A ketogenic diet has been shown to improve a range of health markers in adults with metabolic syndrome.
Ketogenic diets are very low carb, high in fat, and effective in lowering insulin levels which in turn prompts the body to break down body fat into ketones.
Metabolic syndrome describes a collection of signs of poor health that are linked with type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The signs of metabolic syndrome include a large waist size, high blood pressure, high triglyceride levels, low HDL levels and elevated blood sugar levels.
The study, conducted by researchers at Bethel University, Minnesota, USA, compared the health of three groups of adults diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. One group followed the ketogenic diet without exercise, a second group followed the standard American diet and did not exercise, and a third group followed the standard American diet plus 30 minutes or more of exercise for three to five days per week.
The findings showed that the ketogenic diet without exercise was much more effective than the other groups at achieving weight loss, lowering body fat percentage and decreasing HbA1c (a long-term measure of blood glucose control). It is significant that even without exercise, the ketogenic diet trumped a standard diet in which people were exercising.
The study was relatively small with 30 participants randomly split between the three groups. The study was also of a relatively short duration of only 10 weeks.
A standard American diet is where the participants were left to their own food choices. Even with exercise, the standard American diet is not a strong competitor for the ketogenic diet to be pitted against.
Whilst the study has picked an easy comparison group to pit against the ketogenic diet, it is reassuring that the ketogenic diet was significantly more effective across a range of health factors.
The research was published in Diabetes &Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research &Reviews.

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