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Herb Omelet with Gouda cheese , Guacamole,  Shrimp Scampi with garlic butter.. yum sounds good doesn’t it?

It is delicious and a healthy addition as a low carbohydrate meal.  Just remember to balance the diet with some carbs as well. Why?

There is a lot of talk about the ketogenic diet. It is a way of eating that puts your body into ketosis, a  process by which  the body utilizes  fats and protein  (or non carbohydrate precursers we were taught) to create energy. The consumption of fats doesn’t make you fat BUT  makes your body use it as energy because there are too few carbs to use as energy. Sound possible? Yes. So far so good but if ketosis is kept up we lose a balanced way to making fuel for the brain and for making glycogen for our muscles.

The average ketogenic diet has very high fat content which can  increase cholesterol levels if saturated fat like steak is consumed frequently with cheese and butter bypassing the avocados and walnuts. (!)

Ketogenic diets may lack fiber which th GI tract needs. Fiber can come from non starchy vegetables ( and you better like your vegetables then!)  but fat and protein doesn’t have fiber and grains and starches can fulfill the fiber requirement.

One can prevent ketosis by having a a carbohydrate controlled diet maintaining 120-140 grams of carbohydrate over 3 meals and still lose weight. Why? no overeating of carbohydrates to raise blood sugars and creating increased fat cells. 40-45 grams per meal would look like this:

 Breakfast: 2/3 cup of whole grain sugar free cereal , 1 cup of milk, a handful of berries, a sprinkle of coconut sugar or an omelet and 1 piece of toast with berries on the side or 1/2 cup of juice.  

Lunch: an Avocado vegetable turkey sandwich with  2 slices of bread and salad

 Dinner: chicken breast with sauce and a small baked potato or 2/3 cup pasta  with vegetable side and a small cookie or fruit. Snacks: yogurt with fruit  or cheese and crackers.

Not bad.. This day is aprox 1500 kcals,  50-60 grams of protein 130 grams of carbohydrate.

Ketosis induced diets were tailored made for epileptic children, where it was found that the high fat diet instead of glucose fueled metabolism was better for the brain and prevented seizures.

Research ahs found that mechanisms for the weight loss effect in ketogenic diets are really a  “Reduction in appetite due to higher satiety effect of proteins [38,40], effects on appetite control hormones [41] and to a possible direct appetite suppressant action of the ketone bodies [42]”.

As a registered dietitian, I always accentuate the balance of all food intake and vote for including all carbohydrates in your diet.  The key to weight loss is portion control and protein intake.  Most vegetables are low in starch carbohydrate (5 grams per serving)  except potatoes, peas and corn and some winter squashes .  The following recipe includes tomatoes which are low carb  at 5 grams of carbohydrate per medium tomato.

Recipe:

Avocado, Tomato, Red Onion Salad with Chipotle dressing

  • 2  medium yellow tomatoes sliced
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes chopped
  • 1 whole avocado cubed
  • juice of 2 limes
  • pinch of sea salt
  • a handful of cilantro chopped
  • 1 -2 teaspoons chopped chipotles (from a can)
  •  3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 small red onion sliced

Mix the lime juice, oil,1 teaspoon of chopped chipotles and salt together and pour over the slice tomatoes, chopped cilantro, sliced red onion and avocado.

 

 

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