Keto comes from the word “ketones” and genic refers to “the creation of”. So, the Ketogenic Lifestyle is about the process of creating ketones that are the primary energy source of the brain.
Everyone has heard about the Keto Diet lately, mostly as a rapid weight loss diet. However, it has much more far reaching benefits than just weight loss. Our society has become almost addicted to sugar, soft drinks, juices, desserts, breads, chips, snacks and other processed foods that has us losing the battle of the bulge. The food pyramid that we have been taught is fraught with misinformation.
The Ketogenic lifestyle is about eating healthy, clean meat, non-starchy vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, and some nuts and seeds. Clean meat means that the animal has been farm raised (not caged in pens all it’s life), and not pumped full of antibiotics and growth hormone. They are fed on natural grass, not high calorie fat and gmo- infused grains to fatten them up for market. Green, leafy vegetables and particulary vegetables full of color (like colored bell peppers, squash, tomatoes, eggplant, radishes, etc) have lots of health benefits. Eaten raw or lightly cooked will retain a lot of the fiber, enzymes, and antioxidants which are destroyed in processed foods. High starch vegetables like corn, wheat and rice should be avoided as much as possible. These break down into sugar, causing insulin spikes and blood sugar instability. Long term consumption of these can often lead you down the road to diabetes, obesity and other undesirable health challenges.
This lifestyle has also incorporated centuries old traditions of fasting and intermittent fasting to improve health and vitality. Intermittent fasting consists of not eating after 6-7pm, then resuming eating around noon the next day. This is an 18 hour fast (water and tea are allowed) which is done daily. From noon to 6-7pm, you can eat adequate protein, moderate vegetables, a fruit and lots of good, healthy fats. It is best to add fat to each meal.
You can also do a two day fast which has many health benefits such as allowing the digestive tract to rest and relax. We all do a better with a little down time! This is good to do whenever you are feeling a little sluggish or your digestive system is starting to complain. Doing this once every other month or so will go a long way in keeping you healthy. Once a year (twice a year if you have chronic health issues) a five day fast is suggested. Drink lots of water, tea and some organic bone browth is great when you feel a little hungry. This five day fast has tremendous health benefits!! In addition to letting the digestive system rest, it also allows it to sluff off dead, unnecessary cells which the body will absorb and recycle into healthy cells. It boosts metabolism, the immune system, the detox organs and converts the body from sugar burning to fat burning. This provides the ketones that the brain needs for optimal functioning and can heal and protect the nervous system, improving memory and cognition.
Healthy fats include: avocado, avocado oil, coconut, coconut oil, MCT oil (medium chain triglycerides), butter, ghee (clarified butter), olives and olive oil. Macadamia nut oil is also very good. Olive oil and ghee have higher than normal burn levels, so are great to cook with.
Hydration, moderate exercise, and adequate sleep are also important to the ketogenic lifestyle. These will be discussed in greater detail in upcoming newsletters. Take a moment to sit and really think about your lifestyle and health goals. Consider what your next step might be. Consider the ketogenic lifestyle as a possible good place to start. I have just started this lifestyle myself. I’ve had a pretty healthy diet, but have several significant health issues that I think can be greatly improved or resolved by stepping up what I’ve been doing to the next level with the ketogenic lifestyle.