The Keto diet has been the most recent ‘trend’ when it comes to dieting! If you know me, you know I don’t jump into any of these trendy diets. However, there is definitely a time and a place. I am fortunate enough to work with lots of clients navigating cancer and cancer treatments. This was a partial inspiration to start my juice bar as I wanted to help people in a more tangable way. Creating and sharing juices that have been crafted in a customized way has been incredible. I am also fortunate enough to work with Dr. Jennifer Krieger from Spring Integrative Health who specializes in Naturopathic Oncology. That means she is an ideal complement to your medical team when it comes to navigating the scary waters of cancer. So needless to say, if you are facing cancer, then the Keto diet is somethign to seriously consider. I learned a lot from this awesome book Keto for Cancer by Miriam Kalamian EdM MS CNS
How the Keto Diet Works:
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate-protein, and very low-carb diet. By limiting carbohydrates, you put your body in a state of ketosis – where ketones, created in the liver, help break down fat for energy.
Typically, we get our energy through a process called glycolysis, which is how carbohydrates are broken down into glucose for energy. In glycolysis, there are higher levels of insulin that promote the storage of body fat and block the release of fat from adipose tissues, whereas in ketosis, fat reserves are released and broken down, so you don’t store them on the body, but use them.
As your body switches from one energy source to another, you may notice you don’t actually feel that great. Symptoms like fatigue, bad breath, brain fog and irritability are common when going keto. These may last a few weeks but will subside once your body has adjusted. Keto salts can be incredibly helpful during this time. This is due to a rapid loss of water and minerals like sodium. Here are some of the symptoms you may experience:
Poor focus and concentration
Smart ways to get through the keto flu include
Drinking plenty of water
Supplementing with Electrolytes (Ultima or Hi Lyte)
Consuming mineral rich foods.
Many find they lose weight when they start a ketogenic diet. However, much of this initial weight may be water weight (which means it’s easy to gain back). Continued weight loss may be due to the diet’s appetite suppressive effects. Restricting carbs also improves insulin sensitivity and can help decrease inflammation, meaning that circulating hormones are less likely to promote fat storage.
Still, maintaining weight loss may be tricky – particularly because of the restrictive nature of the die, which may make adherence difficult to maintain long-term.
As you remove many carbohydrates from the diet, you’re also removing a lot of fiber, which may lead to constipation. At the same time, eating more fat than you’re used to may lead to diarrhea.
To make sure you’re taking care of your gut, include probiotic sources in the diet and make sure the carbohydrates you do eat are high in fiber. Again, after a few weeks, these symptoms may subside.
How do I know if I’m in Ketosis?
There are a few ways for you to find out whether or not you are in ketosis. Although the most accurate way is to use a blood ketone meter like KetoSens you can also use urine ketone strips or simply your common sense and listen to your body signals.
It is critical that you get the macronutrient ratio right. Ideally, you should be eating:
5-10% of calories from carbs (20-30 grams of net carbs.)
15-30% of calories from protein
60-75% of calories from fat.
If your goal is to lose weight, your fat intake might even go below 60%. Fat is used as a “filler” and should make up the remaining calories.
The exact amount of fat and protein is a matter of individual body responses and activity levels. However, most people on ketogenic diets don’t consume over 5% of calories from carbohydrates.
Supportive Apps for Keto Diet
MyFitnessPal (for general macro tracking)
Cronometer (for more specific macro and micronutrient tracking).Y
The KetoDiet App
How to get started
1. Plan ahead. Stock your fridge and kitchen with keto friendly foods. Have a menu in place so you know exactly what foods you are going to be eating.
2. Start by getting the daily net carbs (total carbs without fiber) down to less than 50 grams, preferably 20-30 grams. Increase slowly to find the optimal carbs intake. Most of you will be able to stay in ketosis at 20-30 grams of net carbs per day. Find the carbs limit that allows you to stay in ketosis.
3. Keep your protein intake moderate. Preferably, use your body fat percentage to get the best estimate for your optimal protein intake (0.6 to 1 grams per pound of lean body mass or 1.3 to 2.2 grams per kg of lean body mass).
4. Increase the proportion of calories that come from healthy fats (saturated, omega 3s, monounsaturated)
5. If your net carbs limit is very low (20 grams and below), avoid eating fruit and low-carb treats.
6. Eat when you are hungry, even if it’s a meal a day. Don’t let others dictate what you eat or how often you eat.
7. You don’t have to limit quantities of food deliberately, but you should stop eating when you feel full, even if the plate is not empty – keep it for later.
8. Don’t count calories – listen to your body needs. Ketogenic and low-carb diets have a natural appetite control effect and you will eat less. Keep an eye on your calorie intake only if you reach a weight loss plateau, try KetoDiet buddy to find your ideal macros.
9. Increase the amount of water you drink – at least 2-3 liters a day.
Healthy Keto Fats:
Mayonnaise (watch out for added carbs)
Red Palm Oil
Healthy Keto Protein:
Fish. Preferably eating anything that is caught wild like cod, flounder, halibut, mackerel, mahi-mahi, salmon, snapper, trout, and tuna. Shellfish. Clams, oysters, lobster, crab, scallops, mussels, and squid.
Whole Eggs. Try to get them free-range
Meat. Beef, Veal, Goat, Lamb, and other wild game. Grass-fed is preferred as it has a better fatty acid count.
Pork. Pork loin, pork chops, and nitrite/nitrate-free ham. Watch out for added sugars in ham.
Poultry. Chicken, Duck, Quail, Pheasant. Free-range or organic is the best choice here if possible.
Bacon and Sausage. Check labels for anything cured in sugar, or if it contains extra fillers.
Peanut/Almond Butter. Go for natural peanut butter, in moderation as they have high counts of Omega-6’s. Try to opt for macadamia nut butter if you can.
Keto Ideal Vegetables
The best type of vegetables for a ketogenic diet are high in nutrients and low in carbohydrates. Think: dark and leafy. Anything that resembles spinach or kale will fall into this category. Other low carb vegetables that aren’t leafy greens, include vegetables that grow above ground: lettuce, cucumbers, broccoli and cauliflower and are best to include into every meal or snack possible. Vegetables are not only loaded with important vitamins, minerals and anti oxidants but they are also an excellent source of fiber and are alkalizing to the body. Creating an alkalized environment within the body allows for optimal health with less inflammation and happy cells.