Wait what? 9jafoodie is writing about Keto.. nne but why. Simple answer is that the 9jafoodie blog has always been a place to educate and provide researched information on all things Nigerian food related. Whether or not I am a believer or practitioner of something, my hope is to always be objective enough to provide science based fact about it. It’s no secret that my approach to weightloss is the LIN approach which encourages the consumption of foods in all groups based on individual goals. However I do understand that my approach doesn’t work for everyone, some prefer more restrictive approach like the Keto diet and this is completely fine, as adults we are free to make our choices. My goal with this post is to inform, not to sway anyone one way or another.
I hope this post serves to enlighten you on what Keto is, how it works, why it works and necessary steps to take if you are interested in a ketogenic Nigerian diet.
What is Keto
Keto is a diet approach which require its followers to eat meals high in fat, low in protein and very low in carbohydrate. It was invented in the 1920s as a way to cure epilepsy.
The major difference between Keto and other regular low carb diets is that keto restricts both carbohydrate and protein intake instead of just carbohydrate intake. A true keto diet requires the body to be in a state of ketosis which conversely create a lower insulin environment and ultimately reduces fat store
How does Keto diet work
The premise of keto diet is that when the body is starved of carbohydrate (which is the primary source of glucose for the brain) it has no choice but to use available fat. This is achieved by a conversion process through the liver which converts fat into fatty acids and ketones. The ketones produced is then used as the primary form of energy for the brain. i.e retraining the brain to use fat as a source of energy instead of carbohydrates. When lots of ketones are present in the body, it’s said to be a state of ketosis.
So we all understand what it is now abi – Normal state = carb for energy, keto state = fat for energy.
Now before you go drinking all the oil in your house, remember two things
- Ratio of Carb to fat must be right for ketosis to occur
- Type of fat matters
What constitute a ketogenic Diet Ratio
There are primarily two types of researched keto diets.
Standard and High Protein. The difference is present in the ratio of Macro nutrients (Fat – F, Protein – P, Carbohydrates – C) required on a daily basis.
Standard Keto: 75%F – 20%P – 5%C
High Protein Keto: 60% F – 35%P – 5%C
To put things in perspective, here is what macro breakdown would look like for someone who consumes 1600 calories per day
In the world of keto, not all fats are created equal. It is best to seek out medium chain triglycerides which are said to be more ketogenic than their long chain counterparts. Because of the shorter carbon chains, these types of fat are easier for the body to convert into energy which is the primary requirement of a high ketogenic diet. The best oil of choice in this category are
- Coconut oil
- Palm oil
- Butter (organic animal fat)
- Olive oil
Who should try keto
It is extremely important that you do adequate research before embarking on any type of diet especially one that is highly fat cantered like keto. If you are unsure of your situation, please speak to a medical professional
Here is a general guideline:
- Physically healthy
- Not pregnant or looking to get pregnant
- Not breastfeeding
- No high blood pressure
As with any other super low carb diet, keto will lead to dramatic weightloss in a short period of time BUT, it’s important to note that there are health risks not only from drastically low carbohydrate consumption but also from extremely high fat consumption
- Because the liver is tasked, keto diet can lead to enlarged liver
- Extremely high fat diets can lead to coronary artery disease as well as cerebrovascular strokes
- Ratio matters! Consumption of too much carbohydrate or protein on a keto diet can potentially lead to organ failure. If the goal is ketosis, PLEASE understand and stick to recommended macro breakdown
- Science is finally inline with what we know for years that saturated fats don’t cause heart disease ; however high fat intake from unrecommended sources can still elevate blood lipids which increases the risk of heart diseases.
In all the research I read while writing this article, KETO comparative is often on low fat diet & high carb diets compared to keto. I think it’s extremely important to note that most of the purported benefits associated with keto are present on low carb, regular fat diets as well.