The low carb, high fat ketogenic diet is most popular for its weight loss benefits. Just quickly browse the internet and you’ll see thousands of physique transformations after adopting the keto lifestyle.
But recent studies are showing that the benefits of keto extend well beyond weight loss…
In this Keto Beginners Series, we’ll dive into the additional health benefits you can expect from the low carb, high fat way of eating.
Significantly Decreases Inflammation
Inflammation is a major determining factor and responsible for several health ailments. Some of them include:
Ketogenic dieting is considered an “anti-inflammatory” diet and has been shown to help mitigate the symptoms mentioned above. Researchers have found that the ketone body, BHB (beta hydroxybutyrate) helps decrease your body’s inflammation through the NLRP3 inflammasome[*].
Helps with Sleep Quality and Improves Energy Levels
As a beginner on keto, you may feel fatigued and struggle with having a good night's rest. Fortunately, this only occurs when your body isn’t used to running on ketones for energy.
Once you become keto-adapted, most people experience a drastic increase in overall energy levels as well as improvements in sleep quality. This occurs because insulin levels are stabilized once your body is used to using fats as a primary fuel source. This gives you a readily available energy source for your brain and body.
Additionally, ketones help improve sleep by increasing slow-wave sleeping patterns and decreasing REM[*].
Enhances Brain Function
The ketogenic diet was initially used as a treatment for children with epilepsy back in the early 1900’s.
More recent research has now discovered several brain benefits of keto that extend well past the treatment of epilepsy. Scientists are now seeing an increase in memory and cognition in adults as well as improvements in all stages of dementia[*][*].
Keto-ers without any memory impairments have experienced increased mental clarity and focus once their body is keto-adapted.
Preserves Muscle and Increases Endurance
The ketone body, beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), not only promotes muscle gain but also preserve existing muscle mass[*].
In fact, many bodybuilders will adopt the ketogenic diet when they are trying to lose weight because ketone bodies help them maintain muscle while eating at a calorie deficit.
Similarly, ultra-endurance athletes are now utilizing the keto diet to boost overall endurance during long workout sessions like ultra-marathons.
Keto has gained the attention of marathon runners because fat-adaptation provides their bodies with a longer-lasting energy source so they don’t end up crashing mid-race.
Defends Against Some Cancers
Recent studies are now looking at the effects of ketone supplementation on cancer with promising results.
Scientists have found that cancer cells feed off of glucose (carbs). When glucose is restricted (by relying on ketones for energy), cancer cells are unable to use ketone bodies for energy so they die off[*][*][*].
While it’s important to listen to your physician’s advice, following a ketogenic diet may be a helpful aid in cancer treatment and could be worth bringing up to your doctor during your next checkup.
Helps with Kidney Function (and Prevents Gout)
Gout and kidney stones are usually caused by elevated uric acid, oxalate, calcium and phosphorus levels as a result of sugar consumption, genetics, and dehydration.
While uric acid levels may temporarily increase on keto, these levels will come back down and regulate after your body has become keto-adapted (typically one month).
The decreased sugar consumption on keto helps regulate your body’s kidney function so it can perform optimally.
Since you’re restricting processed carbs and inflammatory foods like grains on the ketogenic diet, your digestive system will thank you.
Many people have seen tremendous digestion improvements after adopting keto. In addition, some researchers are now also seeing a positive change in the gut microbiome in people who follow the low carb, high fat diet[*].
If you have any gastrointestinal problems, the ketogenic diet may be a great way to help with digestive issues.
Prevents Diabetes and Obesity
People with type II diabetes cannot process glucose from carbs correctly to convert into energy.
Over 150 research papers have proven that the ketogenic diet is extremely effective in treating diabetes because it allows the body to run on ketones from fats rather than glucose from carbohydrates[*][*].
The ketogenic diet has also proven to be a great treatment for obesity for the same reason. It helps regulate hormones and improve your metabolism by becoming a fat-burner so the body can properly turn food into energy rather than stored as body fat.
The Ketogenic Diet is Much More Than a Weight Loss Regimen
With all of the new science-backed studies showing how healthy the ketogenic diet can be, it’s no wonder that this way of eating has garnered the attention of the masses in the nutrition industry.
If you want to improve your overall health, adopting the ketogenic lifestyle may be the answer you're looking for. Make sure to consult with your doctor beforehand if you have any serious health complications.
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