What's the deal with the ketogenic diet?

As I'm sure a lot of you have already heard, the Ketogenic Diet is having a HUGE moment right now. I've had a ton of people ask me if I would recommend this diet for them, how to follow it, and whether it really is all it's hyped up to be. I decided to dedicate a blog post to it this week that will hopefully answer some of your questions and give you a better idea of what the famous keto diet actually requires!

Lets start with the basics and talk about what the keto diet actually is - 

The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that basically tricks the body into burning fat instead of carbohydrates for energy. When you consume a low-carb diet, your body is so depleted of carbs that your liver turns stored fat into fuel that your body can use for energy, and therefore puts your body into a state of ketosis. While there are a few variations of the keto diet, the standard one highlights your daily diet as 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbs (we're talking as little as 35g of carbs per day). 

Quick breakdown on what to eat & what to avoid on the keto diet -

Items to Eat

  • Animal sources (beef, pork, poultry, seafood)
  • Fats (avocado, nuts, butter, ghee, olive/avocado oil)
  • Non starchy vegetables (leafy greens, celery, asparagus, cucumber, zucchini)
  • Fruit (very small portion of specific fruits like berries)

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Items to Avoid

  • Grains
  • Processed foods
  • Majority of fruits (pineapple, mango, banana, grapes)
  • Starchy vegetables (winter squash, sweet potatoes, peas) 
  • Legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas)
  • Alcohol (for the most part)
keto diet food pyramid

While the keto diet has specific benefits on the body and may work for certain individuals, I personally believe it is not very sustainable for the majority of people. It’s all about that fat to carbs/protein ratio, so even though you’re not always counting calories, the meals have to be planned very carefully to adhere to the strict formula, which for most people can be extremely difficult & mentally exhausting! This is definitely an extreme and restrictive diet that many would have a hard time maintaining. A more well-balanced diet including carbs that are high in fiber will keep you feeling satisfied and energized.

That being said, the key takeaways from the keto diet are to carefully choose carbs (high in fiber, lower starch content) and to not be afraid of healthy fat- two concepts I definitely agree with! The goal is to find a healthy diet that will be your baseline forever, rather than just a few weeks before burning out. 

Anyone have any keto disaster or success stories? I'd love to hear them!