What is the Ketogenic Diet? Is it right for me?

What is the Ketogenic Diet? Is it right for me?

The Paleo Diet, which we offer at Foodsmith, is the most searched for and probably the most popular structured food diet over the past few years. It has been the darling of athletes and Cross Fitters, as well as those with chronic health issues due to inflammation and gut issues. But it's origins are much older and was in fact used as a sort of "elimination" diet to rule out food categories causing health and gut problems. But oddly, it really is more of an old world diet based on farm to table food, seasonally sourced, and clean and free of processed and modified additives that are so prevalent in the food like substances sold today. Basically it's how our grandparents used to eat, with a few items eliminated like dairy and legumes and most grains. 

The Ketogenic diet has been getting a lot of attention recently as well in several arenas, including weight loss and gut issues and inflammation. But, much like the Paleo Diet, it's origin goes back almost a century where it was developed by a physician as a way to treat some severe forms of epilepsy, and is still part of treating epilepsy today. Much new research into using the Keto diet in cancer patients is being explored as cancer cells generally can't latch onto fat molecules. Keep in mind, a Vegan diet is also promoted for patients undergoing cancer treatment, so there is more research to be done, but in all cases, a clean and unprocessed food diet is ALWAYS best for long term health.

The Keto diet is heavy on fats and protein and generally very few carbohydrates. The calorie ratio breakdown is, as a guide, 70 percent from fats, 25 percent from protein and 5 percent from carbs. It is a challenging diet to adhere to, but it does generally promote dramatic results for weight loss. It does this by pushing the body into ketosis in which the body begins to promote conversion of fat to energy in the form of ketones produced by the liver. Fat has more energy (calories) per gram than protein or fat, but the body generally is accustomed to getting calories and energy from carbohydrates, so once the ketosis process kicks in after following the diet for a period of time, the body begins to burn fat for energy and weight loss can be dramatic. In general, the risks of the ketogenic diet come have not been found to be significant, and as long as the fats and proteins are clean (not processed, like lunch meats or bad oils) then the diet is safe and provides great results, although a long term Keto diet can have some side effects, especially due to reduced mineral intake- Remember our post from last week? Magnesium and other electrolytes can be deficient on the Keto diet. So eat your kale and spinach! The best low carb vegetables are generally leafy greens- kale, collards, romaine, spinach, bok choy, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, green beans... wait, that sounds a lot like a Foodsmith shopping list there! Combined with clean protein, and nuts, nut butters, healthy oils like olive oil, ghee, grass fed butter, avocado, and the Keto diet really is an approachable and feasible offshoot of a clean Paleo or Whole 30 diet plan. 

While we don't currently offer a Keto plan, we may consider it in the near future. Would you be interested in it? If so, send me an email at jamie@myfoodsmith.com and let me know!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Chef Jamie and the Foodsmith team