The benefits people report anecdotally from eating a ketogenic diet are even more wide ranging and astonishing than those discussed here. However, we've narrowed our list to that have been properly studied and researched.
As always, just a note to say that no one at Keto Hana is a doctor. We've compiled the below information from various sources who know a lot more about this than we do (Dr Dominic D'Agostino, Dr Peter Attia, Professor Tim Noakes and Miriam Kalamian all publish on and discuss the ketogenic diet in immense detail). You should always consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet and as always, dietary changes can have different effects on different people and everyone should get regular blood lipid tests (available from your GP) to understand how different lifestyle choices influence health.
Liberation from Hunger and Sugar
Sugar is highly addictive. People who consume a lot of sugar report sugar cravings in the first few weeks of embarking on a ketogenic diet. However, after you're over that hurdle the insatiable desire to eat cake subsides and having control over your sugar intake is easy. Ketone bodies are a strong appetite suppressant and choosing when to eat based on convenience rather than when your body demands can be very liberating. Healthy fats are very satisfying so you might find our low carb granola keeps you going well into the afternoon.
It is no surprise that eating less carbohydrates and sugar is an effective means of lowering blood pressure and blood sugar / insulin levels. If you have high blood insulin levels, your doctor will tell you to stop eating cake and chocolate.
Another important bio marker is cholesterol, which is made from excess glucose. Less sugar in the diet means a drop in overall cholesterol as there is less glucose from which to make it. High levels of HDL cholesterol in comparison to LDL cholesterol indicate a healthy heart. The more good fats a person eats, the higher their HDL levels will rise. Less sugar generally means less damage to your arterial system and a drop in inflammation.
Carbohydrates are linked closely with triglyceride levels. In short, the fewer carbohydrates consumed, the lower the triglyceride levels. One of the best predictors of heart attack risk is the ratio of triglyceride levels to HDL cholesterol levels. We should be aiming for 1:1.
One of the best and most widely reported benefits of the ketogenic diet is the increase and regularisation of energy levels. The energy crash associated with eating carbohydrates can be completely eliminated. Most people will have experienced the struggle of a staring aimlessly into a computer screen and the seductive lure of a nap after a massive bowl of pasta at lunch.
Whether brain fog is experienced after a big meal in the afternoon or just manifests as the general sluggishness that the majority of office workers combat with excessive volumes of caffeine, an ability maintain an intense focus over long periods with a clear, sharp mind can be incredibly useful. This, of course, is not limited to "brain" tasks, a clear focus and increased energy levels is unsurprisingly useful in sports, whether in competition or just getting the most out of a workout. The regularisation of these energy levels means you can say goodbye to the desperate need to refuel immediately after a workout and just enjoy those endorphins.
Why does this happen? There are various theories but it seems that at the core is the fact that Ketone bodies are able to cross the blood brain barrier much more easily than glucose. This means that the brain is flooded with energy when it needs it, as opposed to having to wait for glucose to cross the barrier. In this sense, ketones can be considered a better source of fuel for the brain, naturally derived from healthy fats. As a side note, the bodies preferred fat source for conversion into ketone bodies is medium chain triglycerides, the fats found right at the centre of coconuts.
We firmly believe that the ketogenic diet and eating naturally and healthily is about feeling good and improving health. Clearly being a healthy weight has many health benefits, but there is so much more to the ketogenic diet than rapid weight loss. Although we use the term diet to describe our eating habits, to us, it really is a lifestyle, not a diet. That being said, many people use the diet to lose weight and it is extremely effective for that purpose. As your body adapts to using fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates, unsurprisingly, the body burns away fat. The first few months in particular are usually associated with massive fat losses so don't be surprised if you start to reveal those abs. In case you were thinking that Dr Dominic D'Agostino is your stereotypical scientist locked in the lab far away from the gym, look him up on google images.
There are numerous other benefits, we've listed our favourites and those most relevant to most people everyday, but there is a volume of scientific data on the ketogenic diets and cancer, parkinson's, alzheimer's, anxiety and depression, GERD, heartburn and digestion and loads of other stuff.