Paleo, gluten-free, ketogenic, vegan, vegetarian…these are all likely words you have heard before in the “dieting world.” These diet types are not fads, each of them have substantial scientific evidence supporting their value in one way or another. Because no two people are the same when it comes to metabolism, it is essential to find the kind of diet that works best for you while still allowing you to get the nutrients needed for a healthy body.
The keto diet, as it is generally referred to, is a way of eating that is very low carbohydrate and high in healthy fats. When on this diet, the body produces ketones in the liver that are used as energy. In this state, the body is very good at burning fat for energy as opposed to storing it. When the body is in a state of ketosis, blood sugar and insulin levels are reduced and many health benefits follow closely behind.
Variations of the Ketogenic Diet
There are a number of forms of the ketogenic diet from which you can choose. Here are four of the most popular.
Note: Variations from the standard are used mostly by athletes and bodybuilders.
- Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD): This is a very low carb diet that includes a moderate amount of protein and high levels of fat. It is generally 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbs.
- Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD): This diet generally consists of five keto days follow by 2-high carb days.
- Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD): On this keto plan you can add carbs around workout times.
- High Protein Ketogenic Diet: This diet is similar in most ways to the standard keto diet except that it includes more protein. The ratio is 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs.
Here are the top 3 reasons why embracing a ketogenic diet is a smart and healthy thing to do:
Lose Weight Without Counting Calories
Research indicates that a ketogenic diet is superior to a low-fat diet for weight loss. In one study it was found that people who followed a ketogenic plan lost 2.2 times more weight than those on a calorie-restricted diet. In addition, both triglyceride and HDL cholesterol levels improved.
In another study, it was found that people who ate low carb, high fat and moderate protein diets lost three times more weight than those who followed a diet recommended by Diabetes UK.
There is no need to count calories when you are on the ketogenic diet, and you will feel very full due to the high amount of fat and protein. The increased protein provides a number of proven health benefits including balanced metabolic health, increase in muscle mass and strength, better bone health, reduced snacking and late night eating, and feelings of fullness without having to eat more food.
Improved Health for Diabetics and People With Prediabetes
Excess fat is linked to type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Eating a high fat, medium protein diet helps with weight loss which lowers risk factors for disease. The hallmark sign of diabetes is high blood sugar and impaired insulin. In one study it was found that a ketogenic diet improved insulin sensitivity by 75%. In another study with people with type 2 diabetes, it was found that 7 of the 21 participants were able to stop using all diabetes medications.
More Health Benefits of Keto
- Heart disease – One of the main benefits of eating a ketogenic diet is improving risk factors like body fat, HDL cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure.
- Cancer – The ketogenic diet is being used to help treat many types of cancer and slow tumor growth.
- Alzheimer’s disease – The keto diet can reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and slow the speed of its progression.
- Parkinson’s disease – In a study, it was found that a ketogenic diet improved symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome – Because eating a ketogenic diet reduces insulin levels it is thought to be helpful in the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome.
- Acne – Reduced insulin levels will also help improve skin and reduce acne breakouts.
- Brain injuries – Animals studies have found eating a ketogenic diet can help reduce concussions and help with recovery after a brain injury.
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-The Alternative Daily