Keto Diet: Healthy or Hype?
Unless you’ve been living under a proverbial rock, you’ve most likely heard of the keto diet. It became popular about five years ago and scores of people swear by the diet, saying it has helped them lose weight, gain muscle, and overall just feel healthy and energetic.
But as many proponents there are of the diet, there are still others who claim that low-carb eating isn’t as healthy as some people believe. Obviously, this can get a bit confusing for people who are just trying to look for a healthy way of eating that will help them maintain a healthy weight.
As a nutritionist, it’s my job to take deep dives into all of the different diets out there and find any kind of science that may or may not back them up. With this in mind, here are 5 science-back benefits of the keto diet and why I feel it’s a healthy diet for most people to follow.
1. Low-Carb Diets Lead to Appetite Reduction
Numerous studies have repeatedly shown that when people cut out carbs, they eat more protein and fat, and this, in turn, causes them to eat far fewer calories.
2. Faster Weight Loss
Low carb diets help you lose weight faster because they help your body rid excess water while at the same time lower your insulin levels. Insulin is the hormone responsible for fat storage. In fact, some studies have found that restricting carbohydrates helped people lose 2-3 times as much weight and without being hungry.
3. Low-Carb Diets Get Rid of Abdominal Fat
Not all fat on your body is the same. In fact, where fat is stored determines how it affects your overall health and your risk of developing certain diseases.
Visceral fat is the kind that accumulates in your abdominal cavity and it tends to, over time, get lodged around your organs. Too much abdominal fat has been linked to chronic inflammation and insulin resistance. Both of these can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes and other chronic illnesses.
Low-carb diets such as keto have been shown to be incredibly effective at reducing this harmful abdominal fat.
4. Triglycerides Significantly Reduced
Triglycerides are fat molecules that circulate in your bloodstream. They are one of the biggest risk factors for developing heart disease. One of the biggest causes of elevator triglycerides is high carb consumption. When people cut carbs, they typically see a significant reduction in their triglyceride levels.
5. Therapeutic for Several Brain Disorders
People argue low-carb isn’t good because the brain requires glucose. Well, luckily your liver can produce glucose from protein when you don’t eat any carbs.
What you don’t often hear is that a large part of the brain can also burn ketones, and these are formed during fasting or when very low levels of carbs are consumed. Hence the name Keto diet.
The mechanism behind the keto diet has been used to treat children with epilepsy who haven’t responded to other drug treatments. The keto diet is also being studied now for its potential positive benefits for those with other brain conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
These are only a handful of science-backed benefits of the keto diet, but they are very compelling. Hopefully, they put to bed once and for all the myth that low-carb eating is not good for you. On the contrary, low-card diets seem to be the healthiest diet we can eat.