As a Nutritional Therapist my aim has always been to advise my clients on the most appropriate diets for them. It’s a personalised approach based on a balance of real food. I am always asked about the ‘new’ diets that invariably become ‘trendy’ year on year. Many of which have sound research pointing to health benefits, however the converse can also be true.
So what of the Keto Diet? Despite the recent hype about this diet, it has actually been used for nearly 100 years in drug-resistant epilepsy, in particular within children. However this is always in a very controlled environment, where medical monitoring is paramount.
This diet essentially causes ketones to be released within the bloodstream through the restriction of carbohydrates. Most of our cells prefer blood sugar, which has been broken down from carbohydrates, as a fuel source for energy. However, the body is adapted to break down stored fat into molecules called ketone bodies (ketosis), in the absence of carbohydrate food sources. Once the body reaches ketosis, most cells will use ketone bodies as a fuel for energy, and it will even fuel the brain.
The reason many people are using this diet is because the process of burning fat for energy results in weight loss. Research shows that initially weight loss can be faster than a traditional low-fat diet, however over time this difference seems to disappear. In the short term there are studies that support the control of type 2 diabetes and also cholesterol levels. Also because of the evidence supporting the reduction of seizures in children, there are moves to see whether improvements can be made in conditions such as Parkinsons, Alzheimers, multiple sclerosis, sleep disorders, autism and even brain cancer.
This diet relies on meat, fatty fish, eggs, butter and cream, cheese, nuts and seeds, healthy oils, avocados, and plenty of low carb veggies such as most green veggie, tomatoes, onions, peppers, etc. It restricts grains or starches, fruit (except berries), beans or legumes, root vegetables and tubers.
Whist I agree that this diet plan can be an extremely effective way to support the body for certain individuals during weight loss, in managing diabetes and many other conditions; there needs to be caution. This is an extreme diet, where lots of planning is required to ensure that adequate nutrients from all food groups are consumed. It could be easy to miss out on an abundance of vitamins and minerals. Also there are some individuals who I would not advise to follow this plan, for instance those with kidney or liver weakness, as ketosis puts a high demand on the liver and kidneys. Care should be taken with anybody who is adrenally fatigued, as energy metabolism is already under stress.
I believe that with anything in life balance is key, and that it is important to assess what is suitable for the individual, not only following the latest trend.
Stock up on keto friendly products from The Ark’s healthy living shop. Find items such as; Pulsin keto protein powder, Pulsin keto protein bar, MCT oil, ghee, ground flaxseeds, macadamia nuts and broth.
Try Lise’s Keto recipe!
Easy Keto buns with vanilla
All ingredients available from The Ark Healthy Living Shop.
- 2 tbsp soft coconut oil
- 200g ricotta or plain yoghurt
- 4 eggs
- 200g ground almonds
- 3 tbsp linseed
- 3 tbsp psyllium husk
- 1 tsp baking powder
- A pinch of salt
- Seeds from a vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Your health is important to us and we’re happy to advise on the best product for you. Pop in to the shop on Bridge Street, email us or connect online.