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 following article provides some background about the ketogenic diet and some tips to help your body shift to fat burning (the nice long lasting energy source) for energy as opposed to sugar burning energy (which implies blood sugar imbalance and other potential health issues).

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. 

The basic premise of ketogenic (keto) dieting is to shift the body’s energy sources to burn fat rather than sugar. Considering too much refined sugar and foods that quickly turn to sugar are a source of inflammation; and squelch the immune system, among other health concerns, it might seem keto is the way to go. A lot of people give it rave reviews to accomplish goals of weight loss.

Keto dieting variations are as numerous as there are stars in the sky. Okay, I am exaggerating a wee bit. The point is though that when asking someone how keto is working for them the amount of fat and other components of their keto diet will vary person to person.

The very nature of dieting implies deprivation. This is the reason diets don’t work. And this is the reason EatRight-LiveWell™ is all about the Zero Deprivation Promise. Implementing bio-individually supportive principles of keto eating can be productive to reach a variety of health goals.

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.  

Variety is the spice of life! Keto diets are generally low in minerals, antioxidants, vitamins A, E and B6.  Include lots of vitamin and mineral rich non-starchy vegetables with every eating plan. These are the source of fuel for your brain, quick muscle energy and disease fighting nutrients. For optimal wellness, eat for satisfaction based on a wide variety of real lively food to support healthful blood sugar balance and a full nutritional complement.

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.  The EatRight-LiveWell™ holistic system can help guide you.

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. Live well with the EatRight-LiveWell™ Zero Deprivation Promise.

EatRight-LiveWell™ offers a holistic system to guide you to create a food life plan that fits with your resources; both time and budget, and brings your wellness goals home.  Schedule a complimentary conversation to ask your Qs and see if the EatRight-LiveWell™ system 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.