The Benefits of a Keto Diet
What are the benefits of a keto lifestyle? You might have read about many positive side effects of following a keto or low carb high fat (LCHF) diet (“way of eating”). The keto diet has so many health benefits and weight loss is only the tip of the iceberg. Following a ketogenic or low carb way of eating can help you achieve a healthy weight and reverse conditions such as type 2 diabetes. This is what some leading doctors and health professionals have told us for many years.
Keto and LCHF are being cited in countries all over the world including the UK as the way forward to help combat and reduce the obesity crisis. It is being advocated to help reverse and prevent type 2 diabetes. Many other health conditions can be successfully managed or reversed simply by changing our food.
How Does Keto Work?
A ketogenic diet eliminates overly processed, fake foods from your plate. Unhealthy food such as sugar and refined carbohydrates like grains and cereals are removed from your diet. When you are following keto, you replace them with natural, real, whole foods, including lots of healthy low-carb vegetables. What could be better for you? You can read more about “What Is Keto?” in my blog.
Benefits of a keto diet
Fat is not the enemy, and it never was! We know this now. In fact, we have known this for decades. Unfortunately, fat, instead of sugar, was demonised and portrayed as the most unhealthy food we can consume. Research, which has been going on for many years, shows us that sugar and refined carbohydrates are more to blame for many of the health issues we face in the modern world. There are copious amounts of research papers published online about this. Many books go into the science behind keto and LCHF diets as well. (I have listed some of my favourite sources at the end of this list).
So, what health benefits can a keto diet give you?
Potentially, keto can help with all of these:
1. Can help stabilise your appetite and reduce cravings
A well-balanced and healthy ketogenic diet provides you with enough energy to keep you going with no dips or spikes in your insulin levels. Thereby, providing you with stable energy throughout the day. No afternoon slump or teatime nap is needed. And when your appetite is stable you don’t feel the need to snack or graze throughout the day or evening. You tend to feel full and satisfied for longer eating a healthy keto diet. Keto rules! This is one of the best benefits of a keto diet.
2. Can help to stabilise your blood sugars – no high insulin spikes
Since you have lowered your carbohydrate intake on keto, your body doesn’t have any high insulin responses. Insulin is needed to turn carbs into energy so by cutting the carbs your insulin levels remain low and stable throughout the day*. Once again, keto rules!
Keto and diabetes – health benefits
3. Management of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes (often the reversal of Type 2 for life)
For the reasons stated above – keto can help you to manage your T1D with less insulin required and manage your T2D, with most people coming off T2D medications and managing their blood sugar levels through their food intake*. Diabetes UK and the NHS are advocating keto, or low-carb diets, for the management and prevention of type 2 diabetes. a lifestyle change can keep you healthy and symptom-free.
4. Better energy levels and better sleep patterns
For the same reason as number 1. A keto diet gives you a steady, stable energy source with no dips in your energy levels.
5. Anti-inflammatory foods – reduce inflammation and the aches and pains associated with it
Many people suffer from joint aches and pains. By consuming real, whole, healthy foods on a keto diet you are removing a lot of the toxins from processed foods. Keto is replacing it with all the nutrients and minerals that our bodies thrive on.
Even More benefits of a keto diet
6. Can help to reduce anxiety & depression symptoms
Eating well and feeling energised while building a good healthy relationship with your food, means you can be in a better state of mind to cope with other things going on in your life. Weight loss and fat loss both have a big impact on your hormone levels, which in turn, can have a huge impact on your good mental health and well-being.
7. Can prevent diseases associated with old age – e.g. Alzheimer’s
Recent studies have shown a keto diet helps your brain stay healthy for longer. And, of course, it was actually developed in the 1920s to treat seizures in epileptic children. So in other words, keto and ketones are good for your brain! An eating plan that has been used by medical professionals the world over for 100 years!? Yes! Not a fad diet. Good brain function, a healthy body and a healthy weight, mean fewer illnesses get the chance to develop.
8. Prevent heart disease
Studies over the past 60-odd years show that cholesterol and heart disease do not go hand in hand and one does not cause the other. Nor do keto or saturated fat cause high cholesterol.
9. Help to Improve gastro issues
Carbs and sugar feed bad gut bacteria. Healthy fats from your food, on the other hand, feed the good gut bacteria. It’s as simple as that. Our guts like all the good healthy fat that it gets fed when you follow a keto diet, long term.
Keto and hormones
10. Helps to stabilise hormones – Possibly can help with fertility issues
See point number 6. Our hormones, especially oestrogen, are directly linked to how much body fat we store. The more body fat you have, the higher your oestrogen levels are. When you start to lose body fat on keto, oestrogen can be reduced and there can be a significant change in your hormones overall. Some women, for example, can reverse their perimenopausal symptoms and their monthly cycle can return to normal.
11. Lowering blood triglycerides
12. Increase good cholesterol (HDL)
13. Lower bad cholesterol (LDL)
14. Lower blood pressure
See point number 8. All of these can be improved by following a keto diet. Cholesterol MAY increase at first, but then it soon settles down and within 6 months, for instance, you can see completely normal healthier ranges.
15. Reduces body fat – aids with healthy weight loss!
The top of most people’s list when they start a keto diet. If you aren’t burning carbs for energy, you are BURNING FAT. That means both dietary fat and stored body fat.
This might be the reason people start a keto diet but all the other benefits of a keto diet are what make it a real lifestyle change and sustainable long term.
The Bottom Line:
Weight loss and body fat melting away is just ONE of the many benefits and is a happy side effect of following a keto diet because when you are in ketosis you naturally use fat to make ketones, which release energy from your cells.
Goodbye body fat, for good!
Book: Dr Jason Fung, The Obesity Code (available from Amazon)
Twitter & website: Dr Aseem Malhotra, leading cardiologist advocating LCHF (http://doctoraseem.com/)
Website, Youtube, Ted talks: Dr Zoe Harcombe (https://www.zoeharcombe.com/about-2/)
* Disclaimer – PLEASE NOTE: Any construed advice given on this page is not intended to substitute medical advice, diagnosis, or any treatment. It is recommended that you seek the advice of a medical professional before embarking on any change to your current diet and seek guidance if you have any underlying medical conditions or any health concerns. This is a blog site to share information and opinions about a keto and LCHF lifestyle. We offer no medical advice and take no responsibility for what people choose to eat.