ou may have heard the term ‘keto diet’ countless times because it is one of the most popular diets of recent years. This diet is a high-fat, moderate protein, and low-carb eating approach. It works by depleting the sugar store in your body and breaking down fat and protein for energy.
This fad diet has captured the interest of people seeking effective weight loss options. As a matter of fact, many people on a keto diet are now showcasing their dramatic weight loss result all over social media.
When you follow the keto diet, your body enters ketosis after a few days. This means that it starts to burn fat as a source of energy.
Why would one want to follow the keto diet? Well, apart from the credit this diet gets for being a fast way to lose weight, you can also get many other health benefits with this low-carb, high-fat approach to eating.
Here are 10 health benefits you can get by following a keto diet plan.
1. Improves Heart Health
When you feed on keto foods like avocado nuts, it reduces the level of LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol and boosts the level of HDL or the ‘good’ cholesterol in your blood. This good cholesterol helps to improve your heart health. Therefore, if you want to have a healthy heart, you can follow the keto diet.
2. Potentially Reduces Seizures
When you follow a keto diet, the combination of fat, protein, and carbs causes a change in the way your body uses energy, leading to ketosis- an elevation in the level of ketones in your blood. Ketosis has been found to be highly effective for reducing seizures in people with epilepsy. As a matter of fact, many children suffering from epilepsy or focal seizures have been treated effectively with keto diets.
3. May Protect Brain Functioning
Keto diet has been shown by many studies to have neuroprotective benefits. One study found that children who followed the ketogenic diet had improved alertness and cognitive functioning. This is one reason why many people rave about keto diets.
4. Energy Boost
When you start following this diet, you will experience the “keto flu” in the first few days. This means you may have headaches, nausea, fatigue, and confusion. Do not panic because these symptoms signify that your body is switching from burning glucose to burning fat for energy. You may feel depleted for one or two days but once you completely switch to the fat-burning phase, you will experience an energy boost and greater endurance.
Dr. Carrie Burrows, Ph.D., a fitness and health expert once affirmed that “when we derive energy from fat, our level of endurance becomes improved and more sustainable.”
5. May Help Reduce the Risk of Cancer
The keto diet has been recently investigated for how it may help prevent or treat certain cases of cancer. One study found that the keto diet may be effective for treating cancer patients when used as a complementary treatment to chemotherapy and radiation. This is because this diet causes more oxidative stress in cancer cells than normal cells.
Again, the keto diet reduces high blood sugar. This means that you can use this diet to reduce insulin complications which are associated with some cases of cancer.
6. Lower Blood Sugar (Type 2 Diabetes)
A keto diet causes the body to burn fat and ketones as fuel for the body. It cuts you daily carbohydrates to less than 20 grams, for diabetics. This can lower the insulin level thereby leading to lower blood sugar level. Therefore, a pre-diabetic or type 2 diabetic can follow the keto diet to alleviate excess blood sugar. More so, there would no need to source exogenous insulin when following this diet.
7. Better Sleep
When you follow the keto diet, you will sleep much deeper. But, you may experience insomnia or difficulty staying asleep during the first five days of following it. Once your body adjusts to ketosis, you will find that you’re able to sleep longer, deeper and feel more rested and relaxed.
8. Diminished Cravings
When you control your blood sugar level, your cravings diminish. The keto diet is a good option to achieve this. Studies have shown that when you cut carbs and eat more fat and protein, you will end up eating fewer calories which reduces your cravings.
9. Reduces Acne
Diet and blood sugar are one of the major causes of acne. When you eat a diet high in refined and processed carbohydrates, it alters your gut bacteria and causes blood sugar fluctuations. These can have cause acne on your skin.However, when you follow the keto diet by decreasing your carb intake, it prevents or reduces the development of acne on your skin.
10. Improves Health in Women with PCOS
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine disorder that often occurs with insulin resistance. This condition causes a range of hormonal issues that lead to enlarged ovaries with cysts.
PCOS can be made worse when you eat foods high in carbs. However, a keto diet can help address insulin resistance and in turn improve the health of women suffering from this disorder. A study showed that when a ketogenic diet led to a significant improvement in fasting insulin, body weight and testosterone markers in women with PCOS.
The keto diet is well established in nutrition science to have immense health benefits. This diet can help you improve your heart health, reduce the risk of cancer, reduce acne, reduce seizures, protect your brain functioning, lower blood sugar and cravings, improve sleep and improve cases of PCOS. For this diet to work for you, you need to be consistent with it. However, make sure you consult your doctor before following this diet.