A couple of years ago, the keto diet emerged as one of the most popular and widely used diets in modern history. With over one million people Googling the keto diet every month, there are no signs of its popularity diminishing. While there is no perfect diet for every individual, research has indicated that the keto diet has a wide array of health benefits.
What exactly is the keto diet?
The keto diet, in its simplest form, involves the consumption of high amounts of fat and protein and the limited consumption of carbohydrates. For instance, the typical American diet consists of around 50-60% carbohydrate. Under the keto principles, dieters would bring this figure down to around 5% of their total daily calories.
Once you have severely limited your carbohydrate intake for a few days, your body enters a state of ketosis. This means that it stops using carbohydrates for energy and begins using fat instead. Using fat stores for energy has a host of health and lifestyle benefits.
Below are some of the best health benefits that the diet provides.
1. Weight loss
Keeping your body in a state of ketosis is excellent for weight loss. Your body will use body fat for energy while keeping muscles intact. This allows dieters to remain toned and keep their rounded, muscular physiques while simultaneously reducing their body fat and dropping weight.
2. Reduced inflammation
When your body relies on carbohydrates for energy, it burns sugar for fuel. As the body breaks down sugar, it releases reactive oxygen species. These oxygen species damage cells in the body, causing inflammation and even cell death. This is why a sugary diet is linked to decreased cognitive function and a build-up of plaque in the brain.
When your body enters a state of ketosis and uses fat for energy, these oxygen species are not produced. This, in turn, reduces inflammation and cellular damage while actually improving cellular health. As a result, you can reduce inflammation and improve cognitive function.
3. Treating epilepsy
The keto diet isn’t a new phenomenon. In fact, it has been used in the medical community to treat epilepsy since the 1920s. Specifically, adopting a keto diet decreases the number of seizures, particularly in young people, by around 50%.
4. Stabilizing blood sugar levels
The keto diet has also been adopted by patients who suffer from diabetes for its ability to stabilize blood sugar levels. Since carbohydrates are the main culprit behind increasing blood sugar levels, restricting carbohydrate intake reduces blood sugar spikes.
Furthermore, stabilizing blood glucose levels consistently over a number of years can help diabetic patients avoid complications associated with the condition later in life.
In addition to reducing insulin production, promoting fat burning, and reducing inflammation, the keto diet also protects the body from many chronic diseases commonly found in older people. These include Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, fatter liver disease, some types of cancer, and even migraines. It is difficult to overstate the benefits of this lifestyle choice and the positive impact it has on those that stick with it. So, it might be worth giving it a shot!
Featured image from @mastercowley via Pexels.