It is not a secret anymore that Keto diet helps in weight loss(we will elaborate more below). Numerous nutritionists recommend keto diet to overweight or obese individuals to get them started with their weight loss journey. But did you know that weight loss is not the only benefit from the Keto diet? Below we will summarize top ten Keto diet benefits.
Keto diets are made of high fat and low carbohydrate containing foods. They also contain foods that supply adequate protein to the body to meet its daily protein requirements. Ketogenic diet act by inducing nutritional ketosis in the body. During ketosis, the body utilizes fat stores as its major energy source instead of glucose. This results in effective weight loss and other health benefits. Here are the top 10 Keto Diet Benefits:
- It causes weight loss
Probably the best known benefit of Keto diet! When your body is experiencing nutritional ketosis it utilizes the fat stores in your body, as the primary energy source instead of glucose. This leads to burning of fat and weight loss. Several studies have shown that the high fat ketogenic diet is more efficient in weight loss than conventional low fat diets.
- The low carbohydrate content in ketogenic diet is effective in weight loss. Low carbohydrate diets lower insulin levels in the body leading to excretion of excess sodium and water by the kidneys, which causes weight loss. If you are on a ketogenic diet you can see visible weight loss within one or two weeks of following the diet. Once the water weight is gone, you would slowly start losing inches of stubborn fat as well
- When on a ketogenic diet you experience appetite suppression and fewer food cravings, which help in weight loss. When following conventional diets, the levels of the hormone cholecystokinin decrease leading to appetite stimulation. This drives people to eat more during their dieting regime. Ketogenic diets maintain the normal levels of the hormone cholecystokinin leading to fewer hunger pangs and sustained weight loss. Unlike conventional diets, ketogenic diets also lead to less production of ghrelin leading to appetite suppression.
- Abdominal fat is usually considered a resistant fat to burn. When on a ketogenic diet you easily burn your abdominal fat and reduce your risk of developing heart disease and diabetes type 2.
- It improves symptoms of metabolic syndrome
Metabolic syndrome leads to diabetes and heart diseases. Metabolic syndrome is characterized by high blood pressure, increased abdominal fat, decreased blood HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) levels, increased blood LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) levels and high blood sugar. Ketogenic diet has been found to improve all the symptoms of metabolic syndrome, thereby, decreasing the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.
- It lowers blood sugar levels and controls diabetes type 2
When on a ketogenic diet you consume fat rich foods, proteins and lots of vegetables, which help maintain stable blood sugar levels. When you are on a conventional diet that is rich in carbohydrates, spikes in your blood sugar levels occur, leading to hunger pangs.
In type 2 diabetic patients low carbohydrate diets have been found to result in weight loss and better blood sugar control. Ketogenic diets have been shown to increase insulin sensitivity in diabetic patients apart from controlling the blood sugar levels. Ketogenic diet is ideal for diabetic patients.
High blood sugar leads to impaired vision in diabetics. By maintaining normal sugar levels, the ketogenic diet has been found to improve vision health in diabetics. However, diabetic patients following ketogenic diet should be carefully monitored so that they do not develop ketoacidosis.
- It improves brain health and cognitive performance
Another great benefit of a Keto diet is that it improves your brain health and cognitive performance.
- When you are on a ketogenic diet your brain uses ketones for its energy needs and ketones are an ideal energy source for your brain. Ketogenic diets were originally introduced to provide symptom relief from epilepsy.
- Ketogenic diets maintain stable blood sugar levels and do not cause spikes in blood sugar, which leads to increased mental focus, concentration and performance.
- Ketogenic diets are rich in essential fatty acids, which are necessary for facilitating memory and learning. Ketogenic diets are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been reported to improve symptoms of mood disorders and depression.
- Ketogenic diets are also found to reduce the severity and frequency of migraine attacks.
- It provides increased and stable energy levels and improved sleep
When you are on a ketogenic diet your body derives its energy requirements from fat stores in your body instead of carbohydrates. Fats provide a sustained supply of energy when compared to carbohydrates. You have stable energy levels throughout the day for performing your daily activities. Your blood sugar levels are also controlled on a ketogenic diet, which also contributes to stable energy levels.
Ketogenic diets also improve your sleep by decreasing your REM sleep and increasing your slow wave sleep. It is still not clear how the ketogenic diet improves sleep. However, it is believed that the quality of sleep is improved because the brain uses ketones instead of glucose for its energy needs during ketosis.
- It prevents heart disease
Another keto diet benefit is that Keto diets have been found to increase your HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) levels, decrease your LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) levels, lower your triglyceride levels, lower your blood sugar levels and improve your blood pressure. By following a ketogenic diet you reduce your risk of developing heart disease.
- It improves reproductive health in women
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common reproductive health problem in women and it is accompanied by insulin resistance. Since ketogenic diet improves insulin sensitivity, it can improve the symptoms of PCOS. In a research study, where women suffering from PCOS were asked to follow the ketogenic diet, improvement of PCOS symptoms was noticed.
By improving insulin sensitivity, the ketogenic diet also regulates the levels of reproductive hormones, thereby, improving the overall reproductive health and fertility in women.
- It provides anti-cancer effect
Cancer cells need glucose to fuel their energy requirements. Hence, by inducing nutritional ketosis by following a ketogenic diet you deprive the cancer cells of their energy source. This results in death of the cancer cells due to lack of energy to fuel their growth.
In a research study conducted in mice, ketone supplementation decreased tumour viability and increased survival of these mice. A pilot study conducted in 10 cancer patients also showed that ketogenic diet demonstrated positive improvements in these patients.
- It helps in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease
Reactive oxygen species have been reported to be a contributing factor in causing neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Ketogenic diet is known to have an antioxidant effect by decreasing the production of the reactive oxygen species by mitochondria.
Ketogenic diet has been reported to improve cognitive performance in Alzheimer’s disease. Improvement has also been shown in patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease, when they followed the ketogenic diet for a month.
- It provides an anti-aging effect
Oxidative stress is an important contributing factor to aging. It has been found that ketogenic diet by decreasing insulin levels decreases oxidative stress. By following a ketogenic diet you can delay the aging process.
So these were the top 10 Keto Diet Benefits! Are you on a Keto diet? Have you experience other keto diet benefits apart from the 10 detailed here? Let us know!