Ketogenic diets emphasize natural fats and protein (meat, fish, poultry) and restrict foods high in carbohydrate (sugars and starches). The standard American diet (SAD) contains 45-65% of calories from carbohydrate, while keto diets restrict carbohydrate intake to a very small amount, about 2-4% of calories. In short, keto diets are high fat, very low carb diets and this different way of eating is not only deliciously satisfying, but has some powerful and beneficial metabolic effects on the human body.
On this website, you'll find information on how these diets work, the right way to "do" the diet, and details on how you can increase your energy and improve your health simply by changing the way you eat.
Ketogenic diets are not high protein diets, but are instead diets in which the majority of calories come from natural fats. Protein intake is moderate and only small amounts of carbohydrates are allowed. Because fat is so dense in calories, this just means adding a moderate amount of extra butter, olive oil or other natural fat to fresh, whole food meals. A typical ketogenic meal includes a 3-5 ounces of protein, usually cooked in natural fats (for example, butter, beef tallow, lard, duck fat, cream, olive oil, or coconut oil) with the addition of green leafy or non starchy vegetables such as salad greens, spinach, summer squash, or kale.
The restriction of carbohydrate is the key factor in this diet. When carbohydrate foods are digested, they are broken down into blood sugar (glucose) in the body. The more carbs we eat, the more glucose is created. If we reduce carb intake and instead eat more fat and protein, it causes our internal metabolic pathways to switch from burning sugar to burning fat.
This switch produces ketone bodies while at the same time reducing blood sugar and insulin levels. As blood glucose and insulin levels drop and ketone body levels rise, the heart, muscle and brain reduce use of glucose and instead use fats and ketones to fuel themselves. This state of "nutritional ketosis" is beneficial, and in fact, ketone producing diets are much more powerful than most people realize. There is strong research evidence that low carb, high fat diets are effective for the following medical conditions:
Cancer: the current research on metabolic cancer treatments using a keto diet are extremely promising. The keto diet for cancer therapy is somewhat different than the treatment for other illnesses, and is discussed in detail in my e-Book "Fight Cancer with a Ketogenic Diet," which is based on the work of both Dr. Thomas Seyfried and Dr. Dominic D'Agostino. The main idea behind the use of a ketogenic diet to treat cancer is to starve the cancer cells of the glucose and other fuels they need to survive, and provide support for the normal mitochondrial respiration processes in healthy tissues. The huge advantage of this treatment protocol is that it is non-toxic to the rest of the body, and in "wait and see" cases, can provide an huge health support advantage to the patient.
Diabetes: Recommendations for higher carb intake in diabetes treatment is detrimental to diabetic health because it results in blood sugar spikes and crashes, which in turn causes a greater need for medication and insulin. A ketogenic diet reduces and in many cases, eliminates the need for diabetic medications and lowers the number of insulin units needed. The result is lower medication costs for people with diabetes. Learn more in our Conquer Type 2 Diabetes book . A lower carb, higher protein and fat type 1 diabetes diet is also beneficial for people with Type 1 diabetes.
Weight Loss: Low carb, high fat keto diets have been proven in study after study as the best diet for weight loss because the diet works with your biochemistry instead of against it. To help readers implement the diet correctly, check out our web app My Keto Plan, a tool designed by Ellen Davis and Austin Voss to help people achieve fast, healthy weight loss with a ketogenic diet. It's a great learning too for understanding how to create a ketogenic meal every time.
Alzheimer's disease: Ketones help replenish brain energy pathways resulting in a better memory and thought function. My colleague Amy Berger has pulled together the latest research and written a unique ebook detailing how a low carb, high fat diet is the best way to protect and restore brain health. The Alzheimer's Antidote book is a one-of-a-kind resource. If you want to know to avoid or treat dementia or cognitive issues with a dietary solution, I highly recommend this book.
In addition, there is also research showing the following conditions can be reversed or greatly improved on a keto diet:
In other words, the ketogenic diet is not a “fad.” It is a potent regulator of metabolic derangement, and when formulated and implemented correctly, it can be extremely effective for improving metabolic health. (References here and here).
If you are ready to get started, check out the keto diet plan page, or the low carb food list. You can read about the benefits of the diet, or see some recipes and meal plans. Or just peruse the navigation bar on the left and click on what interests you.
In addition, Well Being Journal (WBJ) published an article I wrote about the health effects of keto diets in their July/August 2012 issue. It includes a detailed overview of the benefits of ketogenic diets.
You can also read my hypoglycemia and low carb diet myths articles which were published in the 2012 Nov/Dec issue of Well Being Journal.
NEW! Second Edition of the Fight Cancer with a Ketogenic Diet eBook is now available. Click on the link or book cover above to purchase.
The Conquer Type 2 Diabetes with a Ketogenic Diet book is available! Click on the link or book cover above to purchase.
My Keto Plan
is a new tool designed by Ellen Davis and Austin Voss to help people achieve fast, healthy weight loss with a ketogenic diet.
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