The Ketogenic Diet
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Ketones, also known as “ketone bodies,” are byproducts of the body breaking down fat for energy that occurs when carbohydrate intake is low.”Ketosis is a normal metabolic process, something your body does to keep working. When it doesn’t have enough carbohydrates from food for your cells to burn for energy, it burns fat instead. As part of this process, it makes ketones.”- WebMD
The ketogenic diet is a diet based on a large consumption of fat (about 70%-80% of your daily caloric intake) instead of carbohydrates. By reducing the amount of carbohydrates to 20-50 grams per day, it forces the body to burn fatty acids instead of glucose. When reducing the amount of carbohydrates the liver turns the fat into fatty acids and these turn to ketone bodies, which are used mainly by the brain and from this comes the name of the diet. The ketone bodies move to the brain instead of glucose as a source of energy and from here we get the clarity and the brain fog goes away. A higher level of ketone bodies in the blood can cause a condition called Ketosis.
Here is a list of foods that should be avoided when following a ketogenic diet. These foods, when consumed turn into glucose and cause the body to store the excess of glucose as fat.
Foods to avoid on a ketogenic diet
Grains, Whole Grains, Sprouted Grains
Wheat, Wheat Flour, Rye, Most Flours, Corn, Couscous, oats, bran, millet, barley, cornmeal, quinoa
Beans, Lentils, Black beans, Lima beans, Pinto Beans, Chickpeas
Fruits, Dried Fruits
Any type of fruit except berries
Soy and Corn and any by-product
Corn syrup and any product made with these is mostly GMO.
Vegetable Oils and Hydrogenated Oils
Corn oil, Soybean oil, Canola Oil, Peanut Oil, Sesame Oil, Sunflower Oil, Grapeseed Oil
Milk, Soda and Juice
Milk contains lactose (which is a type of sugar), Carbonated Drinks, Fruit Juice, Carrot Juice
Sugars, Honey, Cane Sugar, Raw Sugar
White sugar, Brown Sugar, Agave, Maple Syrup and artificial sweeteners
Root vegetables (onions, potatoes, carrots, beets, etc.)
Potatoes, Red potatoes, Rice, Carrots, Yams, Peas
Foods that contain MSG, Margarine, Cereal, Baked Goods, Bread, Candy, Gluten
Low-Fat or Fat Free Foods
When the fat is removed from a food it is replaced with sugar and starches
Beer, Cocktails, Mixers, Flavored Liquors
Condiments that are labeled low fat, that contain sugar or made with unhealthy oils
Foods to Eat
You should base the majority of your meals around these foods:
- Meat: Red meat, steak, ham, sausage, bacon, chicken and turkey.
- Fatty fish: Such as salmon, trout, tuna and mackerel.
- Eggs: Look for pastured or omega-3 whole eggs.
- Butter and cream: Look for grass-fed when possible.
- Cheese: Unprocessed cheese (cheddar, goat, cream, blue or mozzarella).
- Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc.
- Healthy oils: Primarily extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil.
- Avocados: Whole avocados or freshly made guacamole.
- Low-carb veggies: Most green veggies, tomatoes, onions, peppers, etc.
- Condiments: You can use salt, pepper and various healthy herbs and spices.
It is best to base your diet mostly on whole, single-ingredient foods. Here is a list of 44 healthy low-carb foods.