I’m going to share with you 7 different benefits of low carb and Ketogenic diets, let’s get started
#1 Let’s start with Weight Loss.
Low carb diets have been conclusively shown to be more effective than low-fat diets for weight loss.
Low carb diets reduce insulin levels allowing us to access our stored body fat more easily. They reduced hunger allowing us to eat less. They may even create a metabolic advantage, meaning we simply burn more calories when we’re low carb and they may even help us with food addiction problems.
#2 Reason is Blood Glucose Control.
The supply of energy from our food to our tissues is at the core of our metabolism and the regulation of our blood glucose is an important part of this. You will simply have fewer spikes in energy on a low-carb diet the insulin or sugar crash that many people experience during the day is a result of consuming high GI or highly processed carbohydrates that result in rapid rises in blood sugar levels and the insulin response that follows reduces our blood sugar levels quickly and that often leaves us with low energy levels and when we consume fewer carbohydrates we can better regular our blood glucose levels avoiding these energy spikes.
Let’s talk about Type 2 diabetes control of blood glucose is critical for people with type 2 diabetes now type 2 diabetes is defined by having blood glucose levels that have raised beyond normal and people who are affected by this disease they’re effectively intolerant to carbohydrates and it seems crazy to me that the first-line dietary advice is still to consume carbohydrates although thankfully the tide is turning with more and more doctors seeing the power of using low carb diets in the management of type 2 diabetes.
Specifically low carb diets lead to improved hba1c which is a test we use to see how blood glucose levels have been over the past few months and low carb diets can reduce dependence on medication if diabetic patients don’t address their carbohydrate consumption they can usually expect to be taking ever-increasing doses of medications as their disease progresses through the years and low carb diets can even put diabetes into remission.
Just a few years ago it was commonly accepted that type-2 diabetes was a progressive… worsening disease which couldn’t be reversed but only could be managed. Now thankfully we know that is just not the case and we see more and more people reversing their type 2 diabetes.
So just as the Ketogenic diet can help type 2 diabetics manage their condition more easily theKetogenic diet may lessen the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the first place by avoiding all those nasty refined carbohydrates.
So what about type 1 diabetes? People cat with type 1 diabetes can expect to see better control of their blood sugars and use less medication.
#3 low carb diets improve cardiovascular risk markers.
When we’re talking heart attacks and strokes here and it’s a common concern that people have about low carb and Ketogenic diets is the increased fat consumption that goes hand-in-hand with them however the science shows that this isn’t true and in fact it shows that low carb diets improve many of the markers that are commonly associated with heart disease.
Firstly, it improves HDL. We’ve all heard about the great cholesterol battle HDL versus LDL … good versus evil l and whilst much of the focus seems to be on lowering LDL think statin medications very little attention has been paid to raising of the good cholesterol levels or HDL and this is probably because drug companies have failed to provide medication to do this to date.
The good news is that low carb and Ketogenic diets are particularly effective increasing HDL levels. It also improves LDL particle size. Many scientists now believe that we’ve been focusing on the wrong thing when it comes to “bad cholesterol” and it’s the size of the particle that matters rather than the total number.
So whilst low carb and Ketogenic diets often result in raised LDL levels The particles are larger and fluffier which are thought to be less damaging to the walls of our arteries. Thirdly, low-carb diets reduced triglycerides.
Now these are the fats that are made in the liver when too much carbohydrate is consumed and we see significant improvement in triglyceride levels on low-carb diets. So much so that some doctors use them to see where the patients are actually sticking to their low-carb diets.
Moving on from cholesterol onto other risk factors for heart disease … High Blood Pressure Now hypertension is well known to be the single biggest risk factor for heart attacks and strokes but raised insulin levels caused the kidneys to retain fluid which leads to higher blood pressures.
It will therefore come as no surprise that cutting the carbs has also been found to cut blood pressure. Abdominal obesity is also improved. I mentioned weight loss earlier but low carb diets are especially useful at getting rid of that fat that is carried around our waist because this fat actually inside our abdominal cavities around our internal organs and it’s that that makes it so bad for our health.
Fatty liver disease but it’s not caused by alcohol. Fatty liver disease is caused by the excessive consumption of refined carbohydrates. Now small but promising studies have shown rapid reversal of fatty liver disease with low-carb Ketogenic diets.
Now I just want to close this section by looking at those risk factors altogether because we have a name for it it’s called the metabolic syndrome. Anyone with three or more of the conditions that we’ve talked about listed down on the right hand side of the screen now has got metabolic syndrome and that amounts for about 25 percent of the Western world but why is this important? Because about 75% of people who have a heart attack or stroke are also found to have the metabolic syndrome.
Now low-carb diets and Ketogenic diets seem to be effective improving all of the individual elements of the metabolic syndrome which suggests to me that it is really addressing the underlying cause.
#4 It reduces inflammation in the body.
Excessive consumption of highly processed carbohydrates elicits an immune response in the body in the form of inflammation, if your diet regularly consists of highly processed carbohydrates your body will remain in a state of inflammation which over time can have a detrimental effect on your immune system.
Now we’ve already discussed heart disease and diabetes but beyond that chronic inflammation can also damage DNA leading to conditions such as cancer. Now smoking is still the biggest cause of cancer in many countries but surprisingly obesity is in second place.
So it’s not hard to see how weight loss might reduce your risk of cancer. Beyond that Ketogenic diets are currently being investigated for how they may help prevent or treat certain cancers. One theory is related to lowering blood glucose and therefore insulin levels.
Another study found that theKetogenic diet may be a suitable complementary treatment for people who are already taking chemotherapy and radiation for certain cancers. Arthritis, one of the best ways to improve arthritis in weight-bearing joints is through weight loss but reduced inflammation may result in less joint pain particularly for those who suffer conditions such as arthritis and Autoimmune disease the reduction and inflammation that goes along with a Ketogenic diet is currently being widely researched in a range of autoimmune conditions and the role that theKetogenic diet plays in reducing chronic inflammation is a very exciting area of research.
#5 Brain function Improved concentration
we already talked about stabilizing blood glucose levels and overcoming those mid-afternoon energy slumps. This in itself is going to help your concentration but beyond this being in a state of ketosis means that your brain will also be using ketones as an energy source and many people report a sense of clarity and improve concentration relating to this.
Improved sleep. To be fair when people start off initially on a Keto diet they often report worse sleep whilst they’re becoming adapted but beyond the first few weeks there is anecdotal evidence that some people experience a higher quality of sleep which of course helps with daytime energy levels and concentration.
Epilepsy, for many years now Ketogenic diets have been used to manage certain types of epilepsy particularly in children where medication has been unable to control their symptoms. It’s currently being researched to treat or prevent conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, ADHD and even some sleep disorders.
#6 Improved skin health
Another, really, exciting area is how a low-carb diet can affect our gut microbiome diets that consist of high carbohydrate content particularly processed carbohydrates have the ability to alter gut bacteria that can result in acne.
A high number of foods associated with skin health, particularly those that contain vitamin A also fit really well with the Ketogenic diet and the final point in this video…
#7 It improves health in women with PCOS
PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS is an endocrine disorder that causes enlarged ovaries with cysts irregular periods and fertility issues and if you have a look around the internet you’ll find loads of anecdotal evidence suggesting that this condition can be helped by following aKetogenic diet and whilst research is limited into this area there is some evidence to support these claims.
So overall I hope this has shown you that there is lots more to low carb and Ketogenic diets beyond weight loss.