10+ HEALTH BENEFITS OF THE KETOGENIC DIET
The first thing you should do before you start dieting is to find out all relevant information regarding a specific diet and especially what health benefits will bring that diet to you. The second thing to do, if you decide on a ketogenic diet, is to consult a doctor prior starting it, because there are certain health conditions that could be severely affected by this diet (e.g. if you are prone to kidney, heart or gallbladder issues). Following are the top health benefits of a keto diet and the last, but not the least important thing to do before you start a keto diet, is to do a blood test. Among the other visible signs, the before and after blood test results will be the most relevant indicator of the health benefits of this diet.
So let’s start:
Studies have shown that the ketogenic diet results in less hunger and more muscle maintenance, compared to other low-carb diets, especially in cases where more protein was included. While on a keto diet there is no need for portion control, just simply be aware of the amount of carbohydrates in the food. Also you will experience lack of hunger, as fat is very satisfying and there sure will be times when you may forget to eat.
- Improves mental / brain function
A keto diet can significantly improve / enhance the cognitive function and the memory; can improve mental clarity and focus and also prevent seizures. The mechanism of the seizure prevention is believed to be related to increased stability of the neurons and the up-regulation of brain mitochondria and mitochondrial enzymes. The more stable blood sugar can also lead to less frequent and less intense migraines. This diet has been used for decades and it is still being used for epilepsy treatment in children with great success. It’s also effective in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) and can help reduce brain damage from traumatic brain injury and stroke, and also can help with autism symptoms, bipolar and schizophrenia.
- Fights metabolic syndrome
A metabolic syndrome is actually a combination of a few symptoms and is usually caused by overconsumption of carbohydrates. The symptoms include:
- Abdominal obesity
- Elevated fasting blood sugar levels
- High triglycerides
- Low HDL levels
By eating diet high in fats and low in carbohydrates, you will be able to reverse these cardiovascular disease symptoms. The keto diet lowers and stabilizes the blood sugar levels as well as the blood pressure; lowers the triglycerides and increases the HDL, therefore improves the LDL/HDL ratio which leads to prevention of cardiovascular diseases and Diabetes Type II.
- Helps with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS affects the way the ovary work, and its symptoms include irregular periods, excess androgen, enlarged ovaries, weight gain and infertility. Keeping blood sugar levels low and stable, results with lower insulin levels in the blood and therefore helps to stabilize other hormone levels in women. A ketogenic can help manage PCOS by reducing weight and improving insulin sensitivity.
- Decreases pain and lowers inflammation
Studies have shown that ketosis has anti-inflammatory features and also helps with pain relief especially in people suffering from arthritis, acne, psoriasis, eczema… This is probably due to reduction in glucose metabolism.
- Helps with certain cancers
Cancer cells rely on glucose to generate energy needed for their metabolism processes, so being on a ketogenic diet means decreasing glucose and increasing ketones, which cannot be used as an energy source by the tumor cells. Certain studies have shown that ketosis reduces tumor growth. The ketogenic diet should be used as an addition to medication and chemotherapy.
Just after a couple of days on a keto diet you will feel full of energy which is mostly due to stable insulin levels, and also you’ll feel lack of cravings for carbs due to the other available fuel source – the fat.
Sugar has a significant effect on the Ph in your mouth, so less sugar results in less risk of gum diseases and tooth decay.
- Improves digestion, gastrointestinal and gallbladder health
Grain based and sugary foods increase the possibility of acid reflux and heartburn. So it is logical that a diet based on low-carbs would significantly reduce the stomach pain, bloating, gas and would lessen their symptoms. Additionally, decrease in the carb intake will prevent forming gallstones and thus will help clear the gallbladder.
- Improves endurance and helps muscle gain
There have been numerous studies that have shown that ketosis is a potential endurance enhancer for a lot of athletes. So go keto and enjoy your physical activities!