The Ketogenic diet was pioneered by John Hopkins Medicine traditionally as a high fat, low carbohydrate, low protein diet used to treat difficult to control childhood epilepsy (idiopathic or intractable epilepsy).
As such this diet should ONLY be undertaken under STRICT medical supervision. If you are visiting this page for information about how to treat epilepsy, please see the link at the bottom of this page).
The principals however can be applied as a lifestyle choice to assist in weight loss, however we strongly advise you seek professional advice before commencing any diet plan. The Ketogenic diet is serious business - you are essentially changing the way your metabolism works and as such thorough consideration is required. You will need much more information than what is provided here as well as personalised recommendations, so please let this only be a guide!
Keep in mind these are highly
complex metabolic functions
that I’m trying to describe as efficiently as possible!
Biologically a few things need to be understood first.
the body runs on energy derived from glucose.
Cells use glucose to perform necessary actions and any leftover gets
stored as fats (triglycerides). In a
‘normal’ diet there are enough carbohydrates consumed to meet our daily energy
requirements (usually more than enough…which is why we put on weight!).
However if there are not enough carbs available the body will break down stored
fats (or consumed fats) to meet our energy needs.
Click here for a sample of our ketogenic diet plan.
The by-products of this process are ketones, and we are said to be in a state of ketosis (which really just means having elevated levels of ketone bodies). Therefore by introducing high levels of fats into the diet and minimising access to carbohydrates and in turn glucose, fatty acids must be burnt to use as energy. The theory is the body will become more efficient over time at utilising fatty acids instead of running on glucose and storing the excess as fat!
When designing meals for a Ketogenic diet plan you will hear a lot about ratios, fats, carbs and protein. Selecting the right ratio should be done carefully and ideally by a qualified dietician. The key is to keep it nutritionally sound while maintaining these values. Use whole foods, not processed carbs to ensure you are getting enough vital amino acids, vitamins and minerals.
Testing for ketosis is easy as peeing on
a ‘ketostick’ -
readily available at pharmacies
Calorie counting plays less of a role, however every gram of food is generally accounted for to ensure ratio balance. The theory behind this diet is solid; use fats not sugars for fuel, it is however in practice a complex diet. Not for families or those who are time poor though as a lot of weighing, preparing and cooking is involved. However with careful dedication, significant positive results can be achieved.
If you liked visiting our ketogenic diet page, feel free to visit our homepage as well!