The ketogenic diet is not a new concept and has been around for decades. It’s a low-carb, high-fat, moderate-protein lifestyle that helps people lose weight and improve their health. The long list of benefits includes improved blood sugar levels, appetite suppression, better cholesterol levels, decreased inflammation in the body, and many more!
In this blog post, I’ll be sharing 12 reasons why you might want to adopt a keto lifestyle if you’re looking to make some healthy changes in your life.
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Over the years fat has gained a bad rap thanks to some fat-fearing medical doctors and the USDA food pyramid scheme. But thankfully, since 2002, multiple studies have shown that the benefits of low-carb diets outshine other types of diets in many areas including increased weight loss and reduced risk factors for major diseases.
What Is the Keto Diet?
A keto diet, or eating plan, is one where you eat a caloric ratio that is high in healthy fats, moderate in protein, and low in carbohydrates.
This causes your body to get its energy from protein and fat, not carbs. This further depletes your body’s sugar stores which triggers a process called ketosis.
Once you’re in ketosis you start to experience the incredible health benefits listed below. The benefits shown in the following infographic are scientifically proven.
Want to make keto easy? This simple keto diet plan may be just what you’re looking for.
12 Health Benefits of Low-Carb and Ketogenic Eating Plans
There are many proven benefits of low-carb diets.
- Increased HDL (good) cholesterol
- Decreased LDL (bad) cholesterol in your bloodstream
- Decreased Triglycerides which are the fat molecules in your bloodstream. Triglycerides are associated with increased heart disease risk.
- Decreased blood pressure
- Reduced blood sugar and insulin levels which make low-carb plans excellent for treating type II diabetes
- Helps you lose excess water weight
- Fights all the risk factors of metabolic syndrome
- Naturally reduces your appetite so you eat less.
- Boosts your mood
- An excellent way to lose weight fast and maintain weight loss over the long-term
- Helps you burn belly fat
- Can be used as an effective treatment for epilepsy
Now that you know some of the health benefits of eating a low-carb diet, let’s take a quick look at foods you can eat on a keto meal plan.
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Low-Carb Diet Foods to Eat
Eating a keto diet doesn’t have to be restrictive. In fact, there are so many healthful foods available to you on a low-carb eating plan.
You can enjoy a variety of meats, including beef, pork, chicken, and fish. Fill your plate with plenty of leafy green and low-carb vegetables. And don’t forget eggs, nuts and nut butter, seeds, healthy oils, and some fruits such as berries.
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Low-Carb Side Effects
You may have heard of the keto flu. This refers to something some people experience when first starting a keto diet and are eating only low-carb foods. Not everyone has it, and some feel the effects more than others. Below are some of the possible side effects:
- Mood swings
- Muscle cramps
- Achy muscles
How Do You Avoid or Minimize the Keto Flu?
Even though the keto flu can be uncomfortable it usually only lasts a few days to a week. And, luckily, there are some things you can do to help minimize the severity of symptoms if you find yourself dealing with this.
Make sure to drink plenty of water because staying hydrated helps a lot. When you first start a keto diet you may have rapid weight loss. In the beginning, this is mostly water weight. Losing all this water upfront makes it crucial to replenish your body so you don’t become dehydrated.
Put your intense workouts on hold until the keto flu dissipates. Gentle walking, yoga, and stretching are healthy alternatives for now.
Eat plenty of healthy fats, such as avocados, coconut oil, eggs, fatty fish, full-fat dairy, nuts, and seeds. And make sure to replenish your electrolytes. You can do this by adding a pinch of Himalayan pink salt to your water or food.
Summary – Benefits of a Low-Carb Diet
I hope you enjoyed learning about the benefits of low-carb and ketogenic eating plans. As you can see, adopting a low-carb keto lifestyle can greatly enhance your health. And, although I sometimes use the word diet, lifestyle is really what it’s all about – it’s a lifestyle choice.
Understanding the potential side effects of starting up a low-carb diet is important. But, even if you get the keto flu there are things you can do to reduce the side effects and get you through the first couple of days.
You’ll be glad you persevered because after it passes you’ll likely feel more clear-headed and energized than you have in a long time! Plus, your cravings will soon fade as you enjoy the pounds melting away.
So whether you’re already healthy or you are battling a chronic disease, if you’re not eating low-carb you may want to try it and see if you notice some of these positive health benefits.
What benefits have you noticed from a low-carb diet or keto eating plan? Share below!
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