Unless you’ve been living under a rock, then you’re probably heard about the keto diet. While it’s weight loss that draws many people to the keto diet initially, the benefits go way beyond a smaller waistline.
From reducing your chances of getting cardiovascular disease to increasing your oxygen supply and of course, improving skin quality, a ketogenic diet has many different benefits. Keep reading to learn how adopting a ketogenic diet can positively affect your skin health.
What is the Ketogenic Diet?
The ketogenic diet restricts the consumption of carbohydrates. A typical ketogenic diet consists of 70% fats, 25% protein, and 5% carbohydrates. It’s a drastic change from the average diet which usually consists of 50% carbs.
Carbohydrates provide your body with glucose which is the primary source of energy for all the cells in your body and for your brain.
When you restrict carb consumption, the body is forced to break down glucose from the liver and muscle to help your brain survive. If you continue to deprive your body of carbs after a few days you’ll deplete your glucose stores, start to burn fat, and form something called ketone bodies.
These can be used as an alternative to glucose for energy. When ketone bodies become elevated in the blood, that becomes ketosis and this is the state that people on a ketogenic diet are after.
Basically, rather than using glucose as a primary fuel, you switch over to burning fat as your primary fuel, as your liver produces ketone bodies from stored fat.
Benefits of a Keto Diet
- Antiaging of the Skin
Theoretically, a ketogenic diet may help reduce the burden of oxidative stress. Oxidative stress happens in our body and skin when the levels of free radicals that are generated exceed our body’s endogenous antioxidant handling system.
While we have mechanisms in place to mop up free radical stress, they can get overwhelmed with daily exposure to oxidative stress and that is a major driver in skin aging, chronic diseases, and inflammation.
A ketogenic diet may be useful in the fight against skin aging and chronic inflammation by augmenting our body’s own antioxidant systems. Ketone bodies can increase the activity of NRF2 which is normally inactive and can be activated by ketone bodies.
When it’s activated, NRF2 goes into the nucleus where the cell’s DNA is and can lead to increased expression of our body’s own antioxidant players, especially something called glutathione which is key in fighting off free radical damage.
- Reduces Inflammation
Ketogenic diets reduce inflammation in the body and as we all know inflammation is not good for the skin. That’s why the keto diet is often associated with improved skin quality.
- More Beauty Sleep
Over time, ketogenic diets have been shown to improve the quality of sleep, which helps with concentration, better energy levels, and of course beautiful skin. Because if you sleep better then your skin is likely to look better, too.
- Healthier Foods Means Healthier Skin
A diet that’s high in processed carbs can alter gut bacteria in a way that results in acne. On the other hand, the keto diet fits well with a high number of foods that are associated with skin health, particularly those rich in vitamin A and antioxidants.
- Alleviates Inflammatory Skin Conditions
The ketone body known as Beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) has the ability to suppress levels of NLRP3 inflammasome, and this is a protein complex that’s implicated in a variety of chronic inflammatory skin conditions. For now, this is merely theoretical and we don’t yet have clinical studies implementing a ketogenic diet for the treatment of this condition. However, there is growing anecdotal evidence supporting this theory.
In addition to a healthy, balanced keto diet, make sure to invest in organic body butter as part of your daily skincare routine to maximize results.
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