The ketogenic (or keto) diet is a low-carb, high-fat, moderate-protein diet. The goal of the keto diet is to put the body into the metabolic state of ketosis, which occurs when the body doesn’t have enough glucose to use for energy — so it uses stored fat instead. Ketosis sends fat to your liver where it’s converted to glucose, resulting in the formation of elements known as ketones. Various research studies have shown that the keto diet contributes to weight loss, lowered blood pressure, higher HDL cholesterol levels, and increased energy.
Following the keto diet is an effective way to lose weight and keep it off. When you enter a state of ketosis, your blood sugar drops. This allows your fat cells to release water and sparks an initial flood of weight loss. Due to the water loss, the fat cells become small enough to enter the bloodstream. They’re then transported to the liver, converted to ketones, and expelled from the body.
While the keto diet is a unique way to lose weight, it’s not an invitation to consume an unlimited amount of calories. To avoid over-consumption, track your calories and activity levels by using a fitness tracker, downloading Lifesum’s lifestyle app to your phone, or recording your fitness and nutritional data manually. It’s important to know how many calories you’re consuming because weight loss only occurs when you’re in a caloric deficit, meaning you’re burning more calories than you’re consuming.
Lowered Risk of Developing Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body can’t regulate insulin. It’s a widespread problem that affects millions of people. However, research suggests that following the keto diet can decrease your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by lowering insulin levels and reversing insulin resistance. Studies have shown that when people follow the keto diet, they’re able to improve their health, lower their blood sugar levels, and increase their sensitivity to insulin.
Higher HDL Cholesterol Levels
The keto diet can increase your levels of HDL cholesterol, the good type of cholesterol. HDL’s job is to scour the bloodstream, removing harmful cholesterol and sending it to the liver where it’s processed and removed from the body. High levels of HDL are associated with a decreased risk of heart disease, while low levels are associated with an increased risk. Since the keto diet raises your HDL levels, it can greatly lower your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
You’ll likely experience increased energy levels on the keto diet. Keto foods are low in sugar, and minimizing your sugar intake keeps your blood sugar stable, enabling you to avoid energy spikes and crashes. In addition, following the keto diet allows your body to tap into your stored fat whenever you need an energy boost, helping to prevent periods of fatigue.
Following the keto diet is a good way to lose weight and improve your overall health. It takes time to adjust, but if you’re consistent, you could improve your cholesterol levels, lower your risk of developing diabetes, and boost your overall energy levels.