Nowadays, the Keto Diet can be found all over social media and there are even cookbooks dedicated to it! It's no secret that the Keto Diet is a healthy way to eat, but did you know just how many amazing benefits there are?
In this blog post we will talk about some of the most common health benefits of following a Keto Diet, but first, let's take a quick look at what being on a this diet actually means.
A Keto Diet is a way of eating, rather than a weight loss diet, such as Atkins, Weight Watchers, etc.
Switching to Keto can be one of the best things you do for your body and mental health. As with any life change, it takes time to get used to mindful eating and understanding when your body needs fuel. But the benefits are well worth it!
This low-carb, high fat and moderate protein approach to eating shifts your metabolism from burning sugar for energy, to burning fat - putting your body into an energy state called "ketosis."
Ketosis is a metabolic process that takes place when glucose levels are depleted in your blood and your body switches its main fuel source from carbs (glucose) which come mainly from vegetables, grains and fruit, to fat (ketones) which come mainly from animal protein, dairy products, eggs, and oils - although you can produce ketones from stored fat too.
Better food choices mean you can avoid overeating or snacking on high carb processed foods with added sugars like cakes, cookies, etc.
A typical meal would consist mostly of fats and proteins - meat, fish, eggs, plant protein, nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, leafy green vegetables plus some non-starchy fresh fruit - most notably berries because they're packed full of fibre, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and flavonoids.
Your system will adapt over time as it becomes more efficient at using fats for energy instead of carbohydrates. This will lead to a number of health benefits in addition to weight loss - improved mental clarity and better sleep quality among others.
Some people may experience side effects, like bad breath or constipation, in the beginning, but these are usually short-term issues that can be remedied with some dietary adjustments such as increasing your water intake for hydration purposes.
Whether you're new to or returning to Ketogenic eating, here are more than 11 Amazing Benefits of a Keto Diet You'll Love...
1. Weight Loss
The most common side effect of the Keto Diet is rapid weight loss in the first few weeks, which can be very motivating to help you to stick with it. Numerous studies have shown the Keto Diet is an effective way for people to lose weight and keep it off. One study found that participants who followed a Ketogenic Diet lost more than twice as much weight on average than those who followed a low-calorie, low-fat diet.
A Keto Diet also has the side effect that you will feel fuller than usual so snacking on sugary snacks mid-day won't be an issue like before, with other diets, where hunger pangs were constant temptations! This fuller feeling comes from the increase in the healthy fats that are a big part of the Keto diet.
Another contributing factor to weight loss success is the way a Keto Diet is linked to the appetite controlling hormones - Cortisol and Ghrelin - and its beneficial effect on their balance, helping to prevent obesity.
The Keto Diet also has been shown in studies to decrease visceral adiposity (fat around internal organs) through decreased insulin resistance.
2. Increased Energy
After weight loss, increased energy is the second most reported positive benefit of following a Keto Diet. These increased energy levels are due to higher fat intake and lower sugar consumption, which switches your body to producing ketones, and this in turn leads to increased focus and concentration levels.
3. Improved Athletic Performance
If you're an athlete or someone who's very active on a regular basis, then this benefit will be right up your street. The Keto Diet has been shown in studies to improve athletic performance by fuelling intense exercise with ketone energy, which is a far more efficient fuel than glucose.
A Ketogenic Diet can also help improve endurance, and it's been shown to reduce lactic acid levels in muscles - which is a major cause of muscle fatigue during exercise! Help your muscles explode while shredding off that belly fat.
4. Improved Brain Function and Mental Performance
The ketones produced on this diet can also improve mental performance by increasing levels of Acetylcholine - an important neurotransmitter that helps with memory and learning. This is especially important for people who perform demanding mental tasks.
This improved mental clarity is also thought to be due in part to the elimination of foods that can contribute to brain fog, such as refined carbs and sugar.
This increased focus will help with productivity too! You'll feel more energised all day long following this type healthy eating plan - especially when it comes time head off home from work each night - because no one wants those pesky blood sugars crashing around 6pm while they're trying get things done before dinner.
A Ketogenic Diet has been shown to help with neurological disorders such as Epilepsy, Alzheimer's Disease or Parkinson’s Disease by reducing the frequency of seizures in epileptic children while improving cognitive function for those who have these diseases.
5. Reduced Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes is a lifelong condition that affects how your body regulates blood glucose levels.
Diabetes is a serious condition that affects millions of people around the world, and it's also one of the most common health conditions in the UK today - but you can reduce your risk by following a Ketogenic diet! This is because restricting carbs to low levels will force your body to burn fat instead of glucose for energy, which improves the body's sensitivity to insulin - a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels.
One study found that following a low-carbohydrate diet led to improved insulin sensitivity after just one week, reducing the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes by up to 60%.
Focusing on reducing the amount of carbohydrates eaten is important for regulating blood sugar levels, which reduces risk factors associated with developing Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM).
6. Improved Cholesterol Levels
Another benefit of the Keto Diet is reduced cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is a fatty substance that can clog up your arteries and lead to heart disease, but the keto diet helps regulate cholesterol levels as it's been shown to improve cholesterol levels by reducing triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol while increasing HDL (good) cholesterol - which reduces the risk of heart disease.
7. Reduced Risk of Cancer
Cancer is one of the most feared diseases in the world today - and it's also responsible for more than 8 million deaths per year worldwide. Fortunately, you may reduce your risk by following a Ketogenic diet. This is because restricting carbs will force your body to use fats as its primary fuel source rather than sugar or glucose, which has been shown to slow tumour growth and perhaps even kill cancer cells in some cases.
8. Better Sleep Patterns
Another of the many benefits that Keto dieters experience when they first start following this low-carb high-fat lifestyle is better sleep patterns and improved quality of sleep, because it promotes the activity of Adenoside - a chemical that naturally occurs in your body and has many functions, including telling your brain to be sleepy at the end of the day.
As your Adenosine levels increase during the day, they help relax your nervous system, and can also reduce pain and inflammation — all of which can help to improve the quality of your sleep.
Although Keto Insomnia is often experienced in the beginning, this side effect often disappears after the first few weeks.
9. Improved Mood and Mental Health
One study found that following a low-carbohydrate diet led to an improved mood after just one week, with participants reporting lower anxiety and increased feelings of well-being - which is perfect for those who are looking for natural ways to reduce stress!
The Keto Diet is known to help people with mental health conditions like anxiety, depression or bipolar disorder because it stabilises blood sugar levels which helps regulate moods.