The ketogenic diet was probably one of the most popular and talked-about diets to emerge in 2018. Fans of the keto movement celebrate it for its dramatic benefits, which may include weight loss, more energy and less anxiety.
Here’s the lowdown on how it works. Our bodies don’t have to run on sugar -- they can also operate efficiently off of fat. And that’s exactly what the keto diet trains your body to do. It changes the way your body creates energy by using a new fuel source.
To transition the body into using fat as fuel, keto followers must adhere to a diet high in fats, moderate in protein, and restrict carbohydrates to less than 50 grams a day.
Aside from stimulating fat reduction, mental clarity and vitality, there are many more things to love about the keto diet. Here are five little-known benefits that make this widespread health movement a true hero, not a hoax:
Eating healthy fats combined with moderate protein means you’ll feel fuller, longer. Hunger pangs will become a thing of the past, and as a result, you’ll be less likely to snack in between meals. With dietary satisfaction, you’ll also be less likely to cheat on your diet with junk foods.
No More Sugar Crashes
If you swamp your system with an overabundance of refined carbs, your body is going to struggle with processing all of that glucose. That struggle results in crankiness, mood swings and energy crashes. The keto style of eating is centered around nutrient dense low-glycemic foods, not empty junk food, which is great for maintaining appropriate blood glucose levels and avoiding the risk of nasty crashes.
Most of us take in only about 10-15 grams of fiber a day. You need double that amount to satisfy the recommended daily intake. Fiber feeds the good bacteria in your gut, but with an insufficient amount of it, the good guys starve and may not be able to defeat the bad bacteria.
Fortunately, on the keto diet, you can easily get your fill of prebiotic fiber from non-starchy vegetables. Even with a tiny carb allowance, there are still a lot of anti-inflammatory, gut-supporting foods that you can enjoy. Prebiotic-rich foods include garlic, onions, Jerusalem artichoke, asparagus, jicama, leeks, and dandelion greens. Although you still might need to take a fiber supplement for optimal gut support, a keto plan is definitely a step in the right direction.
Less Inflammation; More Omega 3’s
While mainstream diets focus on being as low in fat as possible, keto diets actually encourage the consumption of foods higher in healthy fats. Eating this way means you’ll get far more omega-3 fatty acids, an essential nutrient that supports eye, brain and heart health.
Wild-caught fish, grass-fed beef, wild game (like buffalo and elk), free-range organic poultry, and pasture-raised eggs are your best bets for quality fats that include anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.
Since eating ketogenic means that you naturally eat more whole foods, you’ll end up avoiding processed junk food and empty carbs that cause inflammation in the body. Combine good-for-you fat with lots of high-fiber vegetables and you've got a recipe for a very healthy diet.
You may have a food allergy or dietary preference that restricts you from eating certain keto-friendly foods. For these reasons, there are a variety of ketogenic diet versions. There are plant-based, vegan, Mediterranean and so many other variants of the diet. There is no such thing as a perfect keto plan that works for everyone because every person is unique. You can adapt your meal plans according to your needs and that’s just another thing to love about the ketogenic diet.
More Than a Diet
Imagine no more “hangry” feelings. Less inflammation in the body. And freedom from the dependence on sugary processed foods. As you can clearly see, the keto diet impacts more than just the number on the scale. It allows you to experience an extraordinary range of benefits -- without having to endure mood swings, bland foods or starvation.
(Disclaimer: All content and suggestions are for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, and is not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of your physician or health care provider.)
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