The keto diet is literally trending everywhere and you must be wondering about how it is an absolutely miraculous way to lose weight. So let us walk you through the entire concept of this amazing diet. Let us help you understand the health benefits of a keto diet and are not just limited to weight loss.
What is a Keto Diet?
A keto diet simply focuses on foods that provide healthy fats, moderate amounts of protein, and very few carbohydrates. The goal is to get more calories from fat instead of carbs.
It works actually by draining the body of the sugar reserves. Now, as a result, it will begin to break down fat for energy as a source of fuel for the body. This leads to the production of ketone bodies that the body uses for fuel. When the body burns fats for energy, it further leads to a very rapid weight loss.
How It Works?
Any diet plan which is low in carbs is enough to switch your body into a state of producing a significant amount of ketones. Keto significantly changes the way your body produces energy. When you limit carbs, your body starts to burn fat instead of glucose for energy hence you get into ketosis: the fat-burning stage.
There are plenty of benefits packed with the keto diet. Burning ketones significantly accelerates weight loss, also strengthens your brain, stabilizes your blood sugar, increases one’s energy, lowers inflammation, and protects the heart too.
Let’s look at a few health benefits of the low-carb high-fat diet, many of which you may not even be aware of!
The main reason as to why the keto diet has received so much attention across is primarily due to the fast weight loss which it offers. While you’re on keto, your body uses stored body fat as fuel, which leads to very rapid weight loss.
Ketosis also affects hunger hormones that control your appetite. The keto diet can help promote weight loss in several ways that include boosting metabolism and lessening appetite. It suppresses ghrelin (your hunger hormone) which tells your brain when you’ve eaten enough. Several studies demonstrate that people on low-carb diets lose more weight, quicker, than those on low-fat diets.
Your appetite is one of the main reasons why you may feel miserable and eventually give up your dream of dieting. However, low-carb eating leads to an automatic reduction in appetite, which eventually leads to weight loss as well.
Keto Helps in Boosting Brain Activity
While in ketosis, the ketones in your body provide your brain with immediate fuel and can supply up to 70% of your brain’s energy needs. Now, this also makes ketones much more efficient as compared to glucose. Various studies also show that switching to keto can protect your brain from cognitive decline and improve memory as well.
Low card diets and especially, Keto has received a lot of attention ever since scientists have discovered enhances cognition and increased memory in adults with problems. Because of more stable blood sugar levels and altered brain chemistry, Keto also leads to increased mental clarity and focus, and less frequent and less intense migraines.
Reduces Risk of Certain Cancers
Scientists have also examined the effects of the keto diet in helping prevent or even treat certain cancers! On the basis of a recent study, the keto diet may be a safe and suitable complementary treatment to use alongside chemotherapy and radiation therapy in people with certain cancers.
It is because it would cause higher oxidative stress in cancer cells than in normal cells, causing them to die. Another study suggests that because the ketogenic diet reduces blood sugar, it could also lower the risk of insulin complications, thus leading to an improvement in the situation of people who are suffering from cancer.
And though some research does point out that the ketogenic diet may have benefits in cancer treatment, studies in this area are limited. Doctors and Researchers still need to carry out more studies to fully understand the potential benefits of the ketogenic diet in cancer prevention and treatment.
Improves Heart Health
While a person follows the keto diet, it is important that they choose healthy foods. Consuming healthy fats can help improve heart health by reducing cholesterol.
One study showed that many people experienced a significant drop in levels of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or bad cholesterol, and triglycerides, and an increase in high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol.
Extremely high levels of cholesterol can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. The keto diet’s reducing effect on cholesterol may, therefore, reduce a person’s risk of heart complications. So again, related to the downstream effects of keeping blood glucose low and stable, ketogenic dieting helps keep blood pressure in check and reduces triglyceride levels.
It may seem counterintuitive that eating a higher percentage of fat in your diet lowers triglycerides, it turns out that the consumption of excess carbs is the key driver of increasing triglycerides. Also at the same time, it is very important to eat healthful, nutritionally balanced food while following the keto diet.
Improved Energy Levels and Sleep Cycles
While your brain uses ketones for fuel, you don’t go through energy slumps as you do when you’re eating a lot of carbs. And when your metabolism is in fat-burning mode, your body can simply tap into its readily available fat stores for energy.
The fat-burning state of ketosis also helps the brain generate more mitochondria, the powerhouses of the cells. So you need lots of healthy mitochondria to give your cells and organs continuous energy so they can get their job done.
People also report an increase in general energy levels and a lack of cravings for carbs, after their first week of Keto. So the mechanism here basically involves both stabilization of insulin levels and a readily available source of energy for our brain and body tissues.
Several studies show that ketogenic dieting improves sleep by decreasing REM and increasing slow-wave sleep patterns. Now while the exact mechanism is a bit unclear, it likely is related to the complex biochemical shifts involving the brain’s use of ketones for energy combined with other body tissues directly burning fat.
Low carb and Keto diets are profoundly anti-inflammatory. So the key player in many inflammatory diseases is suppressed by BHB. That is one of the main ketones produced from a ketogenic diet.
Hence the implications on arthritis, acne, psoriasis, and other diseases involving inflammation and pain are the epitome of the benefits of this diet. So the keto diet switches off inflammatory pathways and ketones produce fewer free radicals compared to glucose.
Helps Reverse Diabetes
Carbohydrates turn into glucose in the body and eating too many carbs causes your blood sugar to spike. So when you switch from carbs to fat for energy, you stabilize your blood sugar. The Keto diet also helps with insulin resistance, a phenomenon that many people with high blood sugar levels face.
Also, keto can be particularly beneficial for diabetics, for people who have high blood glucose levels. So the keto diet may even cure diabetes — many diabetics are able to come off their medication when switching to keto.
Reversing Brain disorders
Researches suggest that a large part of your brain can be trained to utilize ketones instead of glucose for energy when you are on a low-carb diet. So this mechanism is also used to treat epilepsy in children who don’t respond to drug treatment.
A very low-carb and ketogenic diets are now being studied for other brain conditions as well, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Reversal of PCOS
PCOS or Polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormonal disorder that can lead to excess male hormones, ovulatory dysfunction, and polycystic ovaries in females. The high-carbohydrate diet can cause adverse effects in people with PCOS, such as skin problems and weight gain.
Studies show that a ketogenic diet improves several markers of PCOS, including weight loss, hormone balance, ratios of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and levels of fasting insulin.
So overall, keeping blood sugar levels low and stable, the keto diet results in lower overall levels of insulin in the blood. This also helps equilibrate and stabilize other hormone levels, especially in women.
Beneficial for the Eyes
This is well known that high blood sugar has a detrimental effect on eyesight. This also leads to an increased risk of cataracts. Therefore it’s not surprising that keeping blood sugar levels low improves eye and vision health.
Since it is beyond clear that the keto diet is an extremely effective diet. This works for people who are looking not only to lose weight but also to reverse diabetes and PCOS, amongst others. Research papers investigating the effect of ketogenic dieting conclude that it’s an extremely effective way to not only lose fat but spare muscle loss.
This is essential to discuss any intended diet plan with a doctor, dietitian or trusted healthcare provider. Especially for people who are trying to control a health problem or disease. So the people looking to start the keto diet should seek consultation with a certified nutritionist to ensure the keto diet is a safe eating pattern for them.
If you wish to embark on this low-carb journey too? Go get yourself started today and stay tuned for more such keto weight loss journeys, health content, and recipes! Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for the daily dose of the Keto Lifestyle!