The ketogenic diet has been controversial for decades.
They were originally vilified by health experts and the media.
People believed that these diets would raise cholesterol and cause heart disease because of the high fat content.
However … times have changed.
Since 2002, more than 20 studies have been conducted on people on ketogenic diets.
In almost every one of these studies, the ketogenic diet performed better than other diets it was compared to.
Not only does the ketogenic diet lead to weight loss, it also leads to significant improvements in most risk factors … including cholesterol.
Here are the 5 proven health benefits of ketogenic diets.
The ketogenic diet stops your appetite (in a good way)
Hunger is the worst side effect of dieting.
It is one of the top reasons many people feel miserable and eventually give up paying attention to their diet.
One of the best things about the ketogenic diet is that it leads to an automatic reduction in appetite.
Studies consistently show that when people cut out carbohydrates and eat more protein and fat, they end up consuming much fewer calories.
In fact … when researchers compare ketogenic diets in studies, they must actively reduce the calories in the low-fat groups to make the results comparable
The ketogenic diet leads to weight loss
Reducing carbohydrates is one of the easiest and most effective ways to lose weight.
Studies show that people on ketogenic diets lose weight more and faster than people on low fat diets.
One of the reasons for this is that ketogenic diets usually remove the excess water from the body. Because they lower insulin levels, the kidneys begin to secrete excess sodium, resulting in rapid weight loss for the first two weeks.
If you compare low-fat diets and ketogenic diets in studies, people on a ketogenic diet sometimes lose 2-3 times as much weight without being hungry.
The ketogenic diet seems to be particularly effective for periods of up to 6 months, but only because the weight begins to slowly creep up again as people give up the ketogenic diet and start eating the same old things.
It is far better to think of ketogenic as a lifestyle than dieting. The only way to have long-term success is to stick with it.
With the ketogenic diet, a greater proportion of the fat lost comes from the abdominal cavity
Not all fats in the body are created equal.
It all depends on the location in the body where the fat is stored, which determines how it affects our health and the risk of disease.
Most important is the subcutaneous fat (under the skin). and then we have the visceral fat (in the abdominal cavity).
Visceral fat is fat as we know and hate it.
The ketogenic diet is very effective in reducing harmful belly fat.
The ketogenic diet can even cause more fat loss from the abdominal cavity than low fat diets.
Over time, this should lead to a drastically reduced risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Reduced blood sugar and insulin levels, with a large reduction in type 2 diabetes risk
When we eat carbohydrates, they are broken down into simple sugars (mostly glucose) in the digestive tract.
From there, they raise blood sugar levels.
Because high blood sugar is toxic, the body reacts with a hormone called insulin, which tells cells to bring the glucose into the cells and then burn or store it there.
People who are healthy tend to minimize the rapid insulin response to elevated blood sugar to prevent damage.
However, many, many people have major problems with this system. They have what is called insulin resistance, which means that the cells do not “see” the insulin and therefore it is more difficult for the body to get the blood sugar into the cells.
This can lead to a disease called type 2 diabetes. This disease is very common today. It affects around 300 million people worldwide.
Actually there is a very simple solution to this problem … reducing carbohydrates removes the need for all that insulin. Both blood sugar and insulin go down.
According to Dr. Eric Westman, who has treated many diabetics on a ketogenic diet, had to reduce their insulin dose by 50% on the first day.
In a study of type 2 diabetics, 95.2% succeeded in reducing or stopping their sugar-lowering medication through a ketogenic diet within 6 months.
The ketogenic diet is a therapeutic agent for various brain diseases
It is often said that glucose is necessary for the brain … and it is true.
Part of the brain can only burn glucose. This is why the liver makes glucose from protein when we don’t eat carbohydrates.
But a large part of the brain can also burn ketones when carbohydrate intake is very low.
This is the mechanism behind the ketogenic diet, which has been used for decades to treat epilepsy in children who are unresponsive to drug therapy.
In many cases, the ketogenic diet can rid children of epilepsy. In one study, over half of children on a ketogenic diet had more than a 50% reduction in seizures. 16% of the children became seizure-free.
Ketogenic diets are now also being studied for other brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.