Many people think when you mention the keto diet, that it is only for weight loss. This is not so, there are many benefits to the keto diet or the keto lifestyle.
- Stabilized blood sugar
- lower blood pressure
- reduces acne – clearer skin
- improves heart health
- increased energy
- reduces inflammation & pain
- mental clarity
- anti aging effects
- reduces risk of chronic diseases like: diabetes, chronic fatigue, depression, auto immune conditions, cancer, fibromyalgia and autism.
Keto diet beginners should do their research and always talk it over with their Doctor prior to starting. I would always suggest researching all aspects of this way of life before consulting your Doctor though so you can clearly outline why you would like to start this way of life. I know in my experience, I was expecting my Doctor to frown upon this lifestyle but because I had plenty of knowledge to back up my “why” he was totally for it. Although he made it clear that I should focus on healthy fats and start an exercise regiment even if its low impact to start.
Below I will be discussing just a few benefits of the keto diet and why I personally love this way of life.
Keto & Diabetes
This topic is highly controversial, determining the benefit the keto diet will depend on what type of diabetes you have.
For those who have type 1 diabetes, they are always working to prevent a condition known as ketoacidosis. This is life threatening and to be taken very seriously, but not to be confused with nutritional Ketosis. Nutritional ketosis is when your body goes into fat burning mode by creating ketones, but not so many ketones that it sends your body into ketoacidosis. For someone with type 1 diabetes they could benefit from the keto diet as long as their carbohydrate restriction was that of 70-90 grams per day rather than the 20 grams per day allotted for those without underlying health conditions.
Type 2 diabetes is a problem of glucose levels being too high and most type 2 diabetics also suffer from being overweight as well. The keto diet does benefit these individuals as it maintains the glucose at a low but healthy level in the body. It also prevents high spikes in blood sugar lessening the need for insulin dependency.
Keto and weight loss
One of the possible side effects, you might say of a ketogenic diet is weight loss. If you are want to start this way of life for weight loss there are some things to take into consideration. First and fore most always talk to you Doctor about this decision.
Using keto for weight loss has to do with keeping your carbohydrates low at a percentage of 5 which is about 15- 20 grams per day, your protein levels at a percentage of 20 which is about 80-120 grams per day and the fat percentage at 75 which converts to approximately 150-200 grams per day. Keeping within these macro nutrients will optimize your chances of losing weight. I know this might sound a little overwhelming and you’re thinking how do I calculate that, well stress no more. There are many apps and tools you can use for calculating macro nutrients (macros).
Yes that is a lot of fat intake and a lot of people panic at the thought but there is a big difference in good fats and bad fats. You should focus on getting in the best fats as possible. Among these fats include: avocado’s (one of my favorites), coconut or olive oils, nuts & seeds, butter & ghee, salmon and sardines, eggs, grass fed organic beef, MCT oil or medium chain triglyceride and dark chocolate.
In one of my article “fat does not make you fat” I clearly outline the differences in good & bad fats and what they can or can not do for you.
In time you will start to feel energy like you haven’t felt before and I am very confident in saying this because I have personally experienced this.
Keto and inflammation
Science shows that inflammation can be the causes of many diseases we suffer with today, the Ketogenic diet drastically reduces inflammation. Because the Ketogenic diet burns fat for fuel instead of glucose (sugar) it reduces free radical production. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage the cells in your body.
The presence of ketones has been shown to reduce oxidative stress, increases energy and recycle cells, all working towards lowering inflammation. Lowering inflammation means less pain and discomfort. I’m not saying the Keto diet will cure any of these diseases but lessening the symptoms is definitely a step forward. I can attest to this as one of the first side effects, I noticed on my first week of the Keto diet was less retention in fluid. My fingers were not tight and puffy anymore, my ankles were not swollen and I was passing more water.
Inflammation causes pain, therefore when we reduce the inflammation we are able to reduce the amount of pain we experience. I have written an article on exactly how we can strive to live a pain free life in my article “how to ease your pain“.
Keto and mental Clarity
Depression, anxiety and poor cognitive function can be caused from neurological inflammation. As we discussed above Keto works towards less retention in water and works as a drug free anti inflammatory. This is why many people who decide to start a Ketogenic diet start feeling better mentally and lose that “brain fog”. We concentrate better and are less affected by bad mood triggers. There are many resources to back up this theory such as this book called “Keto Clarity” by Jimmy Moore, this book features the advice of Dr. Eric Westman M.D.
In the end…
In the end and after all my personal research and experience I rate the ketogenic way of life a 10. I have yet to experience any ill adverse affects, besides the adaptation process in which your body is switching from using glucose/sugar to using fat for fuel. If you are curious about what side affects I am referring to, I’ve included an article called “Keto Concerns“. Before embarking of course I did consult my Doctor and he supported this way of life and commended me for making this decision. I find this way of life very sustainable as your not taking all enjoyable foods away, I mean a diet or way of life that bacon is allowed on. Who doesn’t love bacon? A nice thick steak? Eggs in so many varieties and cheese, let me say though….everything in moderation.