Everyone is going crazy for the Keto diet. Keto bombs, bulletproof coffee, keto bars, keto, keto, keto … hold up!

Ya’ll are making me nervous here!

There are some fabulous reasons why the ketogenic diet can be a good choice for you, however, it is NOT a good choice for everyone. If you are hearing about keto and wondering if you should embark on this adventure, it is important for you to know more about what it entails.

What are ketosis and the Keto Diet?

Ketosis is a normal metabolic process. When the body does not have enough glucose for energy, it burns stored fats instead; this results in a build-up of acids called ketones within the body.

The classic Ketogenic Diet has been in existence since the 1920s. Its original design focused on using ratios of 3 or 4 grams of fat for every 1 g of protein and carbohydrate combination in the diet to achieve strong and consistent ketosis. Proteins are calculated to provide an appropriate intake for overall growth and repair, while carbs are added to make up the remaining small portion of calories that is typically less than 20 g a day. Since then, less restrictive yet still effective versions have become available using ratios of 2:1 or even 1:1 (2g of fats to 1g protein/carbs).

Who can benefit from ketogenics?

The Ketogenic Diet has shown positive results in conditions such as ALS, obesity, Type II Diabetes, cancer, epilepsy, and other disorders in which seizures are typical. However, it is highly recommended that you do a complete blood work panel (either through BeWell or your primary physician) before embarking on this journey to check your overall liver, gallbladder, and kidney function, as well as overall health.

If you do NOT follow this diet accurately, you can cause serious, long term damage.

How it works

Being in ketosis means that the lower intake of carbohydrates cause blood sugar levels to drop and therefore the body uses fat and fat stores as energy rather than incoming glucose. In a society where we are very carb heavy, it’s difficult to see how you would get by with under 20g of carbs a day.

The majority of foods in a healthy ketogenic diet should include the following:

• Animal Protein
• Eggs
• Cheese
• Fish and shellfish Butter
• Oils (coconut, extra virgin olive, avocado, MCT from coconut oil)
• Nuts, seeds, and nut butter
• TONS of veggies!

Must Do’s For The Ketogenic Diet

BLOOD WORK FIRST Have a complete blood work panel and your overall health checked before you begin.

MONITORING: Ketosis (ketone levels) should be monitored by regular measurements of urine ketones or serum beta-hydroxybutyrate (which is a marker in the functional blood testing offered here at BeWell Associates).

SUPPLEMENTS: It’s important to know that this diet plan should be supplemented with a high-quality multivitamin to ensure that the diet is nutritionally complete. For example, L-Carnitine is an amino acid necessary for moving fatty acids into the mitochondria (powerhouse of the cell) where they are converted to energy using Vitamin B2. When there are insufficient levels of either L-Carnitine or Vitamin B2, this slows down the process causing your muscles and brain to suffer.

WEANING OFF: You should also be weaned off of a ketogenic diet over a period of several months to a year as small amounts of carbohydrates are added in.

Take home:
1. The Keto Diet plan involves fresh, organic, grass-fed, high-quality, whole foods: healthy fats, proteins, and tons of vegetables.
2. Too much protein and not enough vegetables can cause an acidic environment and toxic ammonia levels that cause damage and bog down the body’s natural detoxification pathways.
3. Blood work should be completed before you embark on this type of journey. A full Comprehensive Metabolic Panel and Complete Blood Count are important. Looking into Functional Blood Work testing like the TRIAD test offered at BeWell Associates is a great way to start.
4. Monitoring ketone levels should be done regularly throughout the diet.
5. Weaning off the diet slowly is important to maintaining health.

Next week, we check in with Keto Dieter Dylan R., to find out how his keto experience is going.

Are you more confused about which diet is best for you? Let us help you find the perfect eating plan for you, not just a short term fix, but the lifestyle choices best for your vibrant health.

We’ve revamped our Weight Loss Program and we’ll tailor it just for your needs. Check it out HERE.

In health,

Mary Gowdy, Clinical Nutrition Specialist