A Guide To Pursuing The Ketogenic Diet For Health
Americans have been trained over the last 50 years or so to believe fat is bad. All the while, the problems with obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s have only gotten worse.
On the standard American diet, carbohydrate consumption is high, ranging from 40 to 60% of calories consumed, but fat is very limited…stemming from our developed “fat phobia”.
But the common, underlying problem to all of those diseases prevalent today is insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome that develops precisely from consuming too many net carbohydrates (total carb intake minus fiber), and/or protein (too much protein intake and the body will go into gluconeogenesis, converting protein into glucose).
How The Ketogenic Diet Can Help Improve Your Health
By eating a low carbohydrate, low-to-moderate protein, and high fat diet (ketogenic diet), your body will deplete its glycogen stores (from glucose and carbs) and begin burning fat for fuel: a state known as nutritional ketosis.
For reference, the typical makeup of a ketogenic diet looks something like 70-80% of caloric intake from fats, 10-20% from protein, and less than 5% of calories coming from carbs.
Eating meals rich in good, healthy fats, you are satiated (get full) faster, eating less food, and they generally taste better too! Not only does a person typically eat less on a ketogenic diet because of this, but also results in some very beneficial metabolic effects.
Ketogenic Diet For Various Kinds Of Health
- Heart health – when blood sugar and insulin levels are reduced as a result of dietary changes, factors of cardiac risk improve, including reduced triglycerides, reduced LDL, increased HDL (good cholesterol), and blood pressure is lowered. To learn more about what causes heart disease, I recommend reading this page on Ketogenic Diet Resource.
- Brain health – Brain fog is often eliminated on a ketogenic diet. Additionally, high fat, low carb ketogenic diets have been used in the treatment for neurological disorders like ALS, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, and Alzheimer’s, with research showing it can improve symptoms and slow the progression of such disorders.
- Weight loss – The most common goal people have today in transitioning to living a ketogenic lifestyle is weight loss, which can happen quickly once the body is in a state of ketosis, burning fat for fuel.
- Controlling, improving symptoms of, or curing diseases including diabetes, cancer, and – the ketogenic diet is effective at reducing inflammation, and along with the absence of sugars that many diseases thrive on, many chronic issues can be improved.
Highlighting Some Of The Many Benefits Of A Keto Diet
- Reduces your appetite/hunger
- Weight loss
- Reduces triglycerides
- Increases HDL – The Good Cholesterol
- Lowers insulin levels
- Lowers blood pressure
- Slows aging
How To Transition Into A Ketogenic Diet Lifestyle
The easiest way to transition into ketosis is to simply get started: remove sugars and starches from your diet, and replace the calories you were used to getting from carbs with healthy fats….if you only reduce carb intake but don’t eat more fat, you’ll be extremely hungry and won’t last on the diet for long.
The key is to cut the carbs (less than 30 grams per day is a rule of thumb, but varies from person to person) and embrace the good fats!
To truly know if you’re in ketosis or not, you need to test. See here how to measure ketone levels in your body.
It’s also very important that you use either a notebook or an app to track your meals and eating habits, so you know how much you’re consuming each day…it’s unbelievable how easy it is to reach 30 grams of carbs (or whatever you determine your personal threshold is), especially when things like green bell peppers, that you think are totally healthy and innocent, have something like 8 or 9 grams of carbs in them!
- Mercola: Conditions Shown to Benefit From a Ketogenic Diet
- Ketotic.org – The Ketogenic Diet For Health
- Ketogenic Diet Resource
- Authority Nutrition – 10 Proven Health Benefits of Low-Carb and Ketogenic Diets