9 Health Benefits of Low Carb and Ketogenic Diets

Since 2002, dozens of studies have been conducted on low-carb diets, and their popularity has really come on strong in the past few years. With good reason because in nearly every study low-carb diets come out ahead of their competitors in terms of weight loss and health benefits. Here are nine scientifically proven health benefits of following a low-car Ketogenic diet:

1. Weight loss

The main aim of a ketogenic diet is to limit the consumption of carbohydrates so that once the existing carbohydrates in the body are exhausted the body can turn to burn stored fats as the primary fuel source, thereby resulting in weight loss. Not just any weight either, extra water and extra fat!

2. Lower blood sugar (Type 2 diabetes)

The body generally uses the carbohydrates stored in the body to be used as the primary source of energy. In large quantities, carbohydrates have the potential to cause huge spikes in blood sugar. Since ketogenic diets restrict carb intake, the body turns to use fat as the primary source of energy instead of carbohydrates, which in turn his helps the body maintain a lower sugar level. With Diabetes becoming an epidemic these days this is one of the more significant advantages of a keto diet.

3. Anti-aging

Sound too good to be true?  Well it isn’t. Ketogenic diets lower blood sugar and insulin levels, which lower oxidative stress in the body.  A reduced amount of oxidative damage in the body helps increase longevity and well being, thereby slowing the aging process. You will look and feel better…longer.

4. Cardiovascular disease

When the body uses carbohydrates as fuel, it elevates its triglyceride levels, which increases the risk of several heart health-related issues. Since Keto diets focus on limiting carb intake, the body is able to lower its triglyceride levels, thereby improving the cardiovascular health.

5. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Insulin and insulin resistance play the most prominent role in causing Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (a hormonal disorder responsible for about 70 percent of infertility issues in women.) Since following a keto diet has been proven to lower insulin resistance, keto diets can help address PCOS.

6. Brain health

Burning fat for fuel provides the brain with ketones that have been proven to improve mental structure and functionality. Therefore, keto diets can be used to help lower the instances of several mental illnesses and neurodegenerative diseases including seizures, Alzheimer’s and dementia, Parkinson’s disease, chronic migraines, depression, anxiety, etc. Put simply, you’ll feel better, more focused, and your brain will fight off things you didn’t even know where there!

7. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

High fermentable carbohydrate foods are known to cause functional gut disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Going on a low-carb diet (in other words, a keto diet) will naturally lower the risk of IBS. People may recognize this more for the funny commercials, but it’s a real problem and one that eating a healthy keto diet really helps.

8. Chronic inflammation

There are a number of anti-inflammatory effects of a low-carb keto diet, which we talked about recently in another article. Glucose in the body triggers the release of cytokines, which can lead to chronic inflammation. Ketogenic diets replace glucose with fat, which lowers cytokine production, and in turn, reduces the risk of chronic inflammation.

9. Endurance and athletic performance

Keto diets have been proven to lower oxidative stress, which can help endurance athletes function at much higher efficiency for longer periods. In fact, it has been shown to even promote muscle gain. Combined with tons of anecdotal evidence over the years, there is an entire movement behind bodybuilders using a ketogenic approach to gain more muscle and less fat

Summary

Going on a keto diet is a great way to not only shed those unwanted pounds quickly, but also a great way to get healthy, feel better, and to stay that way. Few things are as more established in nutrition science as are the many health benefits of low-carb and ketogenic diets.