The keto diet is a popular diet that aims to get the majority of your calories from fats and limiting the amount of carbohydrates. While it’s getting more attention lately, it’s far from a fad. While the keto diet offers lots of health benefits, it’s important to distinguish if the diet is right for you.
A keto diet means eating very low carbohydrates, moderate protein and high fat with the aim of training your metabolism to run off of fatty acids or ketone bodies as an energy source. Once the body has adapted to run off fatty acids (ketones), it’s called being “fat adapted”.
Consuming a lot of fat goes against a lot of older nutritional advice. For decades we’ve been told that fats are bad and cause us to become fat. But when the diet is followed correctly, it allows your body to accomplish amazing things.
Getting into a state of ketosis is achieved when glucose is low enough for a long period of time. Glucose is released after consuming carbohydrates. When glucose is low your body is able to essentially release stored fatty acids, which the liver then converts into ketones and use for energy.
The foods to avoid on a keto diet include refined carbohydrates like breads, cereals and packaged foods, sugary desserts and beverages, and even “healthy” high carbohydrate foods like grains, legumes, beans, starchy vegetables, and tropical fruits. These foods have an effect on your blood glucose levels once they’re ingested.
Following a keto diet has been shown to reduce inflammation and improve insulin sensitivity. This is because the amount of carbohydrates being consumed is limited, so the amount of insulin being released is stabilized. Fats also tend to be easier to digest and they improve cellular healing, meaning they can support healthier cells and overall health!
There is no one diet that everyone should follow, but there are certain cases where research shows that following the keto diet can be very beneficial. Research shows that being in ketosis improves functionality of these individuals:
Overweight or obese
Neurodegenerative conditions (Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s)
Individuals looking to improve mental and physical performance
The keto diet is different for everyone. Some people follow it consecutively, while others go in-and-out of ketosis during certain time periods of the year, which is called cyclic ketosis. How you follow the keto diet really depends on your personal goals and current health status.
Another benefit that the keto diet provides is an education about carbohydrates. It’s interesting to see how you feel once common carbohydrates such as breads, cereals, starchy vegetables, and sugar are removed from your diet. Lots of people report feeling more energized, less cravings, more alert, balanced, less grumpy, and more mentally clear.
The keto diet can be a powerful tool, however it removes a lot of common foods, which makes it challenging when eating out at restaurants. Festal Cafe is a keto restaurant in Vancouver that offers a keto-friendly menu to help individuals following the keto diet stay on track, even when eating out. Our menu doesn’t include any grains, legumes, or sugar and we utilize tons of healthy fats including avocado, eggs, organic grass fed beef, wild sockeye salmon, olive oil, olives, and more. We also have a huge selection of keto-friendly baked goods that are sweetened with monk fruit and have a very low net carbohydrate content.