This is a question I get asked A LOT. People want to know if they can benefit from a ketogenic diet and my answer is usually some variation of, try it for 60 days and see what happens. I really believe that if they can get through the transitional phase of the Ketogenic diet and see some of the benefits, they will stick with it or at the very least remove all the sugar and grains from their diet.
Having said that, I thought it would be helpful to create a quick list of issues the ketogenic diet has either been proven to cure or at the very least help. If you suffer from something on the list, try it out and see what happens. Here is a beginner’s tutorial on the diet and if you need help getting started, please join the FaceBook support group.
I’m going to start off listing the diseases I have personal experience with because of the amazing benefits I saw when I started eating this way. You can read my full story here but the cliff notes version is I used to be 400 lbs and now I’m not. A ketogenic diet lowers insulin levels by removing sugar and starches and the increased saturated fat keeps you satiated. It’s not a cure all as after a few years of doing this, I have to actually watch my calories but it got me 90% of where I wanted to go.
This was the other issue I dealt with. The technical definition of Metabolic Syndrome is having 3 of 5 symptoms; abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high serum triglycerides and low high-density lipoprotein. However the way I usually explain is it means you are so fat that your body no longer has new places to put fat. In this study there was a measurable improvement in all factors on the ketogenic diet.
Type 2 Diabetes
Virta Health has done some incredible work on this and in my experience, if you have this issue it is the first thing the Ketogenic Diet fixes. I have personally seen insulin dependent Type 2 Diabetics that have been on insulin for over 20 years be able to throw away their insulin after less than 6 months on the diet. If you have T2D, you really owe it to yourself to start eating this way.
Epilepsy was the first disease ever treated by the Ketogenic diet and has been shown to be powerful for the control of seizures. Before starting the diet with this condition, I would recommend doing some research at The Charlie Foundation.
High Blood Pressure
This is another issue that I unfortunately have experience with as I have stupid crazy high BP and it runs in my family, having killed both maternal grandparents and my father. In a study comparing multiple diet types, participants in the Adkins diet dropped their BP by about double the rate of the other diet types. While the Adkins diet wasn’t fully keto, it at least dropped the carbs enough that we can see the effect of a low carb diet on BP.
There are a host of other diseases that the Ketogenic Diet has been shown to be effective for including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and more but the above are the “big ones” where I believe there is enough evidence in the scientific literature to at least give someone the idea that it would be helpful. Again, from my own experience, the dramatic difference in my weight and other metabolic issues has been enough to convince me that this is the optimal diet for human beings.
Having said all that, I would like to hear from you. Those of you who have been on the diet for a while, what issues have you seen clear up? Those of you that are new, what are you trying to fix? Let me know in the comments below!