The keto diet is high in fat, low in protein, and nearly devoid of carbohydrates. Essentially, you are forcing your body into ketosis, a metabolic state in which stored fat is broken down into molecules known as ketone bodies and used as energy sources.
While the keto diet has proven to be difficult for some, it has also been used successfully in the treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy and as an alternative diet for obese patients. In fact, studies have shown that adhering to the Keto diet can provide some very welcome health benefits. Here are ten of the most significant keto diet benefits.
1. Appetite reduction
Reduced carbohydrate consumption has been shown in studies to help reduce appetite. Participants in one study who were instructed to follow a low-carbohydrate keto diet did not feel hungry as frequently as those who followed a low-fat diet.
2. Better-quality sleep
The keto diet has also been shown to improve sleep quality. Initially, falling asleep may be difficult, especially during the first three to five days of your keto diet. However, once your body has adapted to ketosis, you will find it easier to fall asleep, sleep deeper, and wake up feeling more refreshed.
3. Effective weight loss
Less frequent hunger pangs will eventually lead to a reduction in the amount of food you consume, which will aid in weight loss. Another study found that low-carb dieters could lose up to three times as much weight as low-fat dieters while feeling less hungry.
4. Higher energy levels
After starting the keto diet, you may feel sluggish and low on energy at first. This is known as the “keto flu,” and it is common to experience headaches, nausea, and other unpleasant symptoms. Because the body is no longer burning glucose, this happens as a result of ketosis. However, after a few days, your body will most likely feel even more energetic than before because it has become accustomed to burning fat for energy.
5. Improved emotional disposition
Recent mouse experiments revealed that test subjects on the keto diet experienced lower levels of anxiety. This was also observed in mice whose mothers followed a ketogenic diet. It was attributed to the keto diet’s low sugar levels and increased emphasis on healthy fat intake by researchers.
6. Improved heart health
Higher levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease. One of the most effective ways to raise your HDL levels is to consume more fat. This may explain why, on low-carb diets like the Keto diet, HDL levels tend to increase, whereas on low-fat diets, they tend to decrease.
7. Improved liver health
The keto diet is also an excellent choice for people who are at risk of developing fatty liver disease. It is commonly associated with prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes, both of which are caused by high blood sugar levels. Reduced carbohydrate consumption may result in lower blood sugar levels, lowering your chances of developing fatty liver disease.
8. Lower blood sugar and insulin levels
Type 2 diabetes is a dangerous condition caused by high blood sugar levels. This can happen if a person has insulin resistance. Insulin is used by the body to safely react with highly toxic blood sugars, allowing it to burn or store the glucose in the cells. Insulin resistance occurs when the body is unable to produce enough insulin to lower blood sugar levels, resulting in type 2 diabetes. However, by drastically reducing your carbohydrate intake, your body will no longer require a large amount of insulin to maintain your already-low blood sugar levels.
9. Reduced inflammation markers
Inflammation levels may indicate your current risk of developing health conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, and even autoimmune disorders. Doctors can assess your inflammation levels by measuring high-sensitivity C-reactive proteins (hsCRP) and white blood cell counts. In a two-year study, patients who followed a low-carb diet saw their hsCRP levels drop by 29%.
10. Sharper mental capabilities
Surprisingly, the keto diet may also improve mental performance. There is evidence that the brain functions better on ketones than on blood sugar. One study discovered that diet-induced ketosis improved cognition in elderly rats.