Continuing from where we left off last week, the topic for this week will be a quick look at how to best optimize a Ketogenic Diet to your specific needs.
Optimizing the Ketogenic Diet:
1) Need for healthy fats:
Not all fats are created equal. Fatty acid chains called Medium Chain Triglycerides are known to have the ability to freely cross into the areas of our body that produce energy. Fatty acid chains from hydrogenated and shelf-stable/ trans-oils on the other hand,are rigid, making them difficult to digest and extract energy from. You don’t want those, you want the MCT fats!
An example of healthy fats are:
- 1) Avocado
- 2) Butter
- 3) Dark Chocolate
- 4) Coconut Milk (both light and regular, canned is ok too)
- 5) Unsweetened Mayonnaise
- 6) Cooking Oils
- a. Avocado
- b. Coconut
- c. Clarified butter
- d. Grass fed butter
- e. Extra virgin olive oil
- f. Rice bran
- g. Sesame
- 7) Salad Oils
- a. Almond
- b. Avocado
- c. Flaxseed
- d. Grapeseed
- e. Hempseed
- f. Extra virgin olive oil
- g. Pumpkin
- h. Rice bran
- i. Safflower
- j. Sesame
- k. Sunflower
- l. Walnut
- 8) Black and Green olives
- 9) Pestos
- 10) Salad Dressings made with the above oil
An example of unhealthy fats:
- 1) Anything with:
- a. Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil or hydrogenated oils in general.
- 2) Need for leafy greens and other deeply pigmented vegetables:
- The two most common mistakes I see in my practice are:
- a) is a person’s inclusion of processed food
- b) Lack of different colored leafy vegetables in the diet
- We have to understand that even though the body does start producing ketones when there is an overall carbohydrate restriction, every step of energy utilization still requires nutrients. Common nutrients that are found in multiple colored deeply pigmented vegetables needed for energy production are: B vitamins, magnesium, calcium, zinc, carnitine and iron.
- 3) Need for fiber:
- Vegetable fibers are also needed by the gut microbiome to enable the functions of digestion, absorption, immune system regulation and neurologic nutrient production.
4) Need for antioxidants nutrients:
- Apart from this need for nutrients, there is also a higher need for antioxidants to help reduce the modification of fats leading to cell damage. This means there must also be a steady supply of: Vitamin A, C, E, glutathione and selenium.
Through this brief overview of the Ketogenic Diet, I hope you can now decide if this is for you or if you are already on the diet, to modify your diet to support your body in a more sustainable way.
Your partner in health,
- 1) Ketogenic Program Metagenics Nutrition Masters Course. Metagenics Institute. https://www.metagenicsinstitute.com
- 2) Newman & Verdin, Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 2014; 106(2):173-181
- 3) Volek S et al. European Journal of Sport Science 2015; 15(1): 13-20
- 4) McSwiney FT et al. Metabolism 2018; 81:25-34
- 5) Paoli A et al. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2013; 67(8):789–796
- 6) Volek & Phinney, The Art and Science of Low-Carbohydrate Performance 2012
- 7) Volek JS & Phinney SD et al. The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance 201
- 8) Mitochondrial Food Plan 2016. The Institute for Functional Medicine. IFM.org.