The Ketogenic Diet
What is the Ketogenic Diet? The ketogenic diet is a low carb, moderate protein, and high fat diet which puts the body into a metabolic state known as ketosis.
What is the Ketosis? When your body is in a state of ketosis, the liver produces ketones which become the main energy source for your body.
Foundation: The keto (key-toe) diet, is based around the premise that your body was designed to run more efficiently as a fat burner than a sugar burner. When you eat something that is high in carbs, your body will produce glucose and insulin.
- Glucose - is the easiest molecule for your body to convert and use as energy so that is why it's the preferred energy source for your body.
- Insulin - is produced to process the glucose in your bloodstream by transporting it around your body.
You've probably heard of the fact that you can go weeks without food but only a couple of days without water. The reason for this is ketosis. Most people, have enough fat stored on them to fuel their body for a while. When your body is in a state of ketosis, it produces ketones. Ketones occur from the breakdown of fat in the liver.
But why isn't my body constantly breakdown fats in the liver? The answer to the question is that when your body is producing insulin, the insulin prevents the fat cells from entering the bloodstream, so they stay stored in the body aka belly fat etc!
When you lower your carb intake, glucose levels, along with blood sugar levels, drop which in turn lowers insulin levels.
This allows the fat cells to release the water they are storing, and the fat cells are able to enter the bloodstream and head to the liver.
KETOGENIC FOOD LIST:
- Fats & Oils. Try to get your fat from natural sources like meat and nuts. Supplement with saturated and monounsaturated fats like coconut oil, butter, and olive oil.
- Protein. Try to stick with organic, pasture-raised and grass-fed meat where possible. Most meats don’t have added sugar in them, so they can be consumed in moderate quantity. Remember that too much protein on a ketogenic diet is not a good thing.
- Vegetables. Fresh or frozen doesn’t matter. Stick with above ground vegetables, leaning toward leafy/green items.
- Dairy. Most dairy is fine, but make sure to buy full-fat dairy items. Harder cheeses typically have fewer carbs.
- Nuts and Seeds. In moderation, nuts and seeds can be used to create some fantastic textures. Try to use fattier nuts like macadamias and almonds.
- Beverages. Stay simple and stick to mostly water. You can flavor it if needed with stevia-based flavorings or lemon/lime juice.
Fats are vital to our bodies, but they can also be dangerous if you are consuming too much of the wrong types of fats. There are a few different types of fat that are involved in a ketogenic diet. Different foods usually have various combinations of fats, but the unhealthy fats are easy to avoid. Here’s a brief overview:
- Saturated Fats: Some examples of these are butter, ghee, coconut oil, and lard; Eat these!
- Monounsaturated Fats: Some examples of these are olive, avocado, and macadamia nut oils; Eat these!
- Polyunsaturated Fats: Naturally occurring polyunsaturated fats in animal protein and fatty fish are great for you, and you should eat these. Processed polyunsaturated fats in “heart healthy” margarine spreads are bad for you.
- Trans Fats: These are processed fats that are chemically altered (hydrogenated) to improve shelf life. Avoid all hydrogenated fats, such as margarine, as they’re linked to heart disease. AVOID THESE!