The ketogenic diet is all the rage right now, but is it all it’s cracked up to be?

Let’s start at the beginning. What is a ketogenic diet?  It’s a low-carb, high-fat diet. So yes, the Zone, Atkins, and many other diets are ketogenic diets.

Sounds weird, doesn’t it?  You eat more fat to lose weight and be healthy. But there are many studies that show this can be the case. Perhaps all the conventional wisdom we’ve been fed over the years is questionable.

On a ketogenic diet, you cut down on refined carbs and replace them with high-quality “good” fats. No more cookies and cakes, baked potatoes, or fries. Wouldn’t we all prefer a diet where we eat what we want to and magically the weight just falls off?

Amazingly, when you’re on the right diet for your body, the weight does seem to magically fall off. But you must eat the right foods. And the best way to discover what’s right for your body is to start a Nutrition Response Testing program with a certified practitioner. They will design a nutrition program specifically for your body’s needs.

The main benefits of the keto diet are controlling blood sugar and lowering insulin levels, which in turn have a slew of health benefits. And since a large percentage of the American population suffers from “metabolic syndrome” or insulin resistance, this diet does work for many people.

The Keto Diet No-No List

Here’s what you can’t eat. Don’t faint just yet, there are lots of yummy things on the other list.

  • Keep walking right past the bakery.  White bread, whole-wheat bread, crackers, cookies, doughnuts, and rolls.
  • No candy or sugar.  That means ice cream, candy, and all the natural syrups and sugars like maple, agave, or coconut sugar.
  • Anything that’s been sweetened. That includes tea, coffee, soda, almond milk, sports drinks.
  • Forget those romantic dinners at Italian restaurants. Pasta, spaghetti, and noodles are not allowed.
  • No grains at all. Wheat, rice, oats, breakfast cereals and tortillas.
  • Starchy vegetables: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, corn, peas, and pumpkin.
  • Beans and legumes: Black beans, chickpeas, lentils, and kidney beans.
  • Fruit: Citrus, grapes, bananas, and pineapple.
  • High-carb sauces: Barbecue sauce, sugary salad dressings, and dipping sauces.
  • Certain alcoholic beverages: Beer and sugary mixed drinks.

The Good Stuff

  • Fish and Seafood
  • Eggs
  • Natural Fat – butter, olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil
  • Vegetables that grow above the ground – especially leafy green items
  • High-fat dairy products – cheese and cream.  Milk, not so much (it has a high sugar content)
  • Nuts – but in moderation, as they can have a higher carb count than you realize
  • Berries – again in moderation and eat them with a high-fat source like coconut cream
  • Water, as much as you like.
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Bone Broth

Keto Diet Recipes

If you simply can’t imagine yourself giving up desserts, relax.  There is a Keto dessert recipe book – yes, a whole book of delicious desserts and scrumptious snacks you can eat. My current craze is a mixture of almond butter, coconut meat, dark chocolate, turmeric, and ginger. Another one I love is homemade coconut cream with lime juice and sweetened with stevia.

So even though at first glance it looks like a radical diet, you can still eat most of the foods you like, just in a different format. And you’ll reap the benefits of a healthier body.