14 Awesome Ketogenic Diet Benefits
The keto diet (or ketogenic diet) involves eating high fat and low carbs; it offers many different benefits. Think of it like the Atkins diet if you’re more familiar with that (as far as the low carbs go anyway).
This diet makes you replace your carbohydrates with fat, which will turn your body’s metabolism towards fat and ketones and away from carbs. The result will put your body in a metabolic state known as ketosis.
Ketosis is when your body burns fat for energy at an incredibly increased rate. Your liver processes fat into ketones. Ketones are one of many sources of energy that the brain uses.
You can adopt the keto diet in many different forms: the standard, high-protein, targeted, and cyclical. The cyclical and targeted methods are for bodybuilders, while the other two are the common practice.
It should also be noted that only the high protein and standard diets have any extensive research behind them although, personally I wouldn’t recommend a high protein keto diet as too much protein has a habit of kicking you out of ketosis.
Nearly two-dozen studies conclude that the diet has the ability to improve your health and help you lose weight. It can reduce your insulin and blood sugar levels by an astounding amount.
These reductions, along with the ketones, provide a number of known and possible benefits. For example, it is possible that Keto can help you with Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, diabetes, cancer, and other things.
Ketogenic Diet Benefits
Ketogenic Diet Benefit #1 – Heart Health
The keto diet helps what is arguably the most important organ in your body. Since keto reduces body fat, it helps lower the risk of heart attack. One study noted that it also increases your HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol level, which, in large amounts, can lower the risk of coronary heart disease.
At the same time, the keto diet lowers your LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels, which means that it lowers the “bad” cholesterol inside of you. The diet works double-time to keep your heart healthy.
Ketogenic Diet Benefit #2 – Weight Loss
The primary purpose of nearly every diet is weight loss, and keto is no exception; it just happens to do it better than most others. This diet burns your food faster without the need for you to starve yourself, keeping you safe and comfortable while you do it.
The diet will fill you up so much that you will not have to count calories or track how much food you eat while you lose weight.
One study details a comparison between people on a keto diet and those on a calorie-restricted, low-fat diet. The people on the keto diet lost over 2.2 times more weight than the others, and their cholesterol levels also improved.
Another study talks about how people on the keto diet lost three times more weight than those on a diet recommended by the Diabetes UK.
Ketogenic Diet Benefit #3 – Neurological Health
Fun fact, the keto diet started off as something that was meant to treat neurological disease. The foods that you eat while under the keto diet have neuroprotective properties, so they can help combat things like epilepsy.
They can also help you avoid getting concussions and speed up the recovery of most head injuries.
Because keto avoids carbs completely, there’s a general concern about the brain not getting enough energy while on the diet. The brain typically runs on your blood sugar, which tends to come from carbs. This is why the “ketones” from before are important.
When the body’s blood sugar gets low, the liver produces ketones from fatty acids, and the brain runs on it. So, your typical cognitive functions will not change, and your brain will be protected.
Ketogenic Diet Benefit #4 – Blood Pressure Goes Down
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a important risk factor and can lead to many different diseases. These include heart disease, kidney failure, stroke etc.
The keto diet helps reduce blood pressure any many people find that they can reduce and even completely eliminate the use of blood pressure medication.
Ketogenic Diet Benefit #5 – Reduces Acne
Acne is caused by a number of different factors one, of which may be related to diet and blood sugar. Eating a traditional western diet which is high in refined and processed carbs can alter a persons gut bacteria and cause more aggressive blood sugar fluctuations which in turn can have an influence on the health of your skin.
So, it stands to reason that the more you reduce all the processed and refined crap, the better it is for you and your body and can ultimately have a great affect on your skin.
Ketogenic Diet Benefit #6 – Heartburn
This was a game changer for me. I suffered from heartburn since I was a kid. Eventually I was taking omeprazole daily just to control it. It only took a few weeks of being on the keto diet and I no longer needed my medication to control my heartburn.
It was gone. You can’t imagine what a relief it was. Don’t get me wrong, I still get the odd heartburn now and then but, I know the triggers and it’s my decision to consume them.
Too much spicy food and red wine are big triggers for me. One study found that even after less than a week, patients on a ketogenic diet experienced a significant reduction in esophagus acidity (heartburn).
Ketogenic Diet Benefit #7 – Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
This was another great benefit for me. Once again I’d suffered from this since I was a kid. I always wondered if this and the heartburn were tied together in some way.
My IBS was constant visits to the toilet. I’d go around 8 times a day for a poo. Other people have the opposite and struggle to go once every few days.
I must admit, I’d rather go 8 times a day than struggle to go at all. Yes, I regularly had a bleeding bum from all the wiping but, rather that than the horrible stomach cramps that people experience for days trying to go.
Anyway, once the carbs were removed from my diet, the IBS cleared up virtually in a week or two. Funny though, I still went to the toilet regularly but, found i didn’t need to go. I’d done it for so long that it had become a habit i needed to break no that i didn’t actually need to go anymore.
Ketogenic Diet Benefit #8 – Reduce Inflammation and Decreased Pain
Carbohydrates are a natural inflammatory but, too many can lead to low grade inflammation which is really bad for your health and can cause serious issues like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, allergies etc so, by reducing them, you reduce inflammation.
It has been know for a long time that reducing glucose metabolism influences pain. There is an overall increase in a persons pain threshold so, they feel less pain.
This study looks at some of the many ways in which a ketogenic diet can help with pain and inflammation.
Ketogenic Diet Benefit #9 – Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS often happens along with insulin resistance causing a wide range of different hormonal issues in women including infertility.
As you know by now, the ketogenic diet due to it’s very low carb intake, can help stabilize blood sugar and address insulin resistance which in turn can help women who suffer with PCOS.
There was a pilot study done which concluded that the ketogenic diet led to a significant improvement in not only body weight and fasting insulin but, also percent free testosterone and LH/FSH ration in women with obesity and PCOS over a 24 week period.
That great thing too was that 2 women even became pregnant despite their previous infertility issues.
Ketogenic Diet Benefit #10 – Epilepsy
Fun fact – the ketogenic diet was originally created not as a diet but, to treat Epilepsy. It was first developed back in 1921 and used to treat drug resistance for epilepsy in children. Studies shows how much the keto diet can help with epilepsy.
There are numerous and studies for the ketogenic diet and epilepsy.Research has shown that seizures improve in around 50% of epilepsy patients who follow the keto diet.
Ketogenic Diet Benefit #11 – Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a nervous system disorder which involves low levels of dopamine, which is a signalling molecule. The lack of this molecule cause several different symptoms including impaired posture, tremors, difficulty walking, stiffness and difficulty writing.
As the ketogenic diet has so many positive effects on the brain and nervous system, it has been researched as a potential therapy for Parkinson’s Disease.
Ketogenic Diet Benefit #12 – Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s Disease is a progressive form of dementia which affects the brain and severely impairs memory.
It has been noted that it shares similar features to epilepsy and type 2 diabetes including seizures, the ability of the brain to use glucose properly and also inflammation linked to insulin resistance.
Many scientists have started to believe that Alzheimer’s should now be considered as “Type 3 Diabetes”
Ketogenic Diet Benefit #13 – Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
The biggest evidence so far on how the ketogenic diet can help MS sufferers is the story of Dr. Terry Wahls. She was wheelchair bound and after trying various different drugs, decided to dietary changes instead. One of these was the ketogenic diet and a lot of her symptoms disappeared.
She now has a very active life and is no longer wheelchair bound. She shares her story in a book called “The Wahls Protocol”. It’s definitely worth a read as it covers not only the keto diet but a few others too including Paleo.
For more information and to buy The Wahls Protocol, click here.
Ketogenic Diet Benefit #14 – Cancer
Cancer or the Big “C” as some call it, has probably affected every single person somehow, either personally or via family or friends. I know some of my family have died of various forms of cancer, my Mum being one of them.
If I had know then what I know now, I would have recommended the ketogenic diet to each and every one of them. I’m not saying that it would have definitely helped but, there is a lot of growing evidence that suggests that the keto diet can treat certain types of cancer.
You see, cancer feeds off glucose so, be depriving those cancer cells of glucose, it may be possible to starve the cancer resulting in either its death or dormancy.
There is a great paper which considers the role of carbohydrate restriction for the treatment and prevention of cancer.
There is a great book by Thomas Seyfried called “Cancer as a metabolic disease”. This is by far the best book out there which discusses cancer, the controversies surrounding it, the origins and provides solutions.
The book is quite expensive but, definitely worth it. The shear wealth of information in one book is astounding. If you want to check it out then check it out below.
For more information and to buy Cancer As A Metabolic Disease, click here.
So, I have listed what I consider to be the top 14 benefits of the ketogenic diet but, there are so many more.
The keto diet is becoming more and more popular among dieters but, even in the medical community, they are slowly getting to grips with the fact that the ketogenic diet may just be the answer to a lot of medical issue or more so, the reduced carbohydrate intake.
The low fat, high carb diet has been promoted for so long and was researched by so called experts, that it has been in our lives for years.
To, suddenly turn around and admit that the medical community and scientific community were wrong is going to take probably the same amount of years so, all we can do is adopt what we know is beneficial and wait for the rest of the world to catch up.
The keto diet is here to stay and as much as people try to debunk it, it lives on and will continue to gather steam as more and more people find the benefits of the keto diet and start adopting the lifestyle.
Once all the sheep wake up from blindly following the so called experts advise who to be honest most of the time work for the food industries. T
heir research tends to be paid for by these big food companies so, is completely biased to keep promoting the unhealthy high carb diets.
Only then, will people realize that most of their aches, pains, illnesses etc can be significantly reduced by adopting a much healthier lifestyle free of the high carb mentality.
If you are looking for more valuable details on the Keto Diet and want some excellent recipes that you can get started with, then be sure to take a look at the Ketosis Cookbook.