Many people have been asking about a ketogenic diet. Is a ketogenic diet safe? Would you recommend it? Ketogenic diets are very effective at achieving two common aims of diabetes control, lowering blood glucose levels and reducing weight.
What is Ketogenic diet?
A ketogenic diet is a very low-carb diet, considered to be when you eat a level of carbohydrate of around 30g of carbohydrates per day or below. This encourages the body to get its energy from burning body fat which produces an energy source known as ketones. The diet helps to lower the body’s demand for insulin which has benefits for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
How a ketogenic diet works?
The “keto” in a ketogenic diet comes from the fact that it allows the body to produce small fuel molecules called “ketones”. This is an alternative fuel source for the body, used when blood sugar (glucose) is in short supply. Ketones are produced if you eat very few carbs (that are quickly broken down into blood sugar) and only moderate amounts of protein (excess protein can also be converted to blood sugar). The liver produces ketones from fat. These ketones then serve as a fuel source throughout the body, especially for the brain. The brain is a hungry organ that consumes lots of energy every day, and it can’t run on fat directly. It can only run on glucose or ketones.
What do I eat on a keto diet?
To start a keto diet, you will want to plan ahead. That means having a viable diet plan ready and waiting. What you eat depends on how fast you want to get into a ketogenic state. The more restrictive you are on your carbohydrates (less than 15g per day), the faster you will enter ketosis. You want to keep your carbohydrates limited, coming mostly from vegetables, nuts, and dairy. Don’t eat any refined carbohydrates such as wheat (bread, pasta, cereals), starch (potatoes, beans, legumes) or fruit. The small exceptions to this are avocado, star fruit, and berries which can be consumed in moderation.
Do Not Eat
Grains – wheat, corn, rice, cereal, etc.
Sugar – honey, agave, maple syrup, etc.
Fruit – apples, bananas, oranges, etc.
Tubers – potato, yams, etc.
Meats – fish, poultry, eggs, etc.
Leafy Greens – spinach, kale, etc.
Above ground vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower, etc.
High Fat Dairy – hard cheeses, high fat cream, butter, etc.
Nuts and seeds – macadamias, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.
Avocado and berries – raspberries, blackberries, and other low glycemic impact berries
Other fats – coconut oil, high-fat salad dressing, saturated fats, etc.