What is the Ketogenic Diet?
There are 3 fuels the body can use for energy: 1) Protein 2) Fat or 3) Carbohydrates. Which one do you want your body to use as it’s primary fuel source? I’ll tell you right now, I have some stored fat I’d like my body to use up real quick!
The Keto Diet is well known for being a low carb diet, where the body produces ketones in the liver to be used as energy. The Keto Diet has many nicknames – ketogenic diet, low carb diet, low carb high fat (LCHF), etc.
When you eat something high in carbs, your body will produce glucose and insulin. Glucose is the easiest molecule for your body to convert and use as energy, therefore its first choice for fuel source. If there is an over abundance of glucose (converted from carbs), then the body will not get around to using other fuel sources like stored fat. Insulin is produced to process the glucose. Typically on a normal, higher carbohydrate diet, with glucose as the main form of energy, insulin surges constantly leading to blood sugar spikes and falls and eventually leads to diabetes.
By lowering the intake of carbs, the body is induced into a state known as ketosis. Ketosis is a natural process the body initiates to help us survive when food intake is low. During this state, we produce ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fats in the liver.
The end goal of a properly maintained keto diet is to force your body into this metabolic state. We don’t do this through starvation of calories, but through starvation of carbohydrates. Our bodies are extremely adaptive to what you put into it – when you overload it with fats and take away carbohydrates, it will begin to burn ketones as the main energy source.
I aim for between 20-30g of Net Carbs is recommended for every day dieting. Net Carbs are the total grams of Carbohydrate MINUS the grams of Fiber. (Carbs – fiber = Net Carbs)
Additionally, it is best to keep your fats, carbohydrates, and proteins in proportion to each other. The ideal proportion is for your calories to come from approximately 5% carbs, 20% proteins, and 75% fats. Apps like MyFitnessPal are a great help for tracking this ratio. I will make sure to include nutrition info on all the recipes on this website so you can easily track your intake.
A few studies if you are the scientific kind…