Each and every single year, you hear about a new trendy diet that you just HAVE to try. These diets usually surface around the beginning of the year – just in time for the New Year where everyone sets New Year’s resolutions to lose weight. A very popular new diet that has come out of this cycle is known as a ketogenic diet. What is this diet all about? What kinds of benefits is it supposed to provide? Does it actually work? Keep reading to find out.
Introduction To The Ketogenic Diet
To put it simply, this diet consists of eating foods that are rich in fats and staying away from foods that are rich in carbohydrates. Some may be perplexed at how a diet that tells you to eat a lot of fatty foods can possibly do any good for those trying to lose weight. However, you will find out why this diet is actually useful in helping people shed pounds.
I will give you a little teaser for now – it has to do with your metabolism. On top of that, the ketogenic diet stresses that you eat specific kinds of fats. Not all fats are created equal and some kinds (like saturated and trans fats) are bad for you, while others are good for you.
Anyways, the point of diets like the ketogenic diet is to kick your body into the ketosis process (hence why it is called the ketogenic diet). This process occurs when your body is forced to use fat stores to turn calories into energy instead of burning carbohydrates, since you will not be consuming many carbs at all.
It is this ketosis process that ends up causing a handful of the health boosts associated with the ketogenic diet. Why? Because substances known as ketones get produced and released into the body during this process. These substances work to give various parts of your body a well-needed kick to boost their functions. Anyways, let’s dive into the specific health boosts caused by subscribing to the ketogenic diet.
How The Ketogenic Diet Boosts Your Health?
It Helps You Lose Weight
This is the big one. Probably the main reason that many people subscribe to the ketogenic diet is to lose weight. Isn’t that the main reason that we subscribe to any diet? Anyways, the ketogenic diet helps you lose weight because your body will not be storing as much fat as it does in a normal diet. Like I said above, when you do not consume a lot of carbs, your body is forced to start turning your fat stores into energy. Less fat equals no weight gain. Not to mention, the types of foods you will be eating in this diet are also high in protein, which gives your metabolism a huge kick.
It Helps You Keep From Developing Diabetes
This is probably the second most important health boost associated with a ketogenic diet. This diet does not let you eat sugary foods, which means your body will not end up building a resistance to insulin. And as we all know, insulin resistance leads to diabetes. The ketogenic diet allows you to cut off the problem at the source long before it becomes a problem.
It Gives You More Energy
When your body burns carbohydrates as energy, you usually stay lively and energetic for a little while (think sugar rush) and then you crash hard. That is not the case if you subscribe to a ketogenic diet. When your body uses fat (especially healthy kinds of fats) and turns it into energy, the energy is longer lasting. And remember those ketones I was talking about earlier? They are an energy source themselves!
It Can Help You Stave Off Cancer
That’s right! A ketogenic diet can help you reduce your chances of having to deal with the most deadly disease in the world. This incredible benefit is also attributed to the aforementioned ketones. How? Researchers theorize that the energy coming from ketones can’t be used by cancerous cells. And without sufficient energy, those cells are not able to survive and replicate. Studies have been conducted to see this effect in action and found that those who subscribe to a ketogenic diet are much less likely to deal with cancer symptoms.
It Can Help Lower Your Blood Pressure
On top of helping you stave off cancer, it can also reduce your risk of dealing with another common killer – the heart attack. There are piles of evidence tying the ketogenic diet to decreased blood pressure levels in those who subscribe to it. It is theorized that this is because you are not consuming sugary foods, which are a big risk factor for high blood pressure. Additionally, having a healthier weight is better for your blood pressure.
It Boosts Your Nervous System
The ketogenic diet gives your nervous system a much-needed kick because the foods you will be eating contain lots of omega-3 fatty acids. These are an example of the healthy fats that I was talking about earlier.
These chemicals have been shown to be incredibly good for your heart as well as your nervous system. People suffering from the crippling neurological disorder known as epilepsy have shown fewer symptoms of the disease after subscribing to a ketogenic diet. On top of that, their body reacted better to their epilepsy treatment and it had a far more potent effect.
It lowers your cholesterol
You can check off another heart attack risk factor that subscribing to a ketogenic diet prevents. When you eat foods that are high in fat and low in carbohydrates, you will end up consuming healthy cholesterol as opposed to the unhealthy cholesterol found in high-carb garbage food.
You will also be consuming far less triglycerides in a ketogenic diet. Healthy cholesterol levels and low triglyceride intake work in tandem to keep your arteries clear and greatly reduce your chances of having a heart attack.
It Helps You Get Rid Of Acne
You ever hear that eating chocolate can cause you to get acne? That is a half-truth. Consuming the processed sugary chocolate (such as Hershey’s) can be bad for your skin. Pure cocoa is a whole different story, but that is not what this article is about. Studies have shown that subscribing to a ketogenic diet has caused people to experience far fewer and less severe acne breakouts.
It boosts Your Digestive System
Subscribing to a ketogenic diet will cause you consume much more fiber than you probably do right now. Fiber is incredibly beneficial for your digestive tract. You ever hear that fiber helps you poop? It is true. Eating fiber will cause you have to normal bowel movements instead of having to deal with issues such as diarrhea and constipation. You are also far less likely to have to feel bloated and deal with cramps.
What Foods Are Part Of This Diet?
If you are a fan of lean meats, this is the diet for you. Whether that meat is beef, chicken, or even fish, you will be in your glory if you subscribe to a ketogenic diet. Other protein-rich foods that you could consume in this diet include farm-raised eggs and churned butter.
Healthy Fatty Foods
This category includes the protein-rich lean meats mentioned above. Other healthy fatty foods include avocados, olive oil, and macadamia nuts. Macadamia nuts in particular are a fantastic source of those omega-3 fatty acids I was talking about earlier.
If you subscribe to a ketogenic diet, you will have to be careful when eating your veggies. You should try to stay away from any veggies with a high concentration of starch, as starch is a carbohydrate, which is what you are trying to avoid. To be on the safe side, consume veggies like kale, celery, cucumbers, and spinach.
Fruits are a fantastic source of all kinds of vitamins and other essential nutrients for the body. I would go on a limb and say they are the cornerstone of the ketogenic diet. What makes them especially attractive to subscribers of this diet is that they contains tons of fiber, as well as being able to satisfy your sweet tooth without it screwing with your blood sugar levels.
I would advise eating lots of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. These fruits have all the benefits I mentioned above without the high carbohydrate content that a handful of fruits have.
Wrapping Things Up
There you have it. Everything that you need to know about one of the newest and most popular diets out there today. In my opinion, it is a diet that anybody can adjust their eating habits to accommodate.
It is nothing radical like cleansing diets. All you have to do is get over your addiction to sugary processed foods, which may prove to be a challenge for some. Nevertheless, when you take all of the above listed benefits into account, I think you can agree that the perseverance is definitely worth it in the end.