What is a ketogenic diet?
The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that shares similarities with the Atkins and other low-carb diets. It was created as a “medical diet” primarily used to treat difficult to control epilepsy in children.
How does it work?
Ketosis is a normal metabolic process. When the body does not have enough glucose for energy, it burns stored fats instead. The aim of the diet is to try and burn unwanted fat by forcing the body to rely on fat for energy, rather than carbohydrates.
What do you eat?
The expectation on the diet is to limit “net” carb intake to under 20 to 50 grams/day by eliminating most sugar and starches. Approved foods include proteins from meats, poultry and seafood, eggs, low carb vegetables, avocado, butter, cream, cheese, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts and seeds and some berries.
Foods that are not allowed would include all processed sugar, most fruit, starchy tubers and root vegetables, grains like oats, wheat, corn, rice, bread, pasta, etc., as well as all beans and legumes.
What are some potential risks and/or rewards?
The Keto diet is controversial. While it may accelerate weight loss, and can be helpful for certain medical conditions, it is very strict and can be difficult to follow. Additionally, some studies have shown long term high fat diets have the potential to create cardiovascular health and kidney risks.
For those seeking to lose weight and lead a healthier life, where should they start?
Often the rules and control and structure of fad diets are very appealing, the problem is that they are generally not sustainable long term. To reach health, weight and wellness goals you need to make sustainable lifestyle changes. Your health care provider can help you get started on the road to a healthier future.
If you’re still curious about Keto and would like to learn more, the library has a wide array of keto related books, cookbooks and ebooks available for check out.
(Medical disclaimer - This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider.)