What is the Ketogenic diet?
The Ketogenic diet is a type of low carb diet that focuses on the intake of healthy fats as a primary source of energy in order to put your body into ketosis.
Ketosis is a survival response of the body when it senses that food intake is low. During ketosis, ketones are produced by breaking down fats in the liver, using our body’s fat stores as the primary source of fuel instead of carbohydrates.
The intention behind ketosis is to starve the body of carbohydrates instead of calories, so that the body is in optimal and perpetual fat burning mode. This perpetual fat burning mode is the reason many people look to the keto diet for weight loss success with positive results.
The Ketogenic diet revolves around the intake of foods that are high in healthy fats, while cutting out or minimizing intake of carbohydrates from sugary and starchy foods.
What foods to eat on a Keto diet?
Like most diets, the Ketogenic diet focuses on whole, fresh, unprocessed foods as the basis to make it effective. Packaged foods with hidden sugars or empty calories will deter your body from achieving ketosis, so fresh ingredients, organic as much as possible is the most ideal to make the most of this diet.
For people starting on a Ketogenic diet, here is a basic overview of foods you can work with as you experiment in the kitchen for keto-approved meals!
- All-natural meat such as pork and beef (avoid grain pork and beef)
- All-natural poultry such as chicken (avoid grain-fed chicken)
- All-natural eggs
- All-natural sustainably-caught fish
- Grassfed butter and ghee
- Saturated fats such as coconut oil, lard, tallow, and animal fat
- Monounsaturated fats such as avocado, macadamia, and olive oil
- Non starchy vegetables such as leafy greens and most cruciferous vegetables
- High-fat foods such as avocado
- All herbs and spices
- All-natural foods without any artificial ingredients such as mayonnaise, sauerkraut, whey protein, pork rinds and gelatin
- Dry red or white wine
- Non-GMO soy and soy products such as edamame, tempeh and soy sauce
- Seeds and nuts
- Nightshade vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplants and peppers
- Root vegetables such as onions, garlic, squash, and leeks
Avoid or eliminate:
- Factory-farmed meat
- All types of grains
- Processed foods that contain MSG, BPA, gluten and sulphites
- Sugar such as brown, refined, maple, and agave
- Tropical fruits such as pineapples, mangoes, bananas, papaya etc.
- Refined oils such as grapeseed, cottonseed, sunflower, canola, and sunflower oil
Is a keto diet safe?
For generally healthy individuals, a Ketogenic diet is safe. For those with any nutritional deficiencies, it’s best to check in with a doctor and/or a nutritionist to determine if the keto diet is safe for you.
A gradual decrease in carbohydrates and increase in fat intake is recommended instead of going full on to give the body time to adjust accordingly, lessening the risk of feeling of any negative results.
People who should not follow the Ketogenic diet would be pregnant or breastfeeding mothers, those on diabetes medication, or people who have high blood pressure as the elimination of carbohydrates from their diet is likely to yield more negative than positive results.
As for the question of whether or not a Ketogenic diet can help you lose weight, the answer is yes. Many healthy individuals who follow the diet properly benefit greatly from eating whole, fresh unprocessed foods while eliminating sugar and carbohydrates.
With fat as the main source of energy, placing their body in ketosis is an effective means for burning excess fat. Depending on the total calorie intake and activity level, people who wonder how long to be in ketosis before weightloss will vary in results per individual.
This article does not aim to promote ketogenic diet but simply aims to share information. It is important to note that effects of this diet will vary from person to person. It’s best to check in with a doctor and/or a clinical nutritionist to determine if the keto diet is safe for you.