Ketogenic diets emphasize foods rich in natural fats and adequate in protein, and restrict foods high in carbohydrate (sugars and starches). While the standard American diet (SAD) contains 45-65% of calories from carbohydrate, ketogenic diets restrict carbohydrate intake to about 2-4% of calories on a standard 2000 calorie diet.
And contrary to what many "experts" think, a ketogenic, low carb diet is NOT a high protein diet. It's a high fat diet with a moderate protein intake and a very low carbohydrate allowance. A typical ketogenic meal includes a small amount of protein, a source of natural fats (for example, butter, beef tallow, lard, duck fat, cream, olive oil, or coconut oil) and some green leafy vegetables.
On this website, you'll find information on how these diets work, the right way to "do" the diet, and the details on how you can increase your energy and improve your health simply by changing the way you eat.
When carbohydrate containing foods are digested, they are broken down into blood sugar (glucose) in the body. The more carbohydrates we eat, the more glucose is made. As diabetics know, high blood sugar is toxic to the body. Eating more fats and protein and less carb causes our internal biochemical pathways to switch to using our stored fat for fuel instead of burning sugar. This switch produces ketone bodies while at the same time reducing blood sugar levels. As glucose drops and ketone body levels rise in the bloodstream, the heart, muscle and brain stop burning sugar and instead use the ketones as an alternative fuel. This is called being "in nutritional ketosis."
Once the body is using ketones as a main fuel source, all sorts of beneficial effects become apparent. A ketone producing, high fat, low carb diet is terrific for weight reduction, slowing the aging process and addressing health issues such as heartburn, fatty liver and achy joints.
However, these diets are much more powerful than those popular uses would suggest. In fact, being in ketosis can alleviate many serious diseases. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect of nutritional ketosis is potent. In fact, nutritional ketosis and ketone bodies themselves are being studied extensively as a treatment for many metabolic diseases. For instance, there is strong research evidence that ketotic diets can:
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. (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 diet benefits.
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.
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.
My friend and colleague Patricia Daly has created Practical Keto Meal Plans, a recipe and meal plan eBook specifically geared toward the ketogenic diet for cancer patients. Click on the link or book cover to learn more.
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. Just click on the magazine cover:
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