A ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat eating plan designed to encourage the body to burn fat for energy and not carbohydrates. This is a powerful weight management strategy and provides several other known health benefits. This diet has demonstrated effectiveness as an adjunct treatment approach in managing a number of health-care conditions, including:
When the body uses fat for fuel, the liver produces ketone bodies. Ketone bodies burn fat more efficiently than carbohydrates. By eating this way, you create an environment where most of the body’s energy comes from ketone bodies in the blood, rather than glucose. It becomes easy to use your fat stores to burn them off. This is obviously great if you’re trying to lose weight, but there are also other less obvious benefits like, such as less hunger and a steady supply of energy throughout the day and into the evening.
So, the question then is what should I put into my body to allow it to enter Ketosis? Generally speaking, one should adhere to the following macro-nutrient ratios:
- High Fat – 60%-80% of total calories from fat.
- Moderate Protein – 15%-35% of total calories from protein.
- Low Carbohydrate – 5% or less of total calories from carbohydrates.
Eating according to this macro-nutrient breakdown will allow you to deplete your body of glucose and force it to start breaking down ketone bodies. While the guidelines outlined in this diet plan might seem challenging or intimidating to readers, it’s actually quite simple once you get the hang of it.
Another important part of ketogenic dieting is the concept of net carbs. This calculation is as follows: (Net carbs = Total carbohydrates – Fiber). For example, a medium-sized zucchini has about 6g of total carbs and 2g of fiber. That means that a medium zucchini has 4g of net carbs. Ideally, you should shoot for somewhere around 20g of net carbs/day when starting out.
If you’re looking to clean up your diet, or for an effective way to manage your weight long-term, this strategy might be for you. As always, you should consult a health-care practitioner before beginning any diet program. For many, this diet may not be appropriate and you should make sure you meet the right health criteria before starting. Also worth noting is that weight loss is not the end-all-be-all marker of overall health. It’s still very important to make sure your body is getting the right nutrients that it needs to work, which it might not be getting just through diet alone.
In the spirit of October, here’s a link to a great holiday keto-friendly Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake worth giving a try this season.
Dr. Joseph Little, D.C.
October 18, 2017
Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Hardy, Dr. Joseph Little, Chiropractic Physicians