Let’s Get Down to the Keto Basics!
Basically, removing sugars from your diet and consuming healthy fats, such as avocado, coconut, olive, macadamia oils, and butter are two steps that can improve your total body health dramatically.
Remove Sugars & Eat Healthy Fats!
Before we go ahead with how one gets into a state of Ketosis and what kinds of foods we can enjoy, let’s look at other research supporting a Keto plan for brain-related health issues. Two studies, five years apart, found a ketogenic diet as a legitimate alternative therapy for brain cancer. The brain can feed off either ketones or glucose as fuel, cancer can’t run on ketones. The diet itself inhibits the growth of cancer by starving it of what it needs to grow, glucose. It should not be viewed as a cure for brain cancer, but it may work with chemotherapy and radiation.
Much of the research has been done with animals and scientific models used for humans. Since the positive effects Keto has on brain health, researchers are beginning to look at ADHD, migraines and cluster headaches. All health concerns facing many women and men.
So what is this state of “Ketosis” and how does one achieve it?
Two methods create the metabolic shift from using glucose to ketones as your main source of energy:
Fasting – the method of complete cessation of caloric intake for a period. A 48-hour fast will generally result in ketosis for an adult.
Diet – adopting a high fat, moderate protein, and low net-carb diet, will take 2-3 weeks to achieve ketosis.
However, achieving a state of ketosis takes work and planning. Limiting your carbohydrate intake to 20-50 net grams per day will lower blood sugar releasing stored fatty acids, which the liver converts to ketones. Consume at least 60% of calories from healthy, high-fat foods, like avocados, eggs, dark chocolate, fatty fish, nuts, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and butter. Increasing physical activity increases ketone production, get your body moving. Don’t forget adequate protein, one needs to maintain muscle mass when carb intake is low.
What can you eat, not eat, maybe eat?
Now is the time to look at a Keto Meal Plan. Bottom line – reduce carbs and increase fat and protein. Your body will tell you what you need, it may seem overwhelming, but not difficult. Your meals must focus on the following foods:
- Fatty fish: wild caught salmon, mackerel, and herring
- Meat: grass-fed beef, pork, and organ meats
- Poultry: chicken and turkey
- Eggs: organic, pasteurized whole eggs
- Avocados: whole avocados
- Dairy: yogurt, butter, cream
- Cheese: cheddar, mozzarella, brie, goat cheese, cream cheese
- Fats: coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, sesame oil
- Nuts/Seeds: macadamia nuts, walnuts, almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds
- Nut Butter: natural peanut, almond, and cashew
- Vegetables: greens, tomatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, peppers
- Condiments: salt, pepper, lemon juice, herbs, spices
The following foods should be restricted: Bread and baked goods, sweets and sugary foods, pasta, grains, starchy vegetables, beans and legumes, fruit, sweetened beverages, high-carb sauces, beer, and sugary mixed drinks.
Make sure to avoid the following: margarine, canola and corn oil; processed foods and diet food with preservatives.
Beverage choices should include lots of water, sparkling water, unsweetened coffee with heavy cream and unsweetened green tea.
Snacks can include almonds, jerky, olives, celery with cream cheese dip, kale chips, coconut milk, macadamia nuts, and berries with heavy whipping cream.
Are there different types of Keto Plans?
Which one would you prefer:
- Standard ketogenic diet: Very low-carb, moderate-protein and high-fat diet. 75% fat, 20% protein, 5% carbs
- Cyclical ketogenic diet: Periods of higher-carb refeeds, such as 5 ketogenic days followed by 2 high-carb days.
- Targeted ketogenic diet: Allows you to add carbs around workouts.
- High-protein ketogenic diet: Includes more protein, ratio 60% fat, 35% protein, 5% carbs.
Will you experience any side effects?
You may experience poor energy and mental function, increased hunger, sleep issues, nausea, and digestive discomfort, which has been termed “Keto Flu”. Eating differently may change the water and mineral balance of your body. As with any changes in eating patterns, each person may experience different side effects, but it is natural. Stay with your Keto Plan.
Think the Ketogenic Diet / Keto Plan is right for you? Talk to your doctor before adopting a Ketogenic Diet / Keto Plan.