Here’s How the Keto Diet Can Work Wonders for Your Health
With so many weight-loss stories and the huge buzz surrounding it, it’s natural to wonder how the keto diet actually works.
The ketogenic (or keto) diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that offers several health benefits, including effective weight loss and improved cardiac functions.
Unlike many other popular low-carb diets which typically focus on high animal protein, the keto diet works by depleting the body of its fat reserves and encouraging healthy fat intake.
In this post, we’ll discuss some of the keto diet’s biggest health benefits.
Top 3 Health Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet
Although the keto diet is mostly used to lose weight, it can also help manage certain medical conditions like Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD), cancer, and epilepsy. Here are some of its biggest health benefits.
1. It Supports Weight Loss
A lot of celebrities, including Kourtney Kardashian and Halle Berry, use this diet plan to stay in shape. One of the biggest benefits of the ketogenic diet is its ability to achieve quick and considerable weight loss. When you consume fewer than 50 grams of carbs in a day, your body eventually runs out of fuel (i.e. blood sugar); this process takes around 3 to 4 days. Eventually, the body starts to break down stored fat for energy, resulting in weight loss. This process is called ketosis.
This diet also lowers the body’s insulin levels, causing your kidneys to release excess sodium, which helps burn off stubborn belly fat. You can notice changes in your weight within the first two weeks of following a keto meal plan.
2. It May Help Manage Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD)
PCOD is a common hormonal disorder in women which can result in increased facial hair, excessive acne, irregular periods, and infertility. Insulin resistance and high insulin levels are two big factors, and many women with PCOD have a hard time losing weight. High insulin levels cause the ovaries to produce too much testosterone, which worsens symptoms. One study showed that a low-carb ketogenic diet can significantly reduce testosterone levels and fasting insulin while improving the Luteinizing Hormone/Follicle Stimulating Hormone (LH/FSH) ratio.
However, they also cautioned that the study was too diverse to suggest a keto diet as an effective treatment for PCOD.
3. It May Benefit Some Cancer Treatments
Recent scientific research has suggested that a keto diet may help treat some types of cancer when used along with other treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery.
Researchers have noted a slight increase in the chances of developing breast cancer among women with type 2 diabetes. A decreased level of estrogen due to insulin resistance heightens the risk of developing cancer in any organ with high estrogen receptors, such as the breasts, ovaries, and endometrium. They suggest that following a low-carb diet to regulate blood sugar and insulin levels may also prevent tumour growth.
There can be significant health benefits to a keto diet, but it can also be restrictive, tough to follow, and downright unhealthy for some people. Anyone suffering from pancreatitis, liver failure, a disorder of the kidney, or other fat metabolism disorders should steer clear of this restrictive diet. Children and pregnant/breastfeeding women should also avoid keto unless otherwise instructed by their physicians. And even if you’re healthy, always consult a qualified doctor and fitness trainer before starting this diet.