Many diets have been proven to be unhealthy. What about the keto diet? Is the ketogenic diet healthy or not? We will explore these topics in today’s blog post.
The ketogenic diet was originally developed around 1920 as a therapy for epilepsy. However, it was soon noticed that the health benefits of the ketogenic diet went far beyond the treatment of epilepsy, which was not escaped even by critics of the time. And even though not everything about ketogenic nutrition has been conclusively medically investigated, there are now some high-quality studies that show that ketogenic nutrition is more beneficial than some people may think.
It is always important to be aware that every form of nutrition can be healthy or unhealthy – it is solely up to the way it is approached and implemented, as well as which food is eaten in which quality. Many things stand and fall with the quality of the food, including the ketogenic diet.
Keto Diet in Medicine: Fields of Application
Ketogenic nutrition can have positive effects on a number of diseases. In fact, it is often the case that the number of drugs needed can be reduced or even discontinued altogether. Symptoms can be alleviated, which is a great relief for the body and psyche of affected persons. Many people thus regain a piece of quality of life.
Among the diseases on which ketogenic nutrition can have positive effects and for which ketogenic nutrition is recommended are:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Type 1 and type 2 diabetes
- Hashimoto thyroiditis
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerating colitis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Oxidation disorders
- Fat metabolism disorders
Other Keto Diet Benefits
- More Energy: The reason why ketogenic nutrition is particularly interesting for athletes is that a significant increase in performance can be observed in sports. This is because fat provides more and longer energy than carbohydrates.
- Improved Concentration: The body can use ketone bodies more efficiently as an energy source than glucose, as they can overcome the blood-brain barrier.
- Improvement of the skin texture: In general, ketogenic nutrition reduces inflammation throughout the body.
- Reduction of high blood pressure: People who follow the keto diet are no longer inhibited by nitric oxide, which is needed to dilate the blood vessels. This results in the prevention of many cardiovascular diseases.
- Less craving for sweets: Carbohydrates are the reason for rapidly rising as well as rapidly falling blood sugar: the low means hunger and the high means feeling full. However, insulin regulates the high blood sugar (after a meal) to a normal (low) level within a maximum of 2 hours. This means you are hungry again…
So, Is the Keto Diet Healthy?
The keto diet is considered healthy. Many positive factors make ketogenic nutrition both directly and indirectly an advantageous form of nutrition, which can be recommended. Not only because less (in the best case, no) industrial sugar is consumed, but precisely because many diseases can be prevented, alleviated, or even cured.
However, ketogenic nutrition only works as long as the quality of the food is high and all essential nutrients are absorbed through the diet.
6 Healthy Keto Diet Tips for Best Results
Here are some helpful tips on how to get the most out of your ketogenic diet and achieve the best results – for beginners as well as for those already more experienced with the ketogenic diet.
- Switching between fat and glucose metabolism: If you do not follow the ketogenic diet due to epilepsy, it may be beneficial to occasionally switch back and forth between the ketosis state and glucose metabolism. In this way, you train your metabolism to be as flexible as possible.
- Choose the best possible quality for your food: Small changes can often boost your success and improve your well-being drastically – this also applies to the quality of your food. Wherever possible, you should use organic products, meat from grazing animals, high-quality, and expertly stored fats (many fats are extremely heat- and light-sensitive!) and fish from wildlife or at least from organic aquaculture.
- Listen to your body: If you feel bad after eating a certain food, you should listen to your body and exclude it from your diet. It is good to get tested for food intolerances and adjust your eating habits. For example, dairy products are not suitable for everyone and many people respond to them with intolerances or even allergies to them.
- Vegetables are also very important in the ketogenic diet: Even with a ketogenic diet, one should not avoid taking in vital vitamins, minerals, and trace elements via low-carbohydrate vegetables such as broccoli, green leafy vegetables, such as herbs, and cabbage. You add in fresh spices and herbs in your diet as well, because they also provide secondary plant substances – and they also make eating a really tasty experience.
- Change your lifestyle: Remember that a healthy diet alone is no guarantee of success and your health is influenced by many other factors! Your health is a complex matter, but you can influence it by making simple, small changes. For example, it is important that you eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly (ideally in fresh air). Especially for athletes, do not underestimate the effect of a simple glass of water or a healthy sleep.
- Not too much fat: A ketogenic diet does not necessarily have to consist solely of foods with concentrated and isolated fats, or so-called “fat-bombs”. It is enough if you eat your salad with good oil and eat plenty of foods such as avocado, herring, macadamia nuts, and other high-fat foods. For example, you can make a vegan “cheese” out of many seeds and grains, and thus cover your fat needs naturally, without isolated fats.
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Consult with your doctor!
Some contraindications to the ketogenic diet are severe liver, pancreas, or kidney disorders. In these cases, the keto diet may not be so healthy. Accordingly, a ketogenic diet should only be followed after consultation with a doctor, so that possible long-term damage to health is prevented and your questions about ketogenic nutrition can be clarified from the beginning.
The keto diet is usually pretty healthy if done correctly. It is used to prevent and treat so many diseases as well as provides quite a few nice health benefits. Follow the tips mentioned above and you’re sure to have success with the keto diet! Be sure to consult your doctor before starting any diets, especially if you have any previous illnesses.
Good luck with your keto journey!