The Keto Diet Doesn't Just Help You Lose Weight, It Fights the Flu Too
A lot of diets come and go. But, one that's proven its staying power is the ketogenic diet. It's essentially a low-carb and high-fat diet that's really more a lifestyle. (You can read our full guide here.)
Keto's weight loss benefits are known far and wide. Outside of the whole weight loss thing, however, a new study says it can help "tame" the flu. Yep, that's right, you can keep influenza away by eating meat, fish, poultry, and non-starchy vegetables.
Researchers from Yale University found that the diet "activates a subset of T cells in the lungs not previously associated with the immune system's response to influenza." These cells, in turn, enhance mucus production and trap the virus.
The project was done with the help of mice, on different diets, which were infected with the influenza virus. The keto mice had a significantly higher survival rate compared with those fed high-carb diets.
"This study shows that the way the body burns fat to produce ketone bodies from the food we eat can fuel the immune system to fight flu infection," said co-senior author Visha Deep Dixit, Waldemar Von Zedtwitz professor of comparative medicine and immunobiology.
Before you fall into the rabbit hole that is keto, you should know that it isn't for everyone. Here's what doctors and nutritionists have to say about it.