Note: Remember that on the ketogenic diet, you should aim to limit your carbohydrates to be below 30g per day. If you prefer to follow along and have meal ideas made for you, try our Keto Academy Program >
There are different types of MCTs: caproic acid (C6), caprylic acid (C8), capric acid (C10) and lauric acid (C12). Apart from C6, which is best avoided (it tastes bad and is more likely to cause digestive discomfort), MCTs can be beneficial.
The ketogenic diet essentially uses your body fat as an energy source – so there are obvious weight loss benefits. On keto, your insulin (the fat storing hormone) levels drop greatly which turns your body into a fat burning machine.
Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats, which have shown to help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides. They’re also a great source of vitamin C and potassium so they can typically help with electrolyte issues.
Macronutrients (macros) are molecules that our bodies use to create energy for themselves – primarily fat, protein and carbs. They are found in all food and are measured in grams (g) on nutrition labels.
Most other animal-based protein powders can be inflammatory. Casein and whey are known allergens and egg protein can be quite inflammatory. Collagen protein from grass-fed beef is made in the same way that bone broth is made — low and slow heating to preserve the nutrition.
Many people find that during the beginning stages of a ketogenic diet they experience intense food cravings. These food cravings are typically for high-sugar foods and tend to really challenge your willpower.
This may be more of a maybe, but recent studies on mice fed a ketogenic diet lived longer, according to Cell Metabolism. “Not only did these mice live longer, they had expanded health in terms of physical and cognitive functioning,” says Volek. “Meaning, they lived happy, healthy lives.” Obviously, human studies need to be performed.
In order to transition and remain in ketosis, aiming for about 30–50 net grams is typically the recommended amount of carbs to start with. This is considered a more moderate or flexible approach but can be less overwhelming to begin with.
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that in medicine is used primarily to treat difficult-to-control (refractory) epilepsy in children. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Normally, the carbohydrates contained in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported around the body and is particularly important in fueling brain-function. However, if there is little carbohydrate in the diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The ketone bodies pass into the brain and replace glucose as an energy source. An elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood, a state known as ketosis, leads to a reduction in the frequency of epileptic seizures. Almost half of children, and young people, with epilepsy who have tried some form of this diet saw the number of seizures drop by at least half, and the effect persists even after discontinuing the diet. There is some evidence that adults with epilepsy may benefit from the diet, and that a less strict regimen, such as a modified Atkins diet, is similarly effective. The most common adverse effect is constipation, affecting about 30% of patients—this was due to fluid restriction, which was once a feature of the diet, but this led to increased risk of kidney stones and is no longer considered beneficial.
Even as a short-term solution, ketosis may help improve other blood sugar conditions, such as hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia. With the permission (and supervision) of a qualified healthcare practitioner, the keto diet can also be used safely as a long-term protocol for eliminating Type 2 diabetes (15).
In the 1960s, it was discovered that medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) produce more ketone bodies per unit of energy than normal dietary fats (which are mostly long-chain triglycerides). MCTs are more efficiently absorbed and are rapidly transported to the liver via the hepatic portal system rather than the lymphatic system. The severe carbohydrate restrictions of the classic ketogenic diet made it difficult for parents to produce palatable meals that their children would tolerate. In 1971, Peter Huttenlocher devised a ketogenic diet where about 60% of the calories came from the MCT oil, and this allowed more protein and up to three times as much carbohydrate as the classic ketogenic diet. The oil was mixed with at least twice its volume of skimmed milk, chilled, and sipped during the meal or incorporated into food. He tested it on twelve children and adolescents with intractable seizures. Most children improved in both seizure control and alertness, results that were similar to the classic ketogenic diet. Gastrointestinal upset was a problem, which led one patient to abandon the diet, but meals were easier to prepare and better accepted by the children. The MCT diet replaced the classic ketogenic diet in many hospitals, though some devised diets that were a combination of the two.
^ Jump up to: a b c d e Zupec-Kania B, Werner RR, Zupanc ML. Clinical Use of the Ketogenic Diet—The Dietitian’s Role. In: Stafstrom CE, Rho JM, editors. Epilepsy and the ketogenic diet. Totowa: Humana Press; 2004. p. 63–81. ISBN 1-58829-295-9.
An easy way to understand how your hormones work is to picture them as strands of a spider web: You can’t remove one strand without affecting the rest. In other words, when one hormone is out of balance, the rest are negatively impacted — but when the functioning of one hormone is improved, the rest are improved too.
Then my wife had our second kid, we sold our house and moved across the country in a span of one month. The transition along with the lack of sleep and generally getting out of my routine really messed me up. I started sliding and my weight went back to 250. Then 275. It felt insurmountable. I got depressed. Last year I stepped on the scale to see that I weighed 365. I felt broken.
While the ketogenic diet has become popular for weight loss, studies have also shown numerous other health benefits of following a keto diet. It may help reverse Type 2 diabetes and reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, depression and autism (3)(4). The keto diet was first used in the 1920s not as a weight loss diet, but a natural treatment to prevent seizures in epilepsy patients (5).
This is caused by the loss of electrolytes so it’s important that you continue to replace them throughout the day. Keeping your sodium (don’t hesitate to salt things up) intake up throughout the day can prevent all of these side effects.
Search for deals. There’s always a sale or a coupon to be found for keto-friendly items out there. Typically you can find significant savings in magazines and newspapers that are sent to your house, but they can also be combined with in-store specials and manager cuts. When combined, you can save a significant amount of your keto groceries.
Grass-fed butter: Grass-fed butter contains high levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a compound that potentially may help provide protection against different types of cancer and helps the body store muscle instead of fat.
Before starting, ask yourself what is really realistic for you, Mattinson suggests. Then get your doctor’s okay. You may also work with a local registered dietitian nutritionist to limit potential nutrient deficiencies and talk about vitamin supplementation, as you won’t be eating whole grains, dairy, or fruit, and will eliminate many veggies. “A diet that eliminates entire food groups is a red flag to me. This isn’t something to take lightly or dive into headfirst with no medical supervision,” she says.
“Plenty of people jump right in, thinking all they have to do is cut carbs and increase fat. All of a sudden, they hit a wall and get ‘keto flu.’ They feel tired, lethargic, and experience headaches,” Wittrock says. “The primary reason they get these symptoms is lack of the three primary electrolytes: sodium, potassium, and magnesium. If you are deficient in any of these, you will suffer mentally and physically. This is the single biggest reason people fail on the keto diet.”
I was recommended to use Great Lakes brand gelatin. I usually buy the porcine one since it is colorless – better to use for a variety of cooking as it doesn’t color foods brown. I think they also have beef though. I am curious what Dr. Axe would think of the porcine gelatin since the recipe specifies beef. I get it at a local health food store, but just checked on Vitacost and they have it there, too. Probably Amazon, etc.
Our body needs some time to get used to ketones being elevated in the blood stream to begin using them effectively and efficiently for cellular energy. By consuming an exogenous ketone supplement, you get the body adapted to ketones faster and using them as an energy source before the body has built the metabolic machinery to produce its own ketones effectively.
Most of you are familiar with Bulletproof coffee aka BPC – Instagram and other social media are flooded with pictures of mugs filled with frothy coffee. For those who are new to it, it’s a blend of coffee and healthy fats, including grass-fed butter (more omega 3s than grain-fed) and MCTs.
Becoming adapted to using fat for fuel, known as keto-adaptation, while on a keto diet can have benefits during physical activity. If you engage in long periods of exercise, ketosis will help your body burn fat for energy more quickly when your body has used up its glycogen stores.
Things I hated as a kid: Brussels sprouts, broccoli, lettuce. Yet here I am, LOVING this combination as an adult. This salad is crunchy and zesty and perfect to take along for for a cookout. It’s effortless to whip up in large batches. Serves 6.