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The Pros and Cons of the Ketogenic Diet

If you are thinking about trying a ketogenic diet for weight loss or health, it is worth considering the pros and cons.

Ketosis is a natural body process that converts stored fats into energy. A ketogenic diet helps your natural fat burning function work its magic longer than normal. In this way, it is a very natural form of dieting.

What are the cons or disadvantages of the keto diet plan?

  • You will need to go through an adaptation period of around 1 to 2 weeks. For some people, this phase can be uncomfortable as the body becomes ‘fat adapted.’
  • Many people take great pleasure in eating carbs, and feel like they lose the ‘fun’ aspect of eating.
  • It takes more time to consider your meal choices. This can be especially true when dining at restaurants, where a lot of meals are carb-heavy.
  • For those who exercise a lot, there can be a drop in performance ability and stamina in the early stages. This can be unmotivating if you are a person who does a lot of physical activity.
  • Sometimes your friends may criticize you, or say you are crazy for eating more fat. This is common on the keto diet, as for almost 50 years it has been believed that eating fat is bad for your health.

What are the pros or advantages of the keto diet?

  • Reduce insulin levels meaning you have fewer crashes (sometimes known as a ‘carb crash’) during the day. This leads to more consistent sustained energy.
  • A lot of people feel like they have reduced appetite, and will need fewer snacks. This is because the body is used to burning fat for fuel and isn’t seeking ‘quick burn’ carbs and glucose.
  • Studies have shown and Increase in thermogenesis (meaning the production of body heat) which increases the number of calories you burn on a daily basis.
  • Reduced risk of degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, diabetes. The current research is showing how much our carb and heavy sugar diets are causing issues with our health. Ketogenic diets can potentially reduce this risk dramatically.
  • When you’re in ketosis your brain switches to ketones as a fuel source. Because it has a consistent fuel source, this means that you can focus for longer periods of time.
  • Recent medical studies have shown that the Keto diet can be a great way to help to lower blood pressure.

When weighing up the pros and cons of keto, you must decide what is more important: short or long-term results. Most of the cons of keto diets are short-term, whereas the pros of the ketogenic diet are long term.

 

Jerry Hizon, MD is a keto doctor working from Murrieta and Temecula, California. He assists people with weight loss and lifestyle changes to improve their health. If you are interested in getting started with a keto diet, we can help you stay on track, with our Nudge Coaching program, and guidance from Dr. Jerry Hizon. Reach out to us today to see how much better you can feel!

The benefits of bone broth in the keto diet

The primary focus of the ketogenic diet is to train your body to burn fat for energy rather than glucose, which is obtained through carbohydrates.

A standard ketogenic diet ratio is: 75% fat, 20% protein, 5% carbs. Of course, since every person has a unique body and lifestyle, it may help to use a ketogenic diet calculator to determine your exact macronutrient needs. It will help to diet plan to how to keep your body in a state of ketosis, based on your current weight, height and exercise levels.

Limiting your carbs allows you to enter the fat-burning state called ketosis. Most experts will suggest lowering your carb levels to approximately 5% of your diet, and increasing fat consumption to at least 70% of your diet.

After a short period of time, your body will begin to rely on fatty acids for energy, which are essentially the secondary ‘backup’ energy source when glucose isn’t available.

The early stages of the keto diet can be difficult

However, in the first few weeks, you may find it difficult to continue to break through to ketosis. This initial period can be plagued by the condition known as the keto flu, which is when the lack of carbohydrates can cause fatigue and flu-like symptoms.

During this period, one of the best methods for overcoming the initial struggle and the keto flu is to consume bone broth.

What exactly is bone broth?

Bone broth is a savory liquid made up of the water in which the bones and cartilage of meat or fish have been simmered. The nutritional content of each bone broth varies based on the bones used, the amount of cooking time, and the cooking method. However, you can almost guarantee that you will find the same nutrients to some degree in every bone broth.

Overcoming the keto flu with bone broth

The keto flu happens as a result of suddenly removing carbs from your diet. Most people experience typical flu-like symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, headaches, dizziness. This usually isn’t a cause for concern — it’s a natural reaction your body has when you make drastic changes to your diet.

To help ease keto flu symptoms, it can be helpful to reintroduce a few extra carbs to make the transition period less intense. Bone broth is a great ‘transition’ food that offers a few grams of carbs but still fits within the macros of the keto diet plan.

Drinking bone broth can may also be a preventative measure against the keto flu in the early stages of the keto diet, thanks to the vitamins, minerals it contains.

Using bone broth to increase electrolytes

When you start a low-carb diet, you’re also cutting out the majority of fruit and starchy vegetables. These two types of food are typically the richest sources of electrolytes. For this reason, if you don’t plan carefully, it’s possible to end up with an electrolyte imbalance.

The good news is that bone broth contains all four electrolytes, including calcium, sodium, potassium, and magnesium. By adding 1 or 2 cups of bone broth to your diet, you can keep your electrolytes in check when you’re eating fewer fruits and veggies.

Minerals, collagen and other healing properties of bone broth

As you can tell, bone broth is a powerhouse when it comes to therapeutic and beneficial foods on and off the ketogenic diet. Here are some of the main benefits people experience:

  • Rich in essential minerals, such as phosphorus and calcium
  • Rich in collagen and gelatin which help keep your bones, tendons, ligaments, and joints healthy
  • Helps with leaky gut
  • Helps fight infections
  • Strengthens hair and nails
  • Helps with muscle repair
  • Reduces inflammation (the primary cause of heart disease)
  • Great for adrenal fatigue tissues and thyroid health

If it’s entirely new for you, you can start to incorporate a cup or two of bone broth into your keto diet on a regular basis to start seeing is wondrous effects like increased digestive health, stronger bones, glowing skin, and so much more.

Dr. Jerry Hizon, MD strives to demystify the complex science of nutrition, giving his patients sound nutritional guidance designed to set them up for long-term dietary success, whatever their specific goals may be.

Ketogenic Diet Tips: What to eat and when to eat

Whenever someone starts a new diet, it seems like the focus is always on how many calories you eat, or whether you should eat a specific type of food. This makes logical sense, as it is estimated that as much as 75% of weight loss is attributed to the diet.

However in the past few years, there has been more interest in not just what you eat, but when and how often you eat.

The concept of intermittent fasting, and eating smaller meals more often are two trends that have become common. I believe that both have some value in improving your results.

Fasting and the keto diet work together

When considering a ketogenic diet, it seems that intermittent fasting works well, as typically you are less hungry for longer periods.

When your body goes into a ketosis mode, it begins to consume fat reserves. If you have just eaten fats (which is common on the keto diet), your body will burn those fats first. But if you keep yourself in ketosis, it will begin to consume your stored fat.

One of the challenges people have when on a conventional diet is that they are constantly hungry. I believe this is less to do with the actual physical hunger, and more to do with the psychological habit of eating too often.

How often do you really need to eat?

Our society teaches us to eat three meals a day, with snacks in between. But often we aren’t eating out of hunger as much as habit.

One of the keys that I have been talking to my keto diet patients about is whether they actually need to eat as often as they do. As a medical doctor, I am typically a very health conscious person, so I have always been very disciplined in my approach.

However, even when eating healthy, I have never experienced the same energy and weight loss results that I have on a ketogenic diet. This is especially true when combined with some intermittent fasting.

I have been adding some fasting days (24-hour fasts) and even tried a 72 hour fast recently. Both were actually less challenging than I had assumed they would be. I believe that is because of my adherence to the keto diet.

Try a fasting window with a keto diet

When you get started on a keto diet, you can also begin trying a ‘fasting window.’ This is another way of choosing a length of time when you don’t eat. For some people, this can start with 8 hours when they sleep or moving to 12 hours or 16 hours.

The longer you can resist eating, the better you will enable ketosis to begin in your system. Intermittent fasting has been proven to give some of these benefits:

  • Balancing your blood sugar levels
  • Improving nutrient absorption for the body
  • Removing toxins naturally
  • Clearing the mind and increasing focus
  • Increased fat burning throughout the day

Aside from these nutritional and health benefits here are some lifestyle benefits I’ve found from fasting on a keto diet:

  • Save money: you tend to eat out less, and that costs less
  • Eat higher quality food: when you do eat, you crave high-quality, healthy foods
  • Enjoy eating more: when you eat, it is enjoyable and satisfying

Changing your mindset around when to eat along with what to eat can be a game changer. It gives you back a sense of self-control and makes you accelerate your health results.

Jerry Hizon, MD is a keto doctor working from Murrieta and Temecula, California. He assists people with weight loss and lifestyle changes to improve their health. His keto coaching programs helps people to track their progress and stay on track. Visit his website today to learn more, or sign up online for a keto coaching session via nudge coaching.

Carbs, Exercise and the Keto Diet: what you need to know

A lot of people who are on a ketogenic diet wonder what the best types of food are when exercising. They are told not to eat carbs, but also that carbs can help with exercise. Keto and exercise is a confusing topic and one that I will try to demystify.

First of all, you body has different types of fuel. The most common type of fuel most people burn when exercising is carbs. This is because carbs provide a faster ‘burn’ and are great for explosive exercise.

What does it mean to carb-load before exercise?

You might have heard of the term ‘carb loading’ which is what a lot of athletes will do the day or evening before an event. It can provide the energy boost needed in that short period for better performance.

But here is the challenge of carbs: most people are not elite athletes. We exercise moderately, usually one to three days a week. So the majority of the time, our carbs are not being used for explosive energy.

Why is exercise harder on a keto diet?

When a person first takes on a ketogenic approach to eating, they can find it is hard to exercise. This is especially true in the first few weeks of a keto diet (link) because they feel a lack of energy.

Rest assured when you first start exercising on a keto diet, this is normal. Your body is becoming fat-adapted, meaning it is switching from burning carbs to burning fats.

Are you exercising with the wrong fuel?

To further fuel analogy: you can think of carbs and fat like gas and diesel. Both can power vehicle, but are used in different ways. Gas is more like carbs, in that it burns quickly. Diesel is a slower burn, more like fats in your body.

For years, experts have derided fats in our diets, but we are now seeing that humans are more like diesel vehicles, which perform well with a slow burn.

When you first start a keto diet, the exercise you do will trigger your body to burn carbs. But after a few weeks on a ketogenic diet when there is little ‘carb fuel’ left, it will start to burn fat and ketones as fuel.

Here are some symptoms you feel when first exercising on a keto diet:

  • Lack of stamina compared to past performance
  • Lack of explosive power
  • Lack of muscle strength
  • Muscle cramps (usually due to low sodium or dehydration)
  • Need for more water
  • Need for more sleep


How often should you exercise per week on a keto diet?

As a rule, if you exercise less than 2 hours a week, then ketones (fat) are good fuel source. They will help you to lose weight, and your stamina and strength will increase if you persist.

If you exercise an hour or more per day, or you participate in activities like crossfit or cycling, then you may benefit from some additional carbs to give you additional fuel.

With around 80% of people above their ideal weight, the keto diet combined with moderate exercise can be an excellent combination to help you. If will give you slow burn and assist with long term weight loss. If you go a little easier on yourself during your first few of exercise weeks on the keto diet, you will soon see an improvement.

Jerry Hizon, MD is a ketogenic doctor based in Murietta, California. He assists people wanting to lose weight and improve their health through ketogenic diets. His keto coaching programs can help you to track your progress and improve your success. Visit his website today to learn more, or signup online for a keto coaching session via nudge coaching.

A guide to Dairy and the Ketogenic Diet

You might have noticed that there are mixed opinions from keto diet experts about dairy. Some feel it ok to include, others think that it is not.

Dairy has received both good and bad press over the years in regards to both weight loss and overall health.

Here is why it can be confusing to the eat dairy on a keto diet: milk, ice cream, and non-fat dairy products don’t belong in a keto diet. Yet butter, cheese, and other types of full-fat dairy can be a good fit.

Here are the basic types of dairy:

  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Buttermilk
  • Butter
  • Curd
  • Cream
  • Ice Cream
  • Whey
  • Evaporated Milk
  • Condensed Milk
  • Sour Cream
  • Yogurt

In this article, we will take a closer look at dairy’s positive and adverse health effects. We will also look at some of the healthiest keto-friendly dairy choices you might want to include in your diet.
Understanding the components of dairy

To make it very simple: a dairy product is any food or beverage made from the milk of mammals.

Dairy from cow milk is by far the most common type consumed, there are also goat and sheep dairy products that are popular in some parts of the world.

When you break it down, there are four main components of dairy:

Lactose

Lactose is a disaccharide, or two-unit sugar, consisting of one molecule each of the simple sugars glucose and galactose.

The enzymes in your small intestine break down lactose into these simple sugars, which are then transported into your bloodstream.

Casein

Casein accounts for 80% of the total protein in dairy, including all nine essential amino acids. When milk is treated with the enzyme rennet to make cheese, the casein coagulates into curds, and the liquid portion containing whey is removed. Compared to whey and other proteins, casein can take longer to digest.

Whey

Whey protein makes up the remaining 20% of the protein in milk.

Most of the whey is removed during the process of making cheese. Like casein, whey contains all the essential amino acids, although it is digested much more rapidly.

Fatty Acids

There are hundreds of different fatty acids in milk, and the vast majority are saturated:

Saturated: 70% of total dairy fat, including 11% as short-chain fatty acids like butyrate and caproic acid

Monounsaturated: 25% of total dairy fat

Polyunsaturated: 5% of total dairy fat, including 2.5% naturally occurring trans fatty acids. Dairy trans fats are very different from the industrial trans fats found in margarine and other processed foods. Dairy trans fatty acids seem to have neutral or potentially even beneficial effects on health.

How much dairy is too much for ketosis?

While one cup of whole milk won’t harm you (or kick you out of ketosis), it is a bit higher in carbohydrate content than preferred for those on a low carb or ketogenic diet.

For this reason, milk can contribute to the hidden carbs that you may forget to factor into your keto macronutrient goals for the day.

Some examples of the types of dairy you can eat on keto are:

  • Greek yogurt
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Spreadable cheeses including cottage cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, mascarpone, creme fraiche.
  • Soft Cheese including mozzarella, brie, blue, colby, monterey jack.
  • Hard Cheese including aged cheddar, parmesan, feta, swiss.

Of course, remember that there is a calorie component to cheeses and creams and that consuming a significant amount may reduce your weight loss.

As with most foods, enjoy a reasonable amount of dairy (in moderation), and you will enjoy the benefits of staying in ketosis.

Whether you’re looking to lose weight, manage a chronic medical condition, or simply want to overhaul your eating habits, changing your diet for the better is one of the best ways to improve your overall health.

Dr Jerry Hizon, MD strives to demystify the complex science of nutrition, giving his patients sound nutritional guidance designed to set them up for long-term dietary success, whatever their specific goals may be.

What to know about a Ketogenic Diet during Pregnancy

There is a lot of agreeance among the health and nutrition fields that point to a ketogenic diet as an aid to fertility. While ketosis can be helpful in helping one get pregnant, the question is: is it safe to maintain a keto diet while pregnant?

Ketosis vs. Ketoacidosis

There is a bit of controversy whether the answer to this question is yes or no, and most doctors are still trying to “get with the curve” and understand/ grasp what a ketogenic diet is. Such doctors in the latter half of the controversy, are hesitant to recommend or even steer patients away from “low-carb” dieting while pregnant based on their concerns not on ketosis, but something called ketoacidosis.

Ketoacidosis is a state in which the body has an extremely high number of ketones and blood sugar levels. The result is a dangerous acid-base (pH) imbalance. Such a state is unhealthy for any individual, pregnant or not.
Ketosis, on the other hand, is a metabolic state in which the body uses fats (ketones) as fuel versus carbohydrates. In ketosis blood sugar is normal, there is a healthy pH (acid-base) balance, and ketone levels are relatively low. This is considered a “healthy” state of the body.

Maintaining a healthy keto diet leads to a state of ketosis, not ketoacidosis. Ketosis can be healthy for both mom and child when it comes to pregnancy.

Natural Pregnancy and Ketosis Connection

Keto and pregnancy are naturally connected. Nausea and curved appetite during pregnancy cause many women to go in and out of ketosis naturally. In addition, pregnant women naturally become insulin resistant to provide the developing child with proper nutrients, making them more sensitive to carbohydrate intake. Thus, maintaining a ketogenic diet during pregnancy may help aid these natural processes.

In addition, ketosis can be a healthy and natural adaptation for the baby. Keto-adapted babies have an easier time converting ketones to acetyl-coA and myelin. Such conversions aid in brain and neural development of the child.

Eat Whole Foods and Listen to Your Body

While a keto diet, and ketosis, can be good for both the mother and child throughout pregnancy, there are a few fundamental concepts to consider.

Do not focus on weight loss. Many who start the keto diet do so for the weight loss benefits. This should not be the goal of pregnant women on keto. It is important that both the mother and child get the proper nutrients and calories and weight gain is a natural and healthy component of pregnancy.

Do not be strict keto. It is not uncommon to go in and out of ketosis just based on fluctuations in appetite and nausea throughout pregnancy. Listen to your body and the baby and do not fret or put your body through additional stress to try and maintain a constant state of ketosis. If your craving a piece of whole grain sourdough toast, feed the baby what it wants.

Whole food, nutrient-dense, and calorie sufficient should be the focus. This may be redundant, but when pregnant, making sure the baby and mother get proper nutrients and caloric intake is the primary concern when it comes to diet. The best way to achieve these things is to eat whole foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, and grass-fed meats. One should avoid processed and packaged foods.

Breast Feeding and Ketosis

It is recommended that one breastfeeds, on or off keto. Breast milk is better than formula. Breast milk is high in natural fats, whereas most formulas are high in carbohydrates and sugar. If one has the ability, breast milk is a better option to make sure the baby is getting proper nutrients and not getting addicted to a high carbohydrates and sugar diet at a young age.

Additionally, coconut oil, a common component of the keto diet, can assist in lactation and allows breast milk to contain lauric acid that helps support a babies’ healthy metabolism.

Clinical Guidance

It is highly suggested that you start the diet before getting pregnant. Switching from burning primarily carbohydrates as fuel to fats as fuel can be a stressful transition on your body. Avoid extra stress on the baby and mom by navigating this transition before conception.

Also, it is best to have some clinical guidance while maintaining a ketogenic diet during pregnancy. A doctor can make sure that both the mother and the baby are getting enough nutrients and calories and monitor healthy levels for both mom and child. Because some health professionals are still trying to “catch-up” to the ketogenic diet, it may be helpful to explain your dietary choice as one in which you are avoiding sugar and focusing on healthy vegetables, fruits, and proteins versus telling them you are on a keto diet. Or better yet, seek a health professional that does understand the keto diet.

Take-Away Message

It is safe and arguably healthier for both mom and child to maintain a ketogenic diet during pregnancy. It is vital that the mother listens to her body, gets enough calories, and focuses on whole food consumption during this process. It is recommended that a mother seek clinical guidance to help navigate and monitor.

Dr Jerry Hizon

Is the Ketogenic diet effective for men?

A lot of people are interested in the ketogenic diet as a way to increase weight loss and improve their health. At a recent talk I gave about the benefits of the keto diet, I noticed something interesting: the majority of the audience were women.

It is amazing how few men are aware of, and reaping the benefits of the ketogenic diet. Why men are less interested in dieting as a whole has always been an area of curiosity for me.

From my observation, there are some significant gender-specific differences when it comes to nutrition. Women tend to have a higher awareness and better knowledge of nutrition than men. They also seek nutrition counseling more frequently than men do.

Studies have shown that women eat more fruits, vegetables, cereals, milk, dairy products and whole grain products, whereas the consumption of red meat, particularly pork, sausages, eggs, alcohol, and high sucrose foods is higher in men.

Men’s approach towards nutrition is uncomplicated and pleasure-orientated whereas women have an ambivalent attitude to food. Women are typically less satisfied with their weight.

For this reason, restricted eating, dieting, and eating disorders are much more common in women. Men tend to control their weight with exercising and implement diets often for health reasons more than appearance.

The prevalence of obesity is similar between men and women. However, men are more frequently overweight.

For this reason, adopting a ketogenic diet can be an excellent way for men to get their weight under control. And because of the simplicity and pleasurable foods that can be eaten on the keto diet (bacon, anyone?), it is easier for men to stick to than other diets.

Just google the term ‘keto diet results,’ and you will see how beneficial it can be for both men and women.

In my experience, men enjoy a more simple, streamlined approach to eating. So, for men looking to start a keto diet, here are a simple few tips to follow:

Think Fat

Because men enjoy protein-rich foods, it is often easy to consume too many proteins. It is better to seek fatty cuts of meat or foods with lots of butter and fat. There are many healthy ways to get your fats increased in your diet. The key is always to ask ‘how can I get more fat in this meal?’


Stay above ground

Generally speaking, the best vegetables to help you on the keto diet are those that grow above ground. Leafy greens (kale, spinach, chard) are the best, in fact, anything in the salad variety works well to keep your carbs low. Vegetables that grow below ground (potatoes, carrots, beets) are higher in carbs and reduce the ability for your body to stay in ketosis.

Say no to beer

Perhaps one of the easiest ways to lose weight (and improve your health) is to reduce the amount of alcohol in your diet. When it comes to the keto diet, the best way to lower your carbs is to stop drinking beer. Beer contains both carbs and sugar, which both are going to mess with your ketone levels. If you really need to consume alcohol, then the best are liquors such as gin, vodka, tequila, etc. A glass or two of red wine can also be a great alternative to beer.

These are just some basic tips to help me on the path to better health on the keto diet. As I said before, it is rare to see men interested in their diet, but the keto approach I believe is about as simple (and enjoyable as you can get).

Hopefully, as more research shows the success of the keto diet for men, there will be a larger uptake of adoption.

Dr. Jerry Hizon

Snacking and keto: is it allowed?


The simple answer is, yes.

Snacking on the ketogenic diet is most definitely allowed. However, since the ketogenic diet is so high in fats, most find that they don’t need snacks to remain satiated until next meal. For those who are accustomed to snacking or hold busy schedules and may need snacks to get them through to their next meals, though, there are options one can indulge in and still remain in ketosis.

Here are a few important things to take into consideration in order to snack the right way on keto:

  1. Stick to macros: Make sure snacks are high in fat, low in carbs, and moderate in protein.
  2. Never go without keto-options: The last things you need is to be unprepared when hunger strikes in between meals. satisfying their hunger with the only easy and available options like bagels or bananas, kicking one out of ketosis.
  3. Don’t overdue the prepackaged snacks: Yes, there are some healthier and keto-friendly packaged food options, but most packaged food contains preservatives and other added ingredients not as healthy for our bodies. Keep consumption of these products to a minimum.
  4. Take time to prep: Buying and prepping the right keto-friendly options can help one remain in ketosis by eating healthy snacks and avoid overconsumption of prepackaged snacks mentioned above.
  5. When in doubt, test: If you are not sure whether or not a snack option is keto-friendly, test your ketone levels (they won’t lie).
  6. Not all low-carb snacks are created equal: Many low-carb snack options, like Atkins products, contain large amounts of protein and added ingredients to make up for lack of carbohydrates. Avoid
  7. Stick with a few basic rules-of-thumb: Stick to items with 5 or less ingredients. Stick to the outside circle of the grocery stores. Eat whole-food based snacks as much as possible. Avoid foods with large health food claims, most are false or have unnecessary added ingredients.

With these general guidelines in mind, we have included some great keto snacks below with some tips on how to keep each keto-friendly. It is important to have a few of these snacks on hand at all times to kick cravings and keep your body properly fueled but in ketosis throughout each day.

Store-bought Keto-Friendly Snacks:

  • Pork rinds
  • Seeds
  • Nuts or nut butters
  • Dark chocolate
  • Sardines
  • Pepperoni or salami
  • Cheese
  • Cacao nibs
  • Olives
  • Jerky
  • Seaweed
  • Hummus
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Veggie sticks
  • Avocados
  • Coconut chips

Homemade Keto-Friendly Snacks:

  • Fat bombs
  • Bulletproof coffee
  • Bacon
  • Kale chips
  • Celery and cream cheese
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Guacamole
  • Lettuce wraps
  • Berries and cream

Common snack foods to avoid on keto:

These options should be avoided as most contain large amounts of refined carbs and sugars)

  • Bananas or grapes
  • Cashews and peanuts
  • Juices and vitamin water
  • Café Lattes
  • Potato chips
  • Donuts
  • Chocolate bars

In summary, if you feel the need to eat a snack on keto, just be prepared to have the right types of foods available. As always, preparation is key to you success. The more you think ahead, the more success you will have with you snacking on a keto diet.

Dr Jerry Hizon

A Typical Day on the Keto Diet

Just like trying anything new, switching to the keto diet and getting used to what to eat, how much to eat, and when to eat can be hard at first.

Rest assured, all of these things will become easier and habitual with time.

In this article, we have included what a typical day on the keto diet may look like.

These are just some examples of typical meals and snacks, as you delve into your ketogenic journey, you should adapt your diet to match your lifestyle.

A Typical Keto Breakfast

A lot of people who embark on the ketogenic diet incorporate intermittent fasting into their routines. This means that they typically don’t consume meals past 8:00 p.m. on a given day, and before 12:00 p.m. the next day. Often, this means skipping breakfast and just supplementing with a keto-coffee to get them through the morning until lunchtime.

Keto coffee is coffee with added (and sometimes blended for added creaminess) ghee, butter, MCT oil, or coconut oil. If one isn’t intermittent fasting, a typical keto breakfast consists of eggs and bacon cooked in butter or avocado oil.

Adding mushrooms or spinach to these egg scrambles for some fiber and added nutrients or avocado for some added fats is not uncommon.

A Typical Keto Lunch

A ketogenic lunch usually consists of a fatty cut of meat (80/20 steaks or chicken of fatty fish like salmon) coupled with a spinach salad or some form of low-carb vegetable and an additional fat source. To add an extra fat component salads and veggies are topped with a good amount of extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil, coconut flakes, flax seed, sunflower seeds, or even avocado. Meats are often cooked in ghee, butter, or oil to add an additional source of good fats.

A Typical Keto Dinner

Dinner is typically similar to a ketogenic lunch, however often in more substantial portions since it is often the last meal until 12:00 p.m. the next day. It consists of a fatty protein, low carb vegetable, and an additional fat source.

Fatty steaks or chicken wings served with cauliflower rice and/or buttered zucchini noodles serves as an example. Adding dressings and sauces to these dishes can not only be used to add flavor, but also increase fat intake.

Typical Keto Snacks

Most of the time, snacks are not needed on the ketogenic diet, as the higher fat intake makes one feel satiated until the next meal. Common snack choices for the rare times one needs them include: a handful or two of nuts (especially macadamia nuts with their high omega-6 fats), an avocado with some olive oil and a sprinkle of Himalayan salt, hard boiled eggs, cured meats, cubed cheese, a spoonful of nut butter or some fat bombs.

Another common and recommended thing to have on hand, especially when first transitioning or when one has a busy schedule is MCT oil or supplements. These can help one kick carb cravings and remain in ketosis until the next meal.

Keto and Hydration

It is important to note that a typical ketogenic diet consists of lots of electrolytes and fluids to combat dehydration. That means drinking a large glass of water upon waking in the morning and before coffee or breakfast, adding salts to most food choices throughout the day, and consuming roughly 10-12 glasses of water minimum throughout the day.

So there you go, an example of a typical day on the ketogenic diet. Of course, these are just a guide to work with, and you will create your own version of the keto diet and lifestyle as you continue on your journey.

Dr Jerry Hizon

The Ketogenic Diet guide to Fats and Oils

Since adopting a ketogenic diet means switching one’s diet to be mainly composed of fats, it is important to know the ‘good’ fats and oils (healthy) from the ‘bad’ fats and oils (ie. unhealthy) in order to make this switch in a healthy manner.

With this in mind, lets take a quick look at the types of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ fats (and oils), their benefits, recommended uses based on their smoke points and the products that contain each to help you navigate this transition.

‘Good’ Fats and Oils

Fats considered “good” keto options for health purposes can be broken down into 4 categories: saturated fats, monosaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and naturally occurring trans fats.

The health benefits of ‘good fats’ include improved LDL and HDL cholesterol levels, increased immune function, maintenance of bone density, lowered blood pressure, reduced belly fat, reduced insulin resistance, etc.
Saturated fats (and oils)

Recommended use:
High temperature cooking
Sautéing
Naking
Deep frying

Recommended sources:
Red meat (preferably grass-fed or organic)
Ghee
Butter
Lard
Cream
Eggs
Coconut oil or butter
Palm oil
Eggs
Cacao butter
MCT oil or powder
Raw, whole milk

Coconut oil is especially beneficial because it contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) that are readily broken down by the liver and used as a form of energy. MCT supplements can also be taken and are a great source of healthy saturated fats.

Monosaturated fats (MUFAs) and oils

Recommended use:
Cold use and light cooking
Simmer sauces and vegetables
Cold salad dressings
Baking
Finishing dishes
Nut and seed oils should be reserved only for cold use

Recommended sources:
Olives and extra virgin olive oil
Avocado and avocado oil
Macadamia nuts and macadamia nut oil
Goose fat
Lard and bacon fat
Duck fat
Cashews
Almonds
Brazil nuts
Pecans
Chicken fat

Polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) and oils

Recommended use:
Cold use and light cooking
Simmer sauces and vegetables
Cold salad dressings
Baking
Finishing dishes
Nut and seed oils should be reserved only for cold use

Recommended sources:
Olives and extra virgin olive oil
Flaxseeds and flaxseed oils
Walnuts
Wild, fatty fish (i.e. salmon, tuna, trout, and mackerel)
Sesame oil
Chia seeds
Nut oils (not as many peanuts because high in Omega 6s)
Avocado oil
Krill oil
Sunflower seeds
Pumpkin seeds

Naturally occurring trans fats (and oils)

Recommended use:
High-heat or cold cooking

Recommended sources:
Grass-fed animal products (grain-fed animal products are high in Omega 6s)
Dairy (i.e. butter and full-fat yogurt)

‘Bad’ Fats and oils

‘Bad’ fats (ie. unhealthy) include processed trans and polyunsaturated fats. These should be avoided when increasing your fat intake on keto as they have negative health effects: increased risk of heart disease, increased risk of cancer, increased risk of diabetes, reduced HDL and increased LDL cholesterol, decreased gut health, increased inflammation, decreased immunity, etc.

Sources of processed trans and polyunsaturated fats to avoid:

Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils
Margarine
Packaged crackers
Packaged cookies
Cottonseed oil
Sunflower oil
Safflower oil
Soybean oil
Canola oil
Fast food

As a general rule-of-thumb, avoid all packaged and processed snack foods. They usually contain processed trans and polyunsaturated fats.

In summary, as you increase your overall fat intake on the ketogenic diet, is important to increase saturated fats (i.e. butter, red meats, and coconut oil), monounsaturated fats (i.e. avocado and extra-virgin olive oil), polyunsaturated fats (i.e. salmon or flax seed), and naturally occurring trans fats (i.e. grass-fed animal products or dairy).

You should avoid processed trans and polyunsaturated fats (i.e. margarine or packaged snack foods). You must be careful in how you cook and use “good’ fats, in order to receive their health benefits and avoid excess free radical consumption.

Dr Jerry Hizon