Happy Friday readers, and welcome to another week in wellness with Purely Simple Organic Living! If you have been keeping up with any of the latest trends in weight loss, you are probably familiar with the ketogenic diet–aka the keto diet.
From people putting globs of grass-fed butter in their morning coffee, to recipes on social media like “peanut butter cream cheese fat bombs”, the keto diet has truly garnered a cult following (#KetoLife, am I right?). Whether the appeal is weight loss, improving mitochondrial function, or just a way to lead a healthier lifestyle, the keto diet has definitely made a splash in the health scene that has researchers and nutritionists taking a second look.
In this blog post we will be sorting through some of the research on the ketogenic diet to help explain what it is, how it works, as well as the important questions like is eating keto healthy? and is keto right for me? So without further ado, let’s discuss!
What is the Keto Diet?
There are several different versions of the keto diet: the Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKG), Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD), Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKG), and the High-Protein Ketogenic Diet–with most of the contemporary interpretations falling under the standard. Standard ketogenic diets usually limit carbohydrate intake to about 25 to 50 grams a day, and focus on quality-sourced, high-fat meals with high amounts of fiber a moderate amount of proteins1.
This usually involves portioning around 70 percent of your diet to healthy fats, 25 percent to high-quality protein and only 5 percent to carbohydrates1. By restricting net carbs and upping fat intake, you will ultimately put your body in a state of nutritional ketosisas well as lowering your blood sugar and insulin levels1.
Ketosis, not to be confused with diabetic ketoacidosis, is a natural process in which your body begins to burn fat for fuel instead of sugar (aka blood glucose)1–making it an effective tool to burn off some excess fat. When your metabolism shifts from burning carbs to burning fat for energy, your liver produces blood acids called ketones or ketone bodies that can also be used for energy2. Unlike glucose, ketones are readily able to cross the blood-brain barrier, making them efficient in providing the brain fuel2.
Ketones that are not used by the body as fuel are usually excreted and can show up in your breath, urine or blood. When ketones build up in persons with type 1 diabetes, matched with high blood sugar and low insulin, the blood becomes too acidic and causes diabetic ketoacidosis, a severe life-threatening complication (unlike ketosis). Ketone presence detected in your breath, urine, or blood are easy ways to test if your body is in a state of ketosis, with urine test strips being a popular means to test your ketone levels at-home.
Is the Keto Diet Healthy?
Doctor Joseph Mercola, one of the leading authorities in alternative health and nutrition, often recommends the standard ketogenic diet to people with chronic illness, obesity, or to those who are wanting to optimize their health1. He cites benefits such as increased weight loss, decreased risk of inflammation, lower risk of cancer, improved muscle mass, reduced appetite, lower insulin levels, etc.1as positive outcomes of the ketogenic diet.
Amy Meyers, MD also supports ketogenic diet practices for certain groups like those with epilepsy, neurodegenerative diseases, type 2 diabetes, and cancer3. With the ketogenic diet reentering mainstream health culture, researchers are looking more closely at its ability to mitigate symptoms in certain disorders and for its cited effectiveness in reducing inflammation3.
However, the ketogenic diet works like every other diet that puts you in a calorie deficit, which can lead to nutritional deficiencies. Studies have shown that the keto diet commonly causes deficiencies in potassium and sodium4,5, denoting a need for high mineral and high potassium intake in conjunction with a keto lifestyle. Due to the limited amount of glucose available while one is in ketosis, perimenopausal women and those with thyroid issues may suffer thyroid impairment and adrenal stress as a result of the ketogenic diet3,4,5.
Chronic low-carb diets do not feed you gut flora, which may also compromise you microbiome in the long term6. Most importantly, our bodies are not designed to operate in a state of ketosis forever! Your body is designed to have the metabolic flexibility to use both glucose and fat for fuel, and cycling in and out of nutritional ketosis is the best approach to this diet5,6.
Is the Keto Diet Right for You?
So are you a good candidate for the ketogenic diet?
Well, the jury is still out. Every single person and their bodies are different and have a unique set of needs that a one-size-fits-all approach does not address. As with any major diet change, the only way to know if the keto diet is right for you is to consult with a trusted medical professional to assess your nutritional needs. If you fall into any of the sensitive categories listed above, such as: type 1 diabetes, thyroid and hormone issues, high-stress lifestyle, or have existing salt or mineral deficiencies often seen in fingernails as vertical ridges, it is best to seek professional advice on whether your body
Want to make healthier food choices but don’t know where to start?
A foolproof way to “clean up” your lifestyle is to start by cutting out heavily processed foods. Making the switch to healthier fats by switching out any vegetable oils or margarines in your kitchen with alternatives like grass-fed butter, coconut oil and avocado oil. Being conscious of what you consume is one of the most sustainable changes you can make going forward in your journey to health!
Here at Purely Simple Organic Living, we aim to safely support our clients by assessing and considering all areas of their life–food, exercise, lifestyle, environment, etc.–and always opt for sustainable lifestyle changes to help you reach your wellness goal. Our biochemical wellness analysis tests your urine and saliva on 7 parameters that can tell you if you have any vitamin or mineral deficiencies, as well as if your body is able to process proteins–a necessary piece for anyone looking to make appropriate food choices!
Face, tongue and nail evaluations have also been used for centuries to detect imbalances long before they present as physical symptoms in the body, which we offer as part of our services. We also address the emotional piece that often goes neglected when people fall into the cycle of diets and why you wanted to start that diet in the first place! Our EVOX voice mapping service is a gentle, effective means of emotional release to heal from the consequences of stored trauma and stress in the body.
As part of our July Health is Wellness campaign, we are proud to be offering new client appointments for $50 off, as well as biochemical wellness analysis (urine/saliva test) + face/tongue/nail evaluations for $79! Follow our Facebook page to keep up with our latest events and specials, you don’t want to miss out!
Call us today at (512) 265-0303 opt. 1 to schedule your FREE 30 minute discovery call to find out more about how Purely Simple Organic Living can equip and empower you to lead a life full of happiness and wellness! Also, feel free to join our private Facebook page Holistic Tools for Autoimmune Freedom to be part of a powerful community and learn to conquer autoimmune disease naturally. Have a blessed weekend!