Ketogenic Diet 'Keto Diet'
The Ketogenic diet or otherwise known as the keto diet is a high fat, low carb diet. This diet was originally created and researched at John Hopkins in the 1920 to treat children with epilepsy for seizures. The original diet was very hard and involved fasting, hospital stays, food weighing, and counting of calories or fluids. John Hopkins has since adjusted the strict ketogenic diet to create a modified atkins diet 'MAD' in 2002 by Dr. Eric Kossoff and colleagues. It has shown to be as effective as the original strict Ketogenic diet studied in the 1920s.
The idea is to eat a higher percentage of healthy fats about 60-80% of your diet the rest of the diet should consist of moderate amounts of meats and green leafy vegetables and reduce the total daily carbs to around 15-20 grams per day.
The idea is to shift the body from using glucose to using ketones. Most carbs and sugar we eat get converted to glucose in the body. If the body does not have enough glucose it starts a hormone shift in the body to start producing and using ketones which are converted in the liver from the fat stored in your body.
Once the body starts using enough ketones the term is called ketosis. There are several ways to determine if a person is in ketosis.
- A blood monitoring device like the FreeStyle Precision can be used to prick fingers to check ketone levels. The benefits of weight loss and mental clarity has been found to be greatest once ketones (measured in millimoles 'mmol/L') reach above 1.0.
- There are urine stripes that can be used to see if you are in ketosis but are only valid for the first month or so of eating this diet. Once you become keto adapted (body becomes used to using ketones as fuel source) then the urine stripes are not as accurate.
- There are also some newer breathalyzer ketone readers like the one from Ketonix that change certain colors depending on your ketone levels but are fairly expensive and usually only available online.
There are some food and supplements to help raise your good fat in your diet such as MCT oils, coconut oil, butter, bacon, heavy whipping cream, eggs cooked in olive oil, cheese. These are all some good choices when beginning a ketogenic diet.
Most people see fast weight loss on this diet but must understand that if you increase the fat in your diet and then continue to eat carbs then this diet can do more harm then good. People must be diligent in keeping their total carbs to around 50 grams or under. Some people doing a lot of cardio or other workouts can still see good results while increasing their total carbs a little more than 50 grams but can vary by the individual.