We've been getting a lot of Keto-related enquiries lately so we decided to enlist the help of local Holistic Nutritionist Grace Mortimer, of Grace Mortimer Health to give us a deeper insight into Keto, and share some knowledge with you all! If you are feeling a little overwhelmed with the balance of it all, don't be afraid to get in touch with Grace for more info (contact details at bottom of this post). She is currently involved in a big study around the benefits of Keto for Alzheimers and is super knowledgeable on the topic!
So Grace, give us the low-down on Keto, what is it, why do it, and what are the benefits for our bodies?
‘Keto’ or the ‘ketogenic diet’ is a commonly used phrase nowadays, particularly for those looking to lose weight. It is beneficial for so much more than this though! Areas of benefit include mental clarity, improved energy levels, heightened brain function, slowing down/stopping epileptic seizures, hormone control, diabetes prevention/reversal… and the list goes on. Tempting right?
Going keto involves learning a whole new set of skills to execute it properly and enjoy the benefits of this diet. Specifically you will need to carefully watch what is going into your mouth and how this is affecting your blood glucose and blood ketone levels.
When we eat carbohydrates our blood glucose levels go up. For most people this is their primary source of energy as carbohydrates make up a good proportion of the modern diet. With a raise in glucose your body will produce a hormone called insulin which acts as a key to allow glucose into our cells, too much glucose in the system and your body will end up storing it as fat.
Ketones are produced when there is a lack of carbohydrates/glucose in your system and the body looks for alternative sources of fuel - specifically your fat stores! This happens when you are fasting (including during your sleep to a small degree) and when you eat a diet that is made up with a high ratio of fat - the ketogenic diet. Fat (dietary or stored) is broken down to ketones which are readily used by all the cells in your body without the need for the hormone insulin. For this to happen on a ketogenic diet you need to be eating roughly 70% fats, 25% proteins and 5% carbohydrates of your daily calorie intake. Because there are a lot more calories per gram of fat than per gram of carb this doesn’t always look like a whole plate of fat!! It’s really important to include plenty of non-starchy vegetables, free-range protein and supplement where necessary.
Nothing Naughty has a range of products that can be easily incorporated into a ketogenic diet without you having to calculate the ratio of ingredients.
So, is keto for you? Perhaps!! If you are struggling with any of the areas first mentioned that keto can help with, then by all means give it a go. For greatest success you may want to do this alongside a trained nutritionist who can help you execute this diet correctly and therefore experience the greatest benefits.
Grace is happy to take any questions you may have about Keto or other related enquiries and is available for consults in person or online. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0276127301