The ketogenic diet involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. The process creates a metabolic state called ‘ketosis‘.
The diet works by depleting the body of its sugar reserves which in turn means that your body burns fat for energy. A Keto diet can cause significant reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels. As with any change to your regular diet, a Keto diet comes with a warning.
This diet is not for everyone. Medical experts have stated that Keto is not safe for those with any medical conditions involving:
- Thyroid or gallbladder
- people with diabetes who are insulin-dependent
- people who have eating disorders
- those with kidney disease or pancreatitis
- women during pregnancy and breastfeeding
If you suffer with any of these conditions-avoid this diet!
If you not suffer with any of the above conditions, it is still best to discuss your intended diet plan with your doctor, dietician or health coach.
What can I eat?
Before we get onto the benefits of a Keto diet, what can you eat? Well, the following:
- Coconut oil
- Low-carb vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus,
- Meat and poultry
- Plain Cottage Cheese
- Plain Greek Yogurt
- Seafood, fish and shellfish
Here are seven potential benefits of taking up a Keto diet for the short term:
1. Lose weight
This form of diet can be, to say the least, one of the most ‘drastic’ diets. Research has so far shown that a ketogenic diet produces weight loss rapidly due to the reduction of fat, calorie intake and water in the body.
This is down to boosting metabolism and reducing the stimulation of hunger. This causes your body to enter into “ketosis” which is a state where the body switches from using fat to carbs as its primary fuel source. Ketones are produced in the liver.
If a keto diet is combined with vigorous exercise, the results of being on a keto diet can be quite spectacular. On a “normal” diet with regular exercise regime, most people can expect to lose one to two lbs a week, whilst those following a keto diet, experts believe that typically you can expect to see a drop of anywhere from two to ten pounds.
2. Protect the heart
“Research from Saint Louis University finds that high fat or “ketogenic” diets could completely prevent, or even reverse heart failure caused by a metabolic process” News Medical.
Even losing a moderate amount of weight on a Keto diet, should help protect against heart disease, by reducing your cholesterol levels, but the diet itself should only be taken up for the short term, the maximum being a year according to most experts.
As with all diets, you should discuss the situation with your doctor, dietician or health coach, before embarking on a Keto diet.
3. May reduce the risk of developing cancer
Researchers have examined the effects of the ketogenic diet in helping prevent or even treat various types of cancer.
It is thought that cancer feeds on the daily sugar intake we consume. However, partaking in a high-fat diet, starves the cancer cells forming tumours. It is thought that taking up the Keto diet, helps reduce the risk or potentially prevents cancer taking hold.
One study has suggested that taking up a Keto diet can be beneficial to cancer patients on chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Another recent study also concluded that a Keto diet lowers the risk of insulin complications with diabetics.
However more research is needed before a definitive statement can be released by the medical profession.
4. May protect the brain
Whilst the medical results are not definitive, and certainly more research is required, there is a thought amongst the medical fraternity that a Keto diet can be beneficial to the functionality of the brain. For example, taking up this diet may mitigate the risk of dementia.
Alzheimer’s is sometimes referred to as “Type 3 diabetes” because of the role glucose plays in the disease. A ketogenic/lower-carb diet reduces the levels of glucose and insulin in the body, which help insulin resistance but may also prevent brain deterioration. There is some indication that a Keto diet may reduce the chances of developing neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.
Other sets of research with Keto diets, include Parkinson’s disease, memory loss and epilepsy.
Taking a Keto diet reduces the amount of glutamate in the brain making it less likely for a seizure to occur. A recent study showed that a Keto diet was used to treat epileptic seizures in children by stabilizing the functions of neurons in the brain.
It was also noted that a Keto diet also reduced inflammation of the brain for sufferers of meningitis, encephalitis, or autoimmune disorders which can trigger seizures.
- Over half of children who go on the diet have at least a 50% reduction in the number of their seizures.
- Some children, usually 10-15%, even become seizure-free.
Taken from details published by the Epilepsy Foundation
6. Improves acne
“Acne is a skin condition characterized by red pimples on the skin, especially on the face, due to inflamed or infected sebaceous glands and prevalent chiefly among adolescents”. Google
Acne has several different causes and may have links to carbohydrate consumption and blood sugar in some people. By avoiding carbohydrates in a Keto diet, you may be able to improve the quality of your skin and prevent future flare-ups.
7. Improves PCOS symptoms?
The jury is still out on this one. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that can lead to excess male hormones, ovulatory dysfunction, and polycystic ovaries.
A high-carbohydrate diet can cause adverse effects in people with PCOS, such as skin problems and weight gain.
A recent study in 2019 found that a keto diet had beneficial effects for people with hormonal disorders, including PCOS and type 2 diabetes.
However, the research is still at the early stage so there is no medical consensus to recommend a Keto diet for improving PCOS symptoms.
Bonus 1: If a Keto diet is too drastic-See our video on “5 Tips to lose weight”. Click on the image link below:
Bonus 2: If you would like to know more about a Keto diet-You can review a Custom Keto Diet Plan designed for you here. Click on link for details: