Ketogenic Dieting:  Is it right for you?

 Photo by Harry Knight on Unsplash

Photo by Harry Knight on Unsplash

 
 

Considerations before Embarking on a Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic (keto) diet was developed in the 1920s for the treatment of epilepsy.  It has been popular for the treatment of cancer perhaps because sugar (converts to blood glucose) is viewed as being fuel for cancer growth and inflammation.   Insulin, the fat storage hormone, is shut off with keto dieting.   This may benefit those with risk for Diabetes since insulin release is the major factor of Diabetes.   Today talk of keto diets for weight loss is rampant. 

Before jumping into any trending diet take a full spectrum approach without the influence of a marketer positioning to sell you anything.  For the sake of your well-being, it is important to engage cleverness.  An understanding of how your Body, Mind and Spirit work together for your well-being is useful and worthy of evolving for your best interest.    

The keto diet is a high fat (up to 80 % of daily caloric input), and very low (about 5%) carbohydrate diet.  Food consumption as keto suggests causes the liver to convert fat to ketones as an energy source as opposed to creating glucose for energy.   Your body shifts to a state of metabolism called ketosis and fat is burned.  As wonderful as it sounds to burn fat, high levels of ketones can lead to dehydration and change chemical balance in your blood.  

Positive fat burning capabilities of a keto diet can work when the diet is properly designed.  Adding to the glory of shifting to a keto diet for weight loss, consider initially this weight loss is often water weight because carbohydrates contain a lot of water.  Water is a macronutrient for the body.  A deficiency of H20 has repercussions.  

More deficiencies may result.  Keto diets are generally low in minerals, antioxidants, vitamins A, E and B6. 

Choose a well designed keto plan.  For keto dieting to work, you need to be all in or all out.  Floating in and out of ketosis can be burdensome for your body. 

Ingested fat must be well-assimilated if it is to be of any benefit to your body.  If your body isn’t digesting fat well or the sources of fat you are choosing are poor quality (common in restaurants, packaged food and other sources of trans fats) consuming more fat will create digestive and other health issues. 

Since fat and protein are found together in nature, consider that too much protein consumption causes the liver to convert protein to sugar. Whether ‘going keto’ or not, my recommendation for most people is to eat a diet ranging from 15 – 30% protein calories daily.  Note that 30% is an upper limit for protein, with many feeling best at the lower side of the range. 

The ‘Keto Flu’ is a common experience for people embarking on a keto regimen.  Your body may present flu-like symptoms that usually subside in a week or so.  This adjustment period can also occur when the keto diet is no longer followed, as your body is adjusting to its energy source. 

Glucose from quality sources is the brain’s preferred fuel source.  Glucose also provides quick energy for muscles.  Mother Nature provides glucose from healthy carbohydrates in the form of fruits, veggies and whole grains (not the over milled/highly processed variety dominating ingredient labels).  See the article Navigate the Food Supply with Ingenuity for guidance.  Minimal consumption of processed carbohydrates is health supportive. Refer to A Fresh Wellness Mindset  as a guide for the whys and hows to shift ingestion of processed carbohydrates to more real lively food in the form of lots of colorful veggies.  Balance glucose (healthy carbohydrate) ingestion with quality protein and healthy fat to give your body full complement of macro and micro nutrients.  I have found it to be true that healthy fat is the basis of wellness, perhaps because essential fatty acids are the basis for each and every cell in your body. 

Always question sustainability of any eating plan.  Your body is not meant to thrive on deprivation.  Rebound weight gain is a real concern leaving a keto or deprivation diet because unless you learn to eat satisfying real lively food with well-rounded nutrition you will naturally resume eating in sync with what created the gap between you and your wellness goals.

I will be your guide to create a food life plan that fits with your resources; both time and budget, and brings your wellness goals home.  Contact me for a complimentary conversation and find out if my approach is a fit for you.

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care Physician or Naturopathic Doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.