Background to the Ketogenic diet a.k.a, Low Carb High Fat diet(LCHF)
Although the Ketogenic diet has gained in popularity recently, especially with diet plans such as The Atkins Diet, it is something that has been around in some form since the 1920’s.
It was originally used, very successfully, in the treatment of epilepsy in small children but fell out of favour when new epilepsy drugs were introduced. More recently it has been used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, neurological disorders, and even cancer.
The diet is basically formed by consuming high fat, moderate protein and low carbohydrates. This results in the liver beginning to convert fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies and when this occurs we can be described as being in ketosis. These ketones can then be used by the brain as fuel instead of glucose as it would with a standard diet.
It is this ability of the ketogenic diet to convert fat into fuel that has piqued peoples interest into using the diet for fat loss.
How to do it.
To get into a ketogenic state and begin to burn fat for fuel it is necessary to drop your carb intake to a low level. Depending on the individual somewhere around 20g to 45g of carbs should do it. Once this level is consistently achieved, after a few days the body should enter ketosis and begin using fat for fuel.
The specific macronutrient make up of the diet should be around 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% Carbohydrates and its wise to track these macros using a tool such as MyFitnessPal, as it is near impossible to hit the targets by simply guessing.
What to eat.
As term Low Carb High Fat suggests good quality fats can be consumed in reasonably large quantity’s.
- The best fats to use are butter, ghee, coconut oil, lard, nut butters and uncooked olive oil.
- All good quality meat and fish should be eaten.
- Green leafy vegetables and salad should accompany most meals.
What not to eat.
Basically anything that is high in Carbohydrate such as:
- All Grains and products made from them such as rice, breads and pasta.
- Starchy vegetables like potatoes.
- Beans and Legumes.
- Many high carb Fruits.