Ketogenic Diet – The Basics
The aim of a ketogenic diet plan is to achieve a ketosis metabolic state, where body cells are fuelled using ketones instead of glucose.
Ketosis is a natural and beneficial process that helped the body survive during times when no food is available, so when fasting your body will switch over to a ketosis state depending on the period of the fast. Ketosis is proven to be beneficial in the treatment and management of a number of health conditions, including epilepsy management, brain and other cancers, autism, Alzheimer’s, mental ill-health and depression.
Ketogenic diet plans involve following a higher fat, moderate protein and limited carbohydrate food intake. There are many Ketogenic diets, the Atkins diet being one of the most well known.
Ketogenic diet key points
- The aim of a keto diet is to enter a ketosis metabolic state and to maintain that state using a measured fat, protein, carbohydrate ratio.
- Carbohydrate intake is strictly limited between 20-60 grams per day for adults, 8-15 grams for children depending on age, height, gender and how much exercise is done. Daily protein intake is kept to a moderate level and the balance of calories will be from fats.
- When calories are not restricted the daily nutrient intake on a ketogenic diet typically works out to approximately 70-75% of calories from fat, 20-25% from protein, and 5-10% from carbohydrate.
- Although fats have little effect on blood sugar and insulin levels protein can affect both blood sugar and insulin when large quantities are consumed. Overeating protein can temporarily increase your blood insulin levels, which can affect the body’s ability to release and burn the fatty acids required for ketosis.