Keto Benefits


In this section, we will take a look at some of the benefits of going keto.

The ketogenic diet is extremely effective for losing fat and keeping it off. For instance, a meta-analysis of 13 randomised controlled trials concluded that “Individuals assigned to a VLCKD [very low carbohydrate ketogenic diet] achieve a greater weight loss than those assigned to an LFD [low-fat diet] in the long term; hence, a VLCKD may be an alternative tool against obesity.”[4] Besides, some randomised controlled trials show that the keto diet produces up to three times as much weight loss as a high carb, low-fat diet.[5-6] And research has also established that a keto diet causes more fat loss from your core.[5]

The keto diet produces these fat loss results without you having to count calories. One study found that even when participants could eat as much as they wanted on a keto diet, they still lost far more weight and fat after three and six months compared to those who maintained a ‘balanced,’ calorie-restrictive diet.[5] 

That is right! Although the keto dieters ate an unlimited amount of tasty, high-fat foods such as bacon, cheese, and eggs, they still lost significantly more weight and fat than the calorie counters. In other words, no more calorie counting, or tracking your food portions with surgical-level precision. Instead, go keto, and you will lose weight and fat as a “side effect” of doing so.

Lots of research shows that low carb dieting aids people with diabetes. In fact, such an eating style was the standard treatment before the discovery of injectable insulin.[7-12]

One study determined that when type 2 diabetics followed a low carb diet for two weeks, they not only lost weight but also improved insulin sensitivity by up to 75%.[13] Another study on 21 individuals with type 2 diabetes found seven of them could stop their diabetes medication within 16 weeks of starting a keto diet.[14]

Contrary to popular belief, glucose is not the best energy source for your brain. In fact, ketones are, which is why the keto diet often improves brain function and mental clarity.[15-16]

One reason for this improvement is that ketosis enhances mitochondrial functioning.[17]  Scientists believe ketosis stimulates the creation of new mitochondria in your brain, particularly in the hippocampus.[18] This may enhance energy levels, mental clarity, and memory.

Besides, there are three other key reasons the keto diet enhances brain function. First, ketones protect your brain cells by reducing reactive oxygen species. Second, the keto diet optimises and stabilises insulin levels, which supports brain function. Third, ketones aid the treatment of various brain conditions such as memory loss and concussion.[19-20]

The mainstream media often demonises saturated fat and cholesterol. They claim these compounds clog arteries and cause heart disease. If that were true, the keto diet would be terrible for your heart as it has you loading up on high-fat foods such as bacon, eggs, and nuts. The truth? Consuming cholesterol and saturated fat does not cause cardiovascular disease.[21-24]

In fact, the keto diet benefits heart health because it stimulates weight loss, decreases blood triglycerides levels, elevates the levels of the “good” HDL cholesterol, and reduces blood pressure.[25-29] These four improvements reduce your risk of heart disease.

Also, recent 2018 study published in Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology reviewed data from over 1 million individuals and concluded that LDL  (LDL is termed as the bad cholesterol) does not cause heart disease. [30]

Fight some types of cancer:  

Cancer cells are highly dependent on glucose as fuel, so keto diets may help against cancer. For example, cancer cells often die in test tube studies if they only receive ketones and fats for energy.[30] The keto diet helps against brain cancer.[31-33]

Work therapeutic for neurological disease: 

These include epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, and infantile spasms (West syndrome).[34-37]

Boost mental well-being: 

The keto diet improves the behaviour of children with autism, has an antidepressant effect, and may stabilise mood in bipolar disorder patients.[38-41] It has also cured one case of schizophrenia.[42]

Improve bowel disorders: 

Bowel diseases are often the result of infections and gut pathogens, both of which depend on glucose for energy. That is why the keto diet may help in cases of bowel disease by staving off infections and pathogens.

Reduce inflammation: 

The low carb and keto diet can reduce inflammation, the likely reason being that the ketone body BHB inhibits NLRP3 inflammasome.[43-44] Reduced inflammation levels benefit acne, joint pain, arthritis, eczema, pain, and psoriasis, among others.

[4] Bueno, N. B., De Melo, I. S., De Oliveira, S. L., & Da Rocha Ataide, T. (2013). Very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet v. low-fat diet for long-term weight loss: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. British Journal of Nutrition, 110(7), 1178-87. 

[5] Sondike, S. B., Copperman, N., & Jacobson, M. S. (2003). Effects of a low-carbohydrate diet on weight loss and cardiovascular risk factor in overweight adolescents. Journal Pediatrics, 142(3), 253-8.

[6] Samaha, F. F., Igbal, N., Seshadri, P., Chicano, K. L., Daily, D. A., McGrory, J., . . . Stern, L. (2003). A low-carbohydrate as compared with a low-fat diet in severe obesity. New England Journal of Medicine, 22;348(21), 2074-81.

[7] Gannon, M. C., & Nuttall, F. Q. (2004). Effect of a High-Protein, Low-Carbohydrate Diet on Blood Glucose Control in People With Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes, 53(9), 2375-2382.

[8] Westman, E. C., Yancy, W. S., Jr., Mavropoulos, J. C., Marquart, M., & McDuffie, JR. (2008). The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Nutrition and Metabolism, 5, 36.

[9] Mayer, S. B., Jeffreys, A. S., Olsen, M. K., McDuffie, JR., Feinglos, M. N., & Yancy, W. S., Jr. (2014). Two diets with different haemoglobin A1c and antiglycaemic medication effects despite similar weight loss in type 2 diabetes. Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, 16(1), 90-3.

[10] Feinman, R. D., Pogozelski, W. K., Astrup, A., Bernstein, R. K., Fine, E. J., Westman, E. C., . . . Worm, N. (2015). Dietary carbohydrate restriction as the first approach in diabetes management: Critical review and evidence base. Nutrition, 31(1), 1-13.

[11] Yancy, W. S., Foy, M., Chalecki, A. M., Vernon, M. C., & Westman, E. C. (2005). A low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet to treat type 2 diabetes. Nutrition and Metabolism, 2, 34.

[12] Elhayany, A., Lustman, A., Abel, R., Attal-Singer, J., & Vinker, S. (2010). A low carbohydrate Mediterranean diet improves cardiovascular risk factors and diabetes control among overweight patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: A 1-year prospective randomised intervention study. Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism, 12(3), 204-9.

[13] Boden, G., Sargrad, K., Homko, C., Mozzoli, M., & Stein, T. P. (2005). Effect of a low-carbohydrate diet on appetite, blood glucose levels, and insulin resistance in obese patients with type 2 diabetes. Annals of Internal Medicine, 142(6), 403-11.

[14] Yancy, W. S., Foy, M., Chalecki, A. M., Vernon, M. C., & Westman, E. C. (2005). A low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet to treat type 2 diabetes. Nutrition and Metabolism, 2, 34.

[15] D’Anci, K. E., Watts, K. L., Kanarek, R. B., & Taylor, H. A. (2009). Low-carbohydrate weight-loss diets. Effects on cognition and mood. Appetite, 52(1), 96-103.

[16] Krikorian, R., Shidler, M. D., Dangelo, K., Couch, S. C., & Clegg, D. J. (2012). Dietary ketosis enhances memory in mild cognitive impairment. Neurobiology of Aging, 33(2), 19-27.

[17] Danial, N. N., Hartman, A. L., Stafstrom, C. E., & Thio, L. L. (2013). How Does the Ketogenic Diet Work? Four Potential Mechanisms. Journal of Child Neurology, 28(8), 1027-1033.

[18] Nylen, K., Velazquez, J. L., Sayed, V., Gibson, K. M., Burnham, W. M., & Snead, O. C., 3rd. (2009). The effects of a ketogenic diet on ATP concentrations and the number of hippocampal mitochondria in Aldh5a1(-/-) mice. Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta, 1790(3), 208-12.

[19] Prins, M. L., & Matsumoto, J. H. (2014). The collective therapeutic potential of cerebral ketone metabolism in traumatic brain injury. Journal of Lipid Research, 55(12), 2450-7.

[20] Reger, M. A., Henderson, S. T., Hale, C., Cholerton, B., Baker, L. D., Watson, G. S., . . . Craft, S. (2004). Effects of beta-hydroxybutyrate on cognition in memory-impaired adults. Neurobiology of Aging, 25(3), 311-4.

[21] Berger, S., Raman, G., Vishwanathan, R., Jacques, P. F., & Johnson, E. J. (2015). Dietary cholesterol and cardiovascular disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 102(2), 276-94.

[22] McNamara, D. J. (1995). Dietary cholesterol and the optimal diet for reducing the risk of atherosclerosis. Canadian Journal of Cardiology, 11, 123-126.

[23] Siri-Tarino, P. W., Sun, Q., Hu, F. B., & Krauss, R. M. (2010). Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 91(3), 535-46.

[24] Chowdhury, R., Warnakula, S., Kunutsor, S., Crowe, F., Ward, H. A., Johnson, L., . . . Di Angelantonio, E. (2014). Association of Dietary, Circulating, and Supplement Fatty Acids With Coronary Risk: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Annals of Internal Medicine, 160(6), 398-406.

[25] Aude, Y. W., Agatston, A. S., Lopez-Jimenez, F., & Et al. (2004). The National Cholesterol Education Program Diet vs a Diet Lower in Carbohydrates and Higher in Protein and Monounsaturated Fat. Jama Internal Medicine, 164(19), 2141-2146.

[26] Wood, R. J., Volek, J. S., Liu, Y., Shachter, N. S., Contois, J. H., & Fernandez, M. L. (2006). Carbohydrate restriction alters lipoprotein metabolism by modifying VLDL, LDL, and HDL subfraction distribution and size in overweight men. Journal of Nutrition, 136(2), 384-9.

[27] Foster, G. D., Wyatt, H. R., Hill, J. O., McGuckin, B. G., Brill, C., Mohammed, B. S., . . . Klein, S. (2003). A randomised trial of a low-carbohydrate diet for obesity. The New England Journal of Medicine, 348(21), 2082-90.

[28] Foster, G. D., Wyatt, H. R., Hill, J. O., McGuckin, B. G., Brill, C., Mohammed, B. S., . . . Klein, S. (2003). A randomised trial of a low-carbohydrate diet for obesity. The New England Journal of Medicine, 348(21), 2082-90.

[29] Brinkworth, G. D., Noakes, M., Buckley, J. D., Keogh, J. B., & Clifton, P. M. (2009). Long-term effects of a very-low-carbohydrate weight loss diet compared with an isocaloric low-fat diet after 12 mo. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 90(1), 23-32.

[30] Ravnskov, U., de Lorgeril, M., Diamond, D.M., Hama, R., Hamazaki, T., Hammarskjöld, B.,Hynes, N., Kendrick, M., Langsjoen, P.H., Mascitelli, L. and McCully, K.S. (2018). LDL-C does not cause cardiovascular disease: a comprehensive review of the currentliterature. Expert review of clinical pharmacology, 11(10), 959-970.

[31] Seyfried, T. N., & Shelton, L. M. (2010). Cancer as a metabolic diease. Nutrition and Metabolism, 7, 7.

[32] Seyfried, B. T., Kiebish, M., Marsh, J., & Mukherjee, P. (2009). Targeting energy metabolism in brain cancer through calorie restriction and the ketogenic diet. Journal of Cancer Research and Therapeutics, 1, 7-15.

[33] Nebeling, L. C., Miraldi, F., Shurin, S. B., & Lerner, E. (1995). Effects of a ketogenic diet on tumour metabolism and nutritional status in pediatric oncology patients: Two case reports. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 14(2), 202-8.

[34] Kossoff, E. H. (2004). More fat and fewer seizures: Dietary therapies for epilepsy. The Lancet Neurology, 3(7), 415-20.

[35] Henderson, S. T., Vogel, J. L., Barr, L. J., Garvin, F., Jones, J. J., & Costantini, L. C. (2009). Study of the ketogenic agent AC-1202 in mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease: A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial. Nutrition and Metabolism, 6, 31.

[36] Cheng, B., Yang, X., L, A., Gao, B., Liu, X., & Liu, S. (2009). Ketogenic diet protects dopaminergic neurons against 6-OHDA neurotoxicity via up-regulating glutathione in a rat model of Parkinson’s disease. Brain Research, 1286, 25-31.

[37] Zhao, Z., Lange, D. J., Voustianiouk, A., MacGrogan, D., Ho, L., Suh, J., . . . Pasinetti, G. M. (2006). A ketogenic diet as a potential novel therapeutic intervention in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. BMC Neuroscience, 7, 29.

[38] You, S. J., Kim, H. D., & Kang, H. C. (2009). Factors influencing the evolution of West syndrome to Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Pediatric Neurology, 41(2), 111-3.

[39] Evangeliou, A., Vlachonikolis, I., Mihailidou, H., Spilioti, M., Skarpalezou, A., Makaronas, N., . . . Smeitink, J. (2003). Application of a ketogenic diet in children with autistic behaviour: Pilot study. Journal of Child Neurology, 18(2), 113-8.

[40] Murphy, P., Likhodii, S., Nylen, K., & Burnham, W. M. (2004). The antidepressant properties of the ketogenic diet. Biological Psychiatry, 56(12), 981-3.

[41] El-Mallakh, R. S., & Paskitti, M. E. (2001). The ketogenic diet may have mood-stabilising properties. Medical Hypotheses, 57(6), 724-6.

[42] Kraft, B. D., & Westman, E. C. (2009). Schizophrenia, gluten, and low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diets: A case report and review of the literature. Nutrition and Metabolism, 6, 10.

[43] Thaler, C. (2015, February 23). ANTI-INFLAMMATORY EFFECTS OF A KETOGENIC DIET. Retrieved January 4, 2019, from

[44] Youm, Y. H., Nguyen, K. Y., Grant, R. W., Goldberg, E. L., Bodogai, M., Kim, D., . . . Dixit, V. D. (2015). The ketone metabolite β-hydroxybutyrate blocks NLRP3 inflammasome-mediated inflammatory disease. Nature Medicine, 21(3), 263-9.

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