January 03, 2020 4 min read

The Ketogenic diet seems to be all the rage these days. You can’t even mention the word “diet” without the word “Keto” jumping into the conversation.

In this article, we will talk about exactly what a ketogenic diet entails.

What is the Keto Diet?

In a nutshell, the concepts that comprise the ketogenic diet are not overly complicated. The human body has two primary fuel sources, Glucose (Carbohydrates) and Ketones (Fats). More so than not, our bodies will primarily use glucose as its main fuel source, but when glucose is in short supply, your body will switch over to primarily using ketones.

Ketones are produced in the liver, from fat. From there, they can become a fuel source not only for your body, but also for your brain. Like stated earlier, your body and brain need a source of energy, coming either from glucose or ketones.

When properly utilizing a ketogenic diet, your body will switch from using glucose as its primary fuel source and begin using ketones. Research shows that this will make it easier to burn off stored fat as well, when the bodies primary fuel source is also coming from fats.

When the human body has become adapted to running of ketones, it is said that you have reached ketosis.

Keto Tips for Beginners

There are many different things to consider when it comes to picking the right diet for yourself, but that isn’t necessarily what this article is discussing. For those curious on how to start a keto  diet, below will be some general tips to consider:

  1. Fasting for extended amounts of time have been shown to help the human body kick-up ketone production (Fasting can deplete glucose in the body fairly rapidly)
  2. When eating, you want fats to compose anywhere from 70-80% of your total nutrient intake. 
  3. You want to keep carbohydrates as low as possible, shooting for 20-30g or even less per day, making sure they are coming mainly from fat/vegetable sources. 
  4. You also want to monitor protein intake, keeping it between about 20-25% of total nutrient intake (The ketogenic diet is NOT a high protein diet, but more of a moderate to low protein diet due to the body’s ability to convert protein into glucose)
  5. As with any eating habits or diet, you always want to make sure water intake is high (general recommendations are to shoot for 120oz of water per day)
  6. Look into keto-specific supplements ... there are many products out there that can make the transitioning period much easier on you.

What to Eat When Following a Ketogenic Diet?

Now that we have provided a list of basic tips, let’s talk a little bit about what types of food will generally make up a keto style diet.

A Basic Keto Meal Plan typically includes:

  • Meats (typically meats that are higher in fat)
  • Fish and Seafood
  • Natural fats/oils
  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Non-Starchy Vegetables

(Remember, you should be aiming to intake less than 20-30g of carbohydrates per day)

Foods to Avoid:

  • Fruit
  • Potatoes and Starchy Vegetables
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Breads
  • Juice
  • Soda
  • Candy
  • Anything high in carbs and sugar

What are the benefits of the Keto Diet?

The most common reason someone starts a keto style diet is weight loss. By increasing your body’s ability to use fat for fuel, research does show that the body’s ability to tap into stored fat will be improved. This can lead to better fat loss.

Other benefits of keto can include:

  • Less hunger and better appetite control throughout the day
  • Better energy and focus
  • Better control of blood sugar (a useful tool for someone battling type 2 diabetes)
  • Improved gut health and digestion
  • Better athletic endurance
  • Research has even shown improvements in certain health issues, such as epilepsy, migraines, and even mental health

What Supplements are Keto Friendly?

I’d like to start this section with a real quick point on what supplements ARE NOT keto friendly. This should be fairly easy to point out after reading above, but just in case. 

Supplements to Avoid:

  • Mass Gainers (Typically high in carbs/sugars)
  • Intra-Workout Endurance drinks (Usually contain some type of carbohydrate)
  • Post Workout Carbohydrate Supplements
  • Anything containing a high carb count or sugar

Keto-Friendly Supplements include:

  • MCT Oil
  • Fish Oils/Essential Fatty Acids
  • Digestive Enzymes
  • Exogenous Ketones
  • Greens Powders
  • Electrolyte Supplements
  • Creatine
  • Most Fat-Burning Products
  • Caffeine
  • Protein powders (check the carbs per serving. This varies from product to product)
  • Beta Alanine 

Not only are the above keto friendly, almost all of them will actually provide benefits when following a keto diet.  At Supplement Superstores, we carry all of the products mentioned above.  Feel free to stop in and check out our selection of keto-friendly supplements!

Is the Ketogenic Diet Right for You?

Should you be utilizing a keto diet? It really isn’t a yes or no answer. The way you choose to eat should depend on a lot of factors, such as fitness goal, general health goal, finances, food availability, job, adherence, etc.  In the standard western diet, carbs are usually everywhere, while high fat, low carb foods tend to be few and far in between.  The ketogenic diet, just like any diet, works best when it becomes part of your lifestyle.

If what we have discussed today interests you, by all means, give it a try!

The “best diet” will always come down to two things, ADHERENCE and SUSTAINABILITY. If it is not something you can stick with long term or adhere too, then it is not the diet for you! 

**This article was written by Andrew Lynn.  Andrew is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, and NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist and has a Bachelors in Science Nutrition and Dietetics.