The keto diet has taken the world by storm, and for good reason. I mean, who doesn’t want to eat cheese and delicious keto fat bombs every day (and lose weight doing it!)
The most common reason people start a keto diet is because they want to lose weight. And while weight loss is definitely a nice side-effect of sticking to a keto diet, there are many other incredible health benefits experienced by people who are on a ketogenic diet.
The basis of the ketogenic diet is that it is designed to get a certain response from the body. If you’re somewhat familiar with the keto diet, you’ll know that to reach ketosis, you should be eating normal amounts of protein, higher amounts of fat, and keeping your carbohydrate intake very low.
Because your carbohydrate intake is so low, your blood sugar (glucose) level is low. This is normally your main energy source, so because it’s so low, the brain needs to pull from an alternative energy source, which is fat.
Before fats can be used by the body, the liver has to first convert them to ketones. It is ketones that are used as energy for the body and brain when there is lack of glucose.
The ketogenic diet actually originated as a tool for treating neurological diseases, such as epilepsy. Studies have shown that this diet can have benefits for a wide variety of health conditions.
Before we list the health conditions that a ketogenic diet can help with, here are some incredible side effects people on the diet can experience:
Incredible Health Benefits Of Going Keto
Due to lowered insulin levels and the body’s ability to burn stored fat, those who adhere to the diet find that they lose weight more quickly than with conventional diets. In fact, many keto diet adherents report that it felt like their excess weight was “just falling off.”
Clarity of Mind
An unbalanced diet can lead to lack of mental clarity (you know that “foggy” feeling that you sometimes get?)
It can be difficult to remember facts, stay focused on tasks, etc., when you’re in this foggy state of mind. The keto diet, by helping the body burn fat as energy, sends energy to the brain and helps it to stay focused.
Did you know that ketones are a more efficient energy source than glucose? And when it comes to the brain, energy is everything. This type of energy helps better protect the brain — and the rest of the body — from oxidative stress, which negatively affects mental performance and brain aging.
Improved mental performance, improved clarity, improved memory all combine to improve productivity.
Ugh, acne. The bane of many peoples existence. Not only is acne painful, it can greatly lower your self esteem. Lower insulin levels and eating less sugar and processed foods help improve acne. In addition, an increase in water intake will occur due to the lack of carbohydrates, resulting in improved skin hydration.
Health Conditions that the Keto Diet Can Help
It’s also been claimed that other serious health conditions can be improved, reduced, and in some cases cured when on the keto diet. These include:
In addition to weight loss, the risk factors of body fat, HDL levels, blood pressure and blood sugar are improved when following a keto diet.
There are medical studies, such as those conducted by the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Iowa, and the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, that are showing good results with the ketogenic diet being an effective treatment for several types of cancer and slow tumor growth.
Ketogenic diets are also being used to help treat Alzheimer’s symptoms. Alzheimer’s patients on the keto diet have shown a reduction in symptoms associated with the disease, and improved cognitive function.
The keto diet actually originated as a treatment for epilepsy. The Epilepsy Foundation endorses the ketogenic diet because it has been shown to help control seizures in some people with epilepsy. Doctors usually recommend the ketogenic diet for children whose seizures have not responded to several different seizure medicines.
While no research is absolutely conclusive that a ketogenic diet will reduce the symptoms or actually cure major health issues, there is evidence that it can definitely help. As for the side benefits of mental clarity and weight loss, those are shown to occur in otherwise healthy adults.