Ketogenic Diet: What is it? Is it safe?
What is a Ketogenic Diet?
I like to say a ketogenic diet is a diet that brings our bodies and metabolism back to its most natural and intended state. The ketogenic diet centers around consuming most of our diet from healthy fats, moderate amounts of protein, and very low amounts of carbohydrates. This allows our bodies to switch from relying on sugar or carbohydrates. Instead we can burn fat and rely on ketones and fat for energy. The ketones are a byproduct of the fat burning process. When your body is producing ketones you are burning fat for energy.
How does the ketogenic diet work?
The basic premise behind the ketogenic lifestyle is unlocking your body’s ability to burn fat for fuel. This allows most of your daily energy needs to be met by fat instead of carbohydrates and sugar. The ketogenic diet shifts your bodies homeostasis. In most cases this adaptation takes 2-4 weeks. Once fully adapted your cells mitochondria can now use fatty acids to power muscles, organs, and other activities of daily life. The ketones can cross the blood brain barrier to fuel your brain. Any need for glucose (blood sugar) is maintained through a process called gluconeogenesis from our dietary protein and stored energy (fat cells).
Is a ketogenic diet important for health?
A well formulated and planned out ketogenic lifestyle and diet can help prevent, control, or even reverse all major chronic diseases that affect us today or may in our future. Many chronic symptoms and health conditions—such as fatigue, sleepiness, mood disorders, insomnia, gastroesophageal reflux disease, lipid disorders, high blood pressure, headaches (including migraines), gas, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, joint inflammation, acne, and difficulty concentrating, to name a few—will improve on a ketogenic diet. Treating lifestyle conditions with lifestyle change such as this can make us a healthier and improve our quality of life.
What is the main benefit from a ketogenic lifestyle?
Trick question! There are simply too many benefits that surround living the ketogenic lifestyle to limit the response to just one.
A nutritionally well balanced ketogenic diet can help you alleviate chronic pain, lose fat while maintaining muscle, and even stabilize blood glucose for diabetics and pre-diabetics: #1. If you need to lose weight you will be able to shed fat pounds while preserving your muscles. #2 If you are pre-diabetic or insulin resistant, it will lower your glucose levels and make them stable. #3 If you have chronic pain, it will lower inflammation levels and reduce the pain. Those are just few examples of how this way of eating can relieve you of the symptoms of many different conditions.
What to eat living the keto lifestyle?
At first it all depends on your current food allergies, sensitivities, likes and dislikes. A well balanced ketogenic diet includes all types of meat, fish, eggs, full fat creams, animal fats and oils, nuts, above ground vegetables, and many other natural sources of food put on this planet for us to enjoy and benefit from.
How do you get started with a ketogenic program?
To get started with the ketogenic lifestyle you could just read few websites on the internet, but there is a danger in doing so. Most approaches to the ketogenic diet will not take into account your nutrition needs. These needs are dependent on your personal preferences when it comes to food choices. Remember, were all individuals and success begins with a plan of action. A plan helps you overcome those obstacles that are sure to spring up. Even if you just want to lose a few pounds, it is important to think about the big picture. You are making an investment in yourself. Doing it the right way and setting yourself up for success should be concern #1. If you have questions, SVV Nutrition offers free consultations that can help answer those questions for you.