For decades, low fat diets and calorie restriction have been unscientifically touted as the ultimate in weight loss and wellbeing approaches. This low fat ideology stretches back to before the 1940s. By the 1980s,
with valid skeptical sentiment IGNORED and SQUASHED OUT, the population — including mainstream health, mass media and the government —were convinced that fat is bad, and low fat options became ubiquitous and considered best practice.
Historically, dietary fat was also considered a risk factor for heart disease, mistakenly believed to contribute to the dangers of high cholesterol.
So…As fat was phased out, sugar snuck in. After all, food producers needed something to flavor their foods to create taste and profits.
And while we cannot point the finger at an isolated cause of ill health or weight gain, the rise in obesity combined with a concurrent increase in the diseases of modern day civilization; diabetes, cancer, heart disease parallel the course of low fat and higher sugar and are a significant cause for concern.
Stable, healthy blood sugar levels are a critical key to wellbeing. With the well ingrained preoccupation of low fat and reduced calorie diets (fat has 9 calories per gram; carbohydrates 4 calories per gram) still front of mind and enmeshed in professional recommendations, we must consider a significantly different approach.
The ketogenic (‘keto’) diet offers an evidence-based alternative, shown to markedly improve blood sugar levels, positive hormonal change, weight loss and enhanced health.
First, our massive human trial on low fat, high carbohydrate dieting hasn’t worked. People are becoming sicker, obesity levels are rising, and the evidence shows our decades of fat denial have come at considerable human and economic cost.
In the English House of Commons Health Committee Report, Obesity, published in 2003-2004, it was noted ‘… In 1995… there were an estimated 200 million obese adults worldwide and another 18 million children aged under five classified as overweight. However, by 2000, the number of obese adults had increased to over 300 million.’ Even to this day, this trend shows no signs of slowing.
Yet, large, well-designed trials investigating the effects of a keto diet on the prevention, management, and even reversal of chronic diseases, have fostered greater understanding on the adverse contribution of refined carbohydrates, or sugars, to common and varied health issues, and a better way to eat.
In contrast to the outdated advice of the past, the ketogenic diet offers a safe and effective approach to improve blood sugar balance, heart health, weight maintenance, cholesterol levels and wellbeing.
Let’s take a look at some of the proven benefits of ketosis (the state brought about by a ketogenic diet), with a focus on glucose metabolism and healthy blood sugar levels.
1) Keto can decrease your appetite
People with diabetes mellitus, hyperglycemia (abnormally high blood sugar) and hypoglycemia (abnormally low blood sugar) can experience an aberrant increase in hunger, known as polyphagia. This type of hunger is not curbed by food, with increased consumption or more regular eating not helpful to quell a raging appetite.
There is evidence to show an increase in fat intake promotes the secretion of a neurohormone leptin, which directly affects the appetite by decreasing the sensation of hunger. By increasing our healthy fat intake, as encouraged in the keto diet, hunger is reduced to healthy levels and fewer calories are consumed, without effort.
Most people also find that when they combine moderate protein intake (3 ounces) with increased fat consumption, and limited carbohydrate intake, their cravings simply disappear!
2) Ready to boost weight loss?
Obesity is an important risk factor for Type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance — as you will discover in my report shortly. Aside from Type 2 diabetes, the most common health challenges related to overweight and obesity include:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Sleep apnea
- Kidney disease
- Fatty liver disease
- Certain types of cancer
- Pregnancy problems, such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and an increased risk of having a C-section
As you can see, obesity is serious.
To make matters worse, weight gain is associated with increased insulin resistance creating a vicious, potentially deadly circle
So how can keto help?
When compared to other dietary approaches, the ketogenic diet, may lead to significant weight loss.
A study by Bonnie J. Brehm and her team, published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, found “the very low carbohydrate diet group lost more weight… and more body fat… than the low fat diet group… and is not associated with deleterious effects on important cardiovascular risk factors…”
As also noted in the above study, after following this diet for three and six months, “… glucose and insulin levels decreased significantly.”
And the cream on the low-carb top?
When comparing a low-fat to a low-carbohydrate diet, a keto program has increased participant retention. What does this usually mean?
It was more ‘stick-able’; AND... people liked it better!
That’s a win-win-win!!
3) Burn abdominal fat, burn!
Visceral fat, or the fat surrounding your organs (and so called abdominal fat), has different effects when compared to subcutaneous fat, or the type that sits under your skin. It’s much healthier for your thighs to grow wider than for your belly to become bigger!A study in the journal, Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, compared a low-carbohydrate to a high-carbohydrate diet, each consisting of the same number of calories.
Through computed tomography - much more accurate than a tape measure! - they showed a "larger decrease in visceral fat area… in the low carbohydrate diet group compared to the high carbohydrate diet group.” The ratio of visceral fat to subcutaneous fat decreased substantially in the low carbohydrate group, but there was no change in the high carb group.
The authors stated that this low-carb approach could provide an “effective treatment for a reduction of visceral fat, improved insulin sensitivity and increased HDL-C [high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, which we’ll discuss shortly] levels.
The most exciting thing?
This study was performed in those who were already obese and diabetic; a group who so often struggle to lose weight, especially around the dangerous mid-rift.
4) Reduce dangerous triglyceride levels
Triglycerides are a type of fat in the body and Harvard Healthhas noted that, "high triglycerides are an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease.”
High levels of this type of fat may indicate the possibility of other underlying conditions, such as heart disease and metabolic syndrome — which comprises a raft of signs and symptoms, importantly including insulin resistance and high blood sugar levels.
Yancy and team investigated the effects of a ketogenic compared to a low-fat diet. They found, as other researchers have, that people could adhere to this diet easier, they lost more weight and the triglyceride levels in their blood decreased. With triglycerides a potential indicator of underlying insulin resistance, this is a great result for blood sugar levels.
5) Increase your good cholesterol and lower the bad
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) are commonly known as your good cholesterol. And while this term is not strictly accurate, it will perfectly suit our purposes. HDL acts to carry cholesterol from remote sites of the body to the liver, where cholesterol is metabolized, reused or excreted.
Low-density lipoproteins (LDL), often thought of as HDL’s opposite, are responsible for transporting cholesterol from the liver to the body and have been associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease.
It is now well established that glucose metabolism interacts with cholesterol synthesis, and higher HDL’s reduce the incidence of the coronary heart disease. Heart disease is more common in those with high blood sugar. Let’s see what the keto diet has to offer in this sphere.
In a study titled, Beneficial effect of low carbohydrate in low calorie diets on visceral fat reduction in type 2 diabetic patients with obesity, the team of researchers found a low calorie and carbohydrate diet appeared a “more effective treatment for a reduction of visceral fat, improved insulin sensitivity and increased in HDL-C levels than low calorie/high carbohydrate diet in obese subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus.”
Again, it’s cutting carbs that makes the difference, and the positive effects of this diet plan spanned from improved cholesterol balance to improved insulin sensitivity, even in those who already had blood sugar issues.
6) How to easily reduce blood sugar and increase insulin sensitivity
A higher consumption of carbohydrate, especially refined sugars, are associated with a higher blood sugar concentration. Makes sense, right?
Insulin is a hormone responsible for, amongst other jobs, the transport of blood sugar into the cells where this glucose is stored or used for energy. By whisking away the excess sugar from the blood and into the cells, insulin protects the body. After all, sugar is sticky stuff and too much in our circulatory system is dangerous.
In healthy people, a prompt secretion of just the right amount of insulin is triggered by the ingestion of carbohydrates. However, for likely hundreds of millions of people globally — maybe you — this complex system doesn’t function as it should leading to the development of glucose intolerance, insulin resistance and finally Type 2 Diabetes.
The ketogenic diet is a simple and effective solution to this challenge. By reducing carbohydrates, the need for insulin is diminished and blood sugar levels are able to balance.
In fact, even when compared to a moderate carbohydrate, low-fat, calorie restricted diet, “the very low carbohydrate diet… may improve glycemic control in type 2 diabetes while allowing decreases in diabetes medications,” which brings us to my next point…
7) Reduce — even potentially eliminate — medication
Glucose-lowering agents and insulin represent the standard approach in the treatment of Diabetes. However, these medication can be associated with serious side effects including headache, hunger, tremors, fainting, seizures, drowsiness, diarrhea, muscle pain and cramping and even coma.
As noted in the study above, clinical trials have demonstrated the efficacy of ketogenic diets in patients who are pre-diabetic and those who suffer from type 2 diabetes. Sulfonylureas, or anti-diabetic medications, were discontinued in 31% of the low carbohydrate subjects in the Saslow studyabove.
This is wonderful news!
The treatment of high blood sugar levels and metabolic syndrome is crucial to wellbeing. Metabolic syndrome is represented by a cluster of signs and symptoms which pose a significant risk for the development of Diabetes and serious, potentially deadly and quality-of-life sapping illnesses. That’s why I’m thrilled you’re reading this article, and even more excited to share with you my report, The Keto Diet for Controlling Blood Sugar and Losing Weight.
The ketogenic diet represents a powerful solution for the management of unhealthy blood sugar levels, overweight and obesity, and the raft of signs and symptoms that come with these. And while I recommend exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle, it is significant that even without increased activity, studies showed the superiority of the keto approach.
Ketogenic diets may be safely incorporated and offer more inviting food choices than other diets. Combined with its potential to reduce — even eliminate — medication use and the adverse complications that can come with them, I believe the keto diet should form the frontline blood sugar solution.
I personally follow this diet and love it!
Enjoy the report, and I look forward to supporting you in your successful blood sugar and weight loss journey!