The ketogenic diet, a diet high in fat and low in carbohydrates, forces the body to change the way in which it utilizes energy. A ketogenic diet helps the body to achieve a ketogenic state, a state in which your body begins to break down stored fat and burn it for energy. In the ketogenic state, often referred to as ketosis, the body’s levels of ketones in the blood are raised. These ketones can also be used by the body as a source of fuel. This is different from the body’s typical glycolic state, in which blood glucose is the body’s primary source of energy.
All in all, a ketogenic diet can be incredibly advantageous and can help you to improve your overall health and wellness. Let’s take an in-depth look at some of the benefits.
Weight loss. Individuals on low-carb diets, such as the ketogenic diet, tend to experience greater weight loss more rapidly than those on a low-fat diet, even when taking into consideration calorie restriction. This is in part because low-carb diets are incredibly effective at suppressing appetite. When people eat more protein and less carbs, they get fuller more easily and stay fuller for longer. Furthermore, individuals following a low-carb diet tend to experience great fat loss around the visceral cavity. Specifically, the ketogenic diet helps individuals to lose visceral fat, or fat stored around the organs. This fat is much more detrimental to the health than subcutaneous fat (the fat stored under the skin) and is associated with an array of health problems, including inflammation, insulin resistance, and metabolic dysfunction.
In other words, not only will a ketogenic diet improve your health, but yes, it can also help you to get that six-pack you have always wanted.
Decreased blood pressure. Low-carb diets, such as the ketogenic diet, have been shown to decrease blood pressure. Reducing your blood pressure can reduce your risk of a range of different diseases, including heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure. Improved glucose control. According to a study conducted by researchers at Duke University using a group of obese male patients suffering from type 2 diabetes, those placed on a low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet saw more improvement in glucose control than those placed on a low-glycemic, reduced-calorie diet. Better cholesterol.
Improve good cholesterol. Research has demonstrated that a ketogenic diet can boost your levels of HDL, or High Density Lipoprotein, more commonly known as “good” cholesterol. HDL, in contrast to LDL (“bad” cholesterol) is responsible for transporting cholesterol from the body to liver, where it can be reused or excreted. This is crucial, as the higher your HDL levels, the lower your risk of heart disease.
Mood stabilization. According to a 2001 article published by researchers in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Louisville’s School of Medicine, a ketogenic diet may help individuals suffering from mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder and depression, to stabilize their moods. The researchers noted that ketosis produces extracellular changes that “would be expected to decrease intracellular sodium concentrations, a common property of all effective mood stabilizers.”
Treatment of epilepsy. A ketogenic diet has been shown to be an incredibly effective means of treating cases of refractory epilepsy (epilepsy that is difficult to control), especially in young children. Research shows that an elevated level of ketones in the bloodstream reduces both the prevalence and intensity of epileptic seizures. A 2009 study showed that the ketogenic diet reduced seizure frequency by over 50 percent in over half of patients following the diet. In a 2006 study involving 150 children, after 3 months of a ketogenic diet, 20 percent of the children had seen a substantial reduction in seizures and 7 percent were seizure free.