A Quick Overview of the Ketogenic Diet
You might notice that many of the recipes are labeled as "ketogenic" or "ketosis friendly". In this post I have provided you with a bit more information on the therapeutic benefits of the ketogenic diet and what it entails. There will also be a plant powered ketosis eBook available for purchase on this site sometime later this year.
What is Ketosis?
Commonly mistaken for diabetic ketoacidosis; the state of nutritional ketosis is when the body is forced to break down fat (both stored body fat and dietary fat) for energy or fuel as opposed to using glucose from carbohydrates. During the process of ketosis, the body is able to receive ample energy from ketones which are made from stored body fat. The presence of ketones in the blood promotes an array of health benefits from; body fat reduction, reduced cravings, improved digestion and even increased cognitive function. In fact, the creation of the ketogenic diet actually occurred in the 1920’s as a way to treat epilepsy. Physicians utilized a low carbohydrate and high fat diet to reduce severity and occurrence of seizures, as the ketones produced in a ketogenic diet work to slow nerve impulses. It was found that children on a physician monitored ketogenic showed a 50% reduction in seizures and 10-15 % became seizure free according to research shown from the Epilepsy Foundation website. The ketogenic diet, though great for promoting body fat loss, is also a therapeutic diet for cancer as the ketones produced during the diet work to fuel the body but do not fuel cancer cells.
What is a Plant Powered Ketogenic Diet?
Meat and cheese might come to mind to some when thinking of a ketogenic diet but it can be so much more! Like with many things in life there are various way to interpret dietary plans and certainly there are ways to interpret a ketogenic or low carbohydrate diet. Dr. Atkins made the ketogenic diet wildly popular in the 1980’s to which was successful for so many at losing weight and reversing insulin resistance. While it is ultimately necessary to reduce intake of carbohydrates to get into a ketogenic state it is not necessary to completely avoid nutrient dense vegetables. I encourage the intake of non-starchy or low carbohydrate vegetables such as; broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, eggplant, kale, spinach, tomatoes etc. should be included in a ketogenic diet as they are rich sources of nutrients that reduce symptoms of chronic disease, support detox and promote weight loss. I often like to remind my clients that weight loss is a form of detoxification. Toxins and even excess hormones such as estrogen can be stored in human fat cells and so as the body begins to breakdown these stored fat cells toxins and hormones can be released into the blood stream. The nutrients received, especially from that of cruciferous veggies like kale, broccoli, cauliflower and asparagus help to support this detoxification and excretion of toxins out the body rather than permitting toxins to relocate elsewhere in the body. Phytonutrients from the non-starchy or low carbohydrate vegetables will also provide other antioxidants, B vitamins and fiber to support healthy digestion and energy levels.
How do I get into ketosis?
In order to break down stored body fat it requires adequate intake in dietary fat and a reduction in intake of carbohydrates. It is recommended to start by decreasing carbohydrate intake to 30 grams carbohydrates (total-not net) or less per day. Some might find they can stay in a ketogenic state at higher amounts but some might find they need to be very strict and start at the 30grams total per day. By reducing carbohydrates you are essentially forcing the body to breakdown dietary fat and stored body fat into ketone bodies to be used as fuel. The more adapted the body becomes or the longer or more often one follows the ketogenic diet the greater the amount of carbohydrates the body can intake while maintaining a ketogenic state. I recommend the use of a fitness app or tracker such as my fitness pal or at least journaling for the first few weeks while just starting the diet to ensure you are meeting your macronutrient goals. Sticking the meal plan included here also ensures the right amount of carbohydrates, fat and protein too!