Top 10 Keto Diet Benefits

Chances are, you’ve heard of — or perhaps even have a few friends or family members who are currently following — the ketogenic diet or “Keto Diet.”  You may even be considering following it yourself, either out of a desire to improve your health or because of your doctor’s recommendations. But before you take the plunge, it helps to understand exactly what you’re getting into, and what the potential keto diet benefits are.  Here we reveal the top keto diet benefits worth knowing about.

What is the Keto Diet?

The keto diet or ketogenic diet, is one that is high in fat, requires an adequate amount of protein, and reduces carbohydrates.  What you are basically doing is forcing your body to transition into ketosis, a metabolic state in which stored fat is broken down into molecules called ketones and used as energy sources. This occurs when cells do not have any blood sugar (which comes from carbohydrates) to use as the body’s primary energy source.  Note that this shift does not happen instantaneously, and that results are not the same for everyone.  On average, it takes between two to four days of restricted carbohydrate consumption (20 to 50 grams per day) to initiate ketosis. 

While the keto diet has been challenging for some, it has also been used successfully in treating drug-resistant epilepsy [1] and has been prescribed as an alternative diet for obese patients.  In fact, studies have shown that sticking to the Keto diet may result in some very welcome (and even surprising) health benefits.  The following are the top keto diet benefits that you should know about.

 

Top Keto Diet Benefits

 

1. Appetite reduction

Studies have shown that reduced carbohydrate consumption plays a role in reducing one’s appetite.  In one particular study [2]  participants who were instructed to stick to a low-carbohydrate keto diet did not get hungry as often as those who stuck to a low-fat diet. 

 

2. Better-quality sleep

The keto diet has also been reported to improve the quality of sleep.  There may be some obstacles to falling asleep initially, especially during the first three to five days of your keto diet. However, once your body has gotten used to ketosis, it becomes easier for you to fall asleep, sleep deeper, and wake up feeling more refreshed. This was demonstrated in a study that examined children with therapy-resistant epilepsy [3].

 

3. Effective weight loss

Less frequent hunger pangs, of course, will ultimately reduce the amount of food (in other words, calories) that you consume, which helps you lose weight.  In fact, another study [4]  showed that low-carb dieters could lose up to three times as much weight as low-fat dieters, with the added advantage of not feeling hungry.  On top of that, other findings [5] have revealed that a significant portion of the fat lost by low-carb dieters comes from the abdominal area.  This is perhaps one of, or the most sought-after of the top Keto Diet benefits around.

 

4. Higher energy levels

This is related to the earlier point about better-quality sleep.  Initially, you may feel sluggish and a bit low on energy after adopting the keto diet. This state is called the “keto flu,” and it is not uncommon for it to be accompanied with headaches, nausea, and other unpleasant conditions. This occurs as a result of ketosis since the body is no longer burning glucose. However, after a few days, it’s likely that you’ll feel even more energetic than you used to after your body has gotten well-accustomed to burning fat for energy.

 

5. Improved emotional disposition

Recent experiments involving mice [6] demonstrated that test subjects on the keto diet were observed to have reduced anxiety levels. This was also observed in mice whose mothers were on the keto diet [7].  Researchers attributed it to the keto diet’s low sugar levels and increased emphasis on healthy fat intake.  

 

6. Improved heart health

Higher levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) are associated with a decreased risk of heart disease [8].   Increased fat consumption is one of the most effective ways of increasing your HDL levels.  This is perhaps why on low-carb diets such as the Keto diet, one can observe a marked increase in HDL levels [9], as opposed to low-fat diets where they even tend to decrease. 

 

7. Improved liver health

The keto diet is also a great idea for people at risk of fatty liver disease. It is typically associated with prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes [10], which results from high levels of blood sugar.  The reduction in your carb consumption may lead to lower blood sugar levels, thereby decreasing your chances of suffering from fatty liver disease.

 

8. Lower blood sugar and insulin levels

As mentioned earlier, type 2 diabetes is a serious condition resulting from high blood sugar levels. This may occur when a person has insulin resistance. The body uses insulin to safely react with highly toxic blood sugars, enabling it to burn or store the glucose in the cells. People with insulin resistance are unable to produce enough insulin to lower the body’s blood sugar levels, which leads to type 2 diabetes. However, by significantly reducing your carb intake, the body would no longer need to produce a large amount of insulin to handle your already-low blood sugar levels [11]. 

 

9. Reduced inflammation markers

Your inflammation levels may indicate the level of risk you are currently at in terms of developing health conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, and even autoimmune disorders. By measuring high-sensitivity C-reactive proteins (hsCRP) and white blood cell counts, doctors can gauge your inflammation levels. In a two-year study [12], patients that stuck to a low-carb diet displayed a 29% decrease in their hsCRP levels.

 

10. Sharper mental faculties

Interestingly, the keto diet may lead to improved mental performance as well.  There is evidence suggesting that the brain operates more effectively on ketones than on blood sugar. One study [13] found that diet-induced ketosis actually improved cognition in aged rats.

A group of researchers [14] examined how the keto diet affects cognition in epilepsy patients, based on existing studies. While findings did show that the keto diet did have a positive effect on their cognitive abilities [15] , other studies revealed that the keto diet may also have positive effects on patients with Alzheimer’s disease [16], Parkinson’s disease [17], autism [18], and other neurological disorders [19]

 

In Conclusion

For those who can strictly adhere to it, the keto diet offers an array of health benefits that could make the thought of drastically cutting one’s carb intake bearable or even appealing.  However, while these top 10 Keto Diet benefits are pretty incredible, there are even more potential benefits of the ketogenic for individuals with epilepsy, GLUT1 deficiency, and even Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis ALS worth exploring.  However, there are also some potential dangers of starting a keto diet that should also be known.  So if you are interested in starting a ketogenic diet, it is best to consult with your physician to see if the diet is right for you. 

 

 

top 10 keto diet benefits to health

 

 

 


Top Keto Diet Benefits References:

1. Hallböök T, Ji S, Maudsley S, Martin B. The effects of the ketogenic diet on behavior and cognition. Epilepsy research. 2012;100(3):304-309. doi:10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2011.04.017.

2. McClernon FJ, Yancy WS Jr, Eberstein JA, Atkins RC, Westman EC. The effects of a low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet and a low-fat diet on mood, hunger, and other self-reported symptoms. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2007 Jan;15(1):182-7. 10.1038/oby.2007.516.

3. Hallbook T, Lundgren J, Rosen I. Ketogenic Diet Improves Sleep Quality in Children with Therapy-resistant Epilepsy. Epilepsia. 2007;48(1):59–65. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2006.00834.x

4. Sondike S, Copperman N, Jacobson M. Effects of a low-carbohydrate diet on weight loss and cardiovascular risk factor in overweight adolescents. The Journal of Pediatrics. 2003 Mar; 142(3):253-258. 10.1067/mpd.2003.4

5. Volek JS, Sharman MJ, Gómez AL, Judelson DA, Rubin MR, Watson G, Sokmen B, Silvestre R, French DN, Kraemer WJ. Comparison of energy-restricted very low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets on weight loss and body composition in overweight men and women. Nutrition & Metabolism. 2004 Nov 8;1(13). 10.1186/1743-7075-1-13

6. Bostock ECS, Kirkby KC, Taylor BVM. The Current Status of the Ketogenic Diet in Psychiatry. Frontiers in Psychiatry. 2017;8:43. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2017.00043.

7. Sussman D, Germann J, Henkelman M. Gestational ketogenic diet programs brain structure and susceptibility to depression & anxiety in the adult mouse offspring. Brain and Behavior. 2015;5(2):e00300. doi:10.1002/brb3.300.

8. Toth, P. The “Good Cholesterol”: High-Density Lipoprotein. Circulation. 2005;111(5):e89-e91. 10.1161/01.CIR.0000154555.07002.CA

9. Brinkworth GD, Noakes M, Buckley JD, Keogh JB, Clifton PM. Long-term effects of a very-low-carbohydrate weight loss diet compared with an isocaloric low-fat diet after 12 mo. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jul;90(1):23-32. 10.3945/ajcn.2008.27326.

10. Hallberg SJ, McKenzie AL, Williams P.T. et al. Effectiveness and Safety of a Novel Care Model for the Management of Type 2 Diabetes at 1 Year: An Open-Label, Non-Randomized, Controlled Study. Diabetes Ther. 2018 April;9(2): 583-612. 10.1007/s13300-018-0373-9.

11. Noakes M, Foster PR, Keogh JB, James AP, Mamo JC, Clifton PM. Comparison of isocaloric very low carbohydrate/high saturated fat and high carbohydrate/low saturated fat diets on body composition and cardiovascular risk. Nutrition & Metabolism. 2006;3:7. doi:10.1186/1743-7075-3-7.

12. Shai I, Schwarzfuchs D, Henkin Y, Shahar D, Witkow S, Greenberg I, et. al. Weight Loss with a Low-Carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or Low-Fat Diet. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2008 July;359(3):229-241. 10.1056/NEJMoa0708681.

13. Xu K, Sun X, Eroku BO, Tsipis CP, Puchowicz MA, LaManna JC. Diet-Induced Ketosis Improves Cognitive Performance in Aged Rats. Oxygen Transport to Tissue XXXI. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. 2009 Oct;662:71-75. 10.1007/978-1-4419-1241-1_9.

14. Hallböök T, Ji S, Maudsley S, Martin B. The effects of the ketogenic diet on behavior and cognition. Epilepsy research. 2012;100(3):304-309. doi:10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2011.04.017.

15. Kinsman SL, Vining EP, Quaskey SA, Mellits D, Freeman JM. Efficacy of .the ketogenic diet for intractable seizure disorders: a review of 58 cases. Epilepsia. 1992 Nov-Dec;33(6):1132-6.

16. Reger MA, Henderson ST, Hale C, Cholerton B, Baker LD, Watson GS, Hyde K, Chapman D, Craft S. Effects of beta-hydroxybutyrate on cognition in memory-impaired adults. Neurobiol Aging. 2004 Mar;25(3):311-4. 10.1016/S0197-4580(03)00087-3

17. Vanitallie TB, Nonas C, Di Rocco A, Boyar K, Hyams K, Heymsfield SB. Treatment of Parkinson disease with diet-induced hyperketonemia: a feasibility study. Neurology. 2005 Feb 22;64(4):728-30. 10.1212/01.WNL.0000152046.11390.45.

18.Evangeliou A, Vlachonikolis I, Mihailidou H, Spilioti M, Skarpalezou A, Makaronas N, et al. Application of a ketogenic diet in children with autistic behavior: pilot study. J Child Neurol. 2003;18 (2):113–118. 10.1177/08830738030180020501

19. Maalouf MA, Rho JM, Mattson MP. The Neuroprotective Properties of Calorie Restriction, The Ketogenic Diet and Ketone Bodies. Brain research reviews. 2009;59(2):293-315. doi:10.1016/j.brainresrev.2008.09.002. 

We hope you enjoyed this article on the top keto diet benefits enough to share it with friends and family who may benefit from the information it contained. Thank you. 

 

 


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