KETO DIET HISTORY
Where did the ketogenic diet come from?
Despite the recent hype, a ketogenic diet is not something new. There’s evidence of the keto diet being used back in the early 1920s to treat severe childhood epilepsy and it’s still being used today for that purpose. Research suggests that the production of ketones may influence neurotransmitter activity in neurons allowing for a reduction in seizure attacks.
WHAT IS THE KETO DIET?
Basically, Ketodiet can be extremely low- or no-carbohydrate diet that forces the body into a state of ketosis. Ketosis occurs when people eat a low- or no-carb diet and molecules called ketones build up in their bloodstream. The ketogenic meal is in high fat — even up to 90 percent of total energy intake. It is super high in fat (80% of your diet is fat), a super low carbohydrate (<5% of your diet) and moderate in protein (15-20% of your diet). A ketogenic diet is the highly restrictive.
Here’s what you can eat on a ketogenic diet:
A small amount of protein, such as: meat, fish, poultry, egg
A large amount of high fat foods such as: avocado, coconut/cocunut milk/coconut oil, olive or other oils, butter, ghee, cheese, nuts and nut butters
A very small amount of very-low-carbohydrate vegetables, such as: Leafy greens, Brassicas: broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage; Asparagus, Cucumber, tomatoes, mushrooms
Here’s what you can’t eat on a ketogenic diet
Most dairy (except high-fat items like butter and certain cheeses), Fruit, Grains, Beans and legumes, Starchy vegetables (such as potatoes & sweet potatoes), Slightly-sweet vegetables such as: carrots
Thus, Ketogenic menus:
• Vary in the proportion of protein but are generally low.
• Stay as close to no-carb as possible.
• Are very high in fat.
• Are very limited in food choices.
Some beneficial changes
The ketogenic diet has been shown to produce beneficial metabolic changes in the short-term. Along with weight loss, health parameters associated with carrying excess weight have improved, such as insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol and triglycerides. There is also growing interest in the use of low-carbohydrate diets, including the ketogenic diet, for type 2 diabetes.
Following a very high-fat diet may be challenging to maintain. Possible symptoms of extreme carbohydrate restriction that may last days to weeks include hunger, fatigue, low mood, irritability, constipation, headaches, and brain “fog.” Though these uncomfortable feelings may subside, staying satisfied with the limited variety of foods available and being restricted from otherwise enjoyable foods like a crunchy apple or creamy sweet potato may present new challenges.
Some negative side effects of a long-term ketogenic diet have been suggested, including increased risk of kidney stones and osteoporosis, and increased blood levels of uric acid (a risk factor for gout). Possible nutrient deficiencies may arise if a variety of recommended foods on the ketogenic diet are not included. It is important to not solely focus on eating high-fat foods, but to include a daily variety of the allowed meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds to ensure adequate intakes of fiber, B vitamins, and minerals (iron, magnesium, zinc)—nutrients typically found in foods like whole grains that are restricted from the diet. Because whole food groups are excluded, assistance from a registered dietitian may be beneficial in creating a ketogenic diet that minimizes nutrient deficiencies.
For women in particular, lowering carbohydrate intake seems to have negative effects. Women’s bodies go on high alert faster when they sense less energy and fewer nutrients coming in. Many women have found that the low carbohydrate diet that worked great for their husband not only didn’t work for them, but it knocked out their menstrual cycle on the way out the door.
No advantage in gaining lean mass
Insulin is mainly a storage hormone. It’s also considered an anabolic hormone. As in building things. For the most part, we need insulin — along with other hormones, such as growth hormone and testosterone — to create an anabolic, muscle building environment. Trying to build muscle while in ketosis is like stepping on the gas and the brake at the same time.
If you’re a “regular person” who just wants to be healthy and fit: Enjoy reading about ketosis if you like. Try it, if you’re curious. But you can be perfectly fit, lean, and healthy without it.