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What is the keto diet? let me explain first how the media has influenced what we eat. For a decade now, we have seen advertisements for low fat, reduced fat, and no fat items. Our supermarkets fill their shelves with easy to go processed foods with all the nutrients removed. Yet we are as a nation getting bigger, we have a growing population of diabetes 2, and are suffering from cardiovascular disease at an even younger age than our ancestors. So why is it? diets rich in carbohydrates, and notably rich in refined sugars and fructose are associated with the metabolic syndrome. Studies have shown that a diet low in carbohydrates is the most effective for reducing the metabolic syndrome. Our bodies need good fats, they are fats from certain plants and dairy, like avocado, olive oil, butter. Essential fats are used for growth and development, it is used for the functioning of nerves and our brain, helps to maintain healthy skin and other tissues, is used for transporting fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. We also need fat for forming steroid hormones that we use to regulate the body.
Ketogenic diets induce a metabolic condition named “physiological ketosis” by Hans Krebs, A reduction of appetite due to a higher satiety from the protein consumed, and the effects on the hormones which induce hunger. The ketogenic diet has been shown to reduce blood sugars, reduce total cholesterol, reduce LDL, increase HDL, decrease triglycerides, decrease body fat and weight, and help lower systolic or/and diastolic blood pressure.
Obesity is also a major risk factor for insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Studies have found individuals with insulin resistance showed dramatically improved markers of metabolic syndrome than diets lower in fat. Therefore, a very low carbohydrate diet and higher in good fats helps to lower insulin levels. the reduction of carbohydrates can lead to significant benefits in total cholesterol reduction, increases in HDL and reduction of blood triglycerides.
So, lets now talk about what is a keto diet. As mentioned above it is a diet that is very low in carbohydrates, foods that contain sugars, starch and cellulose. That said then what do I eat in the keto diet, more good fats, fish, seafood, meat, eggs, cheese, and vegetables that grow above the ground. The idea is to keep your carbs to > 50g per day, the lower the faster the results. As the body receives fewer carbs it will start to go into what we call ketosis. This when the body starts to use its fat as fuel burning up our reserved fat supply. It is important to keep protein at 15-25g per day and fats at around 75% per day. To find out more information on what to eat and what not to eat visit https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/keto
The first 3-4 days can make you feel lethargic, this phase passes very quickly. With improved energy levels and an increase in mood. You can measure where your body is at in ketosis by buying keto sticks from your pharmacy. I suggest you research before starting keto and if your unsure of anything consult with your GP. Seeing a nutritionist is a fantastic way to start and keep on track with keto, they can answer all your questions, write a diet for you and give recipes. Apps will help you monitor through the day what you should eat.
Good luck, and feel free to message me or make an appointment to start you on your journey to keto, weight loss, lower insulin resistance, mood change or just a healthier lifestyle.
Kosinski, C., & Jornayvaz, F. R. (2017). Effects of Ketogenic Diets on Cardiovascular Risk Factors: Evidence from Animal and Human Studies. Nutrients, 9(5), 517. http://doi.org/10.3390/nu9050517