What is the Keto Diet?
Keto is short for Ketogenic. It’s a diet that is high in fat, moderate in protein, and low in carbs. It works to help the body run on fat (ketones) instead of glucose (sugar) which is what most people are running on.
This diet is pretty trendy in the last couple of years and has gained mainstream press. Because it has gained popularity, there are studies being done on the diet and who it may be able to help. It can be very helpful for many people with certain helth issues. Some of the issues people have seen improve using this diet are:
– type 2 diabetes
– heart disease
– neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimers
– PCOS or Polycystic ovary syndrome
One thing to keep in mind when trying any diet is Bioindividuality. Each person is different and depending on their genetic makeup, their body will react in different ways to different things. This means that the diet that works amazingly well for your best friend, may not work for you. Tune into your body and listen to what it is telling you.
Initially, many people can get the ‘keto flu’ which can include; irritability, cravings, constipation, fatigue, headaches, and changes in your period. Changes in your period are common with changing your eating or doing a detox because menstruation is one way your body cleanses.
The Keto diet can also be hard on the liver and kidneys. After awhile, it can increase triglycerides and inflammation markers in the liver which can cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Keto can also be hard on the thyroid and adrenals because they like some carbs to function well.
Common mistakes that people usually make when doing this diet:
– Eating too many processed foods. Try to stick with whole foods and stay awa from processed foods like sausages, bacon, etc. If you’re drinking things like diet soda while doing this, you’re missing the point.
– Eating unhealthy fats. eat good quality fats like coconut and avocado oils, tallow, lard, and butter, avocado, wild caught salmon. Stay away from the processed fats (which are horrible anyway) like canola or vegetable oil.
– Not eating enough veggies. Even though this is a low carb diet, it is not a no-carb diet. Make sure to eat the low starch veggies like greens, peppers, broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms, zuccini, and cauliflower.
Lastly, the keto diet, along with many others, is a therapeutic diet. This means that for most people, they get the benefit of doing it for anywhere from 3-12 months. After that, it can actually cause some issues like I mentioned above. Listen to your body and trust your intuition to know if the diet is working for you, or if how you need to modify it to work for you.
If you think the keto diet might be right for you, try it! My favorite book on Keto is from Diane Sanfilippo’s Keto Quickstart. Diane has a whole food approach for the diet and her recipes are delicious! If you think this might be the right next step for your health, go for it! Just give it a little time and listen to your body.
Have you tried the Keto diet? What did you think?