What is a Ketogenic Diet?
With the new advances in the research demonstrating that dietary fat is not as bad as once thought, diets like the ketogenic diet are becoming more popular. The ketogenic diet has been around for almost a century, but it is still misunderstood by many.
What is the Ketogenic Diet?
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low carbohydrate diet. Typically, someone following a ketogenic diet will consume 70-75% of their total daily caloric intake from dietary fats, 20-25% from proteins, and less than 5% from carbohydrates. Following this type of dietary approach can result in a unique metabolic state known as ketosis.
What is Ketosis?
Ketosis is the increase of blood ketones in the blood. When we restrict carbohydrates, our blood sugar and insulin lower and this forces the body to look for alternative fuel supplies. Under such conditions, the liver can produce what is known as a ketone body from the breakdown of dietary or stored fat.
How are Ketones Used?
Ketone bodies or ketones can be used in similar fashion to carbohydrates. Many of our tissues can use ketone bodies as a fuel source. In fact, some tissues such as the brain may actually prefer ketones over carbohydrates.
Benefits of The Ketogenic Diet?
The ketogenic diet was first developed to mimic fasting and was used in children who have paediatric drug-resistant epilepsy. Since then, it has been proposed that the ketogenic diet may be able to help with other pathological conditions such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and obesity.
The tricky part with a ketogenic diet can be dietary adherence. For a ketogenic diet to be successful, it must be strict in nature. Cheat meals on this type of diet can be more harmful compared to cheat meals on other dietary protocols. At first, sticking to a ketogenic diet can be extremely difficult due to sugar cravings. However, it is important to note that these cravings subside as the diet is maintained.
Common Ketogenic Diet Foods
Typically, fatty meats and vegetables are the staples of a ketogenic diet. It is also common to use foods high in fat such as coconut oil, dressings, oils, and nuts. While completely cutting out sugary foods may seem rather restrictive, remember that there are not many diets out there that allow you to eat bacon!