Welcome to Easy Keto with Tasha, the Ketogasm podcast!
Today’s episode focuses on the benefits of keto. While keto is most famous for helping people lose weight, we’re exploring the keto benefits beyond weight loss.
Keto For Weight Loss
It’s not hard to see why keto has wooed people as a weight-loss wonder.
Nutritional ketosis is a natural appetite suppressant. Once your body has entered ketosis, you may find that you are eating less without any additional work. This keto benefit is especially useful for people who struggle with overeating or bingeing.
Beyond the appetite-suppressing qualities of ketosis, the foods you consume during keto tend to be more satiating. If your body feels full, you are less likely to keep eating. You are also more likely to avoid snacking between meals.
Finally, weight loss from keto occurs because people are enjoying the food they eat! By shifting the focus from the “best” keto foods to the food you enjoy eating, it prevents keto from becoming a restrictive diet. Less restriction helps to prevent people from getting caught up in the right or wrong way to follow keto and instead allows them to enjoy fueling their bodies.
Keto Benefit #1: Keto Can Be Anti-Inflammatory
Inflammation is the root of a variety of chronic health problems, and your diet is a direct way to alleviate inflammation. Following a keto dietary pattern has been shown to significantly improve inflammation.
Reducing low-grade inflammation is great, but it doesn’t end there. This reduction can also reduce your risk for future chronic health conditions.
Weight Loss and Inflammation
While reducing inflammation does not appear to be related to weight loss, it actually can be! Excess body fat is inflammatory, which means carrying extra body fat can contribute to inflammation. This occurs because the stored fat secretes cytokines. Cytokines promote inflammation, which in turn promotes insulin resistance. Eventually, this leads to various health issues.
Keto Benefit #2: Management of Blood Sugar and Insulin Resistance
The low carb nature of keto helps to regulate the body’s faulty response to insulin. This is especially important given the rise in insulin resistance. Restricting carbohydrate intake helps to prevent blood glucose from skyrocketing. In turn, excess insulin is not able to continually flood your system with no response.
Decreasing carb intake results in lower blood sugar and insulin levels and improves insulin sensitivity.
Insulin and Fat Loss
Insulin is not bad. It is an important hormone in our bodies! However, chronically high insulin levels can cause weight gain. This occurs when elevated insulin prevents the body from breaking down stored body fat. If insulin levels are continually raised, fat continues to be stored.
Keto Benefit #3: Improved Moods and Mental Health!
Another keto benefit is the ability to positively affect mood and mental health. This is due to the antidepressant and mood-stabilizing effects of following a keto dietary pattern.
The development of mood disorders has been linked to inflammation, oxidative stress, and insulin dysfunction. On the other hand, keto can be anti-inflammatory, offers neuroprotection, and improves insulin function.
Following a keto dietary pattern can not only improve these disorders, but it can also help prevent them from ever developing. Changing the way you fuel your body can improve your quality of life.
Keto Benefit #4: Migraine Relief
A personal keto benefit that I’ve experienced is the elimination of migraines and headaches that were otherwise constant while I was eating a high-carb diet.
In one study, ketogenesis was found to be a beneficial strategy in reducing migraines. The response rate, which was greater than 50%, was credited to carbohydrate restriction. The authors of the study suggest that decreased insulin and glucose levels or the therapeutic action of ketones may be responsible for counteracting migraines.
While this mainly reflects my own experience following keto, it is important to remember that we all have our unique reasons for gravitating towards this dietary pattern.
Other Non-Weight Loss Benefits of Keto
- Alzheimer’s Management
- Epilepsy Management
- Reduced Triglycerides
- Lower Blood Pressure
- Improved Fertility
1:21 - Keto For Weight Loss
5:18 - Keto Can Be Anti-Inflammatory
6:49 - Weight Loss and Inflammation
8:10 - Blood Sugar Management and Insulin Resistance
9:05 - Insulin and Fat Loss
10:55 - Mood and Mental Health
12:53 - Migraine Relief
16:49 - Other Benefits of Keto
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Di Lorenzo C, Pinto A, Ienca R, et al. A Randomized Double-Blind, Cross-Over Trial of very Low-Calorie Diet in Overweight Migraine Patients: A Possible Role for Ketones? Nutrients. 2019;11(8):1742.
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Smitka, K., & Marešová, D. (2015). Adipose Tissue as an Endocrine Organ: An Update on Pro-inflammatory and Anti-inflammatory Microenvironment. Prague Medical Report, 116(2), 87–111.
Yancy Jr, W. S., Foy, M., Chalecki, A. M., Vernon, M. C., & Westman, E. C. (2005). A low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet to treat type 2 diabetes. Nutrition & Metabolism, 2, 34–7.
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Hi, I'm Tasha–nutritionist, recipe developer, and multi-published cookbook author.