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Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet and What to Eat

Updated on August 5, 2017
Terrielynn1 profile image

Terrie has type 2 diabetes. She has a certificate in fitness and nutrition. She has a passion for helping others find their path to health.

What Is the Ketogenic Diet?

Ketogenesis is the process of putting your body into ketosis, which causes your body to burn stored fat as fuel. This way of eating changes how you think about fats. The portions should be as follows: Fats, 70% of your daily total. Some people even consume 75% fat. Protein needs to be, 20%. Low-carb vegetables make up the rest, 10%. Which, is not more than 45 grams of total carbs per day. Adjustments can be, made as you progress in your journey and knowledge. The main thing is to increase your fat intake and eat a moderate amount of protein. Along with reducing the number of carbs you consume in a day. New studies show our brain function improves when we increase our fat intake.

I will be going through recommended food lists, things to be aware of and how eating this way has helped people with seizures and other disorders. I know, amazing, right? I hope this article makes it easier for people to understand and follow the ketogenic diet plan. Sugar cravings will disappear, hair will grow longer and stronger, nails will become healthy and strong. Dry skin also improves, becoming soft and smooth. Increasing good fats has shown to improve brain function and memory. I have included a write-up from a fellow Angelman Syndrome mom. She has used this eating plan to improve her son's health, including his seizures. Studies show that in some patients seizures are significantly reduced, and in others, seizure activity completely stops. Last but not least, keep a variety of herbs and spices on hand. After all, the flavour is the spice of life. Herbs and spices are used to enhance food flavors.

Don't forget! Please see a medical professional or doctor, before starting this type of program.

A Good Meal

Eating a ketogenic diet can lead to a better quality of life.
Eating a ketogenic diet can lead to a better quality of life. | Source

Benefits of Ketogenic Diets

Weight loss and no more sugar cravings aren't the only benefits from this way of eating. Here is a piece from my friend and fellow Angelman mom, Sybille Bellamy. Our children not only have a better life on Ketogenic foods, but brain function also improves. Keto and LGIT diets also help children on the autism spectrum. Here is how Ketogenic and Low Glycemic Index diets have benefited her family, in her words. She is one of the most knowledgeable people I know. Not only is she healing her son, but she is also helping others help themselves and their children as well.

LOVE, EAT AND HEAL!

To avoid the overload of stress, I find my relief by being the person at the origin of my son’s quality of life.I am not a doctor, a pharmacist or a research person. I am just Max’s mother. For almost 15 years I have been using food to treat the adverse side effects of his syndrome. Angelman Syndrome (AS) is one of many neurological disorders that can be treated, with therapeutic diets.

Ketogenic diets are over 100 years old, and today they are regaining an extraordinary medical interest. Indeed, the number of ketogenic studies has grown over 300% in the last 20 years according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM). And it’s not just Angelman Syndrome that can benefit from low carbohydrate-high fats diet. Neurological disorders like Epilepsy, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson’s, as well as diseases like MS, Diabetes, and Cancer, including Stroke, are being researched with low glycemic index treatment (LGIT) Low Glycemic Index diets.

LGIT is one of the eating plans that have shown the most efficacy for patients with AS, delivering a 90% seizure reduction. The main reason for this incredible result is in the way we gently and slowly modify our children’s diet, as well as maintaining the tastiness and ease of preparation of the meals. In fact, the entire family can switch to this very healthy way of eating. Less stress for mom! I prepare the same meal for the whole family, and I adjust Max’s fat ratio for his plate only. As a result, Max’s metabolism is very well, adapted to this way of eating and when he is getting sick, we have the fantastic option to modify and adjust his fat ratio so he can be in full ketosis and have extra protection against seizures.

You can prepare Ketogenic and LGIT meals today. My kitchen looks like a regular kitchen with a small medicine cabinet and a lot of spices, nuts, seeds, oils and a fridge full of vegetables, butter, eggs and meat. Nothing special. "Just food."

Ketogenics and Low-Carb Eating

Carbs are an essential part of this program. Low-carbs are Important. The LGIT or low glycemic index program and Ketogenic plan are used together for the greatest benefit. Eating a low-carb diet helps to improve the effectiveness of insulin, which reduces the amount of sugar in the blood. Stabilized blood sugars will also contribute to weight-loss. Combining these two programs make them even more efficient and beneficial to our health.

Some people have trouble with the concept of high-fat and a moderate amount of protein. I have to admit. It was hard for me to wrap my head around it at first. Now I have even given up artificial sugar substitutes and diet products of any kind. It's even hard for me to call this a diet. After researching this eating style, I've learned it's a way of life.

Add Flavour

Flavour is the spice of life.

Keep herbs and spices on hand.

Your food will never be boring.

So pick up a jar and flavour away.

5 Things to Know About Ketogenics

  1. Keto sticks, they aren't an accurate way to determine the number of ketones in your body. If you drink large amounts of water, it dilutes the urine and will change the reading.
  2. Unstable glucose is not a benefit. You must keep levels stable and low. To check this, you need to use a glucometer, just like a person with diabetes does. ( It's found, in your pharmacy.)
  3. Don't eat too much food protein. You only need 70 to 80 grams. Depending on your lifestyle and your body's physical needs. Protein requirements are different for everyone.
  4. Don't overeat you need to be conscious of what you are eating. If your following to achieve, weight-loss keep daily food amounts in check.
  5. Not getting enough, fat? That was a hard one for me. Most People think they eat too much fat. Most don't eat enough healthy fats. Examples are avocado oil and coconut oil.

Good Oils

Healthy Fats

Best animal proteins are Wild Salmon, Tuna, Trout, Shellfish, Red Meats, and Poultry. The oil, protein sources will help balance your omega 3s. This list of fats and oils can be, used in sauces, dressings, or toppings on your food. The type you want to avoid is, " Hydrogenated fats" like margarine. Also, limit your trans fat intake. If you, choose to use vegetable oils, select the "cold press" options.

The Best Fat Choices:

  • Lard
  • Butter
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Egg yolks
  • Coconut oil

Good Oils List:

  • Olive oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Flax oil
  • Sunflower oil

When frying, use none- hydrogenated fats. This way you will get essential fatty acids In your diet.

  • Lard
  • Beef Tallow
  • Ghee
  • Coconut oil

Nuts and Seeds

Some of these nuts should be eaten, in small amounts. Avoid peanuts! Keep track of how many nuts and seeds you eat. These nuts are a source of carbs, macadamia nuts, walnuts, and almonds. Cashews and pistachios are good for you and high in omega 6, fatty acids.

Recommended Raw Nut & Seeds List:

  • Cashews
  • Chestnuts
  • Coconut (unsweetened)
  • Flax seed
  • Hazel nut
  • Pecan
  • Pumpkin
  • Sesame
  • Walnuts

Use these nut flours: almond flour and milled flax seed. They are a good substitute for regular flour. You can bake anything with these flours. Caution: They still need to be used in moderation.

What Do you Believe?

Where you raised to think fat is bad?

See results

Fresh Vegetables

Fresh veggies
Fresh veggies
Yum yum
Yum yum

Low-Carb Vegetables

Try to use vegetables that are, grown above ground. Opt for organic, when you can. One reason for this is they have less pesticide and residue. If you can't get organic, then just make sure you wash and rinse before using. The nutrient value will still be the same. Vegetables are a vital part of a healthy diet.

Vegetable List:

  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Celery
  • Broccoli
  • Bell pepper
  • Cucumber
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrots
  • Eggplant
  • Garlic
  • Green beans
  • Onions
  • Tomato
  • Spinach
  • Snow peas
  • Squash, choose a variety of types and colors
  • Kale
  • Mushrooms

Yes, carrots are on the list. They are an excellent nutrient source. Remember to keep track of the number of carrots you eat. They are one of the vegetables that are higher in carbs.

Veggies and the Ketogenic Diet

Vegetables are a very important part of a healthy diet.

The best ones are dark, leafy and high in nutrients.

Example: Kale, Spinach and Romaine Lettuce.

Cheeses

Yummy Cheese
Yummy Cheese | Source

Dairy

When choosing dairy, make it full fat. ( no more low fat, no fat) Choose heavy cream, hard and soft cheese, sour cream and cottage cheese.

Dairy Sources:

  • Brie cheese, Cheddar cheese, Cottage cheese, Feta cheese, Mozzarella cheese, Swiss cheese
  • Whole milk, 2% milk

(Avoid if you have milk allergies or are lactose intolerant.)


Drinks & Sweetner

Always consider what you drink. Some drinks can be full of empty calories and sugar. ( No Alcohol!)

  • 8-10 cups of water a day
  • 2-3 cups of sugar-free coffee
  • Herbal tea

If you need sweetener, be careful they contain carbs. There are a few sweeteners that are better than others. Make your sugar choices from these:

  • Stevia
  • Sucralose
  • Monk fruit
  • Agave nectar

Beginners Please Watch

Summing it All Up

On the Ketogenic, low-carb Diet. Your largest dietary food source should be healthy fats. Make sure to choose fats from a variety of sources. Whether it's oil, butter, fish, nuts or seeds. Your body needs the different nutrients each type supplies. No more low fat or no fat foods, remember not all fat is bad. Your healthy fats are non-hydrogenated, cold pressed and plant or seed based. Keep track of the number, of foods you eat that come from carbs. Keto is a low-carb, program. Dairy is an important part of keto dieting. Not only is, it a calcium and mineral source. It also provides more fats. Keep track of how much dairy you consume and watch its source. Try to get your nutrients from the vegetables that are organic and grown above ground. Nuts and seeds have carbs, keep track of portion servings. Be careful about what you drink! You don't need empty calories. Ketogenic eating improves heart function, by raising good cholesterol. Improvement is shown in brain health and even improves seizure control. I chose to write about both Ketogenic and LGIT because these diets work best together. I hope you enjoy reading my article. Maybe you have even changed your mind about eating more healthy fat.

In conclusion, I'd like you to remember three things.

  1. Eating a variety of good healthy food is the key to better health.
  2. Just because you believed fats were bad, doesn't mean you can't change that belief.
  3. I just want to say, "Good Health and Happiness to All."

Information Sources

Research Sources:

Angelman Syndrome Diet and tastyfats. The Keto diet, and The Best Diet plans. (Recommend dietary programs) Diabetes Daily.

Most photos are provided by Sybille Bellamy, from Angelman Syndrome Diets, which is a combo of the two diets I have mentioned here. Thank you for the beautiful photos.

© 2017 Terrie Lynn

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    • Terrielynn1 profile image
      Author

      Terrie Lynn 6 months ago from Canada

      Hi Eric, nice to see you. Some do well on whey instead of protein powders. They do have carbs so be careful. I have learned every little change helps and no beating up allowed. Every improvement helps. It takes 2 weeks to get sugars out of the body. Then cravings will be gone. Good foods also lessen the craving. Apples are great, lol. Good health to you.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 6 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Terrie this is really great. I am in the beginning of the 3rd week without sugars. Interesting roller coaster. Not perfect yet but not beating myself up over it.

      I probably just missed it but Whey and Potatoes? It is a funny place because my young son, although a major premie, is exactly where he should be and I do not want to upset that apple cart for me.

      Your thoughts would be helpful.

      (ps. really like going through faith concepts with you, thanks)

    • Terrielynn1 profile image
      Author

      Terrie Lynn 6 months ago from Canada

      Thank you Sid. Hope it's thin crust and mostly veggies. Than its ok.

    • Terrielynn1 profile image
      Author

      Terrie Lynn 7 months ago from Canada

      Hi Dora, thank you taking the time to read and comment. This program truly is amazing. Have a great day.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 7 months ago from The Caribbean

      This is new education for me. More use of healthy fats makes sense, especially for the benefits you explained concerning Angelman Syndrome and neurological disorders. Thank for sharing this very helpful information.

    • Terrielynn1 profile image
      Author

      Terrie Lynn 7 months ago from Canada

      Thank you.

    • simplehappylife profile image

      sannwi 7 months ago

      Interesting hub

    • Terrielynn1 profile image
      Author

      Terrie Lynn 7 months ago from Canada

      Thank you. I have learned so mush researching it. Now iam following it too.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 7 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Great hub and very informative!

      I think it's a perfect guide to healthy eating and should be followed by everyone. I agree with you that all fat is not bad.

      Very well written and illustrated and thanks for sharing!