Keto diet is all about eliminating processed and refined carbohydrates from your diet plan. Although all carbs are not the same, you still need to be able to differentiate between beneficial and non-beneficial ones to the human body. A healthy meal, for example, should have a combination of lean proteins, healthy fats, vegetables, fibrous carbs, and nutrient-dense fruits.
The ketogenic diet provides an excellent way for those looking to lose weight. While much of its credit goes to weight loss, the keto diet does have many other benefits for the human body. Here are six health benefits of adopting the high-fat, low-carb approach to eating.
Fewer Carb Cravings
Cravings are common with keto diet beginners. It can be accompanied by mood swings, fatigue, and headaches. Keto diet cravings are commonly known as ‘keto flu,’ and while uncomfortable, they aren’t life-threatening nor an illness. These cravings are a result of your body transitioning from high carb to the low carb diet plan; your body instinctively switches to body fats as the primary source of energy, hence the withdrawal-like symptoms. Adding plenty of dietary fiber to your diet plan can help fight the cravings.
According to research, the cravings may be mental or physical and nothing more. The fact that your body used to turn to carbs as the primary source of fuel causes the brain to trigger the cravings. With no carbs in your diet plan, the body is thus forced to turn to ketones for fuel -- this almost always triggers increased thirst, which can be quenched by drinking water and not having more food. Keto diet experts recommend having a large glass of water whenever faced with a sudden craving for carb-rich foods. Drinking plenty of water cools the body down, which again helps the cravings to pass.
The keto diet targets the processes responsible for chronic inflammation in the body. With carbohydrates already eliminated from your diet plan, the body turns to respiring fats (ketosis) to produce the much-needed energy. The process leads to the production of ketones, which are not only great fuel sources but also potent inflammation-fighting compounds. ß-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) is an excellent example of anti-inflammatory compounds produced in ketosis. These compounds help inhibit COX-2, NFkB, and NLRP3 production as well as prevent activation of Nrf2 and AMPK pathways.
The keto diet prompts complex biochemical processes that not only fight inflammation but also have a calming effect on chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is one of the leading causes of most health problems/issues today. Taking on a ketogenic diet plan thus helps protect the body from such.
Healthier Skin And Nails
Keto diet plans are known to have a particularly high oil content. These aren’t, however, just any fats but good quality and healthy fats. A keto diet is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, among others. These fats play a vital role in various body processes, including insulin and hormone regulation, as well as improve skin health. The high good fat content helps oil glands release more oils onto the skin, leaving you with smooth and radiant skin.
Thanks to the ketogenic diet plan, you get to have more nutrient-dense veggies that are low in carbohydrates but rich in vitamin A. Vitamin A is one of the essential constituents required for the development of healthy skin cells. Having foods rich in this vitamin alone helps your skin retain its youthful smoothness and radiance and also protects it from infections and damage. Keto diet plans will always include nutrient-dense and healthy food products that are good for your nails, hair, skin, and overall health.
More Mental Clarity
A low carb intake induces a state of ketosis, thus triggering increased production of GABA. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter responsible for exciting the brain. It is, however, made of glutamate, another compound that helps balance GABA levels in the body.
Consuming a high-carbohydrate meal makes glutamate more available as compared to GABA. The imbalance between the glutamate and GABA levels forces the brain to use glutamate as the primary source of energy, a factor that almost always leads to brain fog. This imbalance is known to cause temporary neurotoxicity, thus impairing brain functions. Low carbohydrate intake, however, favors increased production of GABA and is believed to reduce neurotoxicity in the brain.
Prevention Of Chronic Disease
There is enough evidence showing the effectiveness of a keto diet in epileptic children. Studies show that a keto diet can help reduce seizures in children, hence can be used to contain the condition. Some also believe that a keto diet could be beneficial to individuals suffering from other brain-related ailments, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, sleep disorders, multiple sclerosis, autism, and brain cancer. Persons with Type 2 diabetes could also benefit from a keto diet as well. It is because keto diet helps improve blood sugar control, enabling one to cope well with diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes patients have also recorded a dramatic dip in blood sugar levels from using a keto diet. This is all thanks to their low-carb intake. Keto diet also shows promising results on individuals and animals with Parkinson’s disease.
More Energy Throughout The Day
Aside from the withdrawal symptoms experienced when starting on a keto diet, the long-term benefits of this diet plan are enormous. Many people report more stable energy levels, improved brain function, and even weight loss from this diet plan. These attribute to steady blood sugar levels and a rise in ketones in the body. While keto diet may be beneficial to the body, it can take up to five weeks for your body to adapt to this diet plan, mainly if you have been feasting on pasta and simple carbs all your life. You should, however, start noticing fewer hunger pangs and a steady flow of energy as time goes by.
Keto diet is considered best for those looking to build muscle, shed off some weight, and lose fat. However, it isn’t the best option for everyone. You will have to deal with minor side effects from sugar withdrawal, among others. If you can get beyond the withdrawal stage, you’ll then start seeing the benefits over time. Many have attested to having greater mental clarity from merely focusing on the keto diet alone.
For those looking to lose weight, you’ll likely have to change your eating habits to allow the body to shed off the extra weight. Be sure to talk to your doctor about your intention to take on the keto diet, too. Your doctor will advise you accordingly based on your health, medical record or history, and other factors.
By restricting carbohydrate intake, it forces the body to start burning fats for energy, lower insulin levels, reduce inflammation, and decrease sensitivity to insulin. The reduced carb intake addresses some of the primary drivers of chronic diseases recorded today, including fat accumulation, inflammation, and insulin resistance. Keto diet provides a solution for all these, among many other health benefits.