Keto curious? A doctor’s guide on keto eating for better health

Eating well is one of the simplest ways to improve your health and quality of life. In fact, research shows that eating a healthy diet and exercising are the top two ways to reduce your risk of most illnesses. With the rise of COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to think critically about how we fuel our bodies. 

As a medical doctor, I’ve noticed the rise of Keto eating plans over the last few decades. Are you Keto curious? Let’s dig in together.

What is Keto? 
Keto is a high-fat, moderate protein, and low-carbohydrate eating plan that forces the body to burn Fats (Ketones) rather than Carbohydrates (Glucose). Overall, you should eat about 60-75% healthy fats, 25-30% protein, and 5-10% carbohydrates to trigger Ketosis.

What is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a normal process that happens when your body doesn’t have enough carbs to burn for energy. Instead, your liver burns fat and makes organic chemicals called Ketones, which the body uses as fuel. 

What are the benefits of Keto? 
For most of history, humans ate whole foods, fats, and protein—just like modern-day Keto eaters. It’s only in the last 150 years that humans started eating so many processed, sugary foods. That’s why people who start eating Keto see both near- and long-term benefits, including:  

  • Achieving a healthy weight
  • Higher energy
  • Better blood sugar and blood pressure
  • Improved focus and memory
  • Faster recovery from injuries
  • Lower risk of getting sick

Are there different types of Keto?

There are several versions of the Ketogenic diet, as everyone needs varying macros (ratio of protein, carbohydrates, fats) and nutrients. Here are some popular versions of the Keto diet:

Clean Keto
Focus on eating vegetables, berries, healthy fats & oils, organic meats & dairy, limiting/eliminating Keto “Junk Food.” Macros for this version are usually:
75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbs.

Lazy/Dirty Keto
The most commonly practiced type of Keto diet. While focusing on eating vegetables, berries, organic meats and dairy, Keto “treats” are also allowed such as fat bombs, chocolate, low carb candy & snacks, alcohol, and take-out food. The macros for this version vary from 60-75% fat, 25-30% protein and 5-10% carbs.

What can I eat on Keto?

Eat less Eat lots

-Bread

-Pasta

-Rice

-Cereal

-Potato chips

-Soft drinks

-Juice

-Canola oil

-Starchy fruits and vegetables

-Fish

-Chicken

-Eggs

-Tofu

-Cheese

-Spinach

-Kale

-Peppers

-Tomatoes

-Avocados

-Plain yogurt

-Butter

-Cream

-Kardish Coconut Oil

-Nuts and seeds

-Berries

-Squash

-Dark chocolate


At first glance, this list may look a bit boring. The good news is Kardish stocks a selection of Keto-friendly products, including sweets, cookies, bread, pizza, and pasta. 

How long before I see results?
It takes about 2-8 days to get into Ketosis, based on the person and the type of Keto diet chosen. You will likely lose your stored water weight fast, and usually in the first week or so. Once water weight is gone, the liver will start using stored fat from our adipose tissue, and that is when the magic happens! Listen to your body’s signals, as you can almost always tell when you start burning fat compared to stored water weight - you experience a jolt of energy

Is Keto right for me? 
It is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional prior to any lifestyle or dietary changes. If you have any questions regarding this lifestyle, you can also talk to a Kardish team member who will be glad to assist you on your journey to better health.

Want to get started with a Keto recipe? Check out these 3-ingredient Keto peanut butter balls: https://kardish.com/blogs/recipes/keto-protein-balls

About Dr. Kwadwo Kyeremanteng MD

Dr. Kwadwo Kyeremanteng cares for the sickest of the sick in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Ottawa Hospital. He founded the Resource Optimization Network, a multidisciplinary research group working to reduce health spending in this area without compromising care. Learn more: https://drkwadwo.ca/about/

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