A Ketogenic Diet consists of 65-75% healthy fats, 20-25% moderate protein and 5% carbohydrates. As someone who has tried a number of diets in the past, I can say without question, Keto is hands down, has the most health benefits, is the easiest to maintain long-term and can be nothing short of life changing. The following are just 15 of the amazing benefits, but there are many more!
1- Better Control Over Your Blood Sugar
Blood sugar levels are raised when we eat carbs, the digestive system breaks them down into simple sugars, such as glucose, from where they enter the bloodstream.
Since, high levels of sugar in blood is toxic, the body excretes insulin, to prevent blood sugar spikes. Insulin prompts body cells to utilize the sugar for producing energy and get rid of excess sugar.
But, when the body is loaded with excess sugar, it eventually fails to produce sufficient insulin or the cells eventually get blinded to the insulin, also known as insulin resistance.
2- Increased Weight Loss
By limiting the intake of carbohydrates, the body exhausts it’s stores of muscle and liver glycogen and must break down stored fats to provide energy to support normal metabolic activity. High fat foods tend to take longer to break down , so you feel full longer and automatically suppresses your appetite.
3- You Feel Less Hungry
The Ketogenic Diet has the added benefit of curbing hunger pangs through its unique action in suppressing the hunger hormone Ghrelin. Hunger is by far the biggest obstacle in most weight reduction diet plans. Most diets that I’ve tried in the past are very low fat, which does nothing to keep you full in between meals. Perhaps this is why most low fat diets allow for snacking in between meals. I found that even with snacking, I was not as satisfied between meals as I am on Keto. In fact, it’s not even a close comparison!
With the decrease in carbohydrates, comes an increase in high fiber and nutrient dense non-starchy vegetables and highly satiating healthy fats and proteins. The empty calories are eliminated, and you feel fuller for longer.
4- Improvement In Your Mood
Consuming carbs and sugar effects your mood greatly. I never noticed this more than when I first started Keto. I could not believe how stable my mood was, with no spikes or crashes, none! Before starting Keto, you might have felt a rush of energy and immediate improvement in your mood. So what happens when that rush is over? Irritability, fatigue, and of course, hunger. The more carbs you eat, the more you crave them and round and round we go. A Ketogenic diet completely eliminates this rollercoaster ride. Without the presence of carbs in our system, there are no huge spikes or crashes, resulting in a much more stable mood and energy level.
5- Increase in Energy
As I mentioned earlier, dramatically lowering our consumption of carbs, results in a more stable energy level. No mid-afternoon crashes, no cravings for sugar or caffeine hits.
The ketones produced from fat are a readily available source of fuel. Once you become fat adapted and are in ketosis, you will find they can easily go many hours needing to eat and not have those dramatic energy level swings.
6- Your Skin is Healthier
Consuming low-GI (glycemic index) foods like meat and low-carb vegetables will create favorable changes in the body that improve skin health. Acne can be caused by chronically high insulin levels. A Ketogenic diet decreases insulin levels, which also calms inflammation. Inflammation is what makes acne so red, sore, and tender. Prior to starting Keto, I had parathyroid surgery, which caused my hormones to be all over the place. One lovely side effect was pimples! I never had an issue with my skin, even as a teenager, maybe one pimple here and there, but never huge breakouts. Within the first couple of weeks on Keto, my face cleared up and I have never had a problem since.
7- Decreased Chances of Getting Cancer
The medical profession is largely ignorant of the fact that most cancers are rooted in metabolic and mitochondrial dysfunction, and hence the conventional prevention recommendations do little to nothing to quell the tide of cancer diagnoses. Cancer is really a mitochondrial metabolic disease, rooted in poor diet choices combined with a toxic lifestyle.
Nutritional ketosis has received a lot of attention by cancer researchers in recent years, and many studies show it has great potential for cancer prevention. The belief is that since cancer cells need glucose and insulin to thrive, so lowering the glucose level in your blood though carb and protein restriction literally starves the cancer cells.
It is also my personal belief that eating grass-fed, non-GMO, Organic foods that have no unhealthy preservatives and additives, nitrites and nitrates also contributes to our overall health and disease prevention.
8- Improved Brain Function
As discussed earlier, carbs increase and decrease blood sugar levels in the body. An inconsistency of energy levels makes it hard for your brain to stay focused for a long time. When in Ketosis you may notice the difference or more clarity, increased focus and sharpness, I certainly do! This method has proven to work perfectly for patients with Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, and other cognitive disorders.
The combination of carb restriction and ketone utilization allows the brain to balance the neurotransmitters – Glutamate and GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid) that are the primary neurotransmitters for excitation (trigger stimulation) and inhibitory (control stimulation), respectively.
Poor focus and brain fatigue are caused due to excess glutamate and very low GABA, since the brain has to use glutamate and glutamic acid (from glucose) for fuel, leaving very to be processed into GABA.
By providing an alternative fuel, Ketones, the brain is able to balance the content of two neurotransmitters and thus allow the brain to relax (by restricting the firing of neurons) and improve mental focus.
A Ketogenic diet makes brain cells more efficient, reduces inflammation in brain cells, and promotes the production of healthy neurotrophic factors.
9- Prevent Heart Disease
There are beneficial effects of a long-term ketogenic diet, including decreased the level of triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and blood glucose, and increased the level of HDL cholesterol. But let’s look at the real culprit of heart disease… without inflammation being present in the body, there is no way that cholesterol would accumulate in the wall of the blood vessel and cause heart disease and strokes. Without inflammation, cholesterol would move freely throughout the body as nature intended. It is inflammation that causes cholesterol to become trapped.
Inflammation in our blood vessels is caused by the low fat diet recommended for years by mainstream medicine. Highly processed carbohydrates (sugar, flour and all the products made from them) and the excess consumption of omega-6 vegetable oils like soybean, corn and sunflower that are found in many processed foods are responsible for inflammation. These foods have been poisoning us for many years. Additionally, when you spike your blood sugar level several times a day, every day, it is exactly like taking sandpaper to the inside of your delicate blood vessels. By eliminating inflammatory foods and adding essential nutrients from fresh unprocessed food, you will reverse years of damage in your arteries and throughout your body from consuming the typical American diet.
10- Prevents Migraines
Many people who suffer from migraines have reported great results when switching from a conventional high carb diet to a ultra-low carb ketogenic diet. The effect of ketone bodies as energetic boosters is very important in migraine patients, because they have an energetic deficit in the brain. Ketone bodies also have an anti-inflammatory effect. This is also important because ‘sterile inflammation’, inflammation caused by damage rather than by microbes, is at the heart of migraines. The ketone bodies dampen the neural inflammation that’s both common in epilepsy and migraines.
11- Reversing Type 2 Diabetes
Insulin resistance is a widespread problem that, can lead to prediabetes and eventually type 2 diabetes. A ketogenic diet can help people lower their insulin to healthy levels and reverse insulin resistance. Researchers have found that a low-carbohydrate diet has a greater effect on blood sugar control in type 2 diabetics than high-carbohydrate diets.
They also found a distinct relationship between carbohydrate restriction and blood sugar lowering. Less carb consumption meant better blood sugar levels.
12- Prevent/Reverse Dementia
A ketogenic diet is a high in fat, moderate protein, and low-carbohydrate diet that produces ketones, compounds the body can use to produce energy. Ketones have been shown in studies to be neuroprotective, meaning they “defend” your brain from degenerating. In short, a ketogenic diet is a great way to reverse dementia naturally.
Research clearly establishes a strong link between blood sugar disorders and the various dementia stages, including memory loss, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and Alzheimer’s. The most predominate blood sugar disorders are insulin resistance and diabetes.
13- Help Manage Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a metabolic disease in women associated with abnormalities in glucose metabolism and androgen (male hormone) metabolism.
Women with PCOS are typically infertile and have difficulty losing fat.
A ketogenic diet may help manage PCOS by reducing weight and improving insulin sensitivity.
14- Relieves Symptoms of Epilepsy
Omega-3 fatty acids are often associated with heart health and cholesterol but they can also have an impact on the nervous system. A great deal of research on epilepsy has found that pursuing a ketogenic diet reduces the symptoms of this condition and allows medication for epilepsy to work more effectively in the body.
15- Overall Improvement in How You Feel
Since I have transitioned to the Keto WOE (way of eating), it has completely changed my life. After battling several major health issues (and another I’m still suffering with, because I have yet to be properly diagnosed), Keto has improved just about every aspect of my life. It has improved my concentration, my energy level, my mood, and I sleep much better at night. I feel as if a giant fog has been lifted from my life. Most of these drastic changes happened within the first month of starting Keto. I have since done a lot of research on Keto and my eyes have really been opened to how poisoned we have been by the destructive processed foods most of us eat. Cutting out foods containing additives, GMO’s, harmful preservatives, hormones, antibiotics, etc. has such a dramatic effect on your health and you will never truly appreciate this until/if you change your diet.