What is the Ketogenic Diet?

A QUICK GUIDE to the Ketogenic Diet

A ketogenic diet is a very low-carbohydrate way of eating that delivers moderate amounts of high-quality dietary protein and high amounts of healthy dietary fat. This reduction in carbohydrate intake helps the body shift toward a state that promotes the breakdown of fats (from the diet and your body) to produce ketone bodies and enter a state known as “ketosis.”

When following a ketogenic diet, your brain, as well as other organs, depends on ketones as an energy source. Ketones are produced in the body once you have reached a state of ketosis and can be measured in the blood and urine to ensure that you stay in ketosis during the keto diet.

A ketogenic diet is comprised of approximately 10% of daily calories coming from healthy carbohydrates such as leafy greens, nonstarchy vegetables, and limited amounts of legumes and berries; 20% of daily calories coming from proteins such as omega-3-rich fish and grass-fed animal protein; and ~70% of daily calories coming from high-quality fats such as avocado, unsaturated and medium-chain triglyceride oils, nuts and seeds, and coconut.

This 10/20/70 ratio is a guideline for the macronutrient distribution for a given day, including meals, snacks, and beverages.  We may recommend a slightly modified ratio based on your physical activity and personal health goals.

The benefits of following a ketogenic diet may include weight loss, an increase in cognitive performance, balanced blood sugar, and improved cardiovascular health.

Mental focus—With a ketogenic diet, the brain utilizes ketone bodies instead of glucose as its primary fuel source. This switch can encourage more nerve growth factors and synaptic connections between brain cells and result in increased mental alertness, sharper focus, and improved cognitive capabilities.

Blood sugar management—Studies have shown that low-carbohydrate diets help support insulin metabolism in the body. This is because the absence of carbohydrates from the diet helps your body maintain blood glucose levels by breaking down fats and proteins.

Weight loss—A reduced calorie ketogenic diet encourages the utilization of body fat as fuel, and clinical studies support its use for weight management. Additionally, a ketogenic diet may help to suppress appetite and reduce cravings.

Increased energy—Carbohydrates only go so far to sustain energy throughout the day, and especially during a workout. In ketosis, your body uses fat as fuel instead of glucose, to provide the brain with a consistent supply of the ketone bodies necessary to sustain physical performance.

Cardiovascular and metabolic health—A ketogenic diet has been shown to help support blood lipid and fatty acid metabolism.

While there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all diet, diets with varying macronutrient compositions can help in supporting different health goals. The ketogenic diet, with its high fat, low carbohydrate, and moderate protein intake, has been solidly researched for a number of health applications since the 1920s and has been growing in popularity in recent years. Additional science and the potential for the ketogenic diet in various applications is emerging.

Professional guidance is important in deciding whether or not the ketogenic diet is the right path based on the individual’s health history and goals, and it’s also necessary to routinely monitor ketone levels in the body while on the diet. We offer a number of resources to help support the ketogenic journey along with several convenient ketogenic supplementation options to help bring convenience and variety to ketogenic living.

 

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