What is the Ketogenic Diet?
The ketogenic diet is a type of low-carb diet in which carb consumption is reduced enough so that the body can start making and utilizing ketones. As mentioned in a previous post, ketones (special energy molecules) are a by-product of body fat that is tapped into if we fast or if we limit our carb intake to a bare minimum. The body’s stored fat and the healthy fats consumed during the day (along with reasonable protein intake) become the main fuel source on a ketogenic diet, as opposed to getting glucose from carbohydrates for energy. Eating keto means eating mostly (well-sourced) meat, fish, eggs, certain vegetables, nuts and seeds, little fruit, and healthy oils.
If you’re wondering what type of meals one may be eating on a ketogenic diet, here are a few examples for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (as described in Keto for Life, by Mark Sisson and Brad Kearns).
- Fasting with water, tea, or coffee
- High-fat coffee or other beverage
- Omelet with pastured eggs, vegetables, cheese, avocado, bacon, salsa
- Hard-boiled egg bowl with walnuts, sun-dried tomatoes, avocado, and avocado oil-based mayonnaise
- Full-fat yogurt with nuts, cinnamon, and cacao nibs
- Bone broth with egg yolks
- Fasting after one of the above breakfast options
- Salad with vegetables, nuts and seeds, well-sourced protein, and healthy oil dressing
- Salad made with sauerkraut or kimchi
- Grass-fed beef, bone-in cuts
- Organ meats
- Whole chicken or turkey
- Wild-caught fish
- Vegetables (mostly above-ground vegetables like cruciferous and leafy green vegetables, as opposed to starchy tubers): steamed, baked, or pan-fried, with plenty of healthy fats (butter, lard, coconut oil, avocado oil)
As you can see, there are options abound on keto too! Limiting carbs doesn’t mean depriving yourself of delicious meals or snacks. For more ideas and recipes, you can visit Mark’s Daily Apple. Eating keto can have many benefits, as stated in Keto Answers, by Dr. Anthony Gustin and Chris Irvin: more energy, improved brain health/function, fat loss, improved insulin sensitivity, lowered inflammation, improved blood sugar control, improved mood, etc. Make sure you check with your physician first if you decide to start eating keto. As mentioned in My Paleo/Primal Eating Habits article, I like to stay in mild ketosis during the day and refeed with some healthy carbs at the end of the day. I enjoy the extra energy I get by eating that way. See what works for you!
Until next time!
Gustin, Anthony, and Chris Irvin. Keto Answers : Simplifying Everything You Need to Know about the World’s Most Confusing Diet. Middletown, De, Four Pillar Health, 2019, pp. 3-10.
Sisson, Mark, and Brad Kearns. Keto for Life: Reset Your Biological Clock in 21 Days and Optimize Your Diet for Longevity. New York, Random House, 2019, p. 72, 82.
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