What is the Ketogenic diet?
The ketogenic diet is a very low carbohydrate, high-fat diet. Yes, I said high fat. Don’t worry: eating fats are no longer the enemy; they are actually our friend if you want a healthy brain and body. (Glucose and carbohydrates are actually the enemies). When you decrease the amount of carbohydrates and increase the amount of fats in your diet, your body goes into the metabolic state called ketosis. Ketosis is the process by which your body starts the breakdown fats and turns it into ketones. Ketones are another fuel source for our bodies, which then can be used as a fuel instead of glucose.
What are the potential benefits of eating a Ketogenic diet?
The research on the uses of the ketogenic diet is extensive and is still growing. The ketogenic diet has been used for the treatment of poorly controlled seizures since the 1920s. Research now shows potential benefits for many other neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, migraine headaches, along with traumatic brain injury, depression, anxiety, ADD, and even autism. Besides the brain benefits, the ketogenic diet has been shown to help many medical issues including obesity, diabetes, cancer, and arthritis.
How do I start the Ketogenic diet?
A standard ketogenic diet consists of having your diet consist of 5% carbohydrates, 20% protein and 75% fats.
Foods to eat:
- Meats: Red meats, sausage, bacon, ham, pork, game meat, chicken, etc. Also, eat the fat on the meat as well as the skin on the chicken.
- Fatty Fish: Salmon, trout, mackerel, and tuna
- Eggs: Yes you can eat the whole egg!
- Oils: Extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil
- Butters, creams, and cheese: Use full-fat options and all natural grass fed butter
- Nuts: Walnuts, almond, macadamia nuts, flax seed, and pumpkin seeds
- Vegetables: Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, asparagus, zucchini, eggplant, and spinach
Foods to avoid:
Basically, any food that is high in carbohydrates should be limited, especially watch for hidden carbs in the so-called ‘low-fat foods’.
- Foods high in sugars: soda, fruit juices, smoothies, candies, pasties etc.
- Grains: wheat, pasta, oatmeal, cereals, and rice
- High carb vegetables: potatoes, corn, and carrots
- Beans: kidney beans, chickpeas, and refried beans
- Artificial sweeteners and processed foods
- Unhealthy fats: margarine and vegetable oils
Are there any side effects from the Ketogenic diet?
Often people notice symptoms when first starting a ketogenic diet called “the keto flu”. These symptoms of nausea, digestive discomfort, increased hunger, headaches, and fatigue, typically improve after a few days. There are several suggestions that can help. One is going a little slower with both decreasing off the carbohydrates and increasing the fats. Another suggestion is drinking more water. I also recommend adding some more minerals to your diet such as by adding Himalayan salt to your water along starting a magnesium supplement.
Are there any supplements that I should take?
As discussed above I typically recommend taking a magnesium supplement. There are a couple of other ways to increase your ketone levels including adding MCT oils to your coffee or drink. Second, there is a ketone salt supplement that I highly recommend which helps to keep you in a state of ketosis even when your diet is not 100% on track.
Do you want help starting a ketogenic diet? Message me by filling out the form below.