15 Health Benefits of Low-Carb & Ketogenic Diets (I Love No. 9)

11. Burn Belly Fat

Earlier we talked about risk factors for metabolic syndrome, one of which is belly fat.

While fat distribution patterns may differ from person to person, many of us remember having a ‘pear’ shape when we were younger, where fat tended to settle around our hips.

But as you get older, it is common for your fat to instead gather at your waistline.

This results in a characteristic ‘apple’ shape.

Research shows that belly fat is worse for you than other fat distribution patterns. This is true not only for people who are overweight but for people who have a normal weight as well.

Belly fat is visceral fat. This is a type of fat which accumulates around vital organs like the liver.

If you have a lot of fat in the abdominal cavity, you can develop a number of different health problems, including metabolic dysfunction, insulin resistance, and inflammation (54).

You already know that low-carb diets can result in greater fat loss than low-fat diets. But it turns out that they can also lead to a greater percentage of fat loss in the abdominal area (55).

That means that if you want to get rid of that ‘apple’ shape, a low-carb diet is one of the best approaches you can take.

Once you burn that visceral fat, you reduce your chances of developing insulin resistance and other diseases.

Even if you are not overweight, if you have belly fat which you have been struggling to burn, low-carb is a great approach.

Many people believe that they can ‘target’ fat loss using exercise. This is a myth.

But you can target fat loss through diet!

12. Low-Carb Diets Can Be Used to Effectively Treat Epilepsy

While most of the research and interest in low-carb diets centers around benefits for weight loss and cardiovascular health, there are other advantages as well.

If you have epilepsy, a low-carb diet may help you to reduce your symptoms.

The ketogenic diet (KD), which is high in fat, low in carbohydrates, and moderate in protein, has been used as a treatment option for epilepsy in children since 1921.

The premise is that the brain can use ketones that are formed on a low carbohydrate diet for energy rather than depend on glucose.

In 1998, Blue Cross Blue Shield ran a meta-analysis of 19 different studies on 1084 pediatric patients with epilepsy to evaluate the effectiveness of this low-carb diet.

Blue Cross Blue Shield discovered that 16% of patients became seizure-free, while 32% experienced a 90% or greater reduction in seizures. For 56%, seizures dropped by half or greater (56).

While most research on the low-carb diet and epilepsy centers around children (57), research on this promising treatment is also being conducted on adults.
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