The Ketogenic diet plan is one of the hottest and fastest growing diets on the market today. It's a popular diet plan because people find that, not only do they drop weight quickly, but that there are numerous other benefits to this new way of eating.
While not all the following benefits will apply to everyone, you can almost guarantee that you will receive at least some of the following benefits if you decide to "go keto".
Exactly what benefits (other than weight loss) are we talking about? Sit down, because you are going to be shocked by what you are about to read.
The keto diet naturally means lower insulin levels. This will lead to lower blood sugar levels. Your body will be using fat and ketones for energy, meaning that for those who are pre-diabetics or have type 2 diabetes, worries about excessive blood sugar levels will be a thing of the past.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) often comes with insulin resistance, which causes a range of hormonal problems, including unwanted hair growth and infertility. The keto diet can help address insulin resistance and help those with PCOS due to its very low carb intake. Some studies have found that, in addition to losing weight, the keto diet led to improved fasting insulin testosterone markers and improved fertility rates.
Besides weight loss, this is perhaps the most mentioned benefit when speaking to people who have been on the ketogenic diet for a few weeks. Most people will excitedly describe improved memory, clarity of thought, improved learning abilities, and improved cognitive function.
This isn’t simply a “wish it was true” benefit, but one backed up by science. One study (1) involving humans, found that even when people stayed on the diet for a short period of time, memory function improved, even in older adults. The heart and brain run approximately 25% more efficiently on ketones than on blood sugar. Imagine improving your brain function by 25%, simply by changing what you eat?!
For those who suffer from IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome) the thought of eating such as high fat diet sounds uncomfortable at best. While the first few days of the keto diet might increase diarrhea, the long term effects are nothing short of amazing. Studies (2) have found that when participants consumed lower amounts of sugar and higher amounts of fat, there were tremendous improvements in gas, bloating, abdominal pain and a general improvement in the quality of life.
If you play sports and you have yet to start a ketogenic diet, you are missing out on easily obtained edge over the competition.
Studies (3) have found that those on a keto diet had more mitochondria, lower lactate load, lower oxidative stress, and that those who were “fat adapted”, could operate at a much higher intensity for a longer period of time than those who were not fat adapted. Ketones in the blood lead to significant improvements in performance.
Here is a benefit everyone can understand! When you reduce glucose levels, you reduce pain levels the same is true of inflammation. Lower inflammation = lower pain levels. Chronic inflammation is one of the underlying causes behind nearly every disease and illness known to mankind. By lowering inflammation levels, you can avoid chronic diseases, such as arthritis and cognitive dysfunction.
While many diets claim to improve energy levels, there is no denying that the keto diet does what it claims. During the first week, it is not uncommon to feel fatigue, but after the first 7 to 10 days, you will notice more stable and remarkably long-lasting energy levels that will surprise you. Once your body becomes fat adapted, you will find that you can go on for hours without cravings, without needing coffee or energy drinks to get you through the day, and no drastic afternoon “crash”.
One of the things most doctors will test for are called fasting triglyceride levels. Triglycerides are fat molecules in the blood. The more you have, the higher your risk for developing heart disease. Contrary to what you might think, eating a high fat, low carb diet will actually lower triglyceride levels. This is because the main driver behind higher triglyceride levels are carbohydrates, not fat. Studies (4) find that when people drastically cut carbs, they also drastically cut triglyceride levels.
HDL, short for high density lipoprotein, is often called the “good” type of cholesterol. The higher the levels of HDL, the lower your risk of developing heart disease. It’s well known (5) that one of the best ways to increase the HDL in your body is to eat more fat. In a nutshell, the keto diet will lower your risk of developing heart disease by lowering triglyceride levels and increasing the body’s level of HDL cholesterol.
Although lowering your weight often results in lower blood pressure, this isn’t always the case. However, low carb diets are also known to reduce blood pressure levels, which should help you avoid the increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and heart attacks.
There are numerous other benefits we haven’t mentioned here, including being an effective treatment against metabolic syndrome, lower insulin levels, which leads to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, as well as visceral fat loss.
Since 2002, more than 20 studies involving humans have been conducted with low carb and/or ketogenic diets. Almost every single study found numerous benefits. Come and join the keto craze and find out what everyone is talking about!