Think the ketogenic diet is all about munching bacon sandwiches, minus the bread? This dietitian wants you to think again.
While it’s true you’ll be cutting carbs and upping your fat intake in order to reach the golden fat-burning state of ketosis, you’ll also be enjoying a diverse and delicious diet with a wide variety of fats, proteins and colourful vegies.
So, if you’re considering going keto, don’t be put off by the lack of pasta. Read on as dietitian Vicky Kuriel busts open the most common misconceptions about 2018’s hottest lifestyle trend.
Myth: Ketones are dangerous
REALITY: Ketones are a natural by-product of fat breakdown and a source of fuel that our bodies thrive on. It is believed that our ancestors existed for the most part in a state of ketosis due to the scarcity and type of food available. Nutritional ketosis is often confused with ketoacidosis. These two states are on completely different ends of a spectrum and exist in very different physiological states. Ketoacidosis can be life threatening and most commonly occurs in individuals with Type 1 Diabetes. Nutritional ketosis exists at much lower levels of ketones and the benefits have now been well documented including things like weight loss, neurological benefits and enhanced athletic performance.
MYTH: You need zero carbs to get into ketosis
REALITY: The ketogenic diet is often wrongly portrayed as consisting only of lashings of butter and lard thrown on top of large portions of meat. This couldn’t be further from the truth. A well-formulated ketogenic diet should include large amounts of colourful vegies and a variety of fats and proteins. In order to reach this state of ketosis it is important to select these vegetables carefully and ideally these should be vegies that grow above ground, thereby providing you with minimal amounts of carbs. A state of ketosis can usually be achieved in most people with carbs at a level of less than 50g per day (but definitely not zero carbs).
MYTH: It is impossible to get all your required nutrients on a ketogenic diet
REALITY: A well-formulated ketogenic diet including a range of vegetables, proteins and fats from a variety of sources and the inclusion of some nuts and seeds has been shown time and time again to meet all nutritional requirements. Most recently an article assessing the nutrient intake of a low carb high fat (LCHF) diet was published in the British Medical Journal (Jan 2018) and concluded ‘Despite macronutrient proportions not aligning with current national dietary guidelines, a well-planned LCHF meal plan can be considered micronutrient replete’.
MYTH: A ketogenic diet has no fibre
REALITY: If your ketogenic diet consists only of bulletproof coffees, fat shakes and lamb chops, well then chances are you are not getting enough fibre. A well-formulated keto diet will consist of an array of wholefoods including things like leafy greens, a variety of above ground vegies, nuts, seeds, coconut and a small amount of fruit. All of these foods provide a good level of soluble fibre – the type of fibre that feeds the living organisms in your gut and that your body thrives on. When keto is done properly, quality fibre is provided in abundance.
This is your 7-day ketogenic diet meal plan. Plus, why you can sometimes get the keto flu.
Vicky Kuriel is a low-carb high-fat dietitian. She is also the founder of Eat Play Thrive.
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