A ‘keto’ or ketogenic diet has become a popular low carbohydrate, high fat option for those wanting to increase fat burning and lose weight.
Ketones are produced by our bodies when we eat a diet that has very limited carbohydrates, moderate amounts of protein and an abundance of fat (up to 90% of our daily calorie intake). Our bodies (and brain) use ketones as an alternative fuel source when blood sugar (glucose) is in short supply. This is a metabolic state called ketosis.
A ketogenic diet enables our bodies to maintain a state of ketosis where it can burn fat more efficiently whilst keeping you satiated and happy. There are fewer feelings of deprivation and cravings thanks to an abundance of good quality fats and limited sugars in a keto way of eating.
what are the benefits?
As well as weight loss, added benefits can include:
- Mental alertness and clarity
- Steady supply of energy (no 3pm slump)
- An improvement in hormonal skin conditions such as acne
- Protection of brain function and reduction of likelihood of Dementia and Alzheimer’s
- The potential to decrease frequency and severity of seizures in epileptic sufferers.
- Reduction in symptoms of PCOS in affected women.
- Lower inflammation markers
- Better quality sleep
Keto is not a high protein diet. In fact, it’s the opposite. Only small to moderate amounts of protein are consumed as high amounts can actually interfere with the production of ketones as protein can also be used by our body as an alternative, yet inefficient, fuel source.
high quality foods to include on a ketogenic menu
- Animal and plant based fats including coconut products, butter, lard and duck fat, cream, cheese, flaxseed, hemp and olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds
- Moderate amounts of protein including beef, lamb, chicken, turkey and seafood, full fat tempeh and tofu, free range eggs
- Low carbohydrate vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, leafy greens, onions, garlic, ginger, asparagus, mushrooms, zucchini, squash, Brussels sprouts
- Low sugar fruits including berries, lemons and limes
Those who wish to try a ketogenic diet should always speak to a qualified nutritional or medical practitioner, as a very low-carbohydrate diet may not be suitable for everyone.
This blog is not intended to take the place of medical advice, diagnosis or treatment from a health care professional.