So if you want to fill up on something, make it pure fat. A spoonful of organic coconut oil is great. Add an extra serving of butter to your steak. Chicken fat in your soup broth (homemade bone broth is especially healthy, and good for digestion). This is where you are allowed to go wild. But by no means can you allow yourself to “cheat”. Off days, or off meals, or even one serving too many carbs will throw you out of the ketogenic state and then you will start over from scratch.
The point is to maintain the diet, and to keep it over an extended period of time to optimize the benefits. (The body will absorb the ketones better and better over time, you need to have patience and dedication to get yourself there!) Also, remember to not overdo it on protein as this macro nutrient can be converted to glucose (sugar) when you eat too much. This means you need to stick to the correct ratios discussed earlier.
In western (American, European) society, we grow up thinking fat is the enemy and grains (especially whole grains) are good for us. In fact, it’s the opposite. (Though you do still want to avoid hydrogenated fats). For this reason, it’s helpful to adhere exactly to recipes and shopping lists while strictly measuring out portions. We don’t want to fall back into old ways of thinking and habits regarding our eating.
If you’re uncertain if this diet is for you, consult your doctor. The diet is good for most people, many who have spent most of their lives eating too many carbs. It’s good for those of us who have had a hard time losing those last 10 pounds, despite the many diets we’ve tried, and many hours training at the gym.
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Some conditions that do not do well on this diet are pancreatitis, abnormal liver function, gall bladder problems, the inability to digest fat, carnitine deficiency, poor nutritional status (as in the inability to absorb nutrients). Talk to your doctor and find out if any of these or other conditions apply to you. (This is not an expansive list, so make sure you talk to a professional before starting this or other diets).
Studies have found that the ketogenic diet improves sociability, mood and functioning among people with autism. Lab tests done with mice show the same results. Epileptic seizures in those with epilepsy disappear over time, if the diet is maintained. People with multiple sclerosis have reported great results. The high fat diet reduces inflammation of tissues in the body. Inflammation causes a great deal of stress and manifests as pain in sufferers of MS. The diet also prevents cell damage which is of aid to everyone, particularly those with serious illnesses.
In the elderly, the ketogenic diet has been employed to slow the onset of those genetically predisposed to Alzheimer’s disease. Cell damage is one of the reasons for the disease, and the keto diet prevents this. This diet is considered to possess a neuro-protective effect, which hinders neurological damage associated with the conditions mentioned above.
Studies have shown the ketogenic diet to help heal and mitigate damage with Parkinson’s disease, brain injury and stroke. The body is able to regenerate, or at least further degeneration is prevented allowing healing mechanisms to do their work. The fatty acids which are released into the liver when ketones are present contribute to the oxidation of triglycerides. The specific ketone thought to be responsible for this is P-hydroxybutyrate.
Studies have also shown that even one meal high in carbohydrates caused all positive effects to disappear.
Personal anecdotes reveal that many people believe the ketogenic diet also can help those who are undergoing cancer treatment. The cancer cells are effectively stunted in their growth, so that when medical professionals apply their mode of treatment it takes less time to get the cancer under control.
Academic articles and studies on the topic are skeptical that patients prescribed the ketogenic diet by their doctors will stick to the diet. Other than that, studies are full of positive results in treating a whole slew of illnesses, particularly neurological disorders. This should be motivation for those of us who start the diet of our own free will. We can prevent the onset of these diseases; keep ourselves fit, possibly cancer-free, and strong of mind and body.