The ketogenic diet has gained popularity over the past several years. Stores have health food sections with many keto-friendly items. More and more health and fitness professionals are advocates of the diet as well. Prior to keto becoming prominent, Gluten-Free was all the rage. In this article I will take a look at the reasons why eating a gluten-free, ketogenic diet may not only help you lose weight but also key to living a healthy lifestyle.
Defining Keto and Gluten-Free
I won’t be going into great depth in this article on exactly how to follow either of the two diets but it’s important to define them here. A ketogenic diet is one that consists of eating low carb (typically below 50g), moderate protein intake (about 0.5g per pound of body weight), and high fat. The idea of the keto diet is to condition your body to burn fat as its primary fuel and produce ketones as a result. Ketones have a variety of health benefits as we will discuss later.
Gluten-free diets are ones absent of wheat, barley, and rye. While not necessarily low carb, healthier versions are generally lower in carbs than a typical American diet. Unless you are a celiac (like me)or have a wheat allergy, all you need to be concerned with is eating foods that don’t contain gluten. Trace amounts of gluten for folks without celiac disease, probably make little difference to most people.
The benefits of a Ketogenic Diet
Ketogenic diets get attention for being effective weight loss methods but the focus of this article will be more on the health benefits. Sure, losing weight if you’re overweight is also a health benefit but I won’t go into too much detail on that here.
The main benefits of the keto diet are the ketones that your body generates. Ketones have been shown to improve many neurological issues related to the brain. People with epilepsy, Parkinson’s, and most other neurological diseases tend to have improved symptoms while on a ketogenic diet.
The benefits aren’t limited to people who have a neurological disease, otherwise, healthy people will also notice a sharper mind. Memory and processing speed are increased for many people while in ketosis. Some people also report a reduction in headaches and anxiety.
The keto diet isn’t just limited to between your ears, no, no there are many other benefits. Lower triglycerides, better regulation of blood glucose, lower insulin levels, increase in good cholesterol, lower blood pressure, increased energy levels, and improved liver health.
On a more geeky note, the keto diet has also been shown to increase adiponectin which helps burn fat. Creatine is also increased which can help improve performance. You may find keto more satiating as well given the increase in ghrelin hormone.
Benefits of a gluten-free diet
The most notable benefit of eating gluten-free is the anti-inflammatory effects you get. Gary Taubes’ books “Why We Get Fat”, “The Case Against Sugar” and “Good Calories Bad Calories” as well as the “Wheat Belly” by Dr. Davis are two great works on the subject of the gluten-free diet and cover this in detail. Essentially, there is substantial amount of evidence that gluten causes low-level inflammation in many people, even people that don’t have an apparent sensitivity too it.
So if you have any chronic inflammatory issues like arthritis, it can be improved by switching to a gluten-free diet. Many of the things that improve on a ketogenic diet also improve on a gluten-free diet. Neurological conditions tend to improve on a gluten-free diet as well. Another area that is improved when gluten-free is symptoms of autoimmune diseases. If you have Chron’s Disease for instance, eating gluten free can help. Autoimmune thyroid conditions? Yup, it may help with that too. Since most autoimmune diseases cause some level of inflammation, a gluten-free diet’s anti-inflammatory properties are great for this situation.
Other benefits of a gluten-free diet are better digestive health, eating less processed foods, improved immune system, and in some cases weight loss.
Wrapping it up
There are many diets out there that will work forlosing weight if you stick too them. However, I believe that if you are looking for a combination of improved health and weight loss a Ketogenic and Gluten-Free diet is the best option. This is even more the case if you have a neurological disease, inflammatory disease, autoimmune disease or gastrointestinal problems.
I haven’t seen any studies where they specifically tested someone eating both keto and gluten free. Keto also can also be low gluten, but only full elimination gluten gets the full effects. Even 30g of gluten filled carbs is more than enough to cause people symptoms they may be having from gluten.
I, myself, am a Celiac that lives on a ketogenic diet. Of course, because of my Celiac Disese I saw a great improvement in my health from going gluten-free. However, I saw another jump in improvement years later when I also went on a Ketogenic Diet. Improved memory, my chess game improved, I have more energy and less anxiety and stress. I hope you read this and tooksomething from it that helps you live better!