A ketogenic diet is a slang for correct nutrition. Variation and the emergence of the foods industry gave rise to a number of metabolic disorders.
The purpose of foods was to provide us with nutrients, its sole purpose was to nourish. However, with industrialisation, capitalism and globalisation, the food industry has turned into the entertainment industry.
The ketogenic diet is suitable for each individual and it treats all conditions and diseases. It’s human nutrition because it gives us protein for structure and fat for power energy.
The keto diet is a very low-carb, higher-fat and protein diet.
The human body contains approximately 5 litres of blood. This amounts to 4 grams of sugar in the blood, which is less than a teaspoon of sugar!
When we consume foods rich in sugar/carbohydrates our insulin levels spike up. Insulin is a hormone released by the body in order to “regulate” our sugar levels. It allows the cells in the muscles, fat and liver to absorb glucose that is in the blood. Excess glucose converts to fat (in the form of triglycerides in the adipose tissue).
Loading our body with such foods over time will make you insulin resistant which means that the cells of the body don’t respond properly to the hormone insulin. High blood glucose causes obesity, kidney failure, and other problems, such as nerve damage that can lead to complications in the body.
Glucose is the easiest molecule for your body to convert and use as energy so it is chosen over any other energy source.
Typically on a normal, higher carbohydrate diet, the body will use glucose as the main form of energy. By lowering the intake of carbs, the body is induced into a state known as ketosis.
Ketosis is a natural process the body initiates to help us survive when food intake is low. During this state, we produce ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fats in the liver.
The reduction in carb intake puts your body in a metabolic state called ketosis, where fat, from your diet and from your body, is burned for energy.
How To Keto
- Restrict your carbohydrates. Most people tend to only focus only on net carbs. If you want great results, limit both. Try to stay below 20g net carbs and below 30g total carbs per day.
- Track your protein intake. Too much protein can lead to lower levels of ketosis by promoting gluconeogenesis.
- Don’t fear fats. Fat is the primary source of energy on keto – so make sure you’re feeding your body enough.
- Drink salted water. Make sure that you’re hydrating and staying consistent with the amount of water you drink.
- Avoid snacking. Fat loss journey accelerates when you have fewer insulin spikes during the day. Unnecessary snacking may lead to stalls in progress.
- Try fasting. Fasting can be a great tool to boost ketone levels.
- Exercise. If you wish to maximise benefits of the ketogenic diet, consider adding in 30-40 minutes of exercise each day.
- Supplement. Supplementing can support a ketogenic diet.
How to Know if You’re in Ketosis
You can measure if you’re in ketosis via urine or blood strips, but it’s not really worth it.
Instead, you can keep track of these “symptoms” that usually let you know if you’re on the right track:
- Increased Urination. Acetoacetate, a ketone body, is excreted in urination and can lead to increased bathroom visits for beginners.
- Dry Mouth. The increased urination causes dry mouth and increased thirst.
- Bad Breath. Acetone is a ketone body that partially excretes in our breath. It can smell sharp but it is a temporary phase.
- Reduced Hunger & Increased Energy. Usually, after you get past the “keto flu,” you’ll experience lower hunger levels and a “clear” mental state.
Foods To Eat
- Meats – fish, beef, lamb, poultry, eggs
- Dairy- milk, cottage cheese
- Leafy Greens – spinach, lettuce
- Above ground vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower
- High Fat Dairy – cheese, high fat cream, butter, ghee
- Nuts and seeds – macadamias, walnuts, almonds
- Avocado and berries – raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries
- Sweeteners – stevia, erythritol, monk fruit
- Other fats – coconut oil, saturated fats
Foods To Avoid
- Grains – wheat, corn, rice, cereal
- Sugar – honey, maple syrup, jaggery
- Fruit – apples, bananas, oranges, mangoes, grapes and more
- Tubers – potatoes, sweet potatoes
- Junk– noodles, pasta, fast food
Benefits of Keto Diet
On keto, your insulin (the fat-storing hormone) levels drop greatly which turns your body into a fat-burning machine.
Many people incorporate MCT Oil into their diet (it increases ketone production hereby promoting fat loss).
Improved Blood Sugar
Keto naturally lowers blood sugar levels. The high protein component of the diet helps slow the release of sugar into the blood and prevents abrupt insulin spike.
It promotes a decline in blood sugar levels. Eating low carb can potentially lower the risk of insulin resistance.
A keto diet boosts mental performance.
Ketones are a great source of fuel for the brain. This results in improved focus and concentration.
An increased intake of fatty acids can have impacting benefits to our brain’s function.
Boundless Energy & Normalized Hunger Hormones
By giving your body a better and more reliable energy source, you will feel more energized during the day. Fats are shown to be the most effective molecule to burn as fuel.
Fats also increases satiety and helps stabilising hunger levels.
Epilepsy & Cancer Treatment
The ketogenic diet has been used since the early 1900’s to treat epilepsy. It is still one of the most widely used therapies for children who have uncontrolled epilepsy today.
Cancer cells survive on glucose, the ketogenic diet helps cancer patients gain back control.
Improved Cholesterol & Blood Pressure Levels
A ketogenic diet has shown to improve triglyceride and cholesterol levels that are most associated with arterial buildup. It also helps manage blood pressure levels.
Ketogenic diets help improve skin quality by promoting drops in lesions and skin inflammation. It prevents and treats conditions like psoriasis and eczema, acne too.
High sugar diets cause skin inflammation.
- Freedom from cravings and diseases.
- Sparing muscle protein breakdown. Maintained muscle mass.
- Improved breathing
- Improved dental health, prevention of cavities.
- Easy on the gut. No digestive issues/acidity.
- Improved sleep quality, no sleep apnea.
- Non- inflammatory nutrition leading to faster recovery of muscles.
Once you reach your goals you should keep eating keto. If you revert to your old habits, you’ll slowly return to the weight and health situation you had before.
It’s like exercising – if you stop doing it, you’ll slowly lose the benefits. As you may expect, a keto diet, like exercise, only works when you do it.