Ketogenic Diets Q & A

by Jessie Funchion, MS, RD, LDN

 

What is the Ketogenic Diet?
The ketogenic diet is a high fat, very low-carb diet that has been used in children with epilepsy to help control seizures. Recently, it has become a trendy weight loss diet.

How does it work?
Eating a high fat/low carb diet puts the body in a state of ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic adaptation that has allowed humans to survive on ketones as fuel instead of its regular glucose. Ketones are the result of fat breaking down and can provide energy for the brain when glucose is scarce. Being in a state of ketosis also diminishes cravings and hunger sensations, so it could lead to an overall reduction in food intake.

What foods are allowed on the ketogenic diet?
–       Fats and Oils – Butter, Lard, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, etc
–       Meat and Poultry
–       Seafood
–       Full fat dairy
–       Nuts and Seeds
–       Certain non-starchy vegetables
–       Beverages – Water, broth, coffee, tea, unsweetened coconut and almond milk

What should are not permitted on the ketogenic diet?
It’s recommended that only 5-10% of calories come from carbohydrates, which depending on calorie intake generally means fewer than 30g of carbohydrates a day. This means sugar, fruit, high sugar and high starch vegetables, and grains should be eliminated or eaten in very small quantities.

Will I lose weight?
Probably. Anyone who follows an elimination diet (whether they eliminate gluten/dairy/fat/carbs etc.) will likely lose weight because they also are reducing calories. You also may feel less hungry as ketosis diminishes hunger sensation, so overeating tends not to be a problem

Will I keep the weight off?
Probably not. The ketogenic diet is a difficult, and arguably ‘unhealthy’, diet (due to the reduced fiber and vitamin/mineral content) that is not recommended for the long term. The best ‘diet’ is the one you can see yourself doing for the rest of your life.

What are some pros and cons of the ketogenic diet?

Pros:

– Probable short-term weight loss
– Diminished feelings of hunger
– Allowed to eat high-fat foods

Cons:

– Difficult to adhere to long-term (which leads to weight regain)
– Low fiber
– Risk of nutrient insufficiencies
– Side effects such as bad smelling breath, low energy, headaches and constipation
– Elevated LDL cholesterol

 

Bottom Line:
The ketogenic diet is not recommended for long-term use (unless it is being used as medical nutrition therapy for an individual with epilepsy). It is likely safe for short-term use for weight loss, but it is recommended to incorporate fruits and whole grains back into the diet once a weight maintenance plan is in place. While following a ketogenic diet, take a multivitamin and mineral supplement that contains adequate B vitamins and magnesium.

 

Sources:
http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/0917p12.shtml

Can Extremely Fat-Restricted or High-Fat Diets be Effective — and Safe — for Weight Loss?

Looking to implement a corporate wellness nutrition program?

Corporate Wellness Nutrition by Family Food is the longest-standing, most awarded program in your region with published outcome data.

CLIENT TESTIMONIALS

JEANETTE

I had a great 1st visit with the nutritionist. I went to get tips on changing by diet, but got much more. I was able to set a physical activity and nutrition goal. The nutritionist was knowledgeable and helpful.

I am so grateful for the stellar support and advice provided by Meghan, the dietitian I'm working with. She is both knowledgeable and kind, and it's a deeply productive journey. Thank you."

MICHELLE

Consulting with a Family Food nutritionist is turning out to be helpful in my effort to live healthy. The consultations are a way of having a sense of accountability and I get helpful feedback on my dietary decisions.

STAN

Great nutrition experts who inspire you! I am happy with the nutrition specialists at Family Food. They make me excited about nutrition, answer all my questions, and provide excellent recommendations! Thank you!!

AS

Very professional experience. I felt she listened to my needs and adjusted to personalize my nutrition needs.

L

My initial appointment was helpful - helped me consider new ways of addressing some problem areas for me and helped set attainable, concrete goals.

CHARLOTTE

Insightful and Informative. She was very attentive and helpful. She gave excellent tips on what to do and eat to meet my goal weight.

TRACEY-ANN

I feel confident about the changes we made to my goals and look forward to implementing them into my everyday routine. The health adviser was very helpful and didn't make me feel shameful for not meeting all my previous goals.

ERICA

I highly recommend Family Food. The nutritionist, Erika is helpful and provides great information and positive feedback.

KELSHA

I had an excellent experience with the representative from Family Food. She really read into what I was telling her and offered excellent advice that I am already able to implement after one visit. She also helped to make the best use of the hour long session. Very good time management!

AB

I met with a dietician for the first time and I had an idea of what to expect but I find this to be an invaluable resource because I have already received great ideas of things to use for meal planning and I also received more information of how to read nutrition labels. I am looking forward to my next appointment.

SHANA

I really enjoyed my first session with Christine. She provided me with a lot of solid information on issues I was not aware of and positive reinforcement for behaviors I have already engaged in. I outlined specific goals I would like to work on with her guidance and she gave me some initial steps to start. I found what she had to say respectful of the space I am in and cognizant of obstacles to making lifestyle and lifelong changes.

LYNN

I walked in without any specific questions/concerns, and my counseling was well-guided and ended up helping me see specific small changes that I can make to keep me on-track with my nutrition goals. Solutions fit my lifestyle and were not cookie-cutter, which is fantastic. I was able to start making improvements immediately. Thank you!

KAYLEY

I am finding the sessions helpful and a good way to talk through improving habits and making better food choices.

ANDREA

I am very happy this program exists. It has been very helpful and informative. My deitition is very nice and intelligent I am happy to have her help and support.

ATTANYA

The Family Food blog

The most reliable evidence-based nutrition information on child and adult nutrition.

Gain access to a personal Registered Dietitian today.

We accept most Health Insurance plans

TWEETS BY @FAMILYFOODLLC

PINTEREST

GET OUR APP