11 Health Benefits of a Keto Diet
Over the decades there has been much discussion about low carb diets. Since 2002 there have been over 20 human studies on diets of this sort, and it is a low carb diet that consistently comes out on top.
I will now explain the top 10 advantages that have been found by following the Keto diet. It is not only weight loss that is affected, but you will also find an abundance of other health benefits it can bring to you.
1. You’ll Feel Less Hungry
It is true, dieting makes you hungry. This is the main reason people end up miserable and end up quitting whatever diet they are on. But with the keto diet, you automatically have a reduction in appetite.
It is shown in the studies that, people who eat more fat and protein, end up eating fewer calories, so you will actually feel less hungry than on most other diets.
2. You’ll Have More Sustainable Weight Loss
Whilst these studies show you become less hungry, by following a low carb diet, they also came to the conclusion that you can lose more weight, and lose weight faster than people on low-fat diets. Even if the ones on a low-fat diet are restricting their caloric intake.
Over the first couple of weeks on the diet, the Keto diet will get rid of excess water from the body. Insulin levels become lower due to the restriction of carbohydrate intake, which allows the kidneys to start removing excess sodium, it is this that can help lead to a rapid weight loss on the first week or two.
It has also been shown, the amount of weight lost by following the Keto diet can be 2 or 3 times more than by following a low-fat diet, and all this without feeling hungry! Surely that is a major advantage?
3. You’ll Lose More Belly Fat
Not all fat on the body is the same and it is the location of these fat deposits that dictate what disease you will be prone to, but unfortunately when on a diet, it is the body that decides where to take the fat from. Luckily, the Keto diet takes a greater proportion of fat from around the abdomen.
The most important thing to know is we have fat under the skin, and then fat in the abdominal cavity which builds up around the internal organs. This fat build up can increase inflammation, insulin resistance and is one of the major factors of metabolic dysfunction, which is most common in a western diet of today.
Luckily, the Keto diet is super-efficient at reducing these internal body fats first, this helps to reduce the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The amount of weight loss that any one person can lose will vary, although tests were conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition which showed, men who followed the ketogenic diet for a period of 4 weeks, lost an average of 12 pounds in weight.
All the while they were able to eat a fewer number of calories without the hunger normally associated with regular diets.
4. A Reduction of Triglycerides (Fat Molecules)
You will be pleased to know, low-carb diets are very effective at lowering the levels of triglycerides in the blood. These fat molecules are what increase the risk of heart disease.
The main cause for these levels to increase is carbohydrate consumption. So as these are dramatically reduced, the levels in the blood of these triglycerides are also reduced. It should also be noted, people who actually follow a low-fat diet compared to the Keto diet can have an increase in triglyceride levels.
5. Increased HDL Levels (Good Cholesterol)
HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein) is many times referred to as the good cholesterol, and it is HDL that carries cholesterol away from the body to the liver where it gets flushed from the system or re-used. It is also known that if you have higher levels of HDL, you are less prone to the risk of heart disease.
Another indicator that can show if a person is prone to heart disease, is the Triglycerides to HDL ratio. The higher it is, the greater the risk. This is another way the Keto diet excels. This ratio can see a much greater improvement as HDL levels are raised whilst triglyceride levels are lowered.
6. Lowered LDL Levels (Bad Cholesterol)
LDL is the opposite of HDL and is referred to as bad cholesterol. It is this one, that leads to heart disease if the levels are high in the body. Studies have also shown the size of the LDL particles is also an important factor, small particles give the greatest risk whereas larger particles give a lower risk.
Once again, the Keto diet helps with this. By being a low carb diet, the particles of LDL change from small to large, thus reducing the number that can float around the body.
7. Improved Blood Sugar and Insulin Levels
When carbs are consumed, the body breaks these down and they get converted into simple sugars, namely glucose, by the digestive system. It is these simple sugars upon entering the bloodstream that raise the body’s blood sugar levels. To combat and maintain these levels the body produces the hormone insulin.
In normal people, this increased amount of insulin is not much of a problem, but in people that have insulin resistance, it is a major problem and can lead to type 2 diabetes and figures for people with this problem are currently over 300 million worldwide.
The keto diet can provide you with the solution to this, by reducing carb intake, the body does not have to produce as much insulin, as the blood sugar levels from a reduction in carbs are greatly reduced.
Studies have also shown, by following the Keto diet, diabetics can actually reduce the need for medication within 6 months. It should be noted, if you are currently on medication, you should consult your doctor before proceeding.
8. Lowered Blood Pressure
High blood pressure (Hypertension) can be the root of many illnesses in humans. These can include kidney failure, strokes and heart disease to name but a few. The Keto diet is a very effective way of reducing blood pressure which can lower the risk of these illnesses.
9. Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic Syndrome is a collection of symptoms that can lead to diabetes and heart disease. These symptoms range from Abdominal obesity, high blood sugar levels low HDL levels and High triglycerides, although these can be serious they can all be reduced by following the keto diet.
10. Improved Brain Functions
Originally the Keto diet was introduced to help treat children who suffered from epilepsy. This was something, it had many successful results in doing. Over 50 % of children treated showed a 50% reduction in seizures while 16 % of the children actually stopped having seizures completely.
Some parts of the brain can only burn glucose, as the carb intake is reduced on the keto diet. The liver converts protein to glucose, which can supply these parts of the brain. The other parts of the brain are powered by ketones. These are produced when the body is starved of carbs. This is the main reason; the Keto diet is so successful at treating epilepsy.
Not only that, more recent studies have shown the diet can be helpful in other forms of brain disorder, namely Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s Disease.
Research has shown sugar is the main fuel which can feed cancer cells, the cancer cells ferment the sugars to produce oxygen, this, in turn, increases the amount of inflammation in the body.
This was discovered by Dr.Otto Warburg in the 1930s. He also found, when the body has a low blood sugar content, the amount of inflammation is reduced and the cancer cells are unable to thrive as the blood is fully oxygenated naturally.
Author: Monica Perry
I’m a metabolic magician, nutrition nerd, exercise expert, and motivation master. I help women get fit quickly with the most food and least exercise.
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