What is the ketogenic diet?
This is a high-fat, medium protein, and low carbohydrate way of eating. Dietary carbohydrates are kept to 35 grams per day, while greatly increasing your consumption of heart-healthy fats with a modest amount of quality proteins. By restricting carbs, the body is forced to burn fat for fuel through a process called ketosis.
Is keto safe?
The ketogenic diet is very safe for most everyone. With that being said, if you have any medical conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes always consult your physician first.
Should I try keto?
The answer is yes! A ketogenic has many proven benefits. It lowers blood sugar, decreases inflammation in the body, improves cardiovascular health, provides rapid weight loss, improves brain function, and decreases your risk for many diseases. As with any life change, consult your physician first though.
Won’t eating all that fat raise my cholesterol?
Actually, the research shows that eating keto lowers bad cholesterol, raises good cholesterol, and decreases triglycerides in the blood. Go here to learn more about cholesterol.
Aren’t carbohydrates necessary to survive?
The answer is no. There are no essential carbs required by the body, only essential fats, and proteins. Almost all cells thrive on a ketogenic diet because fat is a better fuel source. For the few cells that need glucose like red blood cells, the body can get this from proteins.
What are macros and do I have to count them?
The term “macros” is short for macronutrients and refers to fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. And the answer is no. However, for this diet to yield the best results in the fastest time, you have to keep your carbs low. It’s just easier to use an app like Cronometer. You can scan your food and it will do all the calculations for you so you know how many carbs you’re eating.
Isn’t eating red meat bad for your heart?
For decades we’ve been told eating foods high in saturated fat (like red meat) would cause heart disease. However, it has been discovered that the research was severely flawed and that there is NO causative link between the two. In fact, humans as a species have survived and thrived eating red meat for thousands of years.
It’s a complete protein because it contains all 9 essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein) the body needs to survive. Also, it’s high in iron, potassium, and can help preserve lean muscle as we age.
What is the keto flu?
This refers to a condition that can occur when your body is switching from using glucose for energy to using fat instead as its fuel source. However, this can be avoided by increasing your water and electrolyte intake.
What is ketosis and how do I know if I’m in it?
Ketosis is the term used for fat metabolism. When the body doesn’t have carbs or sugar to use for energy, it breaks down fat to produce ketones or energy. This can be measured by using ketone strips which test for ketones in the urine. Or by testing blood levels (most accurate) with a ketone monitor.
Now with that being said, you don’t have to use either. These are great tools especially if your goal is rapid weight loss but there are not necessary. You’ll know this diet is working when your hunger decreases, your cravings disappear, your brain function improves, and when you start to lose weight and feel better.This refers to a condition that can occur when your body is switching from using glucose for energy to using fat instead as its fuel source. However, this can be avoided by increasing your water and electrolyte intake.
I know someone who did this who got headaches and felt awful, why?
The ketogenic diet requires your carb intake to be around 30-40 grams per day. On the average western diet, most people consume 200-300 grams of carbs per day.
For every 1 gram of carbohydrate stored, your body stores 3 grams of water. So if you’re not eating carbs, you’ll lose a lot of water and key electrolytes like sodium. This, in turn, causes dehydration, fatigue, irritability, brain fog, and headaches. But this can be easily avoided by drinking more water and adding salt to your food.
Can I drink alcohol on keto?
The answer is yes. It’s best to stick with spirits (vodka, gin, whiskey, white rum, tequila, and scotch) because they don’t have carbs and use mixers with zero sugar. Light beer and dry wines do have carbs, so if you choose to drink them you’ll have to adjust your carb intake for the day.
Can I eat dairy?
The answer is yes but not all. Milk has way too many carbs so a keto option would be unsweetened almond or cashew milk. Cheese is also keto-friendly just make sure you watch your protein intake for the day. If you eat too much protein, the body can convert that to sugar. Other great keto options are butter, heavy whipping cream, cream cheese, and sour cream.
Can I eat fruit on keto?
While most fruit is off-limits because of the number of carbs, there are a few options that are allowed. Stick to strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries in small portions. You can top them with sugar-free whip cream and have a refreshing snack.
Do I have to count calories?
No, you do not have to count calories just carbs. This diet is full of healthy fats and protein that will keep you full not hungry to where you’re overeating. When you eat a high carb diet for a long time, the hormone that tells the brain you’re hunger (ghrelin) is increased and the hormone that signals your brain stop eating (leptin) gets decreased. The ketogenic diet is loaded with satisfying food and will balance those hormones so they work properly.
Will keto damage my thyroid?
The answer is no. Studies found that low carb diets with severe calorie restriction caused thyroid impairment. A well-formulated ketogenic doesn’t restrict calories and there is no evidence showing it affects thyroid function.
Can I do keto if I had my gall bladder removed?
The answer is yes with a few precautions. The gall bladder stores bile which aids in fat digestion (it doesn’t make bile the liver does). Pace out your fats and eat them with a soluble fiber like brussels sprouts, broccoli, or avocado. Taking a digestive enzyme supplement can also help.
Can I do keto if I’m prediabetic or have type 2 diabetes?
Absolutely! A well-formulated ketogenic diet lowers blood sugar, improves insulin resistance, and can actually reverse type 2 diabetes. You should check with your doctor but there are many studies showing this to be the case. Type 1 diabetics are often able to reduce the amount of insulin they take with their doctors’ supervision.
Will keto help my PCOS?
Early studies are showing that it can improve this condition but more research is needed. Here’s an article about PCOS that explains more.
How much weight can I lose?
Since everyone’s body is different, everyone’s weight loss results will be too. A significant amount of weight can be lost through especially in the beginning. Carbs hold water so when you stop eating them, the body releases water. Your overall health will also factor into this and how strict you are with the diet. But keto has huge popularity, at least initially, because it produces rapid weight loss results.
Will keto hurt my kidneys?
The answer is no. The fear is that too much protein will damage your kidneys and cause kidney stones. However, this is NOT a high protein diet. A ketogenic can actually help the kidneys function better especially if you have diabetes. Read this article for more information on keto and your kidneys.
What if I get constipated?
This is a common problem that can easily be fixed. Drink a gallon of water a day, salt your food, and take a magnesium supplement. Also, coffee with MCT oil can help move things along (literally). And increase your fiber intake with avocados, broccoli, chia seeds, and spinach