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Keto has exploded in popularity in recent years, and is primarily seen as a way to lose weight. While incredibly effective for weight loss, it was originally developed as a medical diet and can help more than just your waistline. You may be looking into Keto to lose a few pounds, but there are Keto benefits besides weight loss that can dramatically improve your quality of life.
Keto Health Benefits
1. Good Cholesterol
When it comes to heart health, and heart disease, there is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol.
LDL Cholesterol = Bad
HDL Cholesterol = Good
LDL cholesterol builds up on the walls of arteries and increases the chances of heart disease, which is why it’s considered bad. HDL cholesterol helps prevent heart disease by taking LDL cholesterol from your blood, and removing plaque buildup on your arteries.
You can increase your HDL levels by consuming heart healthy fats found in olive oil, avocados, and fatty fish. Since these foods are eaten in abundance on Keto, it can help improve your good cholesterol levels.
2. Reduced Blood Triglycerides
Triglycerides are a type of fat molecule found in your blood. Your body will turn excess calories you eat into triglycerides to be stored in fat cells for later use. Having high triglyceride levels can contribute to hardening of arteries and increase the chance of stroke and heart disease.
Diets high in sugar, starchy vegetables, and excessive carbohydrates can elevate your triglyceride levels. Since Keto is an extremely low carb diet, and doesn’t allow these foods, it results in improved blood triglyceride levels.
3. Improved Insulin Sensitivity
Insulin resistance is when your body doesn’t respond normally to the insulin hormone. Insulin plays a large role in how your body uses and stores energy. When you’re resistant to insulin, your body produces more and more of the hormone to compensate for inefficient use.
Low carb, and Ketogenic diets have shown to improve your sensitivity to insulin due to reduced carbohydrate consumption.
4. Lower Blood Pressure
While it’s become common practice to reduce carbs while trying to lose a few pounds, a recent year long study also indicates Ketogenic diets can be beneficial to blood pressure.
The study was intended to compare one group following a low carb diet with a second group following a low fat diet plus weight loss pills (Orlistat).
While both groups lost considerable weight, the low carb group had surprisingly improved their blood pressure levels. Read more about the results of the study here.
5. Brain Health
The ketogenic diet was first developed in the 1920s for the treatment of pediatric epilepsy for those who were resistant to anti seizure medication. The diet produces an elevated level of ketones in the blood which reduces the frequency of seizures.
The Keto diet, while incredibly popular for weight loss, continues to be used and studied as a medical diet and has shown promising results for brain health.
Here’s a few ways the diet helps your brain:
Improved memory for older adults
Improved brain function
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