The ketogenic diet is a low-carb high-fat diet that causes the body to use dietary and body fat as its main energy source. As the brain cannot use fat for energy, the liver turns some of that fat into ketones, a small molecule which can pass through the blood-brain barrier. The ketogenic diet is a diet which causes the body to generate these ketones.
Here are some of the benefits:
1: More stable energy levels
On a non-keto diet, your blood sugar levels rise and fall in response to the amount of carbs you eat and how easily those carbs are absorbed, which can make you feel sluggish. On a keto diet the body produces a steady stream of ketones, which helps keep your energy levels stable.
2: Better appetite control
Not only are your blood sugar levels more stable on the ketogenic diet, but it reduces production of ghrelin (the “hunger hormone”) and helps maintains levels of CCK, a hormone which makes you feel full. This helps avoid overeating and weight gain by suppressing your appetite.
3: Easier weight loss
Provided you’re eating fewer calories than you need, it’s much easier to lose weight on a ketogenic diet because your body is primed to use fat as its main source of energy. This has been shown by several studies which demonstrated superior fat loss on low-carb and ketogenic diets.
4: Improved focus and brain function
The ketogenic diet has long been used to treat people with epilepsy, and several studies have indicated neuroprotective effects in subjects with both healthy and impaired cognitive function. Many keto dieters claim less need for sleep, better memory and focus, and heightened alertness.
5: Better sleep
Many keto dieters claim they experience better sleep while on a low-carb diet. This was confirmed in a research study by the University of Sydney, which found that subjects in ketosis enjoyed longer deep stage sleep and reduced REM (dream phase) sleep.
6: Greater endurance and improved recovery
Several studies have shown that the ketogenic diet can improve physical endurance by reducing consumption of glucose stored in the body as glycogen. Some athletes have also reported less inflammation and oxidative stress and improved recovery after intensive exercise.
7: Higher good cholesterol, lower bad
There is evidence to show that the keto diet is good for heart health. Studies have shown that the keto diet reduces levels of triglycerides and LDL (“bad” cholesterol), and increases HDL (“good” cholesterol). Higher HDL levels are associated with lower risk of heart disease.
8: Reduced inflammation and improved skin
There is evidence that the ketogenic diet reduces inflammation and improves skin condition. It is well known that diets high in sugar can increase the severity of acne and frequency of breakouts. Another reason is that intake of poly-unsaturated fatty acids such as DHA and EPA is high, which reduce oxidant production and inflammation.
9: Avoid or reverse Type 2 Diabetes
By depriving the body of glucose, the ketogenic diet makes it easier for the body to become sensitive to insulin again and so control blood sugar levels. In one study, the keto diet helped 95.2% of patients with T2D to eliminate or reduce glucose-lowering medication within 6 months.
10: Avoid or slow progression of cancer
There is evidence to show that a low-carb diet may slow the progression of cancer by starving cancer cells of glucose. This is because cancer cells are very receptive to insulin but cannot metabolize fatty acids for energy. Bisu advisor Dr. Dom D’Agostino is an expert in this area, and you can read more here.