There are all kinds of places that you can get information about Ketogenic diets, which have been very popular for slimming loss. However, it’s not all about shifting large amount of weight, as this summary from Diabetes UK shows. Can a ketogenic diet help support good mental wellbeing?
Ketogenic diets appear to:
- Providing a ‘feel good’ effect
- Bolstering brain power
- Having antioxidant effects
Being in a state of ketosis has been shown to increase production GABA, which is a neurotransmitter. A good balance of this can lead to better focus plus reduced stress and anxiety.
The brain: not all about glucose
Research shows that it’s not just glucose the fuels the brain. In fact, ketone bodies, such as beta hydrovybutyrate, can provide an alternative fuel for the brain. Studies have shown that ketones can increase the number of mitochondria (energy-producing organelle of the cell) in brain cells. This is important for mental health and wellbeing.
What can I eat?
There are various types, or ‘degrees’ of the ketogenic diet, which restricts various amount of carbohydrate. It might take some getting used to, but there are still all kinds of amazing foods to try. What’s more, health stores also stock a wide range of keto-supporting products to help keep you within your keto goals.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. Look out for various adaptions of the ketogenic diet, one of which might suit you (under supervision of a healthcare practitioner, of course).
The most typical keto diet is very low cab, moderate protein and high fat. This is usually 70 to 75% fat, 20% protein and 5 to 10% carbohydrates. This works out, for a typical UK diet at 20-50g of carbohydrate, 40-60g of protein and no set limit for fat. There’s also plenty of vegetables, although starchy veg such as potatoes, carrots, and parsnips are often limited. Dark green leafy vegetables are a great way to fill up.
Other variations including medium chain triglycerides, such as those found in coconut oil. This is incredibly popular, and your health store will stock all kinds of MCT/coconut oil products to help with this kind of diet.
Most people on a ketogenic diet don’t feel the need to restrict their calories, as a diet rich in fats keeps the body feeling fuller for longer. Many people say that they simply don’t feel hungry, or at least if they do, it’s in the early phases when the body is getting used to a much reduced level of carbohydrate.
If a high level of fat isn’t suitable for you, a practitioner might recommend that you try an adapted, higher protein ketogenic diet (carbs are still kept to 5%).
If you haven’t got time to prepare ketogenic meals, or crave some sweet treats that are compatible with a ketogenic diet, then you can always ask in store.