What is The Ketogenic Diet?
The science behind the Ketogenic Diet:
The keto diet causes the human body to enter a state of ketosis which means that the body produces energy by the process known as ketogenesis. ketogenesis occurs mainly in the liver, where fat is metabolized to produce ketone bodies which are used to power the body. Ketogenesis depends on the levels of carbohydrate that is available. If an adequate amount of carbohydrate is available, the body metabolizes it and uses it immediately, as fuel. If excess carbohydrate is available, a portion is metabolized to produce energy for immediate use, a potion is converted to glycogen and stored in the liver and muscles for use between meals when necessary and the excess carbohydrate is converted to fat by the liver and stored in fat calls.
The body cannot burn fat directly, it needs to use glucose or convert fat to ketones.
The Keto diet transforms the body into a fat burning machine by forcing it to run almost entirely on ketones produced from fat. It has been proven to cause weight loss while enhancing performance and improving health.
The Keto diet may even help to prevent age-related conditions such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s Disease and certain types of cancers. Researchers have found, in a recent study conducted in the UK, that the ketone known as β-hydroxybutyrate (βOHB) protects cells in the body from ‘internal stress’ that causes genetic damage in cells that result in ageing.
Ketogenic Diet Menu
Some people find it easy to follow a structured program. If you are that person, consider a meal plan for beginners. To achieve and maintain ketosis, consume of less than 50 grams of carbs per day, ideally below 20 grams is the optimum goal. The fewer carbs, the more effective.
Creating a keto meal plan on your own is not easy, especially since eating a diet high in fats doesn’t come naturally to many people accustomed to traditional carb-heavy diets.
Set yourself up for success:
- Make a plan and set a start date
- Stock up on allowed foods, plan meals and snack options
- Confirm with your physician that you can safely adapt the Keto lifestyle and discuss how your body will change the way it metabolizes energy.
- Consider bloodwork to check cholesterol, vitamin D, and other markers that may change while you are on the keto diet.
Ketogenic Diet Ratio
The ketogenic diet consists of a 70/20/10 ratio of healthy fats, protein and carbohydrate. The ideal macronutrient ration for each meal is 70-80 percent healthy fats, 20-25 percent protein and 5-10 percent carbohydrate.
A diet consisting of low levels of carbohydrate, approximately 5-10 percent, causes the liver to use the stored glycogen to produce fuel for the body. After the glycogen is depleted, the body turns to fat to produce acetyl-CoA which accumulates and then activates ketogenesis. The ketones that produce energy are acetoacetate and β-hydroxybutyrate. Ketone levels are regulated by both insulin which reduces ketone production and glucagon which stimulates the production of ketones.
The quickest way to achieve Ketosis is by fasting, which is unsustainable. The alternative is the ketogenic diet, consuming low levels of carbohydrates, enough to produce ketosis.
Most non-diabetics on a ketogenic diet reach a beta-hydroxybutyrate (B-OHB) level of 3 milimolar (mM) which is far below the unsafe level of 15(mM).
Ketogenic Food/Grocery List
The Ketogenic Diet Food List:
- Leafy Green vegetables
- Non-starchy vegetables
- Full-fat Dairy products
- Nuts and Seeds
- Fats such as Coconut Oil
Food to avoid while following the Keto Diet are:
- Sugars including honey and maple syrup
- Grains especially rice and wheat products
- Most fruits
- White or sweet potatoes
- Root vegetables such as carrots,or beets
- Pulses – beans, peas, lentils
Ketogenic Diet Recipes
The idea that avoiding grains and carbs is too restrictive, has led many to abandon the keto diet and revert to unhealthy lifestyles. Those days are over, it is easy to find low carb recipes to replace just about every high-carb meal imaginable. Breakfast, lunch, dinners, snacks and drinks, a recipe for a low carb version exists.
1. Avocado Deviled Eggs
Deviled eggs are a great dairy-free alternative that provides all the necessary nutrients
2. Keto Smoothie Recipe with Avocado, Chia Seeds & Cacao
This smoothie may be just the thing you need to satisfy your smoothie craving.
4. High-Fat, Low-Carb Pancakes: A Keto-Approved Breakfast
These pancakes, made from almond flour, cheese, eggs and healthy fats look like traditional pancakes and should satisfy carb cravings.
5. Keto Bread
An alternative low-carb version of bread is possible! If your craving for bread is strong, roll up your sleeves and bake your own low carb bread.
Option such as BLT roll-ups with turkey and avocado, cream cheese and cucumber slices and also guacamole and raw zucchini are keto friendly and nutrient-packed.
What to Drink on Keto
low-carb keto drinks that will keep you in ketosis Water is the perfect drink and so are tea and coffee with NO sugar or sweeteners added. A small amount of milk or cream is OK. An occasional glass of wine is fine, as long as the carb content is included in the total daily carb intake.
On the Keto diet, you eat if and when you are hungry. Your body burns fat 24-7 and having access to a supply of stored fat for energy should dramatically reduce the frequent that you experience the feeling of hunger. This makes intermittent fasting easy, speeds up weight loss and may also help to reverse type 2 diabetes. Feeling hungry less often can be a great benefit for those who suffer from addiction to food or sugar, and also those suffering from eating disorders such as bulimia.
Constant energy and mental performance
Ketosis results in a constant supply of ketones to the brain and the brain functions normally. Without sugar-highs resulting from carbohydrates, many have reported improved focus and concentration.
Stable blood sugar levels and type 2 diabetes
A keto diet controls high insulin levels and is known for actually reversing type 2 diabetes. This has been found in multiple studies and reported by many on the Keto diet. It makes perfect sense because ketosis goes hand in hand with low blood-sugar levels.
Increased physical endurance
The Keto diet can improve physical endurance because of the constant access to the energy stored in fat cells. On a carbohydrate-rich diet, after the body uses the available carbohydrate, it turns to carbohydrate stored as glycogen which only lasts for a few hours of intense exercise.
The keto diet has been used as an effective treatment for epilepsy in children since the 1920s. Recently, the keto diet has also been proven beneficial for adults with epilepsy. Patients are free of Seizures on less medication or in some cases, come off medication completely.
Additional benefits include:
- normal blood pressure,
- less acne,
- Improvement or no migraine headaches
- weight loss
- many more
1. Restrict protein to approximately 0.8 grams of protein per pound of lean bodyweight to stay in ketosis.
2. Eat enough to feel satisfied, if are hungry often, try adding more healthy fats to your meals, such as olive oil etc. keto recipes have the necessary fat included.
3. Avoid eating or snacking when not hungry. Eating when not truly hungry, reduces ketosis and slows weight loss.
4. Add intermittent fasting, eating during 8 hours of the day and fast for 16 hours 16:8 fasting. This is very effective at boosting ketone levels, as well as accelerating weight loss and reversing type 2 diabetes. It is usually easy to do, while on the keto diet.
5. Physical activity while on the Keto diet can increase ketone levels and speed up weight loss as well as help in reversing type 2 diabetes.
There are multiple ways to test for ketones:
Urine strips Keto the simplest and cheapest way to measure ketosis. It takes 15 seconds to produce a color change if ketones are present in the urine. Results vary depending on the amount of fluid intake.
Breath ketone analyzers more expensive than urine strips, they are reusable and produce a color change if ketones are present
Blood ketone meter the gold standard, the most accurate way to measure the exact ketosis level in the blood.
Ketone values when testing blood ketone levels.
Ketogenic Diet Side Effects
Dry mouth and thirst. Drink enough water and electrolytes to avoid dry mouth and thirst. Drink a cup of bouillon to replace electrolytes and drink as much water as needed. Some people have reported feeling a metallic taste in their mouths.
Increased urination. Ketosis may result in increasing urination. Combined with drinking more water, this is expected.
Keto breath. Ketone bodies, acetone escape via the breath and imparts a “fruity”, or “nail polish remover” smell to the breath.
Keto flu. The most common side effect, the keto flu, also known as induction flu, peaks at day 2 or 3 after starting the Keto diet and subsides after one week. Drinking more fluids and temporarily increasing salt intake, usually minimizes the symptoms.
Ketogenic Diet & Cancer
Researchers have found that the Ketogenic diet helps in treating brain Ketogenic and cancer. Lowering carbohydrate intake reduces the levels of glucose in the blood, the fuel that feeds cancer cells. Cancer cells have more insulin receptors on their cell surface than normal cells. These receptors enable cancer cells to grow and spread by gorging on glucose and nutrients in the bloodstream. Those who have cancer and also have high blood sugar levels tend to have the lowest survival rates, according to the American Diabetes Association.
In fact, “Cancer and diabetes are diagnosed together more frequently than would be expected by chance, even after adjusting for age”, according to the American Diabetes Association. The Keto diet, or, a low-sugar diet is helpful for patients on chemotherapy.
- Your brain stops working because if needs carbs. That’s wrong.
- Ketosis, as a result of the Keto diet is very different from ketoacidosis which is a medical emergency.
- Other myths based on misunderstanding- it kill your kidneys or destroy your bones? Will it stop your thyroid from working?
Keto Diet Calculator
The Ketogenic Calculator is helpful in calculating daily macro nutrient intake.