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What is the ketogenic diet?
The ketogenic diet is a high fat, low carbohydrate diet primarily used for weight loss, acne control and to improve overall health. The keto diet has also proven beneficial for therapeutic use against diabetes, epilepsy, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
How does the ketogenic diet work?
The keto diet forces the body to burn and utilise fat for fuel rather than carbohydrates. Usually the carbohydrates found in food are converted into glucose which would generally be used as fuel for the brain and body. In the absence of glucose the body begins to produce ketones, hence the name "ketogenic diet".
Ketones are produced when you eat very few carbohydrates, the liver produces ketones from fat. These ketones are then used as fuel for the body and work exceptionally well for the brain.
On the ketogenic diet you will experience a more sustained supply of energy and less hunger - This is because you are not spiking your insulin levels up and down with glucose throughout the duration of the day.
What to eat on a keto diet?
The most important thing when trying to achieve a state of ketosis is not to eat too many carbohydrates. The fewer carbs, the more effective you will be at reaching a state of ketosis. The primary foods on the keto diet is meat, fish, eggs, low-carb vegetables and high-fat dairy products.
What to drink on a keto diet?
Ideally you want to stick to water on the keto diet. Coffee and tea are fine too, preferably with no sweeteners… stay well clear of sugar! Protein shakes and aminos help satiate any sweet tooth cravings whilst aiding in recovery and helping you achieve your required protein intake for the day. A little bit of milk or cream is fine to add in your tea, coffee or protein shakes - Be sure to opt for the full-fat variants as opposed to the low-fat counterparts which contain large amounts of sugar. Try to avoid alcohol as much as possible, but if you do decide to have an alcoholic beverage, stick to spirits as they are lower in carbohydrates than beer and wine.
Supplements to use on the ketogenic diet
Caffeine can work exceptionally well during the first few weeks of the ketogenic diet as your body adapts to utilizing ketones for fuel. Caffeine is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that improves cognitive function, takes away feelings of tiredness and improves athletic performance. The easiest way to add caffeine into your diet is with coffee. Coffee is often mixed with (MCT Oil) on the ketogenic diet as it provides your body with a good dose of caffeine and a healthy serving of fats to fuel your brain and body.
There are three different types of ketones; Acetate (Acetone), Acetoacetate (AcAc) and Beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB). The number one exogenous ketone found in keto supplements is BHB. BHB is the primary ketone body found in supplements because it is the one that can be used most efficiently. BHB can easily cross the blood-brain barrier and acts as an excellent fuel source for both brain and body.
Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) Oil is a medium-chain fatty acid that has 6-12 carbon atoms. Unlike their long-form counterparts, MCTs are rapidly broken down and absorbed into the body straight to the liver where they can then be used for energy or turned into ketones. This conversion to ketones is ideal when on the ketogenic diet as it will result in an increase in energy and reduce fatigue.
Whey Protein is an excellent compliment to the ketogenic diet. It's low in carbohydrates and high in protein which makes it easier to achieve your desired macronutrients for the day whilst satiating any sweet tooth cravings with a wide choice of delicious flavours to choose from.