The Ketogenic Diet: Everything you need to know (including what foods to eat)

The ketogenic diet was originally created in the 1920's to help epilepsy suffers, but looks set to become the go-to radical weight-loss programme

If you haven’t heard of the ketogenic diet yet, you soon will – especially since it has been heralded as the diet responsible for Kim Kardashian’s baby weight loss. And as with all new eating plans, we always want to know, just who came up with the ketogenic diet? It turns out this was first devised by endocrinologist Dr Geyelin in 1921 to curb seizures in epilepsy sufferers, he discovered that a strict diet involving a 4:1 ratio of fats to proteins and carbohydrates resulted in a dramatic reduction in inflammation throughout the digestive system – a common cause of epilepsy.

So, just what does ketogenic mean?

The ketogenic diet involves eating high amounts of ‘good’ fat, such as nuts, cream and butter and cutting out white bread, pasta, grains and sugar. Eating large amounts of ‘healthy’ fat curbs hunger pangs, which means less calories are consumed over all. The regime is also heralded as an answer to higher energy levels and better muscle tone and followers of the keto way say it really does work.

A lot of people ask if the ketogenic diet is safe? Whilst it does sound extreme and you should check with your GP first, if done it should be simplified for at-home dieting, as the strict regime epilepsy sufferers embark on is monitored in hospitals and if done at home, can alter blood lipid parameters. However, eating this diet has been found to have many other health benefits, from combatting cancer, to delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

Sounds good. But what can I eat?

Much like the Atkins, the best foods to eat are what we’ve come to know as healthy proteins, such as salmon, avocado and all natural peanut butter, as well as eggs and a limited range of green veggies, including kale, spinach and cucumber. You can also say goodbye to all grains, as well as bread, pasta and your favourite sugary treats. We didn’t say it would be easy…

Who follows the Ketogenic Diet already?

The ketogenic diet has a number of celebrity fans, including Mick Jagger (who’s just become a dad again aged 72 – is that down to keto eating?) Megan Fox and Adriana Lima, but most recently, the ketogenic diet plan has been linked to Kim Kardashian‘s rapid baby weight loss. However, it is worth nothing that whilst Kim may have stuck to some levels of keto eating, she didn’t actually cut out carbs to ketogenic levels. According to reports, the Keeping Up With The Kardashians star apparently limited herself to 60 grams of carbs a day, whereas on a ‘true’ 1,800 calorie ketogenic diet, her carb intake would have been as low as 9-18 grams per day.

Any Ketogenic recipe ideas?

There are loads of tasty Ketogenic recipes to be found in Ketogenic Diet: 50 delicious, Ketogenic Recipes And The Complete Guide To Going Ketogenic by Martin Rowland (£7.49).

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