Have you been greatly interested in starting the keto diet for weight loss purposes? If so, that’s quite a smart move, as a low-carb, high-fat diet has been shown in various studies to result in significant weight loss (especially in the early stages of ketosis). In addition, you can absolutely maintain that weight loss, (according to testimonials of those following the diet), if you stay true to your personal keto dietary regimen necessary to enter ketosis.
With weight loss front and center in your mind, however, you may have looked past the fact that there are also many other benefits to the keto diet for your overall health. In fact, you may even have the concern that a high-fat diet for weight loss could end up harming your total wellness in the long-run. That being said, although studies showing the effect of following the keto diet for longer time periods are lacking, the research when it comes to fitting lots of good, healthy fats into your diet is clear: they’re absolutely good for your health.
And when it comes to low-carb, high-fat diets like keto, there are a number of ways that simply eating this way may do more than reduce the number on the scale. Read on for some surprising ways that eating more fat may actually help you reduce fat, benefit heart health and more…
4 Major Health Benefits of a Low-Carb/High-Fat Diet
If you’re very new to keto or still exploring this high-fat diet for weight loss, check out this keto beginner’s guide to learn all about ketosis benefits and why you should care. Once you understand the basics, you’ll find the following info very interesting in regards to the stand-out potential benefits this way of eating can offer.
1) Drop in triglycerides
If you’re unfamiliar with triglycerides, they’re basically bad fats you want to stay away from – as they detract from your health. In particular, they’re fat molecules that move around in your bloodstream, and at high levels are detrimental to your heart health.
For years and years, health organizations warned that you had to watch your intake of fats, in particular saturated fats, in order to keep levels of triglycerides in the blood down. But newer research shows that when it comes to the real bad guys raising your triglycerides, it’s actually not fat, it’s carbs – with the simple sugar, fructose, being the worst culprit.
Since keto is a low-carb, high-fat diet plan, it’s therefore very helpful in reducing blood triglycerides and in turn, supporting heart health. Studies show that when people seriously cut carbs, they typically experience a large drop in blood triglycerides – in contrast to low-fat diets which research shows can cause triglycerides to increase!
2) Increased “Good” Cholesterol Levels
Next, you probably already know that optimal total cholesterol levels stem from a higher amount of “good” or HDL cholesterol levels, and a lower amount of “bad”, or LDL cholesterol levels. But you probably don’t know that one of the best ways to increase the good cholesterol in your body is eating healthy sources of fat!
When it comes to low-carb, high-fat diets then, they promote better overall cholesterol by increasing HDL levels. And this is in contrast to low-fat diets, where research shows that HDL levels typically only increase a small amount or even decline.
3) Improved “Bad” Cholesterol Levels
On the flip side of this equation, being in ketosis and eating a high-fat diet can also help negate the harmful effects of bad, LDL cholesterol – and in return potentially reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke. How does it do this?
There are different sizes of bad, LDL cholesterol… namely, smaller particles and larger particles, with smaller particles being the really bad ones linked to potential heart disease. In contrast, the larger particles present a lower risk.
Research shows that low-carb diets help increase the size of the LDL particles in your body while also helping to reduce the total amount of LDL particles in your blood – in both ways helping to protect heart health.
4) Reduced Belly Fat
Next, even if you know that a high-fat diet can assist with weight loss, you may not realize that it’s particularly beneficial in reducing abdominal fat – the most dangerous type of fat for your health! Whereas “subcutaneous fat” is located under your skin, “visceral fat” (or belly fat), accumulates in your abdominal area – where it lodges itself around your organs. It’s easy to see why this could become a problem for your health, and specifically has been linked to metabolic issues.
Studies should that low-carb, high-fat diets are particularly beneficial for reducing this harmful type of abdominal fat – again reducing your risk for certain diseases including heart disease.
Ready to Get Into Ketosis?
Well, there you have it. Along with embarking upon a low-carb, high-fat diet for weight loss, you may find that this type of dietary regimen also does wonders for your overall health. Of course, everyone is different, and you should always check with your doctor before beginning any type of new dietary plan.
Also, it should be noted that whereas a low-carb, high-fat diet that brings you into ketosis may bring about the benefits mentioned above, it’s also extremely important that you actually enter ketosis. In this metabolic state, your body burns fat for fuel, since your glucose levels are so low, and you’ll likely feel increased energy, greater mental focus, and reduced appetite.
However, if you simply eat a much higher fat diet without actually monitoring your macros using a keto calculator, you may not completely enter ketosis, and you may not experience added benefits. In addition, though both saturated and unsaturated fats are welcome on a keto diet, it’s also important to eat as clean of a diet as possible…
Along with dropping the sugar and high-carb foods on keto, this also means reducing your intake of processed foods (like processed meats), along with manufactured low-carb packaged foods (like keto cookies, protein bars, etc.). The best way to ensure you’re looking out for your optimal health on keto is to eat as many fresh, whole food sources (like low-carb veggies and fruits, organic meat and dairy, nuts and seeds, and healthy oils) as possible.