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Ketogenic Diet: Hype or Not?

Ketogenic Diet: Hype or Not?

The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low carb diet that has gained popularity as a result of its health benefits.

Some of these health benefits include weight loss (yes, even with high fat), improvement in overall health and management of epilepsy in children.

So, grab some tea or coffee (have you tried butter coffee?) and dive into how keto can reprogram your metabolism (for “ketosis”), and whether or not it’s something for you to consider.

What is “ketosis?”

Carbs (sugars & starches) are the preferred fuel for your brain and muscles. They use carbs first, whenever they’re available.

This is why maintaining stable blood sugar can affect your attention, mood, and energy level.

However, when very low amounts of carbs are available for fuel, your body starts making compounds known as “ketones.” These are your body’s “backup fuel.” And your body makes them from fat.

Ketogenic literally means “the generation of ketones.”

After a while of being on a low carb diet, your blood levels of ketones begin to increase. This is the metabolic state known as “ketosis.” It’s the same process that your body goes through if you’ve fasted for 72 hours and depleted your supply of carbs as fuel. That’s the trigger for turning fat into ketones.

Pro Tip: “Ketosis” from a ketogenic diet is not the same thing as the dangerous condition known as “ketoacidosis.”

Ketogenic diet for weight loss

With a high fat intake, it may be surprising to know that studies show that a ketogenic diet is effective for weight loss.

But it’s true!

It can also have better results than low-fat diets. At least one study showed that people lost 2.2 times more weight on a ketogenic diet than those on low-fat or calorie-controlled diets.

How is this possible?

Eating all that fat and protein is filling! It helps release satiety hormones that tell us that we’re full and satisfied, and we don’t need to eat anymore. Many people don’t need to count calories or track food intake, as they do with low-fat or calorie-controlled diets.

So, by eating enough fat and protein to go into “ketosis,” you can actually feel fuller and eat less food overall. Of course, this can help with weight loss. Ketogenic diet for improved health

Some studies show other health benefits of the ketogenic diet.

As you can imagine, having very low levels of carbs can help reduce blood sugar and insulin issues.

One study showed improved blood triglycerides (fat) and cholesterol numbers. Others show lower blood sugar levels, and even up to 75% improvement in insulin sensitivity.

Several studies show reduced seizures in children who follow a ketogenic diet.

Changing your metabolism has widespread health effects. And this can be beneficial for some people.

How to follow ketogenic diet

Not everyone should go on a ketogenic diet. Make sure you speak with a trained healthcare practitioner before you try it. It can have side effects, including the infamous “keto flu.”

The ketogenic diet involves getting 60-75% of your calories from fat, 20-35% from protein, and just 5% from carbs. Many people find it quite restrictive and are unable to stay on it for a long time.

The foods to focus on for a ketogenic diet are meat, fatty fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, healthy oils, avocados, and low-carb vegetables (cucumber, celery, peppers, zucchini, leafy greens, etc.).

Main things to avoid are foods that are high in carbs. These include sugary foods and desserts, grains, fruit, legumes, starchy vegetables, alcohol and “diet foods.”

And because of the limits on fruit and starchy vegetables, many people on the ketogenic diet need to take supplements. This is because, in addition to their sugar and starch, fruits and starchy veggies are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. So, if you’re cutting those foods out, you still need to give your body those nutrients. And often, it means needing supplements.

Conclusion

The ketogenic diet is very popular these days. It can be helpful for weight loss, and other health conditions.

It’s not for everyone, so make sure you check with a knowledgeable practitioner such as myself before you begin.

In the meanwhile, you can click HERE to purchase a 7-day Ketogenic Meal Plan.  It contains 13 recipes, a prep guide, grocery list and daily nutrition breakdown.

For a personalized ketogenic meal plan, please email me directly at dr.anna@aknd.ca.

In Health,
Dr. Anna ND

Butter Coffee (Serves 1)

  • 1 cup freshly brewed coffee
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon of ghee (or grass-fed butter)

Directions:

  1. Combine coffee with coconut milk and ghee in a blender
  2. Blend on high until frothy
  3. Serve & enjoy!

References

The Ketogenic Diet: Does it live up to the hype? http://www.precisionnutrition.com/ketogenic-diet

The Ketogenic Diet: A Detailed Beginner’s Guide to Keto. https://authoritynutrition.com/ketogenic-diet-101/

GOING KETO: WHAT THE SCIENCE IS SAYING & 3 SAFE WAYS TO DO IT
http://neurotrition.ca/blog/going-keto-what-science-saying-3-safe-ways-do-it