Fact Checked By Christine VanDoren NSCA-CPT, ACE
August 20, 2021
Looking at the average person’s diet today, it is usually not optimal for their health.
Many people feel as if they can’t afford to eat healthily, do not have the time to cook, or simply do not have access to the knowledge needed to live a healthier lifestyle.
This has led to increasing numbers associated with obesity and a variety of illnesses and ailments.
While medicine has and continues to serve many people well, nutrition plays a huge role in both causing and healing symptoms.
The ketogenic diet has been starting to display many benefits, ranging from accelerating weight loss to preventing epileptic seizures.
Take a look at these 4 main benefits that are causing many people to make the dietary switch.
Almost everyone who tries the ketogenic diet does it to lose weight (1).
The diet’s association with weight loss was initially identified because of how few carbs are consumed by its people.
This was stirred by the Atkins diet in the 1970s; this way of eating was the first to connect low consumption of carbohydrates with weight loss.
Studies of the keto diet have shown there are beneficial short-term metabolic changes that convert fat and protein into glucose, causing increased calorie expenditure.
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This means that weight loss will come fairly easy to the average person when they are first following the stricter guidelines.
However, there is never going to be an infinite decreasing rate of weight loss, no matter how perfectly the diet is followed.
Because of this, there is a risk of weight gain later down the road, especially if you are not doing keto long-term.
To prevent gaining weight back, it is suggested that you continue to follow the keto diet for either a few days a week or a few weeks a month to maintain what you have achieved.
While nutrition is the primary factor in reaching your target weight, exercise is still very important.
You can accelerate the amount of fat you lose by taking daily walks and doing strength training workouts a few times a week!
A reduction in appetite is another great benefit of the ketogenic diet, and it also greatly contributes to weight loss (2).
Research has shown that many people on the keto diet have fewer food cravings because of satiating effects caused by the drastic increase in fat consumption.
This gives you a reduced desire to eat and can lead to you being less hungry overall.
Ketones also play a role in the reduced appetite as they become the body’s primary source of fuel.
Appetite-stimulating hormones, such as ghrelin and insulin, are activated when fewer carbohydrates are consumed.
Appetite reduction makes being on the ketogenic diet much easier, as your cravings will slowly dissipate over time.
This helps prevent overconsumption of food, which could lead to weight results that contradict your goals.
It will be hardest at the beginning to resist eating too many carbohydrates or indulging in sweets, but over time it becomes much easier.
Improved cholesterol levels
Because of the adjusted intake of carbohydrates and healthy fats, there is the possibility that your cholesterol levels can be affected (3).
Many people tend to be overweight when eating the average diet, leading to heightened triglycerides and cholesterol levels.
Switching to the ketogenic diet can be a great way to bring those levels back down to a healthy range.
Many studies have been done with a variety of participants addressing the effects of following a strict keto diet on cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Overall, after sticking to the diet for 16 to 24 weeks, participants show decreased levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and increased levels of HDL cholesterol.
LDL cholesterol is referred to as the “bad cholesterol” because it takes cholesterol straight to your arteries.
HDL cholesterol is considered to be the “good cholesterol”, as it takes the cholesterol to the liver, where most of it is removed from the bloodstream before traveling to your arteries.
When these levels are constantly monitored and regulated, many positive health benefits are the result.
Protection against heart disease can be provided, and multiple cardiovascular risk factors are reduced.
Therapeutic for a variety of illnesses
The ketogenic diet has been around for a long time, and it was first utilized as an effective treatment for epilepsy in children.
Not everyone was able to be treated by medication, and it was discovered that the keto diet served as a great preventative measure against seizures.
Ketogenic therapy has become more efficient over time, and it is still used by many patients today.
After doctors were seeing that dietary restrictions were able to help with epilepsy, they were eager to learn about how other medical conditions could be treated with the same or similar methods.
Many people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, PCOS, and cancer have been trying the keto diet to see if their symptoms become reduced or eliminated over time.
Studies have been showing that the ketogenic diet has been fairly effective with many patients.
This happens as the ketones used when the body goes into a state of ketosis create changes that thwart neurological disease and dysfunction through reduced oxidative stress, neurotransmission modulation, metabolic regulation, and anti-inflammatory effects.
While the science behind how the ketogenic diet can significantly help with a variety of illnesses is advancing, especially with epilepsy and Alzheimers, every individual is different (4).
If you suffer from an ailment that you believe could be aided through adjusted dietary guidelines, consult with your physician.
The ketogenic diet can help you reduce your appetite, get your cholesterol levels back within a healthy range, and aid with many different ailments.
Many people have lost a lot of weight by utilizing it as well.
If you choose to transition to the keto diet and follow the guidelines for at least 8 weeks, you should be able to experience some, if not all, of these benefits, too!
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