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The keto diet is associated with multiple health benefits, which has brought it increasing mainstream popularity. While it was originally devised to help fight epilepsy, it is now largely associated with weight loss.
However, there are a plethora of other benefits associated with keto, including protection against dementia, decreased diabetes risk, benefits for multiple diseases, and less inflammation.
One of the best benefits? Better blood sugar control, which benefits everyone in a wide variety of ways (including reduced rates of the metabolic syndrome).
A Keto Diet Helps Improve Your Gut Bacteria
The ratio of good bacteria and bad bacteria in your gut is critically linked to your overall health (most importantly, to your mental health). A large population of bad gut bacteria has been directly associated with depression, as well as other mental health issues.
A keto diet is rich with high-quality vegetables, which help to populate your gut with good bacteria, and helps to stop bad bacteria from growing and repopulating.
Some scientific research has even shown that a keto diet helps improve quality of life for those suffering from abdominal disorders (like IBS).
Keto Helps With Blood Sugar Control
Since you are taking in far less sugar, a keto diet greatly helps control overall blood sugar, especially over the long term.
This increased blood sugar control also reduces diseases related to insulin resistance, as well as helping with the risks related to developing dementia and other neurological diseases.
Poor blood sugar control can lead to metabolic syndrome – which puts you at risk for every obesity-related illness known to man.
A Keto Diet Helps With Brain, Heart, And Skin Health
One of the most fascinating benefits of the keto diet is the links to increased neurological health. Scientific studies have shown that larger intakes of sugar over time, greatly increase the risk of developing dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other neurological conditions.
While the mechanisms of protection offered by a keto approach are still under debate, it is likely the neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory quality of ketones, which help ward of neurological issues.
Having a healthy heart is critically important as we get older. A keto approach can help with heart issues by reducing the inflammation inside the body, as well as making favorable changes to cholesterol levels, blood pressure levels, and triglycerides. By contrast, loading up on carbohydrates is directly linked with higher risks of developing heart disease.
The skin is the largest organ in your body but many of us never think about it. A keto diet helps with your skin in a plethora of ways.
For one, it reduces inflammation, which is the precursor to just about every skin condition. Secondly, by cutting out low-quality foods (especially sugary foods), your skin will stay clear of blemishes and your gut bacteria will be better populated.
All of the factors lead to improved skin, and with improved skin, comes improved self-confidence.
A Keto Diet Works Great For Weight Loss
Keto diets are arguably most famous for their ability to burn fat. The rumors are true – a keto diet can help lower your body weight, decrease your body fat, and lower your overall body mass.
If you get enough protein and exercise, they also preserve (and help grow) muscle mass. One of the best scientifically supported benefits of the keto approach is the ability to burn more fat during exercise.
Of course, it should be noted that endurance exercise (like running a marathon), is still a risky venture when greatly restricting carbohydrates. The scientific research on this specific area continues to grow, but it is still in the early stages.
Keto May Help With Cancer, Epilepsy, and PMS
While a keto diet will not cure cancer, it has been shown to help potentially slow tumor growth. Many other benefits from a strict keto diet, have been seen in patients dealing with cancer. While the scientific research is still preliminary, there is definite promise in the area of cancer and a ketogenic approach.
Since the keto diet was originally conceived as a means to help treat epilepsy, it is not surprising that epilepsy sufferers continue to tout its effectiveness in helping with the disorder.
The scientific research is more definitive in this area – a keto diet is hugely beneficial for those who have epilepsy. The mechanism likely at play here, is the anti-inflammatory effect of ketones, as well as the lack of sugar, to feed any underlying mechanisms that may prompt seizures.
Interestingly, since there is less sugar and less inflammation, a keto diet has been shown to actually aid with premenstrual symptoms. While not a cure-all, if you are interested in having fewer symptoms during your period, a keto diet is a great approach. Another benefit? Fewer cravings.