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Should you try the keto diet?

Ketogenic diet

Ketogenic diet

Unlike other low-carb diets, which focus on protein, a keto plan centers on fat, which supplies as much as 90% of daily calories. The keto diet aims to force your body into using a different type of fuel. Instead of relying on sugar (glucose) that comes from carbohydrates (such as grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits), the keto diet relies on ketone bodies, a type of fuel that the liver produces from stored fat. 

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Should you try the keto diet?

Should you try the keto diet?

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/should-you-try-the-keto-diet

health.harvard.edu

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The Keto diet - documented uses

The keto diet is primarily used to help reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures in children. While it also has been tried for weight loss, only short-term results have been studied, and the results have been mixed. We don't know if it works in the long term, nor whether it's safe.

Ketogenic diet

Unlike other low-carb diets, which focus on protein, a keto plan centers on fat, which supplies as much as 90% of daily calories. The keto diet aims to force your body into using a different type of fuel. Instead of relying on sugar (glucose) that comes from carbohydrates (such as grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits), the keto diet relies on ketone bodies, a type of fuel that the liver produces from stored fat. 

Keto diet meals

Followers must eat fat at each meal:

  • Some healthy unsaturated fats are allowed: almonds, walnuts, seeds, avocados, tofu, and olive oil. But saturated fats from oils (palm, coconut), lard, butter, and cocoa butter are encouraged in high amounts.
  • Protein is part of the keto diet, but it doesn't typically discriminate between lean protein foods and protein sources high in saturated fat such as beef, pork, and bacon.
  • You can have certain fruits (usually berries) in small portions. Vegetables are restricted to leafy greens (kale, Swiss chard, spinach), cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, bell peppers, onions, garlic, mushrooms, cucumber, celery, and summer squashes. 

A ketogenic diet has numerous risks

  • It's high in saturated fat. It is associated with an increase in "bad" LDL cholesterol.
  • Nutrient deficiency: deficiencies in micronutrients found in  vegetables, fruits, and grains;
  • Liver problems, because of the amount of fat to metabolize;
  • Kidney problems. The kidneys help metabolize protein; the keto diet may overload them;
  • Constipation. The keto diet is low in fibrous foods like grains and legumes.
  • Fuzzy thinking and mood swings: the brain needs sugar from healthy carbohydrates to function.

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Ketosis
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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.
Do Not Eat 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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Documented uses of the keto diet

Doctors have been prescribing ketogenic diets to treat epilepsy for nearly a century, and increasingly believe it holds promise for people with Type 2 diabetes.

But the older keto regi...

The Ketogenesis process

It supplies energy under circumstances such as fasting or caloric restriction to certain organs (e.g. the brain, heart, and skeletal muscle).

In ketogenesis, our livers start to break down fat into a usable energy source called ketones. Ketones can stand in for glucose as fuel for the body when there’s a glucose shortage. 

Once ketogenesis kicks in and ketone levels are elevated, the body is in a state called “ketosis,” during which it’s burning stored fat. 

The Keto diet
It is a very low-carb, high-fat diet. People on a ketogenic diet get 5 percent of their calories from carbohydrates, about 15 percent from protein, and 80 percent from fat. It’s this ratio that will force the body to derive much of its energy from ketones. 

That means eating mainly meats, eggs, cheese, fish, nuts, butter, oils, and vegetables while avoiding sugar, bread and other grains, beans, and even fruit.

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Because they are just one ingredient: avocado, lentils, blueberries, broccoli, almonds, etc.

The "Age" of vegetables
The best vegetables are likely to be fresh and locally sourced, but flash frozen is nearly as good (as freezing delays aging). Those “fresh” vegetables that spend a long time in storage or transit are probably the least nutritious.

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A ketogenic diet...
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. 

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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

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.

The Paleo Diet

The Paleo Diet is an effort to go back to eating how we’re biologically designed to eat, allowing us to tap into our genetic potential and start living healthier immediately.

Lose weight on the Paleo Diet
  1. Eat fewer calories than you burn every day.
  2. Eat mostly real food if you want to be healthy.
  3. Do those two things consistently for a decade to KEEP the weight off.

When you only eat real food and avoid all unhealthy food, you’re more likely than not going to run a caloric deficit – and thus lose weight.

Eat the following:
  • Meat – GRASS-FED, not grain-fed. 
  • Fowl – Chicken, duck, hen, turkey.
  • Fish – Wild fish, as mercury and other toxins can be an issue in farmed fish
  • Eggs – Omega-3 enriched cage free eggs.
  • Vegetables – As long as they’re not deep-fried, eat as many as you want.
  • Oils – Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil – think natural.
  • Fruits – Fruits have natural sugar, and can be higher in calories, so limit if you’re trying to lose weight.
  • Nuts – High in calories, so they’re good for a snack only.
  • Tubers – Sweet potatoes and yams. Higher in calories and carbs.

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Ketosis

... is a natural state of the metabolic process. When a person has reached ketosis, their body is burning stored fat instead of glucose.

7 tips to get into ketosis
  • Increase physical activity
  • Reduce carbohydrate intake significantly
  • Fast for short periods
  • Increase healthful fat intake
  • Test ketone levels
  • Maintain a high protein intake
  • Consume more coconut oil as this may help to increase ketone levels.
Ketosis in summary
  • Ketosis is a natural state for the body to be in from time to time. When it occurs, the body burns its fat reserves as energy.
  • Maintaining a state of ketosis for short periods involves minimal risk. However, people with type 1 diabetes should avoid ketosis due to an increased risk of complications.
  • People should also avoid being in ketosis long-term, as they may experience fatigue and nutritional deficiencies.
  • Making several dietary and lifestyle changes can help a person get into ketosis faster.