In this video, Dr. Axe shares what he believes are the three biggest benefits of the ketogenic diet.
On a ketogenic diet, the goal is to reduce carbohydrate intake to the point that your body goes into a state of ketosis, where the body adapts to burning fat for fuel instead of glucose (sugar/carbs).
The ketogenic diet is typically 75% fat, 10% carbohydrates, and 15% protein. Those ratios can vary from person to person, but that’s the general formula for a keto diet. The key is reducing carb intake below your body’s personal threshold of tolerance for carbohydrates – i.e. the point where it depletes glycogen and goes into ketosis, burning fat for fuel.
Dr. Axe Pinpoints These 3 Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet:
- Can reduce the risks of cancer: cancer cell growth has ben linked to sugar availability, so on a ketogenic diet, with reduced carb/sugar intake, less is available for cancer cells or pre-cancer cells
- Weight loss: your body adapts to burning fat for energy instead of glucose, so it’s constantly burning excess body fat for your energy.
- Alzheimer’s disease: one doctor claims she cured her husband’s Alzheimer’s symptoms on a high-fat coconut oil diet. A diet that is high in healthy fats is incredibly beneficial for keeping the brain healthy.
3 Kinds Of Healthy Fats Dr. Axe Says To Include In Your Diet
- Saturated Fats – coconut oil, organic grass-fed butter, ghee
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids – salmon, chia seeds, flax seeds
- Omega 9 Fats – olive oil, almonds, avocados
…But The List Goes On
While Dr. Axe used up his short amount of time on video covering those three benefits, thankfully the list doesn’t end there!
Here are some other benefits you could expect from the ketogenic diet, from the Ketogenic Diet Resource:
- Freedom from sugar & carb cravings and hypoglycemia – it’s empowering to have control over your eating habits.
- Less hungry! – ketosis reduces your appetite, and fat is very satiating, taking very little to fill you up, so you’ll eat less at each meal. Once you’re fully in ketosis, and have developed good habits, you’ll notice sometimes you forget to eat, simply because you’re not hungry.
- Lower blood pressure – a low carb, high fat diet is very effective at lowering blood pressure. So much so, in fact, that many people on blood pressure medications are able to stop taking them. (always check with your doctor before doing so, of course).
- Lower cholesterol – Cholesterol, formed from excess glucose in the diet, accumulates in the arteries as an immune response to inflammation (which leads to arteriosclerosis). With much less consumption of sugar on a keto diet, inflammation drops, and excess sugar no longer exists, thus less depositing of cholesterol in artery walls occurs.
- Increase in HDL cholesterol – remember, this is the GOOD kind of cholesterol, and the more saturated fat you eat, the higher it will go, improving the HDL/LDL ratio.
- Lower trigclyeride levels – carbohydrate consumption and triglyceride levels go hand in hand, as one increases, so does the other. The ratio of triglycerides to HDL is the best predictor of risk for a heart attack; the closer it is to 1:1, the healthier you are.
- Fasting blood sugar and insulin levels drop – simple one here, the less sugar you’re consuming, the less there will be to increase blood sugar and insulin levels
- Lower C Reactive Protein (CRP) and HbA1c protein levels – both are markers of inflammation and risk for heart disease.
- More Energy! – if you suffer from chronic fatigue, you’ll be glad to hear that in ketosis, you’ll likely have much more energy!
- Clearer Thinking! – “brain fog” that is common on a standard diet goes away.
- Better Sleep! – many people on a ketogenic diet report better, more restful, deeper sleep. Those with sleep apnea also often see that go away altogether.
- Better Digestion – a result of having less foods in the gut that cause bloating and gas, including sugars & grains.
I think you can see, from the list above, along with Dr. Axe’s video, that the amazing benefits of the ketogenic diet far outweigh any discomfort or unpleasant effects you may experience in the very beginning as you adapt from the diet you’re used to, to getting into a state of ketosis on the ketogenic diet.
If you still have questions or concerns, that’s fine, I think it’s good to be mildly skeptical and want to do your research, not just following the herd! Know that the latest scientific studies show that eating a high fat ketogenic diet is not bad for your health, IF you are also greatly reducing carbohydrate intake.
…It’s only when you have a diet high in BOTH fats AND carbs that you face adverse, negative health affects. Higher sugar levels cause an increase in insulin levels, and the higher insulin levels cause any fat you consume to be stored.
If you want to learn more nitty gritty details from scientific studies on how a ketogenic diet affects blood panel results, watch this video with Dr. Jeff Volek: