Westshore Blog

What’s Up With the Keto Diet?

You likely know someone who’s on the keto diet, or maybe you’ve tried it yourself?  It’s not a new thing – it was actually common as therapy for epilepsy in the 1920s and 1930s – but it’s certainly becoming mainstream and is creating a lot of buzz in the nutrition and health industry.  So what is this keto thing all about anyways?  We checked in with our wellness professionals at GNC for all the deets, and here’s what they said about the ketogenic diet:

“A ketogenic diet (“keto” for short) is an eating plan that includes lots of fat, a moderate amount of protein, and a small amount of carbohydrates. The general idea behind eating this way is that – over an extended period of time – eating very high-fat, low-carb will trigger a metabolic adaptation in the body.  Specifically, it will promote a state of ketosis.”

And what is this ketosis thing you ask?  Again, we asked our friends at GNC for a quick biology lesson:

“Ketosis is a metabolic state that occurs when your body begins drawing its energy primarily from “ketones” rather than glucose.  Ketones can readily be converted into energy when transported to your body through the bloodstream.  They are formed in your liver and are derived from fat, a process which accelerates when the body has few other sources of energy (like carbohydrates).  The time it takes to reach ketosis varies from one person to another, but most can enter a ketogenic state after several days of severe carbohydrate restriction.  Healthy individuals that restrict carbohydrate intake but maintain an adequate total calorie intake will enter this state when glycogen stores are depleted.”

What can we eat on the keto plan?  All sugar (including most fruits) and starches such as breads, pastas, potatoes and rice are out, and fats (think coconut oil, olive oil and avocados), low-carb veggies, meats and seafood are in.  Complete lists of allowed foods are all over the web and very easy to find.

Proceed with caution:  diet and exercise are always about personal choice, what works for one person may not work for another, particularly when you factor in lifestyle and physical capabilities.  We certainly aren’t here to tell you whether keto is good or bad, but we will say that before you jump into any new exercise or diet regime, make sure you speak to your doctor or health professional.  Then, go have a chat with our friends at GNC to see what products are available that align with your goals.


Excerpts courtesy of GNC.com