The ketogenic diet is a high-fiber, low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet. In modern medicine it is often used to treat children with epilepsy. The diet helps the body burn up fats instead of carbohydrates.
While the principle behind ketogenic diets is sound, the effects can be harmful. If you are not careful, the risks can outweigh the rewards. Before embarking on this diet it is advisable to speak to your doctor or nutritionist.
If the Ketogenic Diet system you use is safe and proven, then you can feel at ease to use this method. Make sure you research everything before you start.
Ketogenic Diet Studies
Many people swear by the ketogenic diet to lose weight, especially for those prone to insulin resistance and type II diabetes.
In one test, after 6 months on the diet, none of the test subjects had lower insulin levels than those on a standard low-glycemic index diet.
In a study of epileptic children, this diet did not seem to improve symptoms. Even so, the researchers opined, “Future studies are needed to test the long term use of this diet in patients with seizure disorders.”
One study found no evidence that the diet increases liver enzyme levels or lowers blood pressure.
Another did find some positive effects on cholesterol levels. These were only in diabetic patients and were also short-lived.
The Ketogenic Diet and Weight Loss
Key points to remember when examining the benefits of this popular diet are that all carbohydrates are converted to fat in the body first. So a low carb, high protein diet may result in weight loss, but this is temporary.
Carbohydrates from meat and other high fat foods may contribute to fluid retention. This can be the case if someone is a heavyweight, caused by the storing of excess fat.
There have been some suggestions that a person’s ability to control hunger may be caused by the amount of carbs consumed in the diet. Many experts recommend that the amount of carbs eaten should be close to the level of one’s ideal diet. Too much or too little carbs can cause a mood disorder, fatigue and slow metabolism.
The debate over whether or not a person can go into ketosis has become more heated recently. This is because some believe there are potential health risks involved.
The main concern with this diet is that to go into ketosis, which happens when the brain uses ketones for fuel, one must consume large amounts of fats. Moreso those found in meats, dairy products, eggs and even some fats found in peanut butter. This may not be the healthiest route to take if one’s goal is to lose weight.
One study performed on animals did show that ketosis resulted in higher levels of blood insulin.
Another showed that ketosis may bring consequences on the kidneys, liver, heart and brain.
So what can we as people who want to go into ketosis do to reap some of the same benefits as mentioned above?
There are things you can do to naturally increase your intake of carbs and fats. You can do this while cutting down on saturated fat and increasing the amount of good carbs. A great place to start is by including more dark chocolate into your diet.
Dark chocolate contains healthy fats, like other natural and organic carbs found in fruits and vegetables. It is also loaded with antioxidants, which are good for your health. Berries are another food that you should include more of in your ketogenic diet.
There are some berries that are excellent sources of carbs and fats. You can include berries in various forms. such as ice cream, bars and mixed into smoothies.
You should include natural, organic cheeses in any form of ketogenic diet. The best cheeses to include in a diet are: brie, Camembert, mozzarella, parmesan and Romano.
These cheeses contain fatty oils and a good amount of carbs. It is important that consume these in small portions so as not to increase your calorie intake.
Medium Chain Triglycerides, or MCTS are an excellent source of healthy fats and proteins. MCTS are short and fat-free amino acids that can be used as substitutes for fats. You can buy these online or at health food stores.
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