Ketogenic diets have multiple names- low carb, LCHF, paleo, whole 30, Adkins. If you’ve ever looked up a recipe online, these probably sound familiar. Each one has a different infrastructure, but they all use ketosis as their foundation. So what is ketosis and is the hype valid?
Ketosis occurs when the body produces ketones in the liver, which are converted into energy. A ketone is a form of energy that is created when your body breaks down fat.
A Ketogenic diet is designed to set your body into ketosis, which is the fastest way to burn body fat. The reason this diet works so well for weight loss is because the high fat, low carb intake. Why the reduction in carbs? Carbs turn into glucose in the body and the reaction is a spike in insulin levels; when insulin is high, energy is stored as fat. Fats should be your body’s primary energy source, however you still need glucose. Glucose is the only form of energy the brain can use. When you’re eating a strict ketogenic diet for an extended period of time, your glucose levels become too low and this can lead to decreased brain function.
When it comes to food, it’s not about fad diets, it’s about eating a wide spectrum of whole foods that allow your body to function at it’s fullest potential. The following guidelines will help your body reset its metabolism, burn fat and function at its highest level.
Stick to mainly meat, vegetables, some fruits, nuts and seeds. The closer you can get to the vine, the better. If it’s processed, run the other direction like a zombie is chasing you.
Dairy is highly inflammatory for the GI tract. It creates mucous, which decreases the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. When the body is efficiently absorbing nutrients, the brain signals hunger sensations less frequently.
Whole wheat raises blood sugar, causes inflammation in the body and releases Gliadin. Gliadin in wheat causes the body to increase its production of zonulin. Zonulin regulates the intestinal permeability and once it is elevated, foods and toxins are allowed to transfer through the intestinal wall.
Artificial Sweeteners are toxic to your body. They increase appetite and carbohydrate cravings, and stimulate fat storage and weight gain. Some common artificial sweeteners to avoid are aspartame, acesulfame, potassium, sucralose and saccharin.
Fresh fruit contains phytochemicals, antioxidants and enzymes that are beneficial for brain function, maintaining energy levels and smooth digestion. If weight loss is your main goal, quantity and time of day should be your main focus- eat fruit between noon and 4 pm, to allow the body enough time to burn the carbohydrates and return to ketosis before bed.
When it comes to diet and weight loss, knowledge is power. If you’re aware of what your body needs and follow a diet that meets those requirements, you will experience results. Follow us on social media to get more tips and recipe ideas.