Many people are going on a low carb diet due to many experts’ findings that it is healthy and beneficial. In particular, a low carb, high-fat diet known as the ketogenic diet can lead to significant improvements in most risk factors for heart disease. We discuss this further as well as many other benefits in the Body Reboot book. Specifically, a few other benefits include an improvement in cholesterol, a reduction in appetite, boosting weight loss, and many more. See why dieters are considering the keto diet not just as a “diet,” but as a new way of life.
Prevents metabolic syndrome
Healthline reveals that a low carb diet can reverse symptoms of metabolic syndrome. If you’re not familiar with metabolic syndrome, it is a condition that can lead to type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Go on a low carb diet, however, and you’ll not only prevent metabolic syndrome but eliminate the five symptoms listed below:
Metabolic syndrome is a condition highly associated with your risk of diabetes and heart disease.
In fact, metabolic syndrome is a collection of symptoms, which include:
Elevated blood pressure
Elevated fasting blood sugar levels
Low “good” HDL cholesterol levels
However, a low-carb diet is incredibly effective in treating all five of these symptoms.
Under such a diet, these conditions are nearly eliminated.
Reduction of appetite
Wouldn’t it be nice not to crave sugar and food all of the time (especially if you are trying to lose weight)?! Go on the keto diet and you’ll be amazed by your reduction of appetite. The reason for fewer cravings is due to eating more fat and protein — which are both more filling than carbohydrates. Healthline further explains why a low carb diet reduces an appetite below:
Hunger tends to be the worst side effect of dieting.
It is one of the main reasons why many people feel miserable and eventually give up.
However, low-carb eating leads to an automatic reduction in appetite.
Studies consistently show that when people cut carbs and eat more protein and fat, they end up eating far fewer calories.
The Obesity (Silver Spring). study from 2007 reveals that going on a keto diet decreased hunger in the participants, making it an excellent diet to go on for portion control and to lose weight.
To investigate the effects of weight loss diets on mood, food cravings, and other self-reported symptoms.
RESEARCH METHODS AND PROCEDURES:
Mood and other symptoms were evaluated by participant self-report using the Atkins Health Indicator Test (AHIT) in individuals undergoing weight loss following either a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet (LCKD) or a low-fat diet (LFD). Participants were 119 overweight community volunteers randomized to an LCKD or an LFD. An additional 51 participants who had completed an earlier trial contributed data for the psychometric analyses but were not included in the prospective analyses. Self-reported symptom levels on seven scales factor-analytically derived from the AHIT (negative affect, fatigue, somatic symptoms, physical effects of hunger, insomnia, hunger, and stomach problems) were acquired during 12 visits.
After adjusting for the change in BMI over the course of the trial, participants experienced significant improvements in most symptoms regardless of diet. Diet group x visit interactions were observed for negative affect [F(9,803) = 2.30, p = 0.015] and hunger [F(9,803) = 3.62, p < 0.0002]. Examination of means indicated that the LCKD group reported less negative affect and hunger, compared with the LFD group.
Regardless of diet, participants experienced significant improvement in a broad range of symptoms. Symptoms of negative affect and hunger improved to a greater degree in patients following an LCKD compared with those following an LFD. Whether these symptom changes explain the greater short-term weight loss generally experienced by LCKD followers deserves further research.
Greater weight loss
Losing more weight is the goal for many, and according to the New England Journal of Medicine, people who cut back on their carbs can typically lose 2-3 more times the weight without feeling hungry. Let’s see what else this 2003 study revealed:
The effects of a carbohydrate-restricted diet on weight loss and risk factors for atherosclerosis have been incompletely assessed.
We randomly assigned 132 severely obese subjects (including 77 blacks and 23 women) with a mean body-mass index of 43 and a high prevalence of diabetes (39 percent) or the metabolic syndrome (43 percent) to a carbohydrate-restricted (low-carbohydrate) diet or a calorie- and fat-restricted (low-fat) diet.
Severely obese subjects with a high prevalence of diabetes or the metabolic syndrome lost more weight during six months on a carbohydrate-restricted diet than on a calorie- and fat-restricted diet, with a relative improvement in insulin sensitivity and triglyceride levels, even after adjustment for the amount of weight lost. This finding should be interpreted with caution, given the small magnitude of overall and between-group differences in weight loss in these markedly obese subjects and the short duration of the study. Future studies evaluating long-term cardiovascular outcomes are needed before a carbohydrate-restricted diet can be endorsed.
Increased levels of ‘good' HDL cholesterol
The Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 study discusses how having a diet that’s high in fat can lead to good HDL cholesterol, which is good for your heart! Luckily the ketogenic diet is all about eating a lot of fat and fewer carbs.
Little information is available about HDL subpopulations during dietary changes.
The objective was to investigate the effect of reductions in total and saturated fat intakes on HDL subpopulations.
Multiracial, young and elderly men and women (n = 103) participating in the double-blind, randomized DELTA (Dietary Effects on Lipoproteins and Thrombogenic Activities) Study consumed 3 different diets, each for 8 wk: an average American diet (AAD: 34.3% total fat,15.0% saturated fat), the American Heart Association Step I diet (28.6% total fat, 9.0% saturated fat), and a diet low in saturated fat (25.3% total fat, 6.1% saturated fat).
HDL(2)-cholesterol concentrations, by differential precipitation, decreased (P < 0.001) in a stepwise fashion after the reduction of total and saturated fat: 0.58 +/- 0.21, 0.53 +/- 0.19, and 0.48 +/- 0.18 mmol/L with the AAD, Step I, and low-fat diets, respectively. HDL(3) cholesterol decreased (P < 0.01) less: 0.76 +/- 0.13, 0.73 +/- 0.12, and 0.72 +/- 0.11 mmol/L with the AAD, Step I, and low-fat diets, respectively. As measured by nondenaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, the larger-size HDL(2b) subpopulation decreased with the reduction in dietary fat, and a corresponding relative increase was seen for the smaller-sized HDL(3a, 3b), and (3c) subpopulations (P < 0.01). HDL(2)-cholesterol concentrations correlated negatively with serum triacylglycerol concentrations on all 3 diets: r = -0.46, -0.37, and -0.45 with the AAD, Step I, and low-fat diets, respectively (P < 0.0001). A similar negative correlation was seen for HDL(2b), whereas HDL(3a, 3b), and (3c) correlated positively with triacylglycerol concentrations. Diet-induced changes in serum triacylglycerol were negatively correlated with changes in HDL(2) and HDL(2b) cholesterol.
A reduction in dietary total and saturated fat decreased both large (HDL(2) and HDL(2b)) and small, dense HDL subpopulations, although decreases in HDL(2) and HDL(2b) were most pronounced.
Reduction in blood sugar and insulin levels
Nutrition & Metabolism 2005 did a study on how the ketogenic diet affects blood sugar, and they found that going on a low carb diet lowers blood sugar and insulin levels. Some people who had diabetes at the time of the study started having results almost immediately. Reducing your carb intake is an excellent way to treat and potentially get rid of type 2 diabetes entirely.
The low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet (LCKD) may be effective for improving glycemia and reducing medications in patients with type 2 diabetes.
From an outpatient clinic, we recruited 28 overweight participants with type 2 diabetes for a 16-week single-arm pilot diet intervention trial. We provided LCKD counseling, with an initial goal of <20 g carbohydrate/day, while reducing diabetes medication dosages at diet initiation. Participants returned every other week for measurements, counseling, and further medication adjustment. The primary outcome was hemoglobin A1c.
Twenty-one of the 28 participants who were enrolled completed the study. Twenty participants were men; 13 were White, 8 were African-American. The mean [± SD] age was 56.0 ± 7.9 years and BMI was 42.2 ± 5.8 kg/m2. Hemoglobin A1c decreased by 16% from 7.5 ± 1.4% to 6.3 ± 1.0% (p < 0.001) from baseline to week 16. Diabetes medications were discontinued in 7 participants, reduced in 10 participants, and unchanged in 4 participants. The mean body weight decreased by 6.6% from 131.4 ± 18.3 kg to 122.7 ± 18.9 kg (p < 0.001). In linear regression analyses, weight change at 16 weeks did not predict change in hemoglobin A1c. Fasting serum triglyceride decreased 42% from 2.69 ± 2.87 mmol/L to 1.57 ± 1.38 mmol/L (p = 0.001) while other serum lipid measurements did not change significantly.
The LCKD improved glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes such that diabetes medications were discontinued or reduced in most participants. Because the LCKD can be very effective at lowering blood glucose, patients on diabetes medication who use this diet should be under close medical supervision or capable of adjusting their medication.
There are many incredible benefits of the ketogenic diet, and the five benefits we discussed above are just a few of them! Take advantage of all of the benefits by going on a ketogenic diet and embracing the low carb diet. To learn more about the ketogenic diet, check out the Body Reboot book. Help us cover shipping and get a FREE book. Head to this page to find out whether we still have any copies remaining.
Sources: Healthline, NCBI: Obesity (Silver Spring). 2007, NCBI: Am J Clin Nutr. 1999, Nutrition & Metabolism 2005, N Engl J Med 2003
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