When did the Ketogenic Diet become popular?
The Ketogenic Diet is rising in popularity because it tends to shift the body into a fat-burning state very quickly. Endurance athletes, Olympians, and bodybuilders have used a similar version of the ketogenic diet for years during certain phases of their training.
What is it used for?
Medically, the ketogenic diet is often suggested to patients with epilepsy, depression, cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s traumatic brain injury, ADHD, chronic Lyme disease, chronic candida overgrowth, and weight-loss. These conditions tend to respond well to the ketogenic high-fat nutrition and low-carbohydrate amounts allowed in the diet. The same conditions tend to decline when too many carbohydrates are eaten at once which can result in high blood sugars. Even temporary high blood sugar may increases yeast activity in some people and raise acid levels in the blood, both of which aggravate many medical conditions. When followed correctly and under normal circumstances, the ketogenic diet leaves little room for high blood sugars and subsequent side-effects.
How does it work?
The bloodstream normally runs on glucose. Glucose is created from carbohydrates that we eat, including sugars, or from stored sugars in the body. These sugars are used as fuel for energy, then they break down into CO2, water, ethanol, lactic acid, acetic acid, aldehydes and other acid bi-products that have to be flushed out of the bloodstream to bring the body back to balance.*When sugars are not present, the body switches to another fuel, fat. The ketogenic diet breaks down fat into ketone bodies, which are acetone, acetoacetic acid, and beta hydroxy-butyrate. This is called ketosis,a state where ketones are maintained at moderate to high levels and higher ketones are a sign that the body is burning fat! The acids are then flushed out of the body with water, electrolytes, and greens (like dark, leafy greens).
If unhealthy foods are the main source of your ketogenic diet, it can take a toll on your long-term health or even contribute to sluggish digestion. It is important to incorporate a good amount of healthy fats that are high in essential fatty acids, especially plant-based fats, alongside the animal fats. Those who follow the diet by not eating enough greens or other vegetables may find that acids build up too quickly in their body. If ketone levels become too high, blood acid levels can also become high, which is why it is wise to monitor ketone levels with ketone strips. Eating enough healthy keto-friendly foods and using keto supplements can help create a healthier and more successful experience(see Keto Supplement section).
How to get started
Ketosis is kicked off by properly fasting until the body releases ketones. Once the cells don’t have glucose to use for fuel, the liver turns the body’s stored sugars, called glycogen, into glucose. It usually takes about24-48hours of safe fasting to use up glycogen. The body then uses stored fat to break down into fatty acids which convert into ketone bodies. This is how ketones become the body’s new fuel.
How do I follow the diet?
It is well-known that fasting, low-carb dieting, and prolonged exercise can trigger ketosis naturally. The Ketogenic diet is designed to trigger ketosis faster and maintain ketosis more regularly by supplying 70-80% fat, 10-20% protein, and only 5-15% carbs on average. This translates into about 136g fat, 90g protein, and 50g carbs for a woman weighing about 150 pounds. For a 200 pound man, this translates into 136g fat, 100g protein, and about 50g carbs. Overall, calories can be kept as low 1,000 to 1,400 for the greatest success in weight loss.
The main food source is fat in the keto diet such as “macro fats” which are fat nutrients from food found in fatty meats from organic grass-fed sources, tallow, lard, ghee, cream, butter,plant-based fats, and keto products made from macro fats instead of exogenous ketone salts. Plant-based fats include MCT oil, avocadoes, avocado oil, cocoa butter, raw coconut, coconut oil, coconut cream, flax oil, nut oils, olives, olive oil, etc. Some of the keto fats found in coconut include caproic acid(C6, a macro fat), caprylic acid(C8), Capric Acid(C10), and Lauric acid(C12).
Proteins include high-fat meats, fish, seafood, eggs, etc. Vegetarian options include small amounts of nuts and seeds, vegetarian protein powders, tofu products, other soy products, etc.
The best choice for carbohydrates, nutritionally, would be vegetables and sparing amounts of low-carb fruit, such as berries. Keto-friendly sweeteners include stevia, erythritol, xylitol, and monk fruit (luo han guo). Note that artificial sweeteners like sucralose, aspartame, and other artificial substances could kick the body out of ketosis.**
Common helpful Keto products include keto-fats, keto-salts, keto-protein, keto-fiber, and low-carb nutrient formulas (like concentrated super-greens powders), multi-vitamins, multi-minerals, B-vitamins, probiotics, digestive enzymes, 0 carb electrolytes, and many more. Supplements that support the digestive organs are also key, including milk thistle for the liver, burdock or artichoke for the gallbladder, and possibly even digestive enzymes that include ox bile or extra lipase to help break down fats. Happy body chemistry equals greater success on this diet.
What does “fat-adapted” mean?
There is a period of 1-4 weeks on this diet that the body adjusts to being “fat-adapted”. This is where the body is comfortable burning fat for fuel. At this stage, many Keto dieters feel like carb cravings turn into fatty food cravings, their mood becomes more stable throughout the day, they don’t need snacks to make it through the day, their energy stays higher and more constant. For some, their athletic endurance increases, and their stress levels tend to decrease. Many find that weight loss and maintenance come easily during this stage and the medical benefits of more stable blood sugars, healthier blood lipid levels, and feelings of satiety result. Be sure to monitor ketone levels with keto tester strips and keep flushing the body out with water and sources of greens for the healthiest experience.
How can I jumpstart weight-loss?
Because “fat-adapting” can cause jittery or “flu-like” symptoms until completely adapted, many customers use certain supplements to help curb these side effects. Keto fats, keto proteins, and keto salts are the supplements that help most with “fat-adaption”. Taking exogenous ketones, or ketone salts as a supplement, like beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) has been one of the most helpful supplements to help energize the body during the “fat-adaption” phase. Macro-ketones, usually sourced from coconuts, may feel even more satisfying as a ketone supplement because they come from food. MCT oil breaks down easily into ketones so many customers use a tablespoon at a time several times a day to help speed up their adaption success. Ketone salts by themselves, even without diet and exercise, tend to help achieve all benefits of ketosis except weight loss. With the keto diet and exercise, ketone salts help boost all benefits. Intermittent fasting is another tactic keto dieters use to jump into a state of ketosis faster. The idea is to lengthen the time your body goes without food. We do not eat while we sleep, so intermittent fasting simply extends that 8 or so hours of time of mini-fasting up to 16 hours in order to fat-burn longer. This is a great time to hydrate with pure water nourished with trace minerals, electrolytes, or ketone salts. You can also use MCT oil each hour by the tablespoon to boost ketones. There are many health benefits to fasting including heightened brain function over time, a healthier bloodstream, inhibiting cancer growth, increasing the effectiveness of insulin, and creating an anti-aging biochemistry while it lasts.
How can I stay on the keto diet easier?
It is important to love your body, nourish it, and feed it during the keto diet. Prepare foods ahead of time, making several meals a day in advance to make this nourishing experience successful. Sugar craving products are very helpful when cravings for carbs are strong. Plan ahead for social gatherings and bring whatever you need to stay successful with your goals!
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