If you follow food trends, you’ve likely come across the ketogenic diet and some of the controversy surrounding it. Keto diets are currently one of the most hotly debated nutrition topics.
A ketogenic diet is a very low carbohydrate diet in which the majority of the calories are coming from fat. It includes a moderate amount of protein. On a keto diet, a person consumes 5-10% of their calories from net carbohydrates, 70-75% of calories from fat, and 20% of calories from protein.
The purpose of the diet is to switch the body into burning fat for fuel instead of glucose (or carbohydrates) for fuel. This is called ketosis. To get into ketosis, a person will need to limit their daily net carbohydrate intake to 20-30 grams per day. The keto diet is sometimes referred to as a Low Carb, High Fat (LCHF) diet.
The controversy surrounding the keto diet comes from the high fat and low carb intake. Mainstream nutrition recommendations for the last thirty years have focused on diets low in fat (1). During this time, obesity rates in America have continued to rise (2) and overall mortality has increased (3).
A considerable amount of research does support low carb, high fat diets. People follow keto or low carb, high fat diets for many different reasons, including: weight loss (4, 5), improved control of diabetes (6), Alzheimer’s disease (7), seizures (8), Parkinson’s disease (9), and cancer (10, 11, 12).
If you’re considering a ketogenic or LCHF diet, don’t just take our word for how awesome the potential health benefits can be. Take some time to do your own research.
The following websites are a goldmine of information on the keto diet:
Use these sites to familiarize yourself with the keto guidelines, foods to include, foods to avoid, and recipes. And remember, the best eating plan is one that you can maintain long term.