Some information from my Ketogenic talk on Saturday.
The ketogenic diet was founded in 1924 by Mayo Clinic’s Dr Russell Wilder and takes a different approach to weight loss and health to other common diets, it is based upon an understanding of physiology and nutritional science. The underlying concept of the ketogenic diet in simple terms is to change the body’s primary fuel source from glucose to fat.
It promotes eating a high fat diet, limiting proteins and restricting carbohydrate intake, The principle of the diet is based on ‘ketosis’ – a metabolic action which is induced when one eats less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day, depleting the body’s fuel reserves, or blood sugar, which is generally created from the carbohydrates we eat.
While studies have shown the diet’s potential to help people lose weight and fight disease, there are also contradictions to be aware of before trying this particular way of approaching diet and nutrition.
The body’s preferred source of energy is glucose, found in carbohydrates. After 3-4 days, when glucose and insulin levels are low, the liver starts to produce ‘ketones’ from fatty acids. These are used as the energy source for the body including the brain. The body now enters into a metabolic state of ‘ketosis.’
While the Ketogenic diet has seen weight loss success it also has drawbacks. The restriction of large groups of foods generally provides a potential for weight loss at a rapid pace, however this may be taxing on our organs due to key nutrient deficiencies as a result of inadequate intake, and therefore should not be undertaken without consultation and careful management by your preferred healthcare practitioner.
The ketogenic diet consists of 70% to 80% fat (MCT, saturated fat, Omega 3 or 9 fatty acids). 15% to 20% protein and 5% to 10% carbohydrates. With 60% of the fat coming from MCT (medium chain triglycerides).
The ketogenic diet can be very acidic. Including lots of low carb greens in the diet can help balance/counteract this. Also being hydrated to allow your body to flush the toxins and help balance the acidity.
A modified keto diet can also be followed, especially in order to transition to the standard keto diet, which can aim at around 30-50 grams of carbohydrates.
Full ketosis isn’t for everyone, and adding clean complex carbs like sweet potatoes, button squash, and brown rice one day a week keeps your body systems functioning properly.
Cyclical ketosis simply means you’re going in and out of keto on a weekly basis. Also known as carb cycling, a cyclical keto diet involves one day a week of carb-loading. The other six days of low-carb keto are identical to the standard keto diet.
In summary when done well the ketogenic diet is rich in good fats, balanced in proteins, including plant proteins and very low in carbohydrates. Ideally it is a low carb, high fat, anti-inflammatory way of eating that can have an array of health benefits for some people.
A reminder of the importance of doing your research and working with your practitioner of choice for your individual dietary requirements and what you are working with.
Ideally you are the best judge of your body and what it needs, it is really important to listen to this and honour yourself.
(Images source: unknown)