Health Benefits of the Keto Diet
The ketogenic diet has become a common topic of discussion as of late. It also comes with its fair share of misconceptions. For example, many people think that the keto diet is just another fad that will not yield real benefits.
In reality, however, the keto diet has been proven to have numerous health benefits, including the potential to help fight disease and promote weight loss. In this article, we’ll explore all you need to know about the ketogenic diet so you can decide if it’s right for you.
Proven Health Benefits of a Keto Diet
- Fighting Disease – One of the most common benefits of going on a ketogenic diet is the potential to help fight disease. Studies have found that following a ketogenic diet can help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, including breast cancer, colorectal cancer, endometrial cancer and lung cancer. This is because when you’re on a ketogenic diet, your body is less likely to produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that has been strongly linked to cancer. The ketogenic diet can also help prevent heart disease, help control blood sugar, and may reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Promoting Weight Loss – Have you been struggling to lose weight? If so, a ketogenic diet may be right for you. Going on a ketogenic diet has been shown to be an effective way to lose weight. When someone is on a ketogenic diet, their body will experience rapid weight loss because their body is not burning carbohydrates for fuel. Instead, it’s only burning fat. In fact, studies have shown that following a ketogenic diet can help people lose an average of five pounds in the first two weeks. However, this number can vary depending on the person.
- Improving Cholesterol Levels – Another proven benefit of following a ketogenic diet is that it can help improve cholesterol levels. Studies have found that many people who are on a standard carbohydrate-heavy diet have high levels of bad cholesterol. This can increase the risk of heart disease. Following a ketogenic diet can help lower cholesterol levels. This is because a ketogenic diet is high in fat and low in carbohydrates, which makes it good for people who are at risk for heart disease.
- Preventing or Reducing Epilepsy Symptoms – A ketogenic diet can be an effective treatment for epilepsy. Studies have found that a ketogenic diet can reduce seizures by up to 50% in people who have epilepsy. This is because a ketogenic diet can reduce levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the brain. High levels of acetylcholine have been associated with epilepsy.
- Promoting Better Brain Function – A ketogenic diet can also promote better brain function. This is because following a ketogenic diet has been shown to increase levels of the neurotransmitter GABA in the brain. GABA is a brain chemical that has been linked to better mood, better cognition, and reduced anxiety.
Disadvantages of Going Keto
- Energy Levels – One of the main downsides of following a ketogenic diet is that it can significantly decrease your energy levels temporarily. This is because a ketogenic diet is very high in fat. Eating lots of fat can affect your insulin levels. When your insulin levels decrease, it can cause a drop in energy. This is because your body is no longer able to properly use the sugar that it gets from food. This is why many people who go on a ketogenic diet feel tired. Fortunately, this side effect only lasts a few weeks as your body gets used to burning fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates.
- Lack of Variety – Another potential downside of going on a ketogenic diet is that it can be challenging to find appealing and varied meals. Many people who are on a ketogenic diet have to avoid eating foods that are high in carbohydrates, such as rice and noodles. However, this can get boring after a while. It’s also important to remember that not all foods that are low in carbohydrates are keto-friendly. For example, dairy products like milk, yogurt and cheese are generally low in carbohydrates but they’re not keto-friendly.
- Increased Potential for Side Effects – One of the potential downsides of a ketogenic diet is that it can cause side effects in some people, such as increased levels of bad cholesterol, constipation, diarrhea, bad breath, and headaches. Fortunately, many of these side effects are temporary. They may go away as your body gets used to burning fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates.
Should You Go Keto?
These proven benefits of a ketogenic diet make it seem like a no-brainer. However, ketogenic diets are not suitable for everyone. If you have certain health conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, you should talk to your doctor before starting a ketogenic diet.
Your doctor may recommend adjusting your diet in order to reduce certain health risks. For example, if you have diabetes, your doctor may recommend eating more carbohydrates. Another important thing to remember is that following a ketogenic diet is not a quick fix for weight loss.
It’s not like going to the gym for a couple of weeks and then stopping once you’ve reached your goal weight. Ketogenic diets have to be maintained in the long term. If you stop following a ketogenic diet, your body will likely begin storing fat again as it once did.
The ketogenic diet has become a common topic of discussion as of late. It also comes with its fair share of misconceptions. For example, many people think that the keto diet is just another fad that will not yield real benefits. In reality, however, the keto diet has been proven to have numerous health benefits, including the potential to help fight disease and promote weight loss.