The Ketogenic Diet: Focus on Good Fats
You’d be hard pressed to go on social media these days without coming across people who are on a ketogenic diet. But what exactly is a ketogenic diet?
Developed in the 1920s, this high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet was created to treat certain conditions such as epilepsy. Today, many people use it to lose weight, although this is not its ultimate goal.
The ketogenic diet recommends that you consume 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbohydrates (sugar), which runs counter to traditional models. But how can you be healthy by eating more fat?
Essentially, your body draws its energy from the carbohydrates that you eat. When you start a ketogenic lifestyle, carbohydrate reserves decrease rapidly. People often experience fatigue, headaches and nausea during this short transition period. Once these reserves are depleted, the body gets its energy from ketones produced by the breakdown of fats in the liver. Called “state of ketosis”, this important and sought-after period provides a feeling of well-being and satiety, as well as more energy.
Although quite restrictive, the ketogenic lifestyle allows individuals to eat nutrients necessary for a healthy life. They can eat good sources of protein such as beef, chicken, fish and eggs. They are encouraged to eat vegetables (spinach, broccoli, lettuce, kale) because they are rich in nutrients. However, individuals must focus on good fats (nuts, avocados, olive oil). It’s important to make the right choices!
You can consume moderate amounts of cheese, coffee and small portions of fruit. However, you need to avoid foods that contain a lot of carbohydrates such as pasta, cereal and bread. Just like many other sweets!
Although adopting a ketogenic lifestyle may provide short-term health benefits, we should keep in mind that there is still not much long-term research on the subject. Before making any major changes to your diet, be sure to consult a dietitian, the specialist who is your best source of information.