Now that the low carb/keto lifestyle has become rather mainstream, most people think of it as a way to solely lose weight. But many other health benefits come from cutting carbs that you may be surprised to learn about.
Five health benefits of a low carb/keto diet (other than weight loss)
Have you been on the fence about starting a low carb or keto way of life? If so, I understand. After all, it is a big step. First off, you have to give up bread. And that fact alone is enough to make some people turn away (even though I have a fantastic keto bread recipe that is a great replacement). Dieting is NOT easy, and it can take time to adapt to new eating habits, not just mentally but physiologically. But the great thing is, your body does eventually adapt, and the changes you will not only see but feel are amazing.
So besides weight loss, which is usually a wonderful thing to see, you will also benefit from other advantages that will make your journey so gratifying in the long run.
Check out these five possible health benefits of keto/low carb dieting below!
1. You’ll have more energy
When you eat a diet rich in carbohydrates, your energy often feels rather chaotic. Carbs are converted into sugar, which the body just loves to use as an energy source because it is really easy to burn. But when your blood sugar is too high, your body responds by storing the excess away. So, while you might get a short-term energy spike from carbs, it is all too often followed by a crash when your blood sugar drops back to normal (or, more likely, lower than normal).
A low carb or keto diet causes your body to shift over to burning fat for energy. Fat burns more slowly without creating the energy spikes and crashes associated with a carbohydrate-based diet. And the longer you stay on a low carb or keto way of eating, the more balanced and dependable your energy levels become.
2. Your numbers improve
When beginning a low carb or keto lifestyle, many people start with a check-up with their family doctor, as you should. It provides a baseline so you can see what areas need improvement and, more importantly, allows you the opportunity to discuss your new diet goals with your doctor. After a month or two on a low carb/keto diet, many people will return to the doctor to see how this way of eating is affecting their body purely by looking at the numbers.
In many cases, one of the health benefits of low carb or keto is that your “numbers” improve – sometimes drastically. Blood sugar levels often balance out. Good cholesterol (HDL), increases while bad cholesterol (LDL), triglyceride levels, insulin, and blood sugar may decrease. And if you have problems with high blood pressure, you may find your blood pressure improving, too!
Of course, these are not hard and fast rules, and each person’s experience varies.
3. You may reverse the onset of type 2 diabetes
Because of the way low carb or keto stabilizes blood sugar levels and brings an end to the “spike and crash” cycle, it can have a significant impact on reversing the onset of Type 2 Diabetes. The longer you follow a low carb eating plan, the greater the impact you may have, especially as you remove excess weight. There are support groups online specifically for people who wish to reverse the onset of Type 2 Diabetes through low carb, such as the Reversing Diabetes Group on Facebook.
4. Shed your fat – keep your muscle
People often rely on calorie restriction to shed weight. Unfortunately, this can cause more harm than good. If your body doesn’t get the fat and protein it needs from the food you are eating, it can cause you to lose muscle – something you do not want to do. You can read more about it in 5 ways restricting calories can be harmful.
Good low carb or keto eating plan ensures that your body gets all the fat and protein it needs in the food you are eating. Even better – it burns the fat on your body (and in your food) for fuel, leaving your precious muscles alone.
5. Your overall health may improve in countless (and often surprising) ways
When you follow a low carb or keto lifestyle, you may find that over time, you experience many unexpected, but positive health benefits. Low carb aficionados often find that their skin becomes clearer, their hair grows stronger and healthier, and even their fingernails grow faster and break less often. Some even find that they have fewer problems with allergies (even non-food-related) and feel that they get sick less often, too!
Many people are skeptical of trying a keto or even low carb because you need to eat food that’s mainly high in fat and often consume more meat than normal (although this isn’t mandatory). This often leads to questions like, “Will my cholesterol levels increase”? or “Can this type of diet increase my risks of heart disease?”. I encourage you all to spend the time educating yourself about all of the benefits, and of course, possible risks that can result from following this type of lifestyle. Feel free to check out these articles to help you decide what is best for you. And of course, always consult your physician prior to making any drastic dieting changes!
As you can see, there are so many other possible benefits many people experience from eating fewer carbs. Although a low carb or keto lifestyle isn’t the easiest adjustment to make and may have its risks, the rewards may far outweigh the risks. So if you are looking to improve your health while shedding excess weight, you might want to give keto a try. With so many health benefits of low carb eating, what have you got to lose?
Don’t miss out!
If you are just getting started following a keto diet and would like more information, there are tons of fantastic resources. Amazon has several great books you may want to check out here.