Following a healthy and effective diet with work, social life, and the general stresses of everyday can be challenging. More often than not, people find themselves skipping out on whole foods, and instead indulging in quick and convenient meals that result in poor health and a higher number on the scale..sound like you? To put it simply, being healthy can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Enter the Ketogenic diet.
If you’ve spent any time the past year on your computer or phone googling the best diets for health and weight-loss, you’ve undoubtedly stumbled across the Ketogenic (Keto) diet. It has become extremely popular amongst the fitness community, and it is promoted by health gurus and nutrition experts alike. Let’s break it down (pun intended): your body typically uses glucose for energy-you probably already know this. But what you may not know, is that when deprived of this energy source, your body taps into its fat stores (body fat) and shuttles fatty acids to the liver where it is processed and creates its own energy source known as Ketones. This metabolic state is known as Ketosis and is critical to the success of the diet.
So how does one enter Ketosis? It’s simple. You have to reduce your glycogen stores so your level of insulin drops,enabling fatty acids to travel to the liver and convert to Ketones. The most effective way to do this is to limit intake of carbohydrates- foods such as fruit, pasta, bread, rice, and starchy vegetables to 20-40 grams (depending on the individual) per day. This means, your macronutrient breakdown (daily percent of calories that consist of fat/protein/carbs) should look similar to 60-75% fat, 15-30% protein, and 5-10% carbs.
Have you recently started the keto diet and noticed that you feel almost as if you've got the flu? Headaches, lethargy, irritability, nausea, mental fogginess, muscle aches, the list goes on. While this can be a concerning experience out of the gate, the “keto flu” is really just a sign that your body is heading in the right direction.
MCTs is the acronym for a unique subclass of saturated dietary fats that contain 6, 8, 10, or 12 carbons in their fatty acid chemical structure. Most of the saturated fat found in a typical Western diet is in the form of long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) which are packaged into micelles in the small intestine and absorbed through the lymphatic system.