A keto diet (ketogenic diet) essentially means a low-carbohydrate diet. This means that your body depends on proteins and fats for most of its energy.
- It makes you lose weight fast. When you’re not taking carbohydrates, your body has to get energy somewhere else. Therefore, it breaks down protein and fat from your body, causing you to lose weight. It takes more calories to convert fat into energy than to convert carbs, therefore you burn more calories.
Also, protein and fat diets fill you up faster than the carb diet, therefore you eat less. A combination of all these makes you lose weight faster than you could ever imagine.
- It may protect you from some forms of cancer. Whenever there is free sugar in your blood, a hormone called insulin stores it up in your liver for future use. Because you take low-carb meals, there is really no free sugar to be stored up by insulin. This makes your body produce less insulin and that could protect you from some forms of cancers.
- It protects you from heart disease. Although a keto diet means you’re taking in more fat, the diet actually increases good cholesterol and reduces bad cholesterol. This protects you from high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, heart failure, and other types of heart diseases.
- It may help in diabetes. Because it is a low-carb diet, it actually reduces your blood sugar and makes it more predictable. This means that diabetics who go on a keto diet may have better outcomes and reduced long-term complications. However, when your body breaks down fat, it produces some compounds called ketone bodies. These ketone bodies can cause complications in some diabetic patients. So, it is better to discuss with your doctor before going ahead to start a keto diet.
- It may help reduce acne breakouts. Research has shown that a high carbohydrate diet has been associated with acne. This means that cutting down on carbohydrates may protect you from this skin condition.
- It may help treat PCOS. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition caused by abnormal functioning of the ovary in some women, leading to swelling of the ovaries, hormonal imbalance, and obesity. Because one of the mediators of PCOS is high insulin, ketogenic diets could treat it by reducing the production of insulin by the body.
- It may help with some brain disorders. The keto diet may help to reduce seizures, protect against Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other brain disorders. The ketones produced by your body from the breakdown of fat for energy may help reduce damage to your brain cells.
- It could help you exercise better. A ketogenic diet may help athletes exercise better by reducing body fat and helping the body manage oxygen consumption.
- It has some side effects. Many of the side effects of keto diets are not very bad. They may make you have low blood sugar, constipation, headache, weakness, fatigue, or bad breath. Sometimes, however, they can lead to kidney stones or increase the amount of body acid in your body.