The ketogenic diet is a fairly simple approach to eating healthy foods that are low carb, high fat, and moderate protein. The lack of carbs forces your body to burn fat rather than glucose to produce energy. Ketones do not turn into fat when unused, like glucose does. So, eliminating carbs from the diet results in ketone production, which aids to support weight loss, increased energy, improved mental health and clarity, along with a myriad of other health benefits.
what is a keto diet?
The best time to dedicate your health to a better diet was last year. The second best time is right now.
Welcome to the first step.
So what is keto? The ketogenic diet, known to the cool kids as keto, isn’t a difficult concept to understand, but it can be tough to master. That’s why we’re here: we will help you along the path and hold your hand when you need it or smile, wave, and wipe away a tear as you set out on your own.
At the bones of it, keto is the near elimination of carbohydrates from your diet and replacing that caloric gap with healthy fats and a moderate amount of protein.
Wait, wait, come back, we can already feel you leaning away from your screen. There’s a very important evolutionary and scientific reason for cutting sugar and instead eating healthy fat; it all has to do with how you fuel your human machine.
When eaten, your body and liver turn carbs into glucose, which is just a fancy way of saying sugar.
Your body recognizes glucose as a source of fuel that it can convert into a quick shot of energy. Fat breaks down at a much slower rate and your body looks at the difference between the two and, being the smart biological mechanism that it is, decides to use the faster burning sugar first so it can get rid of it and focus on the more long-term producer of energy: fat.
The problems arise when you supply a constant stream of carbs and your metabolism never gets a chance to switch away from the glucose so it can start burning the better fat. So what happens? Your body makes a judgment call and parks the fat you’ve eaten off to the side and says, “I’ll get to you when I can. Just as soon as I finish with this glucose.”
More fat enters, no fat leaves, and suddenly the nation has a problem with bellies, love handles, and all sorts of weight related illnesses.
How does Keto fix this?
Keto steps in and gets rid of the source of the glucose by eliminating carbs. Instead, keto promotes eating fat so your body switches back to fat for its energy source and it can finally get to the accumulated fat that’s been waiting around for its turn to be burned off.
This process is called entering the metabolic state of ketosis. “I’m in keto,” you may hear a lot from ketoers. That means they’ve cut their system off from carbs and the stores that were already in their body have burned off. Now, instead of producing glucose to burn, their body is producing ketones for energy.
Whoa, whoa, there you go leaning back again. Ketones are easy to understand. When you eat a healthy-fat heavy diet, your liver turns the fat into ketones instead of glucose. Simply put, you’re switching to a new, more efficient fuel. It’s like putting premium in your gas tank after a lifetime of 87 octane.
So to answer your question, Keto is the elimination of 99% of your carbs and replacing them with yummy fats like avocados, nuts, butter, bacon, olive oil, and just about any meat. This switches your system over from a sugar-based fuel that leaves you always wanting more to a ketone-based energy source that leaves you satisfied longer and helps you cut the fat you’ve already got hanging around.
science behind keto
The Science behind Keto
There are two important components to the science behind keto. First, how the metabolic transformation occurs within your body by changing your diet, and second, the history of misinformation we’ve been fed about the dangers of fat under the guise of scientific study.
It all starts with that first bite. Food is energy. We all know that, nothing new here. But how does that jumbo-sized number 5 burger and fry meal with extra sauce become the fuel that keeps us moving?
Once that big meal hits your stomach, it’s time for your metabolism to get to work. Using acid and enzymes, your stomach breaks your food down to a molecular level and converts all of those carbohydrates into glucose, a sugar. Glucose is easy to make and use immediately so your body says, great, put it to work. Call the pancreas and tell it to release insulin.
Insulin is the chauffeur that carries glucose sugars through the blood. Insulin also regulates the amount of sugar in the blood, and if you’ve eaten more sugar that you can use for energy at the moment, insulin will store the glucose in your fat cells for later use.
This storage of glucose is where sugar can become dangerous. If your glucose stores keep getting larger as you eat more and more carbs and starches, you gain weight and can’t burn off the stored fats that your body burns only after the glucose is used up. When your cells reach their threshold and can no longer hold any more glucose, the glucose is forced to stay in your blood stream and the insulin whose job it is to park the excess glucose can’t do what it was designed to do, creating an insulin resistant state that leads to diabetes.
Now, imagine instead of the jumbo number 5 burger and fry combo, you eat a piece of meat, some cheese, and a little sour cream: a meal with very few carbs and a high percentage of healthy fats. Now imagine you ate this way all the time, not giving your body any new glucose, until all of your overcrowded glucose stores were completely empty and your insulin was given a chance to recover.
This is the state of Ketogenesis and you’ve just switched your human engine from a low-grade, quick-burn fuel to a more efficient and longer lasting one.
Metaphors are great, but what on Earth does that mean in practical terms? What’s happening in the body now that keto is the boss?
Recognizing that all of your glucose is gone, and there’s no more quick fuel for energy, your liver takes over and creates molecules called ketones (specifically acetoacetate, acetone, and beta-hydroxybutyrate) from fatty acids (fat) that can be converted into the energy that runs our cells.
The one nice thing about glucose being such a wham-bam, quick energy burn is that it only takes a matter of days to rid your system of years’ worth of sugar over indulgence. This period of depletion where you specifically get rid of all remaining glucose stores is known by keteors as getting into ketosis or transitioning to keto.
Once you hit keto, your liver begins happily cranking out ketones as your energy source, using the fat you eat in combination with the stored fat that glucose was forcing to the side.
The reason people have so much weight loss success on keto is that it creates an insulin sensitivity rather than resistance. Ketones don’t need to be usher around by insulin. This keeps your pancreas from over-producing and stops your body from resisting it’ insulin system. It also takes longer for your body to break down the complex fats you eat which leaves you feeling fuller for longer. Feeling full prevents binging and consuming excess calories. Because ketosis uses fat for fuel, if you haven’t eaten recently, and there isn’t new fat for your body to metabolize into ketones, your body will use it’s fat stores to keep the ketones rolling.
Understanding the “Science” of Fat.
As you can see, dietary fat and eating fat are not the enemy we’ve been taught to believe for our entire lives.
No doubt we’ve all had a food package in our cupboards or fridge with one of these claims plastered on the side, usually in a bright color and big letters.
If fat is a great source of energy, and it’s sugar that’s the real harm in the American diet, why do we all have this misconception about fat making us fat?
Marketing and a campaign of misinformation. Basically, lies for profit.
The truth about how fat got it’s bad rep seems, on the surface, like a page right out of conspiracy theory for dummies. But it really is a sordid tale that we encourage you to look up on your own.
Start with typing “sugar report on fat” into a search engine and you’ll see that in the 1960s a group called the Sugar Research Foundation paid three Harvard scientists the modern day equivalent of $50,000 to publish a study finding that sugar has little to no ill health effects in the U.S. diet. Keep reading and you’ll see that just saying, "sugar isn’t bad" wasn’t enough. If sugar wasn’t to blame, what was? The Sugar Research Foundation –now known as the Sugar Association since they’ve dropped all pretense of doing actual research- decided that dietary fat was a good scapegoat.
This is where another false scientific report comes into play in the war against fat. The Sugar Research foundation and the Harvard researchers decided that fat would be the villain based on Dr. Ancel Keys’ study of cholesterol and fat’s relation to raising cholesterol in the blood.
Dr. Keys gathered information about diets from 22 different countries in support of his theory that fat was unhealthy. Keys’ report influenced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and had a direct effect on the creation of the now debunked food pyramid.
The problem with Key’s report? It was later discovered that when the data from his research didn’t support his theory, Dr. Keys decided to ignore the facts and evidence that proved his theory false. He only included the observations that slightly supported his argument.
Using this manipulated study, it wasn’t that difficult to get people to associate eating fat with getting fat. Suddenly, fat was being removed from foods, taking the flavor with it, and leaving dinner tasting the way a wet shoelaces smells.
So how do you get the flavor back that left with the fat? Sugar!
Is it a coincidence that the report was commissioned in the mid-1960s and the national obesity rate has steadily risen ever since?
We at niKETO encourage you to do your own research and see for yourself how the false vilification of fat snaked it’s way into our collective psyche.
what is a carbohydrate?
Carb for short, a carbohydrate is one of the 3 recognized macro nutrients that can give you the energy to run your bodily machine. Carbs are molecules made of sugars that, when eaten, are transformed in your body into glucose that is then quickly converted to energy.
That’s the quick rundown of what a carb is. But here’s what a carb isn’t: necessary. That’s right, carbs are the only macronutrient that you can live without. The only function a carb performs is the quick transformation into blood glucose for energy. That’s it.
But energy is important. How can we possible live without energy? We can’t, that’s why fat also metabolizes into energy, in addition to its duties creating new neurons for our brain and sheathing our nerves. Protein repairs and grows our muscles and helps strengthen our bones.
Carbohydrates don’t serve any purpose in the health or healing of our bodies the way fats and proteins do. And too many carbs can lead to insulin resistance, weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and whole host of other problems.
If carbs are mostly not good for us, and the keto diet has a vendetta against carbs, why does the keto diet still recommend we get 5% of our daily calories from carbs?
Some carbs carry offsetting advantages like vitamins, minerals, and fiber that will make your keto life easier and improve your health. But make no mistake, all carbs are not created equally.
Technically, you can have a hot fudge sundae and remain within your keto-acceptable carb limit for the day. But what did you get from those carbs? Sugar and a spike in insulin that will leave you feeling logy. Plus the guilt, can’t forget the guilt.
Instead of simple carbs, which are carbohydrates made from a single sugar, keto recommends more complex carbs made of 3 bonded sugar molecules. Complex carbs come from vegetables and fruits that offer the vitamins that keep you from getting sick or the mineral electrolytes that your body uses for hydration and alertness.
The rule for carbs on keto is the greener the better. Green veggies are lowest in carbs and offer the best punch of vitamins and minerals. Greens provide something else that’s important, fiber. Fiber is considered a carb even though it can’t be broken down into glucose. When eating a fiber-rich food like broccoli, kale, green beans, etc. you don’t even have to count the portion of carbs that come from fiber as they pass right through with no affect on your blood sugar.
Fiber is an important carb because it acts like an anti-carb. Fiber helps lower bad cholesterol levels, and it helps process glucose sugars out of the blood. To be honest, we don’t want to blow fiber’s cover, but we’re pretty sure it’s a double-agent helping keto from behind enemy lines.
The important take-aways about carbohydrates are that they are just sugar molecules that your body can live perfectly fine without. However, some carbs come attached to things that can really help you on your keto journey, like vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. For that reason, it’s acceptable to eat 20 grams of carbs or fewer everyday as long as they come from the best, greenest sources. That and the minimal amount of glucose created by only 20 grams is quickly burned off before it can affect your blood.
what are ketones?
A ketone is your reward for breaking the carb cycle and switching your body over to the more efficient fuel of fat and fatty acids. Ketones are the fuel source created by the liver when the glucose has run dry and there aren’t enough carbs coming in to make more. If you’re following a ketogenic diet and eating 75% healthy fats, your liver is taking the fatty acids from your food and turning it into simple molecules known as ketones.
The ketones that the liver creates and throws like confetti into your citric acid cycle which is responsible for their conversion into usable energy, are known as ketone bodies. The three ketone bodies used in the ketogenic process are:
BETA-HYDROXYBUTYRATE (shortened as BHB)
Your liver uses the fatty acids created from your keto diet to make Acetoatate ketone bodies. As the glucose stores in your cells burn off, and it’s clear that you aren’t going to be supplying your body with any more carbs to make new glucose, your system takes this Acetoatate and converts it into another ketone body, BHB.
BHB is the super ketone that fuels your brain, muscles, and becomes the source for your body’s processes and energy. Once you’ve become adapted, and you’re considered in keto, the production of Acetoaacetate, Acetone, and BHB becomes a well-oiled production line that leads to one of keto’s biggest benefits, a surplus of energy.
Receiving a consistent stream of more efficient ketones, your body can function with a steady energy level throughout the day without suffering the rollercoaster of ramps and dips in energy that come from spiking and falling insulin levels as a result of a glucose-based fuel.
Ketones are a great new energy, cool. But wait, there’s more! Ketones do more than just provide you with a new energy source, they have some great ancillary benefits as well.
Ketones have therapeutic uses that can help protect against the aging of your nervous system and can assist in regeneration after nerve or even brain damage occurs.
Ketones help maintain muscle mass. This is important when you use keto for weight loss as you want to lose fat, not muscle. Many traditional diets just accept muscle loss as part of the process. But because muscle is difficult to cultivate and maintain as you age, losing it may mean you’ll never get it back and that can significantly impact quality and length of life.
Ketones help to starve cancerous cells! That’s right, cancer loves glucose but can’t grow if ketones are the prevalent fuel source in your body. Starve those cancerous cells!
Ketones help mitochondria grow within your cells. More and healthier mitochondria in your DNA and cells means more energy and overall healthier cells. Since we’re all basically just giant towers of cells, this means better everything.
Your body loves ketones, and has your entire life. This is where it gets a little after school special: the ketones have been in you all along.
That’s right, you’ve been making ketones forever, just not enough to edge out the glucose for energy supply. But your heart and your kindeys’ renal cortex prefer ketones and ask the liver for them by name.
So add a happier heart and kidneys to the list of the ketone benefits.
what are macro nutrients?
Everything we eat fits into three nutrient categories that provide us with the calories that keep functioning: Fat, Protein, Carbohydrates.
(Technically water and alcohol are macronutrients too, but while water is absolutely necessary, it provides no calories, and alcohol is a non-sustainable calorie source).
But is it? Not really.
Not all three macros are equal:
9 calories per gram.
Fat is necessary for hormone production, skin and hair health and recovery, and the protection of the nervous system.
4 calories per gram.
Protein is important in maintaining, repairing, and gaining muscle.
4 calories per gram.
Carbohydrates only purpose is a source of quickly accessible energy. It’s also the only one of the 3 major macros your body can live without.
The first thing most people notice is that fat carries 5 more calories per gram than either protein or carbs, and they starting thinking, “there it is, proof that fat makes you fat.” But fat isn’t providing you with more calories per gram because it’s an evil little macro.
We have to remember that a long time ago when dinner meant tying on the loincloth and chasing animals through tall grass with a sharp stick, calories were much harder to come by. So in truth, fat has been helping us survive since the dawn of time by giving us more caloric energy than protein or carbs. It’s not fat’s fault that we no longer have to chase our food and we instead decided to try deep-frying twinkies and covering them with frosting.
How do the 3 macros work when it comes to ketosis and the keto diet?
Fat is the champion of keto and is responsible for delivering the fatty acids that our bodies turn into ketones, the new fuel of keto.
Fats are considered 90% ketogenic. That remaining 10% is glucose that’s created during the ketone and triglyceride conversion.
Protein is necessary for many of the body’s important processes. The keto diet relies on eating moderate protein to maintain muscle mass while you lose weight.
Protein is roughly 45% ketogenic. Meaning 55% of protein is not friendly to the ketogenic process because too much protein can raise insulin levels in the blood through a process known as gluconeogenesis where excess protein is metabolized into glucose, sabotaging the entire basis for keto.
Carbohydrates are not necessary. This is not hyperbole nor fat aggrandizing, it’s a fact, you can live without carbs just fine. (read about why we don't need carbs here in chapter 6).
Carbs, as you’ve probably guessed, are 0% keto friendly. Carbs make glucose and glucose prevents the production of ketones, the better bodily fuel.
That’s all well and good, but how do you do all this math to figure out the correct ratios to do keto the right way?
The ideal daily caloric intake to maintain a ketogenic diet is 75% healthy fats, 20% from protein, and 5% from carbs – greener veggies being the best option for this 5% But don't stress too much about this, we’ve got you covered:
Thank you technology for doing the math for us. Our KETO CALCULATOR asks a few questions to get your body composition and activity levels right and spits out the correct ratios for you to follow.
Following the numbers from the keto calculator will ensure that you get enough fat to produce ketones for energy while keeping protein in just the right range to prevent muscle loss while at the same time making sure you don’t get too much and fall into gluconeogenesis which will kick you out of keto.
what is ketosis?
Keto is short for ketosis, the metabolic state you are putting your body in when you embark on the keto journey. Keto is short hand for the Ketogenic diet and many ketoers will say, “I’m doing keto,” or “I’m in keto” once they've reached a state where their body has burned off the stored glucose and begun producing ketones.
ketosis vs ketoacidosis
Many of the people who oppose keto will point out the ill effects of the keto diet without properly researching what it is they are so firmly standing behind as fact. Sadly, there are a number of people who are against keto, but they’ve never done what you are doing right now, learning about it by researching and gathering facts.
One argument that continues to pop up in opposition to the ketogenic diet is the idea that living the keto lifestyle can lead to ketoacidosis, which can kill you.
At face value that claim is scary, sensational, and it even has a hint of believably because Ketogenic and Ketoacidosis begin with the same four letter. It’s not hard to make the leap from one to the other if you haven’t educated yourself, they sound similar. It’s those 4 letters in common that make this false claim so conceivable on the surface, and such an ongoing stigma that keto has to continually fight.
Fist off, thank you for taking the time to research this and get it right when so many only read a scary headline and allow it to form their opinion on an entire body of scientific research.
A Ketogenic diet and the metabolic state of ketosis are perfectly safe and have a plethora of health benefits.
Ketoacidosis really is dangerous to the point of being deadly, but it is NOT a result of eating a ketogenic diet.
Ketoacidosis is a complication of diabetes. Most commonly it affects people with Type 1 diabetes, also know as juvenile diabetes. It can also affect those with type 2 diabetes as it’s directly related to insulin.
This dangerous process begins with a shortage of insulin. When the body can’t produce enough of it’s own insulin it can’t efficiently deliver glucose from the bloodstream into cells for storage and later use. Without insulin to perform this task, the body doesn’t get enough glucose to use for energy and it switches over to producing ketones from fat instead. A high concentration of ketones combined with a build up of unused and unparkable glucose produces acid in the bloodstream that grows to lethal levels.
The ketogenic diet also produces ketones for fuel but does so by design. A body with no insulin production issues MUST deplete its glucose stores before it can begin making enough ketones to use as it’s primary fuel. This is the process of getting into keto and it’s why ketosis has a 2 day to 2 week waiting period. Your body will metabolize all sugars before it jumps to ketones, making the clash of glucose and ketones an impossibility in those who don’t suffer an insulin imbalance or production issue.
While both of these situations begin with the prefix KETO and both use ketones, ketoacidosis is dangerous and should be treated immediately, while ketosis can actually help reverse type 2 diabetes and result in many other health benefits.
And now you know the truth about the link between ketosis and ketoacidosis, there really isn’t one.
types of keto diets
Despite the reputation keto has a strict, unyielding, knuckle-smacking-Nun of a diet, it’s actually very versatile and can be designed to suit your health needs and fitness goals. From the keto newbie to the seasoned, fat-adapted workout monsters, keto has a version for everyone… if you know what to do. That’s where niKETO comes in as your master’s class on all things ketogenic.
Let’s jump right in.
There are three variations of the keto diet that will help you accomplish your fitness objectives.
THE STANDARD KETO DIET (SKD)
The Standard Keto diet, or SKD for short, is the base from which all other versions of keto stem. It’s important to fully understand the standard keto diet before moving into the others. SKD is simply the regular keto diet with fancy new initials.
(Ketoers love initials, hence HWC when it’s just as easy to say heavy whipping cream).
For a quick refresher on standard keto, click here. SKD is a great starting point if you’re using keto for fitness or athletic performance. Standard keto will get you into fat adaptation and adjust your body to it’s new ketone fuel. It’s not unheard of to begin with Targeted or Cyclical keto, but for a majority of the population it’s best to treat the keto diet variations as steps along a fitness path. Beginning with standard keto also helps burn off flab and fat stores, trimming you down and making it easier to build muscle and improve athletic performance.
THE TARGETED KETO DIET (TKD)
Targeted keto is perfectly named as it requires targeting your workouts outs and consuming small amounts of carbs right before, during, or directly after to give you a performance boost. TKD is meant to help you keep going during high-intensity training or workouts with longer durations that require constant effort. When you are giving max effort for longer periods it can help to have glycogen in your system for your muscles to draw from and keep you performing at peak level. Now make no mistake, yoga, a quick jog, or a bike ride around the block do not require glycogen replenishment and therefor don’t necessitate switching to targeted keto, the good old, tried and true keto diet will serve you just fine for moderate workouts.
TKD is for those workouts where you pour sweat, where 10 seconds of going hard feels like an hour, and where the pain makes you contemplate what kind of floral arrangement you want at your funeral.
When you make serious demands of your muscles it can be a good idea to give them a shot of carbs for a boost of fuel. TKD works because it provides the glycogen bump that keeps you from slowing down during max effort, but the exercise that the carbs are fueling is strenuous enough to make sure that the carbs are completely burned up by the time the workout is done.
Consuming 20 grams of carbs right before an intense work out or dispersing it throughout gives you the benefits of glycogen for peak performance but leaves you in ketosis when the workout is done. Some how it feels like cheating the system, but like getting too much back on your tax refund, do you care?
THE CYCLICAL KETO DIET (CKD)
Cyclical keto is for advanced athletes who really understand keto and their own bodies. This is why we like to treat the versions of keto as a ladder where your shouldn’t skip any steps. If you understand standard keto and have a lot of experience with it, and you’ve done targeted keto but still want to reach higher athletic goals and would rather go to the gym than Disneyland, then CKD is for you.
CKD is also called carb back-loading and centers around a 7-day schedule that sees you push for bigger gains every week. CKD begins with 2 days of unrestricted carb consumption. The idea is to eat a surplus of carbs in order to fill your system and muscles with glycogen. The exact amount is based on your body and your workout. For some it 200 grams per day for some it’s more. If the thought of having to figure out the proper amount of carbs for a back-loading day seems like a lot of work to you, then you probably aren’t ready for CKD.
After 2 days of eating a carb surplus, you enter day three prepared to work you butt off (or work you butt on, depending on your goals). Days 3-7 are spent eating a normal ketogenic diet, with 20 to 50 grams of carbs per day. During those normal keto days you are killing it in the gym for hours, or running around the entire city, or biking between states, or whatever it is you’re training to improve. The point is, you workouts are max effort for extended periods and for multiple days in a row.
This hard work will give the gains you seek and it will leave you completely devoid of the carbs and glycogen you ate on days 1 and 2. CKD is similar to targeted keto except the target workout length is 5 days instead of an hour or two.
A majority of ketoers will never need CKD as the performance demands are too great, but for endurance athletes and bodybuilders it’s a great variation of the keto diet that keeps the fat burning and prevents lose of muscle due to extreme calorie burn.
As part of the TKD and especially the CKD you can also up your protein intake without fear of gluconeogenesis as your body will be craving protein to repair your exerted muscles.
You may never need targeted or cyclical keto, chances are you won’t, but it’s nice to know they’re there if you do and it’s nice to know that keto isn’t as unrelenting as the informed think it is.
is keto safe?
But we suppose you probably want an explanation as to why it’s safe. Good job, being and informed ketoer is being an effective ketoer.
A little past, present, future will show exactly why and how safe keto is.
The ketogenic diet began in 1920 as a therapy for children -and later adults- who suffered from epilepsy.
Dr. Hugh Conklin came up with the idea of glucose fasting to help with the effects of epilepsy when the children in his care were unresponsive to the anti-seizure medications of the day. To his delight, Dr. Conklin’s theory was correct and putting epileptic children on a high fat, ketogenic diet was by far the best therapy for their symptoms.
Soon the keto diet was being used as a therapy in the roughly 30% of adult epileptic patients who have no response to epilepsy drugs and it worked.
A natural diet rich in fats that severely limited carbs was far more effective in treating epilepsy than medications. Even with the advent of stronger medications, the keto diet is still used as and effective medical treatment.
From there the keto diet was used as a therapy for other issues such as sleeping disorders, gastro disorders and as an answer to the growing problem of diabetes.
The ketogenic diet has been used by doctors and the medical field as a therapy and treatment for over 100 years. A century of continual use seems like a pretty good amount of time to determine safety and effectiveness.
Is keto safe? Past: CHECK
Doctors are recommending the ketogenic diet more and more as an alternative to expensive drugs that carry side effects and risks.
The keto diet is now considered by many doctors to be the best curative option for diabetes where drugs are considered, at best, a way to control and maintain diabetic symptoms.
With the emergence and popularity of keto, more and more scientific studies are being done to prove the benefits of keto on weight loss, athletic performance, as well as it’s effect on starving cancer and it’s ability to slow Alzheimer's.
This long overdue scientific concentration on keto proves that the claims of keto as a fad diet are all unfounded and untrue (as if the 100 years of its usage didn’t already do that).
On top of the studies, the keto community is now large enough with enough success stories, and years under its belt to prove that the keto lifestyle does work to improve health and that it is sustainable.
Check out the success stories HERE to see for yourself that keto can and will get you into the best shape of your life.
Is keto safe? Present: CHECK
The nation has finally begin to wise up about the sugar epidemic that’s harming our collective health. It’s a shame that it took a childhood obesity epidemic to finally focus on the real culprit and reverse the sugar lobby’s false studies and blatant lies, but at least we are on the path to repair.
Need proof that we’re stepping in the right, keto direction?
In July 2018 the new FDA required nutrition labels on our food must now included the amount of added sugar and the percentage of daily recommended sugars that total comprises.
Finally, sugar is being recognized as a concern. But the label update doesn’t stop there, in addition to more realistic serving sizes (like correcting the serving size of 2 on a package labeled single serving) the harmful notation of ‘calories form fat’ is being removed!
That’s right, fat is not being portrayed as the enemy any more. And trans fats, also called manufactured or frankenfats, are being eliminated from our national diet.
So the sugar=bad, fat=good stance of keto seems to be catching on.
Is keto safe? Future: CHECK
So, like we said at the top: is keto safe?
is keto right for you?
We don't know. A rather bold admission from a site dedicated to answers and education. Well, we can't just give a blanket answer to such a diverse question since all 7 and a half billion people on this planet are unique and have their own set of goals and struggles. What we can do is what we do best, we can educate you and help you figure out if your unique body and goals will benefit from joining the keto journey.
Now we are assuming that if you're this far, far enough to be considering starting keto, that you've read about how keto works and what you'll need to do to be successful on the journey. If not, if you got to this section through the search bar, we recommend going back and getting a general grasp of keto before considering jumping in with both feet.
Is keto right for you? The chances are pretty good that keto will benefit you and help you achieve your health goals, depending on what they are. Keto is obviously great for losing weight, this benefit is the one that brings most people to keto to begin with. If dropping a few, or several, pounds is your aim then the keto journey is a great option for you. What many ketoers don’t realize until they’re deep in the ketosis trenches is that keto has a myriad of other benefits. From helping to correct type 2 diabetes to giving your skin a glow to boosting your mental clarity and daily energy, keto’s positives seem endless. To check out all of the keto benefits, see the benefits section here, it may very well help make the decision to try keto easier.
Joining the keto journey can benefit and improve the health of almost 90% of the population. The benefits are there for the taking, if you can dedicate yourself to it. Which brings us to the first roadblock for many. Like anything that benefits your health, prolongs your life, and improves the quality of your life, keto is worth doing right. That means it’s going to require special attention, time, and the end of mindless, convenience eating. Meals must be planned and you must be conscientious when putting anything into your body.
It sounds like a lot of work, and it can be at first while you’re learning and getting the hang of it. But once you’ve done it for awhile, and once you’ve felt the benefits, it gets way easier. If you can weather the early difficulties, keto is right for you. Some people can’t, and that’s okay. Going from a convenience-based diet to one that you have to think about and dream about (yes, keto dreams are a real thing) can be too drastic a change for some. Start slow but cutting carbs steadily and using a tracking app to record what you eat. In time you can wean away from old, unhealthy eating habits and join the ranks of the ketoers enjoying the spoils of their hard work.
For some, no matter how dedicated you are, keto just isn’t the best idea. At niKETO we obviously love the keto diet and have a passion for it. A passion and education that we love to share, but part of education is tough truth. Some conditions make keto a non-option.
Keto is not recommended for people with eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia. The specific macronutrient requirements of keto can make not getting enough fat dangerous in people who are not eating enough calories. Also, the quick weight loss associated with keto can do further harm to nutrient deficient bodies suffering from eating disorders. If you need help with an eating disorder or know someone who does, please contact NEDA.
People with certain metabolic disorders that make absorption of fats difficult should not try keto as the keto diet is heavily reliant on dietary fats.
Anyone who has had bariatric or bypass surgery should not try keto as the surgery makes it harder for the body to absorb and utilize fats.
People with pancreatic insufficiency should avoid keto as the high-fat requirements would put too much strain on an under-producing pancreas.
Anyone who is currently having gallbladder issues or who has had their gallbladder recently removed should not try the keto diet. However, a year or so after having the gallbladder removed, the keto diet is okay and can actually help correct dumping syndrome and some of the other issues that come from a missing gallbladder.
Pregnant or breast feeding women are advised not to begin the keto diet because of the protein needs of their baby. Keto requires protein to be monitored and kept at levels lower than recommended for a newborn. But, once the baby stops breast feeding, keto is a great way to drop the baby weight.
Type 1 diabetes can be complicated by attempting keto and not following it to the letter. While keto is an amazing option to help correct type 2 diabetes, it can lead to a problem in sufferers of type 1. Ketoacidosis is a problem ketoers that don’t have type 1 diabetes don’t have to worry about, but it occurs when high levels of blood sugar mix with elevated levels of ketones in the blood. Keto relies on ketones for energy and promotes their creation in the liver. If a diabetes type 1 sufferer tries keto, raises their ketone production and makes a mistake in their eating that raises their blood glucose too high it can have a deadly outcome. If you have type 1 diabetes, please consult with your doctor before attempting a ketogenic diet.
Certain medications can be effected by the keto diet, making their normally beneficial effects dangerous. Lithium and mood stabilizing drugs for example can become concentrated in the blood due to keto’s diuretic effect, leading to potential problems. Blood pressure medications can also be intensified by keto’s insulin regulating benefits. So talk to your doctor about keto and any medications you are taking before jumping in.
The best rule of thumb when it comes to keto, if you aren’t sure if you’re a candidate, is to talk to your health professional. If your doctor isn’t familiar with the keto diet, send them here, we’ll get them caught up in no time.
If you’re ready to give keto a try, keep scrolling to check out the different versions of keto you can try to customize your journey and to accomplish different goals.
keto diet myths : debunked
Even though the ketogenic diet has been studied and utilized by the medical field for close to a century, keto is relatively new to the national consciousness.
Keto as a diet for health and weight loss has only been making waves for the last 10 years or so, and its popularity has just recently jumped to household-name status within the last two or three years.
This ketogenic new kid in the school of diet and health is drawing the same suspicious looks and wild conjecture that plagues the new kid in high school. People hear the claims that keto can help you drop weight, feel more energized, clear your skin, reverse diseases, plus more and they instantly react as if keto is the attractive new guy in school who’s setting state sports records while getting straight As and helping the elderly on the weekends.
It’s hard for most people to fathom keto’s numerous benefits, and rather than getting to know keto, they make assumptions aimed at poking holes in its too-good-to-be-true reputation.
What we’re saying is, the keto diet has some bad press and damaging myths because, rather than actually trying keto and doing some solid research, many keto detractors make assumptions based on conjecture and the bad science we’ve been force fed for the last 60 years.
There are 2 categories of Keto Myths that need debunking:
First are the myths on how to follow the keto diet.
Second are the myths about keto’s assumed health risks.
Let’s begin with the myths about how to run your keto diet. Keto is strict and the rules need to be followed in order to get the amazing benefits. This is why it’s important to address these myths that can derail your entry into ketosis or sabotage your progress.
MYTH: Keto is a high protein diet.
Not true. Following this bad assumption will prevent you from attaining the goal of keto which is ketosis brought on by a diet high in quality fats. Too much protein results in gluconeogenesis which simulates glucose production and prevents ketosis.
MYTH: Keto is unsustainable.
There are many thousands of people who have been on the ketogenic diet for 10 or 20 plus years. Many stay with keto permanently to counter chronic illnesses or to simply keep their body in top shape. Keto is a lifestyle that can indeed last your entire life, a longer life at that.
MYTH: You can’t exercise if you eat a keto diet.
False. The opposite is in fact true. Many athletes are seeing amazing performance results while exercising on the keto diet. Ask Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, and the host of NFL players who have used Keto to trim fat while retaining muscle. Targeted keto and cyclical keto are specifically designed variations of keto that help optimize high performance exercise and training.
MYTH: Keto is for weight loss and staying on keto will result in being underweight.
This one is just a little ridiculous, yet it’s perpetuated. Your weight depends on the number of calories you eat versus the amount you expend. Eating a higher calorie count will ensure you don’t drop too much weight. Our keto calculator has adjustments for all types, and answering a few questions will result in the correct dietary numbers to keep you from losing too much weight.
MYTH: There is no scientific research to back keto’s claims.
This is what we mean about claims being made with even a simple web search. For over 100 years medical science has been studying the keto diet for safety and effectiveness. It’s all there and any one can find it.
MYTH: Keto is a Fat free-for-all, eat as much of any fat as you want.
Here at niKETO we stress over and over that keto is driven by HEALTHY fats. We also stress proper macro ratios. Eat to receive 70% of your daily calories from good fats. Avoid transfats as they are very unhealthy. This is the part opponents of keto chose to ignore. They point to transfats and claim keto makes no distinction. But it certainly does. That is why we make sure to nix transfats every opportunity we get. NO TRANSFATS.
MYTH: You must fast to make keto work.
No. Intermittent fasting can help with weight loss and autophagy, but fasting is not required on keto. This confusion all seems to stem form the idea that I.F. and keto are very successful together and it’s often recommended that people who want to lose a lot of fat quickly give the combo a try. Some people also misinterpret the idea that keto’s high fat intake leaves people feeling less hungry and craving fewer calories as people purposely avoiding eating. That’s not the case, you simple don’t get the same hunger signals on keto because fats take longer to digest, leaving you feeling fuller longer.
MYTH: Say goodbye to alcohol and good times.
You can absolutely enjoy spirituous beverages on keto. Most beer is a no-no since it’s made with the grains and carb heavy ingredients that will raise glucose in the blood. Wine can also be high in sugars and should be enjoyed sparingly, but distilled spirits like vodka, whiskey, tequila, gin and all the rest are very low carb and only hit your calorie count for the day with about a 100 calorie price tag per shot. The only effect alcohol has on keto is its pausing effect. Alcohol won’t kick you out of ketosis, but it will put a hold on ketone production until it’s been fully processes and burned off. Small price to pay for a good time.
The next set of myths revolve around the supposed health risks that come with living a keto lifestyle. Here they are and why they are false.
MYTH: If you do keto you will get kidney stones.
No one would try keto if kidney stones were a guaranteed side effect. This myth is perpetuated based on the fact that keto, when run incorrectly, can produce kidney stones. Keto is a diuretic which will cause you to urinate much more frequently. This greater expelling of fluid takes electrolytes and minerals with it. This can lead to keto flu and can set the stage for the development of kidney stones since keto advocates cruciferous veggies high in the oxolates that can play a role in kidney stones. But this danger is easily avoided by eating the magnesium, potassium, sodium, and food derived calcium you should be eating anyway. If you are on top of your daily electrolytes and still fear stones, shoot a little bit of lemon juice in your water, the citrate in citrus breaks up the ingredients that can lead to stones.
MYTH: Ketosis leads to Ketoacidosis.
It’s easy to see why this myth continues to find life. Ketoacidosis begins with keto, they must be linked, right? Wrong. Ketoacidosis is associated with type 1 diabetes and occurs when the body can’t produce enough of its own insulin to move glucose out of the blood and use it for energy. The body is signaled that there is no glucose for energy since there’s no insulin to deliver it, and the body creates ketones. Ketones and glucose in the blood don’t get along and lead to ketoacidosis which can be fatal. Ketosis has nothing to do with ketoacidosis in people who have uninhibited insulin production.
MYTH: Keto is bad for the brain.
This one is actually exactly the opposite. The brain runs better with a ketone-based fuel. A sense of alertness and metal focus is one of the benefits of keto because ketones are a more efficient source of energy, leading to longer periods of high energy output without the ups and downs associated with glucose. Ketones also result in mitochondrial up-regulation, meaning the brain’s cells benefit from a higher capacity. Plus, the nerve and synaptic protections fat offers helps prevent degenerative brain diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Keto is brain beneficial.
MYTH: Keto leads to muscle loss.
Many high performance athletes are switching to a ketogenic lifestyle because keto actually helps preserve muscle while trimming fat. Switching to a fat-based fuel tells your body to run on the fats you eat, and in the absence of that, it runs on your stored fat. It doesn’t need to tap into muscle for fuel the way your body does on a glucose-based diet. Because the body can actually only hold between 1500 and 2000 calories of glucose at a time, if it’s not receiving a new stream of calories regularly, it will burn off the small amount of glucose in the blood before moving onto muscle which contains protein that can be converted to glucose to keep you going. Keto tells your metabolism to focus on stored fat for ketones rather than your hard to rebuild muscles.
MYTH: Keto is bad for your heart.
This is another myth that is easily disproven with a quick web search. The heart actually runs on ketones whether you’re on keto or not. That’s right. Even when you are eating carbs by the handful, your heart tells you liver to specially make ketones specifically for the heart’s optimal function. Fatty acids and ketones keep your heart strong, protected, and pumping. Ketones are the best thing for your heart, which is why it signals the liver to make a batch of ketones specifically for its function no matter what your diet is.
MYTH: Keto raises cholesterol levels.
This one is true. Keto does raise cholesterol… HDL cholesterol, the cholesterol that’s healthy for your heart. HDL cholesterol actually collects unused and bad cholesterols in your body and deposits them back into the liver for recycling. HDL helps to prevent LDL, the bad cholesterol, from accumulating in your arteries. The main misunderstanding in this myth is that many people don’t understand the difference between HDL and LDL cholesterol. People hear ‘cholesterol’ and automatically assume it’s a bad word. HDL=good. LDL=bad. Keto promotes HDL.
MYTH: Keto leads to nutrient deficiencies.
Sure, if you don’t pay attentions to your nutrients. This myth stems from the severe carb restriction of keto and the fact that vegetables are a great source for many vital nutrients. However, this fear of missing nutrients is associated with all diets, not just keto. But again, keto is well-designed and recommends 5% of your daily calories come from carbs. Those carbs should be cruciferous or dark green vegetables that pack the highest nutrient punch. Spinach, kale, cauliflower, and broccoli are all nutrient rich and friends of the keto diet. Again, if you follow the keto rules you won’t be lacking in anything. Just pay attention to your food and your body and you’ll feel great.
MYTH: Keto leads to gall stones.
Your gallbladder is a small organ that produces bile to help your liver breakdown fatty acids and proteins. Eating fat helps keep your gallbladder active since it’s a main player in the breakdown of fats. An inactive or under active gallbladder can lead to unneeded bile which stays in the gallbladder and just sits there. A major component of gallstones is a high level LDL cholesterol that hardens the bile into stones. Because keto helps the production of HDL cholesterol that removes LDL from your system, eating a fatty, keto diet actually helps to prevent the formation of gall stones. If you already have gallstones when you begin keto and don’t know it, keto’s demand for bile will make the stones more obvious as the gallbladder will see more activity.
MYTH: Everyone gets the keto flu.
The only people who get the keto flu are the ones who don’t do their research and don’t know how to avoid the keto flu before it strikes. The keto flu is a result of depleted electrolytes caused by keto’s diuretic effect. You urinate out excess minerals and it leaves you feeling depleted. Stop it before it starts by know this information ahead of time and making an effort to eat keto foods high in sodium, potassium, and magnesium. Keto flu is unpleasant, but it’s also 100% avoidable.
MYTH: Keto is a starvation diet.
The point of any diet followed for fat loss is to eat fewer calories that you burn off. If you burn more calories than you eat ad infinitum you will eventually starve to death. It’s simple math. At no point does keto recommend that you simply stop eating enough calories. Keto is all about eating and getting the best, most efficient balance of nutrients possible. People tend to latch onto the carb restriction part of keto and assume that means they’ll be starving themselves of this dietary macro that’s used for energy. But carbohydrates are 100% not necessary (pg.11). You don’t have to have carbs. That’s what keto is making clear. Fat has your back and will be your new, better fuel source. Not only will you not starve, you’ll see some pretty amazing benefits.