Benefits of Keto Diet to Lose Weight and Fight Diseases

Published by healthhabithygiene on

Overview

Keto is everywhere; it’s the new buzzword, the new favorite among those looking to shed pounds. The keto diet, while it is not the magic cure-all for every single disease on the planet, does a pretty good job at being the potential cause of healing many terrible conditions. So let’s cut through the science, separate fact from fiction, and look at the benefits of the keto diet.

What is the Keto Diet?

You may have heard of the high-protein, low-carbohydrate Atkins diet. The keto diet keeps carbohydrate levels low, but instead of ramping up the amount of protein in your diet, the keto diet increases the amount of fat. A typical keto diet aims for meals with 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbohydrate. The idea is to fine-tune nutritional intake in order to send the body into the metabolic state known as ketosis.

Eating a high-fat diet can still mean eating healthy. Keto diet menu items often include seafood, meat, dairy products, eggs, vegetables, and nuts.

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How Does the Keto Diet Work?

It might seem counter intuitive that adding more fat to your diet can lead to weight loss. Normally, your diet is high in carbohydrates, which are broken down into glucose, or blood sugar, for use as energy. As glucose enters your bloodstream, your body releases insulin to store excess glucose as fat. The more carbohydrates you take the more production of glucose. The more production of glucose, the more secretion insulin, and the ultimate result is more deposition of fat.

But keto diet takes advantage of the fact that when your meals are high-fat and low-carbohydrate, there is no insulin spike, and you don’t add to your fat reserves. Instead, fat from already stored as well as your diet are broken down to ketones (“keto” is short for “ketogenic” producing ketones). Like glucose, ketones can be used for energy, keeping your body running without increasing blood sugar or putting on excess fat. This is why the keto program is a good way to lose fat.

Benefits of the Keto Diet

When you hear about the ketogenic diet, the first thing you perhaps think of is what could possibly make it as good as people say. The answer is, there are enough benefits to change your life. This diet can not only help you quickly lose weight, but can also improve your overall health and help prevent disease.

Weight Loss

Without a doubt, weight loss is the primary goal of the keto diet. It works because it makes the body look to its fat reserves to power its metabolism. It can be interesting to go deeper into the process, however.

When your body is deprived of carbohydrates, it enters a state of ketosis. Blood sugar and insulin levels fall when that happens. When your blood sugar is running low, your body turns to its glycogen stores for energy. Typically glycogen stores house about 2000 calories of “backup” energy for when you run out of glucose. Like the intelligent machine it is, your body depletes the glycogen stores and then turns to your own body fat for fuel. Burning fat for energy can lead to rapid weight loss.

Thus the keto diets do an excellent job to burn fat and lose weight. Eating fewer carbohydrates suppresses appetite, and studies have shown that keto diet participants eat fewer calories overall because of this.

Many people also have food sensitivities to grains, even gluten-free ones. So eliminating them may lead to an increased ability to absorb minerals like magnesium and potassium, which in turn nourished your body and you have fewer cravings.

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Reduces Blood Sugar and Insulin

Since carbohydrate intake is limited, blood sugar and insulin levels are lowered. This is particularly important for people with type 2 diabetes, which causes a buildup of glucose in the bloodstream. The keto diet can be used to reduce or eliminate the need for diabetic insulin injections.

Reduces Triglycerides  

Fat sub unit molecules called triglycerides normally circulate in your bloodstream. High levels of triglycerides are a significant risk factor in the development of heart disease. In the keto diet, because fat is being burned for energy, the number of triglyceride molecules in the bloodstream decreases, reducing the risk of heart disease.

Improves Cholesterol

“Bad” (LDL) cholesterol is another risk factor for heart disease. Too much bad cholesterol in your bloodstream builds up in your arteries, narrowing them and causing atherosclerosis, a type of heart disease. The keto diet reduces bad cholesterol levels while increasing the level of “good” (HDL) cholesterol in your body.

Lowers Blood Pressure

When you’re on the keto diet, it drops your blood pressure. Many people on the keto diet find that they are able to stop taking blood pressure medicine altogether.

High blood pressure significantly increases the risk of several diseases and is a leading cause of deaths worldwide. A low-carb diet has been proven to be more effective than a low-fat diet in reducing blood pressure. In fact, some claim that it is just as effective as taking pills. This combined with the weight loss derived from a ketogenic diet, is sure to vastly improve cardiovascular health and function.  

Improves Ability to Focus

When you choose a regular diet that puts carbs into the body, your brain has to deal with the rise and fall in sugar levels that happen as a result. Inconsistent energy levels can make it hard for the brain to focus. With the keto diet, however, the energy source is constant and consistent. The brain is better able to stay focused.

A poorly functioning brain, as you may have already experienced, leads to lessened work productivity, which in turn means an unhappy boss, lack of job satisfaction, sugar cravings for energy, and depression. It’s a horrible domino effect. Research also indicates that ketones are more efficient brain fuel than glucose. The ketones produced from a low carb diet are a much more efficient source of energy than glucose.

Studies have indicated that they can improve cognitive impairment and even help with diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The high-fat diet helps to support the balance of essential omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids that are vital for optimal brain function. Additionally, ketosis is able to boost mitochondria production and adenosine triphosphate within the brain’s memory cells, thereby improving mental performance and clarity.  

Reduces Risk of Chronic Disease

A ketogenic diet can boost the body’s defense against a variety of conditions. By reducing inflammation, and improving mitochondrial function, it can help to mitigate the risk of developing several chronic diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes and chronic heart disease.

Cancer cells typically possess abnormal mitochondria, which need an increased supply of glycogen. Ketosis allows for normal cells to be fed while starving the cancer cells, as they are unable to utilize the ketones for energy because of their dysfunctional mitochondria.  

Fights Some Cancers

Several studies showed implementing the ketogenic diet led to a dramatically increased survival time and slower tumor growth. The studies demonstrated that reducing carbohydrate intake in order to lower blood sugar and insulin may help prevent tumor growth.

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Conclusion

The keto diet can change a person’s life. It isn’t a difficult diet to get on, either. There are plenty of great recipes for the keto diet. All it takes is the willingness to give it a shot.

If you’re reading this article now, chances are you are in some sort of pain, whether physical and/or mental (being overweight, struggling with autoimmune disorders, thyroid disease, fatigue, brain fog) and want to change. Use this information, don’t just skim through it and store it in the back of your brain and say “that’s nice for some people”, motivate yourself to change.

However, if you are eating way more calories than you need, you will not lose weight. So focus on keeping your diet around fatty cuts of grass-fed meat, butter, eggs, avocados, lots of green veggies and cruciferous, and be modest with the keto desserts, dairy, and sweets. As long as you can find a way to maintain the discipline, the rewards are abundant. For those that have not been able to gain many results from traditional methods, the keto approach is definitely something worth considering.  

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References:

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