Ketogenic diet, what is it and should you be trying it?

You may have heard about the ketogenic diet and wondered what it is and if its right for you.

For most of our lives we have been lead to believe that the primary fuel source in the body is sugar, however a more effective and efficient fuel source occurs when your body is in ketosis.

But what is ketosis I hear you ask! A ketogenic diet is a diet that focuses on consuming less carbohydrates, moderate amounts of protein and high amounts of healthy fats. These three key factors are key in achieving ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic process that occurs in the body when fat is used as the primary source of energy as opposed to carbohydrates. When you restrict your carbohydrate intake, the body then needs to switch its fuel source and it starts to break down fat to use as energy and you then enter ketosis.

Many people use ketogenic diets for benefits like:

  • Weight loss: When your body is using fat directly as a source of energy, you lose weight more readily because your body taps into your own fat stores for energy instead of the sugar you eat.

  • Improved energy levels: Without surges of glucose (sugar), your body remains at a more consistent energy level because it is using its own body fat for energy.

  • Increased mental focus: Fat is a more consistent source of energy, and preferred by the brain, meaning you don’t have ups and downs in energy and focus.

  • Disease prevention:  Ketosis has been shown to decrease inflammation and may benefit people that suffer from epilepsy, alzheimers, and diabetics.

  • Increased physical performance: Ketosis uses oxygen more efficiently and avoids the crash of low blood sugar.

If you are looking to lose weight then the ketogenic diet is the way to do it because it helps the you access your body fat in order for it to be shed. When you are on the ketogenic diet you are consuming more fat and therefore reducing your appetite and you avoid over eating.

The basic diet consists of:

Non-starchy veggies – lowest carb veggies are spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, green cabbage, collard greens, kale, and green beans

  • High-fat dairy – hard cheeses, pasture-raised cream, and butter

  • Nuts and seeds

  • Avocado

  • Berries

  • Natural no carb sweeteners like stevia, monk fruit, xylitol, and erythritol

  • Other oils like coconut oil and other saturated fats like duck fat and ghee

Foods NOT to Eat:

  • Grains

  • Sugar

  • Fruit

  • Root vegetables like beets, sweet potatoes, and yams

An ideal Ketogenic day:

  • 20-30 net grams of carbs

  • 112-120 grams of fat

  • 55 grams of protein

So if you are looking to lose weight, improve your physical performance, increase your metal focus or prevent disease then the ketogenic diet just might be what you need.

For more information on how a ketogenic diet can benefit you contact me at naturopathy@kyliesartori.com.au