Our Dietitan Feng-Yuan Liu writes: Is The Ketogenic Diet For You?
Just like all dietary approaches, there is no one size fits all - they need to be personalised, realistic, enjoyable, safe and sustainable. One regime, the ketogenic diet plan is fast becoming an approach that is helping people achieve better health long term. Whilst it does encourage bringing fats back into the diet, it is important that anyone considering this diet plan does not lose focus on the quality of the food they are eating. This approach is certainly not a green light to eating a lot of fatty takeaway and junk food. Instead it is going back to basics, back to real foods. It is saying: instead of highly processed vegetable oils and margarines; instead of grain-fed homone-injected meats and chickens; instead of processed packaged foods filled with omega-6 rich oils and trans fatty acids - opt for organic butters, coconut oils, natural nuts and seeds, oily fish, avocados, olive oiuls, grass-fed meats, organic chickens, free-range eggs, and so forth.
Not everyone needs to go on a ketogenic diet to see health benefits, however the ketogenic diet has certainly shown much scientific validity, much populatiry and much promise in helping individuals achieve overall better health. Please remember, before you embark on such a regime, or before you make any considerable dietary change, please consult your doctor, or an Accredited Practising Dietitian.
What is ketosis?
Ketosis is a state where the body converts fats to ketone bodies to use as a primary fuel source in the absence of sufficient glucose. Whilst many people will tell you that your body needs glucose for energy – or prefers glucose as energy – your body and brain can run perfectly on blood ketones.
This state of ketosis is achieved by restricting carbohydrates and compensating with an increase in total fat intake (and yes, that includes saturated fats too) so our bodies can switch over from relying on carbohydrates as fuel to using fats as fuel.
Now you might be worried about saturated fats and its effect on your heart, but rest assured that the theorised link between saturated fat intake and heart disease is well and truly crumbling in the face of new scientific development, but this is honestly a topic for another time!
A typical ketogenic macronutrient split of proteins, carbohydrates and fats would be: 70%-75% fat | 20% protein | 5%-10% carbohydrate
Ketosis is an approach to eating that is much more than just another fad. When the body adapts to using fats as a primary fuel source, many benefits arise. Some of the most common ones include:
• Reduced sugar cravings due to eliminating insulin spikes and therefore blood glucose spikes and crashes associated with carbohydrate intake
• Increased satiety and therefore a reduced need and desire to snack constantly
• Reversal or control of Type 2 Diabetes and Insulin Resistance from eliminating the burden placed on the pancreas to secrete insulin constantly
• Fat loss from allowing the body to tap into their fat stores for energy, instead of forever accumulating fat stores whilst only ever using glucose and stored glycogen for fuel
• Reduced inflammation and inflammatory markers, and therefore an improvement in inflammation within the body including joints
• Improved blood lipid profile by increasing good healthy HDL, reducing unhealthy Triglycerides and improving overall total cholesterol to HDL ratio (which is a much greater predictor of heart health than total cholesterol alone)
For more informatoin about your diet and the regime that best suits you, please arrange an appointment to see Feng-Yuan. You can phone 9650 9372 or book online.