What are some other health benefits of the Keto Diet besides weight loss?

As you may already know (or have experienced!), limiting your carbohydrate intake to 20–50 net grams per day has been shown to be effective in lowering blood sugar and insulin levels, aiding in weight loss, and even managing blood lipid levels (such as triglycerides). All of these health benefits can be directly attributed to the utilization of stored fatty acids that your liver converts into ketones. Data from several scientific studies, comparing the impact of a low-carbohydrate diet vs. a restricted-calorie diet on long-term weight loss and other health factors (such as blood sugar), has even demonstrated that low carbohydrate diets generally outperform the calorie-restricted diets.

Lesser-Known but Amazing Benefits of Keto

However, there are also many reasons, other than weight loss, why a ketogenic diet could make sense for you. The following lists 43 potential health benefits (in addition to weight loss) associated with the ketogenic diet and is well-worth the read.

Some highlights include:

1. Increased memory and cognitive function: Studies have shown that the ketogenic diet contributes to an improvement in dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s related symptoms. For the more broad audience looking to achieve better results at the office, positive benefits also include improved mental clarity and focus and less frequent migraines.

2. Fighting cancer cells: Since cancer cells have increased glucose metabolism relative to normal cells, it is reasonable to propose that forcing cancer cells to use mitochondrial oxidative metabolism, by going on a ketogenic diet, would selectively cause metabolic oxidative stress in cancer cells versus normal cells. Basically, since cancer cells can’t effectively use ketone bodies for energy, they will not get the energy needed to multiply and grow, and may eventually die off. 

3. Decreased inflammation: Recent research has shown that a ketogenic diet is anti-inflammatory and can help improve acne, arthritis, IBS, among other inflammation-related ailments.

4. Increased fertility and hormone stabilization for women: While studies are ongoing surrounding this matter, if they continue showing promise, this could be an amazing new finding for those women struggling to have children. Additionally, by keeping blood sugar levels low, overall insulin levels in the blood are lowered, which studies have shown to help stabilize hormone levels, especially in women.

Mary Paley

Fearless Dietitian; 30+ years as a professional dietitian; Master’s Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics at the MGH Institute of Health Professions; Lead research dietitian for several major pharmaceutical companies; Currently focused on health and wellness and the benefits of ketogenic diets for both obesity and diabetes management. MS, RDN, CDE, LD/N

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