any at all. Low carb diets seem to be particularly effective up to 6 months, that is because after that people tend to give up and start eating the same old things. This is why the keto diet is more as a lifestyle choice, not a crash diet. By consuming more fat and fewer carbs during your diet, your body will start using the stored body fat as an alternative energy source.
2. Appetite suppression
Magical things start happening once you cut out carbs from your daily menu. This happening, because fat as an energy source is way more stable and fulfilling.
Studies have shown that when people cut out carbs and replace it with protein and fats, they tend to eat much fewer calories even without trying. Unlike many other diets, during ketosis, when you are consuming fat as a primary source of energy, higher levels of a hormone called leptin is released. Leptin is an amazing hormone that helps to regulate your energy balance by restraining the hunger feeling.
3. Improved cognition
Other big reason why many people love the keto diet, is its ability to improve brain function, cognitive skills, clarity of thought and so on. The main problem with carbs is that they cause your blood sugar levels to rise and fall. Carbs as an energy source aren’t consistent, it makes it harder for your brain to stay focused for long periods of time, it also often can be the reason for mood swings. There are many scientific studies which confirm the positive effect of being in ketosis to your cognition abilities. But at the end of the day, the experience is king, anyone who has experienced the state of ketosis can tell you the benefits of the improved cognitive function.
4. Reduce the risk for Type 2 diabetes.
Carbohydrates elevate our blood sugar levels. The most effective way to lower blood sugar and insulin levels is to reduce carbohydrate intake. This is why the keto diet has been a very effective treatment for type 2 diabetes.
5. Lowers blood pressure.
Elevated blood pressure is a common health issue worldwide. It isn’t necessarily something you can feel, but it can increase the risk of strokes and heart attacks. Researchers have found that low carb diet has been proven to be effective in lowering the blood pressure. This, of course, does not mean that you should throw away all your blood pressure medication, but the keto diet may be something to consider and discuss with your doctor.
6. Increased levels of good cholesterol (HDL)
HDL is the good type of cholesterol which carries cholesterol away from the body to the liver where it will be reused or excreted. It is also a well-known fact, that the higher levels of HDL, the lower your risk of heart diseases will be.
7. Epilepsy treatment
Of all the medical conditions, which can benefit from the ketogenic diet, epilepsy has the most scientific evidence supporting it.
Research shows that seizures typically will improve around 50% for patients who follow the keto diet. When in the state of ketosis, the elevated levels of ketone bodies in the blood will lead to a reduction in the frequency of the epileptic seizures.
8. Cancer Treatment
Cancer is, without a doubt, one of the leading causes of death around the world. Scientific research has found that a ketogenic diet can be beneficial for cancer treatment, when combined with traditional treatment methods.: it may reduce the progression of several types of cancer.
9. Stable energy levels
Anyone coming from a standard western diet to a ketogenic diet will experience a drastic difference in energy levels. This is because you don’t have blood sugar spikes, that you had previously thanks to cheap carbs. Typically, by day 3-5 on a keto diet, most people report an increase in energy levels and lack of nasty cravings, if any at all. Fat is a way more stable source of energy, that’s why once fat adapted, you can easily go half a day without food and you would not feel drastic energy level swings.
10. Increased physical endurance
If physical endurance is important and measurable for you (going to the gym or if you are an athlete) then there are definitely many things you can gain from the keto diet. Studies have shown a positive effect on endurance sports combined with the keto diet. One study found that supplemental ketones demonstrated acute nutritional ketosis during exercise. Reducing lactate production and improving performance in elite cyclists.
As you can see, there are a lot more benefits, you can get from the keto diet, than a merely fat loss. Although the keto diet is probably one of the most effective diets when it comes to fat loss. This is because keto foods are very fulfilling and this one of the few diets, where you don’t need to fight with constant hunger feeling.
No one should consider the keto diet, as a cure for any disease on its own. Nonetheless, the potential positive effects of the keto diet on your body is impressive.