Even more benefits of the ketogenic diet
Updated: Feb 14
by Chelsea with Keto for People
I love, love, LOVE the ketogenic diet! Yes, I was hit with the keto flu and sometimes I feel more fatigued than I used to after a workout, but the benefits have greatly outweighed the very minimal negative effects I've encountered. Here are a few benefits I've discovered besides the slimming down and the mental clarity.
1. My skin is clear. Like, really clear.
I have never had better skin than while I've been on the ketogenic diet. Don't get me wrong, my skin has never been terrible; however, I used to have one or two spots going at any one time, all the time. Not so anymore, unless I have a cheat. As soon as I have any kind of day where I go way over on my carbs, it's zit time.
I know that sugar causes blemishes and drinking lots of water can help give you clear skin, and I believe that the cutting of sugar and the huge uptick in my water consumption have a lot to do with how clear my skin is.
2. Saving money.
I have saved SO MUCH MONEY since being ketogenic, namely on eating out. Yes its true that there can be some pricey startup costs with keto (my spending on cheese went WAYYY up!) however, because I'm meticulously planning my meals every day I am no longer tempted to eat on the fly. Even on days when my husband (who is doing lazy keto) neglects to plan something for himself for dinner, I stick to my guns and go home to eat my planned meal rather than give in to the temptation to just go grab something. SIDE BENEFIT: Not eating out/eating on the fly helps me stick to my nutritional goals.
3. Feeling great about my food choices.
Yes, I'm that annoying person who won't shut up about being ketogenic. That saying "how do you know if someone is ketogenic? They'll tell you." is me. #sorrynotsorry.
The mental health benefits have been great for me. I feel in control of my body because I'm actively planning and choosing what I'm eating every day. Yes, it's time-consuming. Yes, it's labour-intensive. But practice makes perfect, and I'm getting better at planning my days now that I have a good handle on which foods are keto-friendly and which to avoid.
This sense of control really works for me personally, rather than haphazardly throwing together a lunch in the morning, deciding at work that I don't want to eat what I've prepared, and then going to the cafeteria to get a slice of pizza. (This goes hand-in-hand with my previous point about saving money).
ANOTHER SIDE BENNY: since keto-friendly foods are delicious and satisfying, I don't crave carbs. (Also, foods that are keto-friendly help suppress grehlin, the hunger hormone).
4. Being more adventurous....in the kitchen
After I decided to transition from a traditional carb-heavy North American diet to the ketogenic diet, I realized I was going to have to get creative in the kitchen. At first I kind of dreaded it because I've always been a really lazy cook (which contributed to me eating out a lot - see points 1 and 3), but I've actually found that not only is trying new recipes and foods fun, it's also very liberating! I feel a lot more competent in the kitchen, and even when I try something that I don't like or that doesn't work, I still value the experience of having tried.
At this point I've tried many different meals, baked goods, smoothies (you name it) that I would never have tried before! My meals are 100% more delicious. Plus, I've spent a lot more time in the kitchen with my husband as we tag-team meals. Who knew going ketogenic would help my marriage?
5. The Alzheimer's Connection
My grandparents, Marlyn and Don Thomson
Everyone knows that the ketogenic diet is medicine for diseases. It helps people suffering from epilepsy become seizure-free; that it can cure type II diabetes, and that it has been shown to help treat certain kinds of cancer. The pathological effects of sugar in the body is absolutely astounding, and I am ketogenic for so many reasons, including the health of my body and mind. But one of the biggest draws for me is its potential to mitigate the effects of Alzheimer's disease, which runs in my family.
My wonderful grandmother on my mom's side (we called her Mama), was the quintessential 1950's housewife. She always had her hair done beautifully, perfectly manicured nails, well put together, and her house was immaculate. She was a kind, caring woman who loved music and dance, and who always doted on her beloved grandchildren. Unfortuntely, being part of the 50's culture of processed food, she drank Coca-Cola every day and ate heavily processed foods high in sugar such as white Wonderbread, believing what the FDA was telling her - that these foods were a miracle of industry, and that they were perfectly healthy and safe. Looking back now, it is clear that wasn't the case, as studies have established connections between eating a diet high in processed sugar and Alzheimer's disease.
Watching my mama become stricken with Alzheimer's disease was one of the scariest and most tragic experiences of my life. Here was a woman who took so much pride in her appearance, wasting away. Here was a woman who was active in her community, losing her ability to engage with the people she loved. Here was a woman who loved her family, lashing out angrily in confusion as the disease ravaged her mind. Here is me, terrified of going the same way. It is a horrible disease that is genetic, and there is no known cure.
Studies have shown that the ketogenic diet can help improve brain function, and helps mitigate and - in some cases - prevent the onset of Alzheimer's disease.
That's good enough for me.