The ketogenic diet has been hailed for being a serious fat burner, and now the fan favorite new diet is also being recognized for its mental health benefits, as well. Turns out, it’s also now a great way to help fight and prevent anxiety.
The diet strategy, which is based around low-carb and high-fat food that forces your body to go into ketosis (a fat-burning state), has been proven to change body fat percentage and increase metabolic rate.
According to a 2014 study published in the journal Brain and Behavior, a ketogenic diet can have powerful effects on your mood. In fact, when researchers looked into how a keto diet can not only affect adult mice, but also their offspring, they found that an increase in keto foods “reduced susceptibility to anxiety and depression, and elevated physical activity level,” meaning that not only their mood improved, but their preference for fitness did too. And if we could boost our mood, fight anxiety and depression, and love our workouts even more, it sounds like it’s worth a shot. And since we know that exercise is a natural way to fight anxiety and depression, it means an even added mental health reinforcer.
What’s more is that if you follow a keto diet early in your life, it can continue to work its mood-boosting effects long into adulthood and beyond. (Read: get stated ASAP!)
“Sugar is a culprit of many mood disorders and can be found in most everyday items, which can make it hard to stay away from,” Lindsey Smith, author of the forthcoming book Eat Your Feelings: The Food Mood Girl’s Guide to Transforming Your Emotional Eating, tells Popsugar Australia. “Additionally, when you are feeling stressed or anxious, your body tends to crave sugary foods because your body is looking for a quick, feel-good serotonin boost. However, sugar will only lead to a crash and can actually worsen anxiety symptoms over time.”
The anti-depressant effects of the keto diet once again show the dangers of sugar. Not only can in lead to weight gain, but it can also seriously mess with your mental health, and that’s yet another reason to kick the habit and embrace the keto.