Keto Nutrition Guide
What is Keto?
Keto consists of eating a low-carb, healthy fat diet. This shifts your body's primary metabolic fuel from glucose (or "sugar") to fat.
When the body is using mostly fat for fuel (and glucose is low), it starts producing ketones. This is known as ketosis, which is the desired state for optimizing the benefits of a keto lifestyle. Ketones provide direct energy for your brain, while the rest of your body burns fat.
METABOLIC HEALTH: Keto trains your body to burn fat for fuel. This helps your body metabolize fat more efficiently in-between meals and use the energy that's already in there.
MENTAL CLARITY: Ketones provide direct energy for your brain and are a superior mental fuel compared to glucose. Most people experience an increase in mental energy when following a well-formulated ketogenic diet.
ENERGY STABILITY: Fat is a more sustainable energy source than glucose. When your body is fat-adapted, you avoid volatile peaks/dips in blood glucose. Your body runs smoother with a steady energy supply. Say goodbye to "hangry" and post-lunch slumps!
APPETITE CONTROL: Ketones are believed to help suppress hunger signaling pathways. Ask any keto-dieter and they'll tell you it gives them the flexibility to eat on their own terms. It also makes lifestyle routines such as intermittent fasting easier to implement.
LONGEVITY: Ketones have been shown to decrease inflammation and oxidative stress. Keto improves insulin resistance associated with aging. It also makes it easier to maintain periods of caloric restriction, which is known to increase lifespan.
What should you eat?
- Healthy Fats
- Monounsaturated fats (e.g., avocados, nuts, olive oil, etc.)
- Saturated fats (e.g., cacao, dairy, and animal fats- pasture raised when possible)
- MCTs from coconut (technically classified as saturated fats, but these are processed differently and are quickly converted to ketones for energy)
- Omega-3 (e.g., seafood and algae)
- Fibrous Vegetables
- E.g., leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.
- These are great sources of prebiotic soluble and insoluble fiber, which aren't digested or metabolized as carbohydrate in the body.
- They don't cause a substantial increase in glucose and are suitable to maintain ketosis (plus they're delicous when used as a vessel for olive oil, butter, etc.)
- Micronutrient-rich ingredients (e.g., turmeric, cacoa, cinnamon, matcha, etc.)
- Moderate protein (plant or animal derived protein- pasture-raised when possible)
- While excess protein can increase glucose and kick you out of ketosis, it's important to maintain an adequate intake to prevent muscle loss. This will be different depending on your body composition and lifestyle. We usually try to couple protein intake around exercise.
- Polyunsaturated Fats (Except Omega-3)
- E.g., seed oils, soy bean oil, vegetable oils
- Most people eat way too much Omega-6 polyunsaturated fats which are inflammatory when consumed in high amounts.
- Non-Fibrous Carbs
- E.g., wheat, potatoes, rice, sugar, etc.
- These types of carbohydrates cause significant spikes in blood sugar and are not compatible with a ketogenic diet.
- Digestible Fiber (IMO)
- Most people don't know this, but not all fibers are created equal. One type of fiber in particular is used all over the place in packaged foods: Isomaltooligosaccharide (IMO) also known as tapioca fiber or just "vegetable fiber" is listed as a true fiber in the nutritional facts. However, it actually gets digested and metabolized as a carbohydrate which may increase blood glucose levels.
- Digestible and/or Artificial Sweeteners
- Maltitol is another ingredient commonly found in packaged foods. Although it's a sugar alcohol, it actually get's digested and metabolized at about a 50% rate to that of sugar.
- Artificial sweeteners (e.g., aspartame) still have many questions surround them and may disrupt the stability of the gut microbiome.