Let’s start with a definition of Keto. Keto is derived from the word ketosis which is the state in which the body gets its energy from a chemical called ketones, instead of glucose. In the keto diet world, you will often hear the following terms, ketogenics (this is a manufactured word), ketogenesis and ketosis. All these terms refer to the same concept as described above.
The keto diet is about low carbs, medium protein high-fat diet. Although the driving force behind the keto diet is low carbohydrate, that is under 20g of carbs, the diet is flexible enough to allow for medium to medium high carbs of between 50 grams and 100 grams and still be effective in what it is reported to achieve. Obviously, with higher carbs, the results take longer, so it is a trade-off between having luxury food and having faster results
There is a misconception that the keto diet is all about meat and fat and that the diet is unhealthy because it is stripped of vegetables and fruit. This is far from the truth. Even on 20 grams of carbohydrate, you are getting adequate amounts of vegetables. Here is a picture of what 20 grams of carbohydrates look like:
What foods are allowed on a keto diet?
- Eggs – chicken, dick, turkey…
- Sausages – If they don’t have fillers
- Chicken with skin
- Beef – Any cut keep the fat on
- Pork – Any cut keep the fat on
- Lamb – Any cut keep the fat on
FATS & OILS
For cooking – fats solid at room temperature
- Palm Oil
For drizzling – Cold pressed fats, liquid at room temperature
- Olive oil
- Avocado oil
- Almond or other nut oils
- 85% dark chocolate
- Coconut milk
- Almond ﬂour
- Coconut ﬂour
- Flax meal
- Psyllium husk powder
- Balsamic vinegar
- Cream, heavy whipping
- Sour or crème fraîche
- All hard cheeses (but no processed cheeses)
- Cream cheese
- Full cream milk
- Goat cheese
SWEETENERS – In Limited amounts
Make your own: pesto’s, salad dressings, and sauces
- Summer Squash
- Lettuce (crunchy type like Little Gem or Iceberg)
- Mushrooms, wild, Porcini (dried), Portobello
- Onion (red, white, brown or shallot)
- Peppers, red bell, sweet
- Spring onion
- Tomatoes, cherry or regular
Which foods must I absolutely Stay away from
- Chocolates and sweets
- any hydrogenated oils
- Almost everything in a box
- Almost everything in a tin
- Most foods with a food label
What is the keto diet good for?
The latest research shows remarkable health and medical benefits in the Ketogenic diet and lifestyle. According to Carl E. Stafstrom and Jong M. in a paper published in US National Library of medicine, the following neurological disorders show positive results on the ketogenic diet:1
- Neuroprotective Role
- Alzheimer Disease
- Parkinson Disease
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
- Mitochondrial Disorders
- Brain Trauma
Apart from the neurological effects the diet also shows great promise in reversing type 2 diabetes according to a study done by William S Yancy, Jr, Marjorie Foy, Allison M Chalecki, Mary C Vernon, and Eric C Westman2
Of course, the reason most people start looking into the ketogenic diet is weight loss.3 & 4 Not only is the diet effective in weight loss in clinical studies, it has also been shown to be effective in long-term weight management. Everyone I have spoken to that has gone on the Ketogenic Diet has had great results and everyone comments on the great tasting food and the fact that they are just not hungry all the time anymore.
Eat2Live has incorporated most of the science found in the quoted papers in a controlled and managed diet program that takes you from inception to your final goal and into a lifelong self-maintained lifestyle plan. To find out more go to The Eat To Live Diet Plan
What are the side effects of a ketogenic diet?
When starting on the Keto diet you might find some strange effects that might cause you to want to quit before you’ve even started.
On any diet where the poison is removed from the system, there will be withdrawals and your body’s natural repair processes. Let me explain it by using the following example. Every smoker that took their first cigarette got high and felt terrible after that first smoke. Their body was reacting to and rejecting the poison it was being fed.
As the smoker continued lighting up the body accepted the poison as part of its daily survival and in fact, it would make that same horrible smoke taste amazing and give a sense of utter satisfaction. Now when I take the smokes away from the smoker, they go through withdrawal, and they feel terrible, and they crave another cigarette.
This is what we at Eat2Live call the addictive dependency cycle. It is when we break this cycle that you get the withdrawal feelings and the side effects.
These are the side effect you can experience when you start the keto diet, and they can last from one to four weeks:
- Induction flu- includes headaches and feeling like you have flu without the red nose
- Leg cramps – also a lack of salt and maybe magnesium
- Constipation – You need to drink more fluid and get more leafy veggies
- Bad breath – acetone smell, also mostly temporary, drink water to eliminate
- Heart palpitations – the cause is dehydration and a lack of salt – not cardiovascular.
- Reduced physical performance – This is because your body is changing from burning sugar (glucose) to burning ketones. This effect can last from a week to three weeks.
How do you start the Keto Diet
There are two ways to get on the Keto diet. Some would recommend going cold turkey and diving right in, get into Ketosis As soon as possible and just stick it out through the tough times.
Others state that to gradually flow into the keto lifestyle is easier and less stressful.
Both of these approaches come with their pro’s and cons. First, by jumping right in, you will definitely put yourself in the keto side effects zone. So if you would rather skip these, I would suggest easing into it. Also, the difference in eating, cooking habits and food types might become overwhelming and causes you to quit. I know many people that have gone cold turkey, fought through the side effects and are happy with their new lifestyle.
On the other hand the slow approach is easier in the transition, however, if you were looking for a fast result, the slow approach will not work for you, simply because it will take you longer to get to your weight loss and ketosis results. This is also the preferred route if you suffer from a chronic illness like type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.
Look I don’t think faster or slower is the better way, it all depends on you. At Eat2Live our philosophy is that it is up to you and your personality type. How you decide to approach this diet has to be your choice.
That being said, I have written an article with a free Week long menu which is a strict low carb starter week. If you don’t want to go that strict you can just add more vegetables. Keto Diet Menu (link opens in a new tab) Follow this eating plan for a week and if you like what you feel you can join the Eat2Live Diet plan and we can work with you to find your optimal lifestyle. (NB – Your personalised plan might not be strict keto, it depends on your response to our assessments and lifestyle applications and to your reaction to the foods we incorporate)
If you enjoyed this article or would like to ask a question please leave a reply below – We’d love to hear from you.
1) The Ketogenic Diet as a Treatment Paradigm for Diverse Neurological – isordershttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3321471/
2) A low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet to treat type 2 diabetes –
3) Long-term effects of a ketogenic diet in obese patients – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2716748/
4) Ketogenic Diet for Obesity: Friend or Foe? – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3945587/