Keto diet has become one of the most popular diets as it is touted as an effective tool for weight loss serving numerous health benefits.
Keto diet calls for consuming high amounts of fats, a moderate amount of protein and a very limited carb intake. After a few days of following this diet, the body enters ketosis, i.e. it starts using fat as energy.
7 Health Benefits of a Keto Diet
Keto diet increases energy, reduces appetite, improves skin, and helps in improving various conditions listed below.
Keto Diet- An Effective Tool For Weight Loss and Obesity
The main reason one starts with a keto diet is to lose weight.
Keto diet promotes fat burning and appetite control, both of which help in aiding weight loss. It reduces hunger and lowers food intake more than any diet does (1).
Initially, the weight loss is because of the loss of water which occurs because of cutting down carbs and the body using up carb stored in the liver which holds in water.
Keto diet is actually a solid approach to fight against obesity.
Benefits of Keto Diet in Reducing the Risk of Diabetes
Diabetes is a metabolic disease that occurs due to irregularities in blood sugar regulations and insulin sensitivities. Diabetes can be prevented through lifestyle changes.
Keto diet improves the blood sugar control as it lowers the sugar intake and also improves insulin sensitivity. High ketone levels have a favorable effect on glycemic control in diabetes (4).
A study shows, following keto diet for even two weeks can improve insulin resistance by as much as 75 percent (5).
In another study, as the volunteers reduced the carb intake to 20 grams per day and 85 percent of them reduced or eliminated their need for diabetes medication (6).
Keto Diet is Beneficial in Improving Epilepsy
The clear and proven health benefit of a keto diet is reducing epileptic seizures in children. Since 1920 this diet has been used therapeutically for this purpose (15).
Though it is not much clear how keto diet prevents seizures, it is thought the anticonvulsant activity of ketone-acetone produce during ketosis plays a role in it (8).
It has been noted that keto decreases the seizures by half with 10-15 percent of children becoming seizure-free.
A keto diet can also be beneficial for adults with epilepsy.
Keeps the Heart-Healthy
Keto diet helps reduce the risk factors which contribute to cardiovascular diseases (9)
Heart health benefits of keto diet includes:
- Lowers the blood pressure level
- Lowers LDL(bad) cholesterol
- Increases HDL (good) cholesterol
- Lowers triglycerides
Improve Degenerative Diseases Of The Brain
The neuroprotective properties of the keto diet slows down the degenerative disease of the brain (10)
High carb intake worsens cognitive behavior. Keto diet being low on carb improves the memory performance (11). It can help people suffering from Alzheimer’s.
Reduces the Severity Of Cancer
Experts suggest keto diet can be a form of alternative therapy to fight against brain cancer as it is capable of slowing down the growth of brain tumors (12).
Additional study shows its role in cancer of colon, stomach, and prostate (13).
It enhances the traditional cancer treatment effects. The state of ketosis encourages response and sensitivity to both chemo and radiotherapy treatment.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
The Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a condition in which tiny cysts on the ovaries form and impacts the hormone balance. It leads to complications such as irregular periods, insulin resistance, and fertility problems.
In a study it was found, following a keto diet for 24 weeks, females show an improvement in weight loss, hormone levels, and insulin resistance (14).
Heath benefits of a keto diet are many. This diet not only improves the cholesterol level, blood pressure, and blood sugar but also improves the appetite, boosts weight loss, and lowers triglyceride levels.
If looking to bring down numbers on the weighing scale in a short span of time, following a keto diet is the right choice for you.
Foods To Eat & Avoid In A Keto Diet
Foods that you may eat when following a keto diet are:
- Cream cheese
- Heavy cream
- Nut (almonds, macadamia)
- Seeds (chia seeds, flaxseeds)
- Leafy green vegetables
- Non-starchy vegetables such as zucchini, asparagus, cucumber, cauliflowers, and bell peppers
Foods that should be avoided when following a keto diet: