We hear quite a lot about the ketogenic diet these days. Recently, 16 celebrities, including Tim Tebow and Al Roker, were featured in a People magazine article touting the fad diet. On the other hand, some health experts and celebrity trainers call Keto one of the worst diet protocols around. Outside of the controversy, there is data that suggests a low-carb diet may boost sexual wellness. Here, we discuss how that might be.
The Premise of the Ketogenic Diet
For several years, one of the top recommendations regarding diet has been to consume low fat. Supermarkets are filled with low-fat options to prove this. Ketogenic logic goes against the grain. It encourages us to consume more fat. The keto diet contains more fat than either protein or carbs. In fact, fewer than 50 grams of carbs are consumed a day for a ketogenic eater. There is a reason for this.
The body converts carbohydrates to glucose, which it then uses for energy to operate cells and physical processes. When the body has enough glucose to function, the excess gets converted to triglyceride molecules, aka fat.
What Does This Have to Do With Sexual Wellness?
A high-carb diet versus a more balanced diet or a low-carb diet can affect energy, mood, and weight. It’s easy to understand how each of these factors can contribute to a low sex drive. But let’s look more closely at this theory.
An article published in Diabetes Health Magazine stated that the body that uses fat as fuel is the body that can lose fat. To use fat as fuel, the body must be deprived of new glucose stores. The old-school way of doing this has been to significantly cut calories. The ketogenic mindset is that the body can operate well with fewer sugars and starches and more healthy fats. There is no sense of deprivation, and the body loses fat that affects testosterone levels, a vital aspect of sexual health. Furthermore, without the spikes and crashes that occur after consuming high-carb meals, the body produces lower quantities of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, also involved in decreased libido.
Something to Consider
Ketogenic eating does not have to be a fad diet. No fad diet can be healthy in the long run. Before jumping onto the Keto Bandwagon, it is beneficial to consider whether you can maintain a low-carb diet as a general way of living. Also, if low sex drive is accompanied by erectile dysfunction or other symptoms, a diet change may not be the ultimate solution. If you would like to understand your sexual health better, schedule a consultation and examination with one of our experienced physicians.
Call Valley Urologic Medical Group in Palm Desert at (760) 346-1133.