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The Ketogenic Diet

A Detailed Beginner's Guide to Keto

What Is The Ketogenic Diet

What Is The Ketogenic Diet

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Ketosis

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 end goal of a properly maintained keto diet is to force your body into this metabolic state

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Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet

  • Weight loss.
  • Keto naturally lowers blood sugar levels due to the type of foods you eat.
  • Mental focus: Ketones are a great source of fuel for the brain.
  • Increased energy & normalized hunger: Fats are shown to be the most effective molecule to burn as fuel.
  • Epilepsy: Keto diet has been used since the early 1900’s to treat epilepsy successfully.
  • Cholesterol & blood pressure: shown to improve triglyceride levels and cholesterol levels most associated with arterial buildup.
  • Insulin resistance.
  • Improvements in your skin health.

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Foods To Avoid On a Keto Diet

Foods To Avoid On a Keto Diet

  • Grains – wheat, corn, rice, cereal, etc.
  • Sugar – honey, agave, maple syrup, etc.
  • Fruit – apples, bananas, oranges, etc.
  • Tubers – potato, yams, etc.

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The Keto diet is named after ketones

The Keto diet is named after ketones

Ketones are products of the fat metabolism that occurs when the body is running low on carbohydrates and proteins as sources of energy.

Ketones can cross the blood-brain barrier and act as a substitute for glucose to supply the brain with essential energy.

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Treating epilepsy with fasting or diet

Fasting was the only method of treating seizures in the past as recorded by Hippocrates.

Only in 1921, Dr Russel Wilder of the Mayo Clinic proposed that ketone production occurring in the fasting state could also be achieved through a diet high in fat, moderate in protein, and low in carbohydrates.

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Modern versions of the ketogenic diet

Modern versions of the ketogenic diet

  • The classic ketogenic diet. 80% to 90% of calories come from fat, 10% from protein, and the rest are from carbohydrates such as fruits or vegetables.
  • The medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) diet. The diet uses MCT oils naturally found in palm and coconut oil as well as human, cow, and goat milk. This diet allows for a bit more carbohydrates.
  • The Atkins diet is less restrictive but has a greater likelihood of adherence by adolescents and adults.
  • The low glycemic index diet allows for more carbohydrates as long as they have a low glycemic index, meaning they don't raise the body's blood sugar too quickly. Foods well suited to this diet includes strawberries, lentils, and whole-grain breads.

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The Ultimate Guide to Ketosis

The Ultimate Guide to Ketosis

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Ketosis

Ketosis

Is a metabolic state. Think of being in or out of ketosis like the settings in a hybrid car; you can rely on gas or electricity to different degrees.

In ketosis, we rely on fat instead of carbs for energy and do so to such an extent that we start making ketones from fat.

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The function of ketones

Ketones aren’t just a form of energy, they’re powerful signaling molecules. They regulate the expression of genes and dampen inflammatory processes.
Your body is always producing a very low level of ketones, irrespective of your diet. You start producing more of them when following a diet that’s high in fat and low in carbs.

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Getting in ketosis

Getting in ketosis

  • The stricter you restrict carbs (or total calories), the quicker you will be in ketosis.
  • Restricting your carb intake to 20g per day is a good heuristic (loose rule) for entering ketosis. It will generally get you into ketosis within a few days.
  • Fasting gets you into ketosis very quickly.

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High on fat, low on carbs

High on fat, low on carbs

A ketogenic diet is predominantly made up of high-fat foods , including butter, oils, meat, fish, eggs and cheese, and very low-carb vegetables such as cauliflower and leafy greens.

This forces the body to burn fat for fuel, rather than glucose. In order to maintain that state, known as ketosis, followers typically restrict their carbohydrate intake to less than 50g a day.

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Ketosis discovery

Ketosis discovery

Keto was developed as a clinical tool.

In 1911, doctors noticed that children with epilepsy stopped having seizures after 2 days of absolute fasting, when their bodies would have been forced into ketosis. 

Scientists later noted that ketosis could be achieved through a low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diet without the risk of infection and mortality rates associated with absolute fasting

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Keto popularity

Keto popularity

Most newcomers are drawn to keto for its potential weight loss benefits, and, while it remains a topic of debate among nutritional scientists, its proponents typically gloss over the unknowns.

The real driving force behind keto’s popularity is our myopic focus on weight as the sole determinant of health.

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The Keto Diet

The Keto Diet

The Keto diet, which is low on carbs and high on fats, is restrictive, especially when most people follow the processed food diet which is high on carbs.

It requires the individual to throw away carbs, junk food, sauces, cold drinks, and starchy veggies while limiting fruit intake.

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Starting With The Keto Diet

  • While preparing for this kind of diet, the first step is to go through the kitchen and pantry to get rid of the non-keto stuff, just to avoid any impulsive eating.
  • Then we need to make a meal plan for the week, including snack items.
  • Keep a lot of almonds, pumpkin seeds, coconut/olive oils, eggs, canned food and powdered protein.
  • Stock some veggies, frozen berries and broccoli in the fridge, along with coconut milk.

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The Keto Diet Mindset

  • Keep reminding yourself that this new diet that is being followed is not a challenge, but a healthy lifestyle choice.
  • Understand that following this diet will start the body’s metabolic transition towards Ketosis, where the body burns fat instead of blood sugar.
  • You can have the occasional keto dessert and the glass of wine, avoiding the all-or-nothing mindset.

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Meat, poultry and substitutes

Meat, poultry and substitutes

Meats and meat substitutes

  • beef
  • deli meats
  • game
  • lamb
  • organ meats
  • pork
  • poultry
  • sausages
  • tempeh
  • tofu, extra firm.

Meats are perfect for keto. You can have beef, pork, lamb, wild game, and poultry of all kinds. Soy products like tofu and tempeh also work. You can also have deli meats like sausages and cold cuts. Choose items with no added sugars, starches, or breading to keep your carbs low.

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Fish and seafood

Fish and seafood

Keto-friendly fish and seafood

  • anchovies
  • crab
  • fish of all types
  • lobster
  • shrimp
  • squid
  • tuna.

Most fish and shellfish are keto-friendly. Fatty fishes such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, and herring are excellent choices, as are mild white fishes such as cod, halibut, and trout. Choose fish and seafood without added sugars or breading to keep your carbs low.

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Eggs

Eggs

Eggs are delicious, portable, and vegetarian-friendly. Try them boiled, fried in butter, or in an omelet for a quick, inexpensive meal. Enjoy eggs as often as you’d like because when you avoid carbs, you don’t have to avoid dietary cholesterol.

Ways to eat eggs

  • boiled, hard or soft
  • fried
  • in quiches or frittatas
  • omelets
  • poached
  • scrambled.

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