12 Health Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic diet is known for promoting tons of great health benefits and improving quality of life. But just hearing about how great it can be in an abstract manner isn’t often enough to convince someone to completely change their diet and meals.

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the many awesome potential benefits that your health will receive from a keto diet. You might just find yourself surprised by how many there are!

Weight loss

As you can imagine, the main benefit of the keto diet, and also the main goal of most people who are on the plan, is losing weight on the keto diet.

While in ketosis, your body produces less insulin, which is the hormone responsible for fat storage, and because the body isn’t receiving enough carbs to turn into glucose for energy, it starts burning fat stores for energy instead.

Low carb diets have a long history of being extremely effective for weight loss, and several randomized controlled trial studies – which are the best kinds of studies in health and diet studies.

They have proven that the keto diet and other low carb diets are the most effective kinds of diets for weight loss. While we’re at it, the keto diet can also lower harmful cholesterol levels and improves the metabolic system altogether!

A possible contributing factor to what makes weight loss so easily possible on keto is the fact that, as your body works to burn fat and has a huge supply of energy to burn, you will likely feel less hungry and experience less cravings during the day, giving you better control over your appetite.

This can make weight loss so much easier, as long as you make sure not to eat until you actually feel hungry. For those who want to try intermittent fasting alongside the keto diet, this is a great bonus.

Reversing Type 2 Diabetes

Regardless of what you’ve been told, type 2 diabetes is an entirely reversible condition. There’s just one problem: insulin and other similar prescribed medications do not help reverse it! If anything, treating diabetes with insulin only serves to make matters worse and only helps you in the short term, not the long term.

This is not to say that you should go off your medication completely, of course, if you have type 2 diabetes. However, what it does mean is that you need to start working to cut back on carbs, starch, and glucose in order to lower your blood sugar naturally through your diet.

A keto diet is perfect in this, and countless stories from dieters and medical research has proven that it is an effective method. The health benefits of the ketogenic diet for many with diabetes is a true miracle.

It should be a no-brainer, really – the keto diet lowers blood sugar levels and reduces insulin, reversing some of the damage done by having high insulin to begin with. While the keto diet can “cure” type 2 diabetes, it is even better at completely preventing it from ever happening and also for reversing pre-diabetes.

Increased Mental and Physical Performance

Insulin spikes are notorious for causing brain fog and disrupting focus. But when your body is in a state of ketosis, ketones send fuel and energy to the brain constantly, keeping your head in the right place and allowing you to set aside distractions and really get to work.

There are some people who choose the keto diet specifically for its mental benefits!

This constant access to energy is also helpful for upping physical performance and endurance. Stored carbs, in the form of glycogen, can only power the muscles and brain for about two or three hours before depleting if you’re doing rough exercise. But fat is an energy source that the body has weeks upon weeks of stores of, and it can keep you going for even longer.

Of course, keep in mind that it will take your body a while to become accustomed to burning fat instead of glucose; when you’re first starting the keto diet, it will usually take a couple of weeks before your body adjusts.

Your body isn’t used to burning fat and has to adapt to the changes that you are teaching it. So don’t jump straight into marathon mode the second you begin the diet! Give yourself time to get used to your new diet and lifestyle, and soon enough, the rewards will come.

Can perform at a peak fitness level as an athlete on a keto diet? Yes, you can! There are many athletes and professionals who are experimenting with high fat, low carb diets and a good number of them are absolutely killing it.

With all the fat stored in your body, you’ll be able to perform for hours without needing to refuel or stop for food, which is great if you’re a long distance runner or are involved in a long, grueling sport. On top of that, the reduction of body fat provided by a keto diet is typically exactly what an athlete desires!

Beautiful Skin

Recent studies have suggested that diet plays an important factor in the manifestation of clear skin, especially since certain skin diseases such as Acne, Psoriasis, Eczema, and more linked to hormonal imbalance.

Many studies have recently begun to discover that carbs are one of the main culprits behind the growth and development of acne and other skin disorders, since an excess of carbs can lead to a lack of hormone regulation.

One piece of research even found that a low glycemic load diet could greatly reduce acne lesions while also decreasing levels of insulin and androgen. Some participants in the study even experienced weight loss. Meanwhile, other participants of the study who ate a high glycemic load diet saw the opposite, much more negative results.

There isn’t a specific study on the keto diet and how it affects the skin, but plenty of dieters notice a significant improvement in their skin’s overall health following a low-carb or keto diet. Logically, this makes sense, as a keto diet would reduce insulin, which is responsible for producing sebum, androgens, and skin cells that become the starting ground for acne.

The keto diet is also known for decreasing inflammation, which is another cause for worsening acne and skin conditions.

According to some researchers, new evidence continues to emerge that suggests that keto diets can truly help heal and even completely cure acne, eczema and other conditions. We’re still waiting for more concrete results from randomized control tests, but according to the experts, this is highly likely.

Irritable bowel syndrome

A keto diet can calm the stomach, and research done on IBS shows that a low carb diet can alleviate symptoms by up to 75%.

Very low carb diets are also known for helping a bunch of other gastrointestinal conditions like diarrhea and abdominal pain.

More research is needed to properly determine how this happens, but it seems like a keto diet can greatly improve the digestive system – at least, as far as we can tell.

Regulated blood pressure

Some keto dieters may notice that, after beginning their diet, their high blood pressure is relieved. Whether your blood pressure is similarly effected depends on what is causing its heightened state in the first place. If your blood pressure is a result of a more serious condition, then this may not apply to you.

However, the most common cause of high blood pressure is metabolic syndrome, a condition that is very commonly referred to as the Western World’s disease. It is a result of a high carb consumption where the body cannot process or handle the sheer amount of carbs being ingested.

In response, the body produces as much insulin as it can in order to store and handle unused carbs and glucose. This can result in cholesterol metabolism slowing down and can raise blood pressure significantly as insulin thickens blood vessel tissue and smooth muscles.

Eating less carbs is, as we know, a great way to decrease insulin levels in the body, and subsequently, it can help decrease blood pressure too. It can also encourage the body to flush out more fluids and eliminate salt through excretion, which are also situations that can regulate blood pressure. Getting your blood pressure down is just one of the amazing health benefits of the ketogenic diet.

Epilepsy

The keto diet has been medically approved and used to treat and help epilepsy since the 20s. Originally, this treatment was directed more towards children whose epilepsy was not helped much by medication, but recently even adults have had positive improvements to their own epilepsy through the keto diet.

Some individuals with epilepsy continue to take medication while on the keto diet, but the fact remains that the keto diet decreases their reliance on the medication and can reduce their needed med intake. In some cases, they are able to completely stop taking any medication and continue to enjoy life without seizures.

Plenty of medical studies have shown how epilepsy can be helped by a ketogenic diet, and many former epileptics have shared their own success stories regarding the keto diet.

PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome occurs in about 10% of women of childbearing age and is believed to be caused by increased amounts of insulin in the body and a high amount of insulin resistance. It more commonly occurs in women with excess weight, diabetes, and hypertension.

Weight loss is the most common “cure” for PCOS, and a keto diet can help to reverse its symptoms thanks to its low carb properties.

The diet can lower insulin as well as help with any metabolic issues that may be causing or contributing to the PCOS. Diets that are low in carbs are typically prescribed to those with this condition anyway, and the keto diet is a great option as it can speed up the weight loss process.

There are not many specific studies that focus on ketogenics in relation to PCOS, but research has shown that the keto diet can reverse many PCOS symptoms, including acne, weight gain, infertility, and excess body hair growth.

Different research found that even small carb reductions can greatly improve PCOS symptoms, and other studies discovered that low carb diets could improve hormone imbalance and start ovulation back up again.

Headaches and Migraines

It’s not entirely clear how a keto diet helps alleviate and lessen the frequency of migraines, but what we do know is that there is a connection. Increasing amounts of studies have proven that ketogenic diets can lessen the severity of migraines or even completely stop them, even in short amounts of time.

There have been many success stories about the way the keto diet has helped people with severe, chronic migraines.

Brain Cancer Treatment

Plenty of research has gone into treatments for cancer, and some medical studies suggest that a keto diet can help reduce symptoms and slow its spread, but one kind of cancer that seems to benefit from the keto diet is brain cancer.

According to some doctors and researchers, the metabolism of cancer cells suggest that they gain their energy from glucose, and cutting off that glucose supply can help save lives and keep the cancer under control.

Numerous success stories feature brain cancer survivors who cite the ketogenic diet as a big part of what has helped them recover and how they have been able to keep their cancer under control.

You can read more about them here, and about the doctors and scientists who have put years of research into the area of ketogenics and its use in therapy and healing.

Does this suggest that you are less likely to develop cancer while on the keto diet? Perhaps, but there is no concrete proof of this. Suffice to say that the keto diet enables a healthier lifestyle and will make you less susceptible to diseases naturally. What incredible health benefits of the ketogenic diet.

Other conditions that may be benefited

There are countless other conditions where a keto diet is linked to improvements, but not all of them have been extensively researched, so we don’t necessarily fully understand a lot of them yet. These conditions include:

• Parkinson’s disease
• Alzheimer’s disease
• Dementia
• ADHD

All in all, there is still plenty of research needed before we can conclusively confirm all the health benefits of the ketogenic diet in total, but there are unlimited known benefits that it improves a wide number of conditions. With plenty of studies done to show how it helps improve overall health, and specific diseases the keto low-carb diet has proven to ultimately lead to a better lifestyle in my opinion.

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