What is the Ketogenic Diet?

by | Mar 1, 2021 | Ketogenic Diet, Natural Attitude

Getting started – What is the Ketogenic Diet?

The Ketogenic Diet, is also referred to as the Ketosis Diet, or Keto for short. Is a way of eating that mimics the effects of fasting. By consuming a diet rich in quality fats, adequate in protein, and low in carbohydrates the body’s metabolism begins to utilize fat as its main source of fuel, rather than carbs. This shift has profound effects on metabolism. The diet shows promise for improving or reversing many neurological conditions and metabolic disorders.

 

What is Ketosis?

The term ketosis refers to a byproduct of the breakdown of fat into useable energy, called ketones. This fat can be derived directly from a diet or from fat stores of the body. Ketosis caused by diet is referred to as “nutritional ketosis”.  Ketones are used directly by the body to power itself.  This breakdown of fat into useful energy is similar to the process that dietary carbohydrates undergo in producing glucose to fuel the body.  In other words, ketones are to fat what glucose is to carbohydrates. 

 

What are the benefits of Ketosis?

Achieving a state of ketosis can have many benefits from treating chronic illnesses to optimizing performance. The diet seems to enhance the ability of mitochondria (the power plant of our cells) to deliver our bodies’ energy needs in a manner that reduces inflammation and oxidative stress. 

Through optimizing the way our body uses energy we improve the ability to combat several diseases as well as improving our health. 

 

Notable benefits:

  1. Reduces your appetite
  2. Leads to weight reduction
  3. Triglycerides drop (fat molecules that circulate in your blood stream)
  4. Reduces blood sugar and insulin levels
  5. Lowers blood pressure
  6. Effective against metabolic syndrome (a condition associated with risk of diabetes and heart disease)
  7. Therapeutic for several brain disorders (your brain needs glucose and your liver produces glucose from protein if you don’t eat carbs)
  8. Increases levels of HDL (good cholesterol)

 

The Bottom Line

It is well established in nutrition science the immense health benefits of low-carb and ketogenic diets. If you’re curious to boost your health a low carb diet could be worth considering.

How do I get into Ketosis?

There are two methods to make the metabolic shift from using glucose to ketones as your main source of energy.

Fasting – This is effective and the easiest way to get into ketosis.  A 48-hour fast will generally result in ketosis. After this fast, adopting a Ketogenic Diet will allow you to stay in ketosis. We recommend starting the fast at least 3 hours before bedtime on the first day, and eating at the same time 2 days later.  While fasting means many things to many people, we define it here as the total restriction of macronutrients.  Increasing your water consumption to avoid dehydration. Black coffee or plain tea helps me maintain focus and performance during the fast.

Diet (nutritional ketosis) – Adopting a high fat, adequate in protein and low in carbohydrates diet will result in ketosis. This will take 2-3 weeks to achieve this state. 

Sustaining ketosis – Intermittent fasting reduces the window of time a person eats throughout the day and will help in obtaining and sustaining ketosis. When the eating window is shortened, the body is forced to access energy from its own fat stores rather than calories directly from the diet.

The YES foods Keto list:

  1. Seafood
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Mackerel
  • Other oily fish
  1. Low Carb Vegetables
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Green Beans
  • Egg Plant
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Olives
  • Peppers
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini
  1. Cheese
  • Blue cheese
  • Brie
  • Camembert
  • Cheddar
  • Cottage cheese
  • Cream cheese
  • Feta
  • Goat cheese
  • Halloumi
  • Mascarpone
  • Mozzarella
  • Muenster
  • Parmesan
  • Romano
  • Swiss
  1. Avocados

Avocados are high in several vitamins and minerals, including potassium, an important mineral many people may not get enough of. What’s more, a higher potassium intake may help make the transition to a ketogenic diet easier.

  1. Meat and Poultry

Meat and poultry do not contain carbs and are rich in high-quality protein and several nutrients. Grass-fed meat is the healthiest choice.

  1. Eggs

Eggs contain less than 1 gram of carbs each and can help keep you full for hours. They’re also high in several nutrients and may help protect eye and heart health.

  1. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is rich in MCTs, which can increase ketone production. In addition, it may increase metabolic rate and promote the loss of weight and belly fat.

  1. Plain Greek Yogurt and Cottage Cheese

Both plain Greek yogurt and cottage cheese contain 5 grams of carbs per serving. (1/2 cup) They help reduce appetite and promote fullness. Both are healthy, high protein foods. While they contain some carbs, they can still be included in a ketogenic lifestyle in moderation.

  1. Olive Oil

As a pure fat source, olive oil contains no carbs. It’s an ideal base for salad dressings and healthy mayonnaise.

  1. Nuts and Seeds

Are healthy, high fat, and low-carb foods. Furthermore, nuts and seeds are high in fiber, which can help you feel full and absorb fewer calories.

  1. Butter and Cream

Butter and cream are nearly carb-free and appear to have neutral or beneficial effects on heart health when consumed in moderation.

  1. Shirataki noodles

A fantastic addition to the Keto Diet. Their viscous fiber helps slow down the movement of food through your digestive tract, which promotes fullness and stable blood sugar levels.

  1. Unsweetened Black Coffee and Tea

Unsweetened coffee and tea contain no carbs and can help boost your metabolic rate, as well as physical and mental performance. They can also reduce your risk for diabetes.

  1. Dark Chocolate and Cocoa

Chocolate can be part of a ketogenic diet. However, it’s important to choose dark chocolate that contains a minimum of 70% cocoa solids, preferably more, and eat in moderation.

  1. Olives

Are rich in antioxidants that may help protect heart and bone health. They contain 1 gram of net carbs per ounce.

 

The NO foods Keto list:

  • Sugary foods –fizzy drinks, fruit juice, smoothies, cake, ice cream, candy, etc.
  • Grains or starches -wheat-based products, rice, pasta, cereal, etc.
  • Fruit -all fruit, exception of berries like strawberries
  • Beans or legumes -peas, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc.
  • Root vegetables – potatoes, carrots, parsnips, etc.
  • Low fat or diet products -low fat mayonnaise, salad dressings, and condiments etc.
  • Some condiments or sauces -barbecue sauce, honey mustard, teriyaki sauce, chutney and ketchup etc.
  • Unhealthy fats:processed vegetable oils, mayonnaise, etc.
  • Alcohol:beer, wine, liquor, mixed drinks etc.
  • Sugar-free diet foods:sugar-free candies, syrups, puddings, sweeteners, desserts, etc.

 

Why love the Keto Lifestyle

It can be used to achieve weight loss, blood sugar management, and other health-related goals. It includes a wide variety of nutritious, tasty, and versatile foods that allow you to remain within your daily carb range.