The Ketogenic diet or Keto diet, as it is most often referred to, is a low carbohydrate, high-fat diet that has become very popular over the last few years to achieve rapid weight loss and other health benefits such as improved type two diabetes and heart health. Originally the diet was designed to treat children with epilepsy as it was found to successfully reduce and, in some cases, even eliminate the frequency of epileptic seizures.

Braised Pork over Cauliflower Mash with Cabbage Slaw

Following a Ketogenic diet requires drastically reducing the number of calories consumed as carbohydrates and replacing them with fat which puts the body into a metabolic state called ketosis. In normal energy metabolism, the body converts carbohydrates into glucose for energy. In ketosis, the body burns fat stored in the liver producing ketones that can be used in place of glucose by the body and brain for its energy needs. To achieve a state of ketosis the basic keto diet requires consuming 75% of your calories from fat with the remainder made up of 20% protein and 5% carbohydrate. To put this in perspective, on a 2,000 calorie diet only 100 calories a day of carbohydrate or the equivalent of one banana or a small piece of bread would be allowed. 

Keto-Friendly Pesto Chicken and Spaghetti Squash

When first starting the Keto diet it is common to have side effects, sometimes called the “Keto Flu”, of nausea, foggy brain, digestive discomfort, sore muscles, poor energy, and bad breath (fruity) while the body adjusts to using ketones for its energy source. To combat these side effects, it is important to drink plenty of water and consume additional salt, unless you have hypertension. It can also be beneficial to take potassium and magnesium supplements but make sure to check with your doctor about your medical situation before starting any type of supplementation.

White Fish with Herb Butter over Spinach

So now you may be wondering what to eat on a Ketogenic diet. Below is a sample list of the types of foods you can eat when trying to go Keto.

Foods allowed on a Ketogenic diet

  • Meats: Bacon, sausage, chicken, turkey, beef 
  • Fish: Fatty fish such as salmon, trout, tuna
  • Eggs: Pasteurized
  • Cheese: Unprocessed, cheddar, goat, mozzarella
  • Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, sunflower
  • Healthy oils: Extra virgin olive oil, vegetable oil, avocado
  • Low Carbohydrate Vegetables: for example, green beans, eggplant, zucchini, green and red bell peppers

Check out these recipes for more Keto-friendly meal inspiration!

Lamb with Asparagus and Salsa Verde

Creamy Spinach-Tomato Chicken with Zoodles

Please note the information provided here should not be considered medical advice and any changes in your diet should be made in discussion with your physician.

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