In the recent years, the ketogenic diet has increased in popularity as more people share their success stories adopting the diet. Not only does the diet helped them lose weight naturally, but has also been considered as a diet that helps address the different underlying causes of weight gain. This includes hormonal imbalance, particularly insulin resistance and the burden of needing to rely on counting calories in order to shed some pounds.
However, ketogenic diet offers more than just weight loss – there are tons of health benefits locked up the diet for anyone that chooses to go the path. In this article, I will be showing you what a ketogenic diet is and what health benefits you can enjoy from adopting.
What Exactly Is Ketogenic Diet?
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate-protein, and a very low-carb diet that automatically turns the body into a fat-burning machine. The diet puts the body in a metabolic state that enables it to utilize fat for energy instead of the conventional way of using sugars. In this kind of metabolic state, the body is said to be in ketosis, where the natural way the body converts food into energy is being changed. Keto diet has been proven by millions of people to be of weight loss benefit if properly managed.
How Does the Diet Work – What Happens in Ketosis?
When the body no longer derives its energy primarily from sugars but relies on fat to meet its energy needs, it is said to be in ketosis. Typically, during digestion, our body breaks down food molecules into simple, absorbable form – sugars, especially glucose. These sugars naturally serve as the primary source of energy to the body.
However, when the body is being deprived access to sufficient supply of sugars, probably because the person hasn’t eaten for a long period of time, or the person deliberately cut off carbohydrate from his diet, the body seeks an alternative to generate its energy rather than from sugars. At this stage, the body naturally turns to burning fats for energy. This is a mechanism designed to help the body survive without food for a certain period. When the body starts burning fat for energy, it in turn, helps promote natural process of weight loss.
What are the Benefits of Ketogenic Diet?
The benefit of ketogenic diet is not limited to weight loss, and it could include the following:
It Helps Promote Weight Loss – Compared to low-fat and high-carb diets, ketogenic diet has shown a better result when it comes to losing weight. It does not only help the body utilize the stored fats in the body but also prevents further storage by reducing the level of the body’s fat-storing hormone – insulin, therefore turning the body into a fat-burning machine rather than a fat-storing one.
It Helps Combat Insulin Resistance – If left unmanaged, insulin resistance could lead to type II diabetes. But going on a ketogenic diet helps keep the level of insulin down and thus, helping to prevent various health issues that might arise from it.
It Helps Maintain a Healthy Blood Sugar Level – A very effective way to keep the blood sugar level in a normal state is through ketogenic diet. Due to the low consumption of carbohydrate, it naturally keeps the blood sugar level down, and so has generally been adopted as a good way to also help manage and prevent diabetes.
It helps in the Effective Control of Blood Pressure – Apart from helping to lose weight, which indirectly, is one of the contributing factors to high blood pressure, keto diet also improves the triglyceride levels, increases HDL, and reduce LDL particle concentrations. This all turns out to help prevent high blood pressure naturally without needing to swallow some expensive pills.
It Helps Increase Mental Focus – Do you know that keto diet has become a popular diet being employed to boost mental performance? The ketones released in ketosis are a great source of fuel for the brain. Also, when you go on a ketogenic diet, the blood sugar spike that follows the consumption of carb-rich foods is put in check, therefore also helping to improve mental focus.
It May Help Reduce the Risk of Cancer – Studies have shown that ketogenic diet may help prevent or even treat cancers. Because of its ability to cause oxidative stress in cancer cells than in normal cells, ketogenic diet can be used as a complementary treatment to radiation and chemotherapy in people with cancer.
It reduces acne – There are some acne that has been linked to diet and blood sugar. When you consume foods high in refined and processed carbs, you can alter gut bacteria and cause an imbalance in blood sugar levels, both of which has a way of influencing the skin. But when you reduce carb intake, you will also be reducing some cases of acne.
Helps in protecting brain function – The diet has also been studied to have some neuroprotective benefits, which may help prevent or treat some brain-related conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s as well as some sleep disorders.
Are there any Downsides to Keto Diet?
Yes. There are certain side effects that come with ketogenic diet (keto flu). When you drastically reduce or cut off carbs from your diet, you may experience some side effects as your body tries to adjust itself to the new, sudden development. For most people, these side effects can be mild and last for a couple of days, while it may last up to a week in some other individuals.
However, gradually decreasing the intake of carbohydrate in order to reduce side effects is always advisable. Among the side-effects you may probably experience while on a keto diet are; headache, nausea, sugar craving, dizziness, stomach upset, and fatigue.