What is a Ketogenic Lifestyle? 

Keto (ketogenic) is a High Fat, moderate protein, extremely low carbohydrate lifestyle implemented to help reverse and manage several conditions ranging from obesity, metabolic syndrome to mood disorders and auto-immune conditions. You'll be hard pressed to find a condition that Keto doesn't help! 

What does Keto consist of?

A high fat diet based in whole foods and healthy saturated fats that turns your body from converting glucose or sugar for energy to using fat and ketones for energy. 

Turning your body to burning fat from either the food you eat or your stored fat on your body helps to manage many conditions.

When the body burns fat, it produces three bi-products of fat breakdown, β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), acetoacetate (ACA) and acetone. These bi-products are called Ketones. This is a naturally occurring process and it’s what allows our bodies to survive during times of food restriction.

When an individual begins to follow a low carbohydrate diet, the body has to look for another fuel source, and it turns to fatty acids and fat stores to provide that much needed energy. The liver breaks down the fat, and releases ketones into the blood to be used by the brain and other organs to produce energy.

The interesting thing about ketones is that BHB may be a more efficient source of fuel for the brain than glucose, and because ketones are water-soluble substances, any excesses are eliminated through the urine (BHB and ACA), or the breathe
(acetone).

 

The BENEFITS 

 

 

The ketogenic diet first became popular as a treatment for seizures in children suffering from epilepsy, and the neuro-protective benefits of ketones came to light. As research into the process of ketosis expands, the list of benefits just continues to grow.

Weight loss & Blood Sugar Balance

This is one of the more popular, and desired, benefits from ketones. Ketones have been found to improve insulin sensitivity, lower and normalize blood sugar levels, contribute to an increased state of satiety and decrease food cravings. Individuals with high levels of ketones have been able to step away from the main-stream dieting idea that 6-meals per day must be the norm. Due to the increased level of satiety, you just eat when you’re hungry. No more calorie counting or food measuring!! All with significant weight loss benefits.

The improvement in blood sugar levels may also explain why ketones have been shown to benefit type II diabetics and women suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Energy levels and athletic performance have also shown significant improvement with higher levels of ketones. Ketones play a role in improved blood flow. They appear to enhance the function of the mitochondria (our energy power house), cause blood vessels to dilate, and lead to improved oxygen capacity, which can enhance athletic performance and improve motor performance. This is why ketones are often referred to as a “super fuel.” Ketones are also a powerful antioxidant, they have an anti-catabolic effect and help to preserve and promote muscle mass. Ketones have also been associated with an increase in branch chain amino acids (BCAA), which play a role in muscle growth.

Additional benefits

The list of benefits from ketones is exhaustive. In addition to the weight loss effects and enhanced energy and muscle performance, ketones have been positively associated with:

  • Migraine treatment
  • Neuro-protective benefits in seizure disorders; ADHD; Alzheimer ’s disease, memory and cognitive function; Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis
  • Autism and improved behaviour and social impacts
  • Mood stabilization in bipolar disorder (type II)
  • Stroke prevention; cardiovascular disease; metabolic syndrome management; improved cholesterol levels

*shared from https://pruvitnow.com/keto-basics/

 

The Ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet:

Because you are going to limit carbohydrate intake, you need to get your energy from somewhere. And in this diet, you get energy from fat.
PLEASE NOTE- you can still gain weight on a ketogenic diet if you eat more than you need.

Moderate your Protein:
Protein is the building block of your body. All the cells in your body are made up of protein: muscles, bones, organs, even hormones. Protein degrades daily, so you need an adequate amount to repair and build, plus even a little extra if you want to build muscle. Recommended protein intake is based on height and sex and activity level, along with considerations for activity levels.

Low Carb: Because you enter and maintain a ketogenic state when you stop ingesting carbohydrates. Carbs are NOT essential nutrients. If you eat past a certain amount of carbs, your body switches to burning carbohydrates instead of fats-the reverse of what your goal is on a keto diet.

A ketogenic diet has a lot of health advantages compared to the standard western diet. Most people do keto because of the weight loss, but it also has other health advantages like lowering risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke, and more. Just follow these simple guidelines:
Low carbs-Less than 20g/day.
  • Most of your carbs should come from incidentals and Vegetables are perfectly acceptable.
  1. Moderate your Protein based on your height, sex and activity level.
  2. Enough Fat
    • Majority of energy
    • Variable depending on goals of weight loss or maintenance
  3. The Right Kinds of Fat
  4. Eat saturated fat sources for fuel (butter, coconut oil, bacon grease, MCT oil)Limit high polyunsaturated sources (soy, corn, cottonseed, grapeseed, sunflower)
  5. Keto Flu Supplement sodium 2g/day (e.g. drink 1-2 cups of broth per day)-SALT IS NEEDED-NOT TO BE AVOIDED
    • Replace magnesium to stop muscle cramps, potassium and zinc as well
    • Drink lots of water
  6. Prefer whole foods over processed
What is the premise of a low carb, keto diet?

The general recommendation is to start with 20g of net-carbs per day.
This limit does a good job of eliminating junk foods, refined carbohydrates and any other “fattening” carbage foods.

The full premise of a keto diet is it is a lifestyle about overall health. The diet promotes long, intense bouts of energy, an increase in healthy, delicious food and an overall better outlook on your life. It is easily sustainable with a plethora of options and often is an answer to improving health that many people struggle to comprehend at first. A Ketogenic diet is not easy and will test your willpower but transforms the way you think and understand about yourself, food, and health in general.

How do I start and what can I eat?

Start by:
getting the daily carbs to 20g. Use green, fibrous vegetables as your main source of carbs.
  • keeping protein intake moderate, 0.69 to 1.2 grams per pound lean body mass. Note: going over 0.8 grams is only suggested for people doing heavy lifting and endurance training.
  • increasing the proportion of your diet that comes from fat
  • increasing the amount of water you drink
  • upping your intake of salt, potassium and magnesium
As far as what you can eat, Ketogenic diets are done differently by different people. Eat dark green leafy vegetables, fatty red meats, chicken with the skin left on, fish, organ meat, eggs, full-fat dairy, or anything else you can find rich in nutrition, high in fat and low in carb with moderate protein.
Carbs are a limit. Protein is a target. Fat is to be consumed to satiation, to remove hunger, not to a target. Recommended fats are from meat, coconut oil, olive oil, butter, etc.

How do I know how many carbs are in my food?

At first, you may want to track what you eat using a tool such as myfitnesspal.com (“MFP”), which will calculate your carb totals and lots more valuable stats. Once you get familiar with how many carbs are in which foods, you can choose whether to keep tracking your food or not. Tracking your food is highly recommended.


Reference: reddit Keto and Liz’s brain