Science-Backed Reasons Why You Should Give The Keto Diet A Shot. In Addition To Weight Loss.
The ketogenic diet is definitely one of the most popular diets right now. Some say that it’s the miracle of our bodies that help to conquer diseases, some swear that this is the easiest way to lose weight and others are still skeptical and think that it is just another fad diet.
In some sense, all of these viewpoints are right. There are many ways how to manage health and weight. You can remove bad habits, you can eat clean, you can restrict your food intake or you can do some yoga, eat chips all day and just ignore everything.
However, the extremely low-carb ketogenic diet has actually a lot of scientific research backing its health benefits like reducing epilepsy or type 2 diabetes. Even if you don’t have any health conditions, the ketogenic diet can be helpful to manage weight, improve brain function and much more.
What is keto?
Before we dive deep into all the perks that this eating style has to offer, let’s go over what the keto diet really is.
The keto diet was developed during the 1920s as an effective epilepsy treatment. It is an extremely low-carb, moderate protein and high-fat diet. The main goal is to use fat as the main energy source for your body.
This, in turn, will force your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. Ketosis is your body’s state where it has depleted all the glycogen stores and needs to find a new fuel source. Then your liver begins to process fat into ketones bodies, which becomes your body’s primary energy source.
The keto diet is extremely effective when it comes to losing weight. Multiple studies have shown effective results in weight loss with the keto diet, especially for anyone with over 30 pounds of weight to lose.
So, if till now, you have been struggling with weight loss, then this is definitely the eating style you will want to try. But, as this article is not focusing on weight loss, then let’s continue on other effects.
Keto diet comes with a variety of benefits for your body and mind. Some are more related to mental conditions and others to metabolic health. Here are some ideas and benefits you can get out of the diet.
1. Mental performance
One of the most notable effects the keto diet has on your body and mind is the boost in mental performance. The main problem with carbohydrates is that they cause your blood sugar levels to rise and fall which can make you moody and emotional. Carbohydrates aren’t a very stable energy source.
It takes way more resources for your brain to stay focused for long periods of time when you are burning carbs for energy. There are also many scientific studies which confirm the positive effect of being in ketosis to your cognition abilities.
2. Appetite suppression
One of the reasons why keto diet is enjoyable is thanks to its appetite suppression effect. This is possible because fat is way more stable and fulfilling energy source than carbs every can be.
Studies have shown that when people remove carbohydrates from their menu and replace it with protein and fats, they tend to eat much fewer calories even without trying. Unlike other diets, when your body is in ketosis, you are consuming fat as a primary source of energy.
Then, higher levels of a hormone called leptin are released – which is awesome, because it is an amazing hormone that helps to regulate energy balance by restraining the hunger feeling. The other reason of this is that it also reduces drastically cravings, which in turn lead to fewer cheat days if any at all – the problem with keto is, that there are no cheat days in keto diet.
3. Cancer treatment
Cancer is definitely one of the main causes of death around the world today. Yes, everybody knows that but how the hell keto diet comes into play here? The regular cells found in our bodies are able to use fat for energy, but it’s believed that cancer cells cannot metabolically shift to use fat rather than glucose.
This means, that a diet, that eliminates excess sugar and other processed carbs from your menu, can be effective in reducing or fighting cancer. In simple terms, studies suggest that the ketogenic diet may “starve” the cancer cells, thus in some cases can be effective natural cancer treatment and a good alternative to radiation therapy.
4. Good cholesterol (HDL)
Before you panic, hear me out. There are two types of cholesterol: HDL and LDL. HDL is the good type of cholesterol which carries cholesterol away from the body to the liver where it will be reused or excreted.
LDL in the meantime carries cholesterol from the liver to the rest of your body. The good news is, that during the ketogenic diet, the HDL levels increase. It is a well-known fact, that the higher levels of HDL, the lower your risk of heart diseases will be.
5. 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. Once your body is in ketosis, the elevated levels of ketone bodies in the blood will reduce the frequency of the epileptic seizures.
6. Reduced acne
This is probably one of the most unexpected bonuses out there when it comes to keto. Studies suggest that there is a link between carbs and acne. Carbs may be the main dietary source of acne, due to their negative effects on hormonal regulation.
Keto also helps with skin problems. You may ask how? Ketogenic diet causes reduced insulin levels, which are one of the sources of acne eruptions. It has an anti-inflammatory effect on your skin, which in turn reduces inflammation that drives acne development. Many people have reported that their skin has become way clearer after they started following the keto diet.
7. Fight type II diabetes
When you suffer from type II diabetes, you suffer from an increased production of insulin. Because the keto diet restricts carbs (removes sugars from your diet) it helps to lower the HbA1c count and is very effective in reversing type II diabetes. Scientific studies have proved that following the ketogenic diet can reduce drastically key markers, that are often related to type II diabetes.
As you can see, the ketogenic diet can have very unique effects on your body, and, these are only a small list of additional benefits that come with the ketogenic eating style. This goes above and beyond what any other eating style can offer.
The ketogenic diet is much more than an effective way of losing weight. It becomes a lifestyle choice and we have found that it has completely changed our lives.
Alex Reed is a health enthusiast, who started Bodyketosis.com with a mission to help you to take charge of your weight and health using the ketogenic lifestyle.