Updated: Feb 27
The keto diet has the popular reputation for being a way to rid yourself of excess body fat, yet not really emphasizing if done correctly it is more of a lifestyle than a diet you would undertake for a couple of weeks and then falling back into your regular eating habits.
The truth is the keto diet "lifestyle" can literally enhance your life if you are willing to take the consistent action steps in consuming the foods you should and avoiding those you shouldn't.
I created this post to share with you a few facts about the keto lifestyle, alkaline vegetables, and how combining the two can be life-changing.
Q - What is the Keto "Diet" LifeStyle?
A - The ketogenic diet is a very popular way of eating right now that was originally developed very early in the last decade to treat children who had epilepsy. In short, it is a high fat, moderate protein, and very low-carb diet.
Q - Carbs Vs Fat...
A - Usually, it’s like this. When there are carbs in the body, they’re the first thing you’re using to generate energy. This is good, as you need energy. Yet, when you are constantly feeding your body carbs, and most times, too many as it is easily done and your body does not use all the energy you have created with the carbs, before you know it, they are being stored as fat.
We can obviously hit the gym or go for a run to burn the fat, yet when you eat carbs, they are the first in line to get used for energy, rather than the body fat you already have waiting to be used for the energy you generally need.
Q - How Does The Ketogenic "Diet" LifeStyle Work?
A - The main aim of the ketogenic diet is to force your body to use fats and not carbohydrates for energy. For this to happen, the idea is that you will consume a minimum amount of carbohydrates.
When your body is lacking carbohydrates, this can happen also when you fast for a few days or when you’ve been on the ketogenic diet for a while, your body is forced to find alternative sources of energy, especially for the central nervous system.
And here they come to the rescue: ketone bodies. These are formed in the mitochondrial matrix in the liver during a process called ketogenesis and can actually produce more energy compared to glucose.
We were born in a state of ketosis, only we started from consuming other sources of energy at such a young age, from the baby foods, and other meals we were given, that our bodies become accustomed to generating less and fewer ketones naturally for energy and began to rely on other sources.
So, going back to the state called Physiological ketosis, (do not confuse it with pathological ketoacidosis - a dangerous condition that can occur in type 1 diabetes patients.)
Your body is using stored fat to make ketone bodies and use it for energy, that is physiological ketosis. It is naturally using your insulin levels and does not spike, they remain low. Through this process, the ketogenic "die" lifestyle can support your body in burning fat for energy, reduce your fat levels, and improve your health.
Q - What Are the Health Benefits Of The Ketogenic Diet?
A - As I mentioned earlier, the ketogenic "diet" lifestyle is less of a typical diet you would do for a couple of weeks, it is really a way of life because of the amazing health benefits you can achieve in the process of creating healthy life-changing habits.
Therefore if you are looking for a healthy way of life that can impact your overall health, the ketogenic lifestyle is perfect. If you do have health issues, it is always advisable to speak with your health advisor, preferably a nutritional expert as this is something they specialize in apart from general medical advice.
The ketogenic lifestyle is not easy for many, especially for the first few days as your body begins to adjust, it is normal as you are eliminating toxins and foods, most likely processed foods that have become almost addictive for your system and it can create this feeling of missing out on what you think is delicious and tasty yet actually harming your body in the long run.
A few of the other benefits the ketogenic lifestyle has been used for other than reducing excess body fat are the following...
Strong evidence suggests:
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Cardiovascular Disease (this affects the amount and quality of blood cholesterol)
- Parkinsons disease
- Brain Trauma
Q - Is It Important To Consume Vegetable While Following The Ketogenic LifeStyle?
A - Many who follow the Ketogenic LifeStyle are under the impression they can just consume high-fat recIpes and forget about the vegetables. This is a big mistake.
You should aim to focus on consuming sufficient alkaline vegetables.
The reason for this is because of the numerous nutrients vegetables contain. Including the antioxidants that are crucial to protect our DNA. Our bodies have their own antioxidant system, yet it is independent. Your body may be able to produce its own antioxidants to neutralize the oxidative stress that happens when we simply live life, breath, talk, walk, work out...
Our bodies are being attacked trillions of times throughout the day by free radicals, this is what basically ages us faster. Not being able to determine exactly what is affecting your biological system with every breath you take, compared to that of other individuals, therefore we need to be aware of everything we can do to support our antioxidant levels as much as possible to prevent premature aging or illness caused by a weak DNA.
You can see a simple example of someone's basic health and antioxidant levels by the way they are aging. Not only visually, also physically, energetically, and mentally.
Don't stress if you feel you have drawn the short straw and you are aging faster than those your same age. Instead, start incorporating the daily habits that will work for you and not against you. This includes your physical activities to keep you healthy, keeping your mind alert and active, and obviously the food that you consume. This is your fuel. You would not put leaded petrol in a sports car and expect it to work the same. So the fuel you consume should be key on your list of priorities.
By consuming brightly colored vegetables, nuts, seeds, red fruits such as strawberries, blackberries, pomegranate, etc... you will be able to consume supplements that can ensure your antioxidant levels are taken care of, only you need to be aware of the ones you decide to choose. I personally consume one that contains all the nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants that my body needs on a daily basis. I am especially keen to share this particular brand as it can be measured with a simple non-invasive scan and has a money-back guarantee if the measurement does not improve over a period of three months.
Now we will touch on the very overlooked but seriously powerful topic of alkaline foods.
Alkaline foods can prevent bone demineralization, kidney stones, and support muscle mass preservation, even in older adults.
It's known that when we consume acid-forming foods, our blood will get acidic.
By consuming alkaline foods, they pull the minerals from your bones and muscles to neutralize the acid that has formed when you eat acid building foods such as meat, fish, grains, etc.
The reason for this is your blood pH is so tightly regulated when there aren't enough acid-neutralizing minerals in your diet, your body needs to supply them from its own reserves, that being your bones and muscles.
Something to keep in mind...
As with every type of mainstream diet, the ketogenic "diet" lifestyle is often misused. The majority of recipes will be paying attention to eating more fat than eating healthy foods such as vegetables. So do your personal investigation before jumping into the first eating plan you are offered or come across. It should be sustainable over a long period of time and with the ketogenic, it should be a way of life and not a quick fix.
We know that a quick fix will normally result in the YoYo effect.
Here is a list of alkaline friendly vegetables to incorporate into your ketogenic lifestyle...
- Asparagus - 1 cup, chopped, 5.20g carbs, 2.8g fiber, 2.4g net carbs1.
- Arugula - 1 cup, 0.73g carbs, 0.3g fiber, 0.43g net carbs
- Garlic - 1 clove has 0.99g carbs, 0.1g fiber,0.89g net carbs
- Spinach - 1 cup, 1.09g carbs, 0.7g fiber, 0.39g net carbs
- Swiss Chard - 1 cup has 1.35g carbs, 0.6g fiber, 0.75g net carbs
- Avocado - 1 has 11.75g carbs, 9.2g fiber, 2.75g net carbs
- Broccoli - 1/2 cup, chopped, 2.92g carbs, 1.1g fiber,1.82g net carbs
- Bok Choy - 1 cup, shredded, has 1.53g carbs, 0.7g fiber, 0.83g net carbs
- Cucumber - 1 cup has 2.57g carbs,0.8 fiber, 1.77g net carbs
- Kale - 1 cup has 0.93g carbs, 0.9g fiber, 0.03g net carbs
- Cauliflower - 1 cup, chopped, 5.32g carbs, 2.1g fiber, 3.22g net carbs
- Zucchini - 1 cup has 3.86g carbs, 1.2g fiber, 2.66g net carbs
- Celery - 1 cup has 3.00g carbs, 1.6g fiber, 1.4g net carbs
- EggPlant - 1 cup has 4.82g carbs, 2.5g fiber, 2.32g net carbs
- Cabbage - 1 cup has 5.16g carbs, 2.2g fiber, 2.96g net carbs
- Basil - 10 leaves have 0.13g carbs, 0.1g fiber, 0.03g net carbs
- Mushrooms - 1 cup, slices, has 2.28g carbs, 0.7g fiber, 1.58g net carbs
- Bell Peppers - 1 cup has 6.91g carbs, 2.5g fiber, 4.41g net carbs
- Radishes - 0.5 cup sliced, raw, 1.97g carbs, 0.9g fiber, net carbs 1.07g
- Brussels Sprouts - 1 cup has 7.88g carbs, 3.3g fiber, 4.58g net carbs
For more advice and suggestions on creating healthy eating habits that serve the lifestyle you lead, be sure to reach out to me directly here. Jump into one of our Challenges or the monthly Morning Routines For Success Members Area where you will have accountability to support you in staying consistent with the goals you create.