Keto diet is a high-fat and low-carb diet that aims to blood sugar and insulin levels and forces the body into a state of ketosis (a metabolic state), which then forces the body to use fats and ketones instead of glucose as the main fuel (or energy) source. The main products you should eat on a ketogenic diet are low-carb vegetables, avocados, cheese, eggs, cottage cheese, plain yogurt, seafood, nuts and seeds, and coconut and olive oil.
Even though a low-carb diet is considered to be controversial, here are top benefits of a ketogenic diet:
1. Weight loss
A low-carb diet is one of the simplest ways to lose weight. The results of many studies reveal that people on low-carb diets lose more weight and do it faster than people on low-fat diets. However, obese participants of one of the recent studies found that a ketonic diet is effective for up to 6 months only.
2. Reduce insulin and blood sugar levels
This type of diet is especially effective and helpful for people suffering from diabetes and insulin resistance. In one study the participants with type 2 diabetes could stop taking their glucose-lowering medication within six months. However, patients with diabetes are recommended to talk to their doctor before trying a low-carb diet in order to avoid hypoglycemia.
3. Increased energy
In the first couple of days, it is quite common for people to experience “keto flu” – a physical illness characterized by such symptoms as headache, nausea, fatigue, and confusion. However, after a day or two, when the body is adjusted, the energy level and endurance will increase. As a result, a person will be able to do much more without hitting ‘the wall’.
4. Decreased depression and anxiety
One study of mice has revealed that a ketogenic diet is able to reduce anxiety. It might happen due to the better function of the brain that starts receiving more healthy fats and less sugar. Researchers also noticed that mice on a low-carb diet, like rodents treated with antidepressants, are less likely to demonstrate behavioral despair. Moreover, low-carb food offers a more stable and long-lasting source of energy, which has a positive impact on the mood in general.
5. Better sleep
People on low-carb diets report that they start sleeping much deeper and better. However, during the first week of the diet, it is quite common to suffer from insomnia and other sleeping disorders. Once the body is adjusted to ketosis, sleeping issues will end. After the first week, most people find they are able to sleep much longer and feel much more rested when they wake up.
6. Treatment of cancer
The results of several studies proved that a low-carb diet is able to slow the growth of cancer tumors in the body. Cancer cells grow in environments full of sugar and insulin. Therefore, when insulin and sugar levels are decreased with the help of the diet, the cells stop growing.
7. Sharper brain
There is scientific evidence proving that the brain functions much better and more efficiently on ketones rather than glucose. On a regular diet, the brain gets 100% of fuel from sugar, while on a ketogenic diet up to 75% of the brain’s energy comes from ketones.