What is a Ketogenic Diet?

We’ve discussed plant-based diets and alkaline diets, but recently there seems to be a new diet taking the health and nutrition world by storm: the ketogenic diet. The word “ketogenic” comes from the word “ketones,” which are small molecules produced when you consume very little carbs. A ketogenic diet prompts your body to enter “ketosis,” a state of being that makes it easier to burn fat and, in turn, lose weight. But what does a ketogenic diet really look like? Can we still eat our favorite foods? And, most importantly, is it safe? Check out the commonly asked questions below to see if a ketogenic diet is for you!

What are the benefits of a ketogenic diet?

  • Weight loss - Of course weight loss is one of the most significant benefits of the ketogenic diet - what else would happen after you turn your body into a fat-burning machine!?
  • Mental focus - The increased fuel to your brain and the balance of your blood sugar levels leads to increased mental function and clarity.
  • Diabetes reversal - Because the ketogenic diet helps you lose extra fat, which is associated with some types of diabetes, it has been scientifically proven to improve insulin sensibility and actually reverse some of the symptoms of the disease.
  • Reduced acne - Getting sick of those annoying imperfections? Eating a low carb diet has a positive effect on your hormones, which are usually responsible for acne. Hello, clear skin!
  • Gut health - People on low-carb diets often experience less diarrhea, stomach cramps, and heartburn. Need we say more?

Sounds great - so what can I actually eat?

The following foods are considered acceptable for the ketogenic diet:

  • Natural fats like butter and oils
  • Meat
  • Fish and seafood
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Veggies that grow above ground
  • Berries in moderation

What can’t I eat?

The following foods are NOT part of the ketogenic diet:

  • Sugary, processed foods
  • Grains or starches
  • Most fruits
  • Beans or legumes
  • Root veggies
  • Alcohol

What are some examples of ketogenic meals?

Here are some ketogenic recipes we love!

Low-Carb Meat Pie

Asian Cabbage Stir-Fry

Shepherd’s Pie

Are there any negative side effects to this diet?

Some people experience negative side effects within the first few days or even weeks of beginning this diet. These symptoms are referred to as the “keto-flu,” and may include poor energy and mental function, increased hunger, poor sleep and fatigue, nausea and other digestive issues. However, these symptoms should subside shortly thereafter.

As a general rule, we always recommend consulting a physician before starting any kind of diet. However, if you are experiencing persistent symptoms after beginning the ketogenic diet, consult a doctor or nutritionist immediately.