Is the Ketogenic Diet Right For You?

by Michelle on March 29, 2018

The Ketogenic Diet trend seems to be taking off, But before you try it, there are many things to consider to help you decide if the Ketogenic Diet is actually right for you.

The ketogenic diet (or keto diet) is a low carbohydrate, moderate protein, a high-fat diet that forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates for fuel which puts the body into a metabolic state known as ketosis.  When in ketosis (fat burning mode) the liver produces ketones which become the main energy source for the body and this all revolves around the consumption of fat. This is based on the premise that your body was designed to run more efficiently as a fat burner rather than a sugar burner.

Ketogenic

When you eat something high in carbs (donuts, rice, bread, etc.), 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.

The problem is that when glucose is used as a primary energy source fats are not needed for energy and are stored instead.  Also, the body can’t store that much glucose and the extra glucose gets converted into fat which is then also stored. However, since glucose is the primary energy source when it’s turned to fat and then stored it doesn’t get used.  Instead, when the body needs more glucose for energy it signals the brain and you end up reaching for a quick shack of sugar, chips, etc. instead of burning the fat that is being stored.

So, this crazy cycle keeps going round & round until you’re carrying extra pounds and quite possibly addicted to sugar.  This is where the keto diet can help you become a fat burner instead of a sugar burner by training your body to stop relying on glucose and to start relying on fats.  This is the end goal of the keto diet but you don’t enter ketosis (fat burning mode) by starving your body…you enter ketosis by starving your body of carbohydrates and sugars.

You’ve most likely heard that we can go weeks without food but only a couple of days without water.  The reason for this is ketosis and most people have enough fat stored to fuel their body for a while.  This is great in a survival situation but terrible in everyday life. In ketosis the body produces ketones.  Ketones occur from the breakdown of fat in the liver, hence the importance of consuming enough fat daily. When you lower your carb intake, glucose levels along with blood sugar levels drop which in turn lowers insulin levels as fat cells release their stored water and then they’re able to enter the bloodstream and head to the liver.

The benefits of the ketogenic diet are many:

  1. Weight loss
  2. Better blood sugar control
  3. Improved insulin resistance
  4. Better focus
  5. Increased energy
  6. Better appetite control
  7. Improved Cholesterol & blood pressure
  8. Clearer skin

Here is a brief idea of what foods to eat for the keto diet and what to avoid:

Foods to Eat

  • Meats – fish, beef, lamb, poultry, eggs
  • Leafy greens – spinach, kale
  • Above ground vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower
  • High-fat dairy – hard cheeses,  high fat cream, and butter
  • Sweeteners – stevia, erythritol, monk fruit, and other low-carb sweeteners
  • Other fats – coconut oil, high-fat dressing, saturated fats, etc.
  • Nuts & seeds – macadamia nuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds
  • Avocado & berries – raspberries, blackberries, and other low glycemic berries

Foods to Avoid

  • Grains – wheat, corn, rice, and cereal
  • Sugar – honey, agave, and maple syrup
  • Fruit – apples, bananas, and oranges
  • Tubers – potatoes, and yams
  • Legumes

The general ratio of the keto diet is 70% fats, 25% protein, and 5% carbohydrates.  This means you’re getting your fuel from fats and you should start seeing the benefits of the keto diet in no time.  As always, check with your doctor if you have certain conditions before starting on the ketogenic diet. There are many resources for keto diet foods, shopping lists, recipes, charts, etc. online and just as many books available for you to review for details to start your journey.  Good luck and happy eating!

 

 

 

 

Michelle

Michelle

Michelle

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