Keto diet and anxiety

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Isabel Aestelle received her B.A in Communication from Far Eastern University Manila in the Philippines. She fell in love with words when she first started writing poetries and short stories at the age of 10. Her passion in health and wellness are pretty much seen in almost everything she does.

keto diet and anxiety

For decades, low-carb diet plans like keto have helped people manage diseases and disorders. Now, there’s a buzz of speculation on the connection between the keto diet and anxiety. Can the popular weight loss plan alleviate anxiety That’s what we’re going to find out.

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health problems where an individual experiences nervousness or uneasiness without having to identify the triggers. The keto diet has been famous in the field of medicine, in neurology to be specific. Medical doctors were able to identify the support that the keto diet could give to those suffering from anxiety disorder. Anxiety symptoms are prevalent to those who have adolescent epilepsy. Little do we know that people with epilepsy are most likely to suffer anxiety. Since the keto diet can help manage epilepsy, it’s not impossible that this low-carb diet has effects in anxiety, too.

We’ve heard stories of people who became successful in losing weight due to ketogenic dieting. Hence, we could also find success stories from those who battled anxiety and with the help of keto, they were able to do it.

Keto diet to manage anxiety

“Desperate times call for desperate measures”. We’ve all been placed in certain situations where we had to look for ways to get rid of anxiety even just for a day. We’ve had enough of all those sleepless nights, those shaking hands, rapid heartbeats, and difficulty in breathing. Sure, we tried looking for some escape – a glass of wine, a walk in the park, late night drives, and even a quick vacation from everything. Sad to say, these are only temporary ways to make the anxiety go away.

But how do we actually get rid of anxiety without involving medication? According to some fitness enthusiasts, using the keto diet has become their last resort in treating their anxiety. Keto has been proven to be of help to some mental health issues – not to mention the successful effect it has in curing anxiety’s top best friend, depression. Some people testified that after weeks of doing the low-carb and high-fat diet, they felt better.

Study on keto diet and anxiety

An experiment in University of Tasmania was conducted to see if ketone supplements could alleviate anxiety symptoms in rats. Rats that had the keto diet were better than those that were not.

Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?Db=pubmed&Cmd=ShowDetailView&TermToSearch=27999529

Eating junk food could actually make us feel more anxious and depressed. In short, bad food content impact our mood in a negative way. Research suggests that one of the main reasons individuals tend to feel anxious is because of too much sugar intake. Sometimes, we crave for sugar when we are stressed and anxious. Don’t get us wrong, sugar is not wholly bad. But too much sugar intake affects our health negatively, in general.

Effects of  the keto diet on anxiety

There are two main reasons why keto can help manage anxiety: (1) increase in healthy fats and (2) decrease in sugar. Following a keto diet eliminates foods that spike up your blood sugar levels in the body. As a result, your mood will be more stabilized due to the sudden decrease of sugar that you feed your body.

Looking at the keto diet from a psychological point of view, doing a low-carb diet actually has mental health benefits. Our neurotransmitters play a vital role in dealing with our anxiety. Since the keto diet has a mood stabilizing effect, it may also help deal with anxiety. Transitioning from a sugary diet to a low-carb one can help fuel your brain with ketones from high-fat foods rather than feeding it with glycogen derived from carbs.

However, we cannot completely rely on food as mood stabilizers. There are also some negative feedbacks in the link between food and mood. This is why choosing the best kind of foods and using quality ingredients in preparing your meals could both give you anti-anxiety benefits. Just by looking at how Keto diet requires you to stick with clean eating already gives you an idea on what this low-carb diet can do to your mental health issues.

Eating a lot of healthy fats contribute to the lowering of blood sugar in the body. As a result, you can prevent blood sugar mood swings and keto anxiety triggers from happening. There are a lot of other factors that can make a person feel anxious aside from emotional stress. Some of these factors are external ones which could be beyond our control already. However, we can still do something about the internal factors that cause us to feel anxious. Personally speaking, doing a low-carb diet helped me a lot. Aside from weight loss, I started to feel better as days continue to pass by. I felt less emotional, moody, and even the palpitations were gone.

Regardless if you’re suffering from an anxiety disorder or anxiety in general, it is still best to do all means for the betterment of your mental health. With the help of the keto diet, a healthy mental state is not impossible for you to achieve. Always remember that in order to be whole, mental health plays a role.

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