Ketogenic Diet 101

What is the ketogenic diet?

The ketogenic diet consists of getting most of your calories from fats! Infact 70% from fats, 25% from protein and only 5% from carbohydrates. Eating on such low carbohydrates, forces the body to start using fats as its main source of energy instead of carbohydrates. The byproduct of fat metabolism is ketones, which is where the name “ketogenic” diet comes from.

The ketogenic diet was originally utilized for treating seizures and epilepsy, however today many studies have come out supporting the many benefits of the diet.

What can ketogenic diet help?

  • Weight loss
  • Diabetes
    • Improves blood sugar control
    • Improves insulin regulation
  • Improve mental health
  • Epilepsy
  • Seizure disorders
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Migraines
  • Improves cholesterol levels
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Acne

Can you have negative side effects from the diet?

Studies have found that ketogenic diets can lead to constipation, diarrhea, headaches, bad breathe, muscle cramps, general weakness and rash (Yancy, 2006). It is advised that you have regular check ups with your docotor when starting a strict ketogenic diet to make sure you’re not experiencing side effects from the diet.


Who should never do the ketogenic diet?

Switching your body to ketosis requires your body to utilize fat metabllism over carbohydrate metabolism. Those who have genetic errors that affect fat metabolism can lead to catabolic crisis. Those who have primary carnitine deficiency, carnitine palmityltransferase 1 or 2 deficiency, carnitine translocase deficiency, porphyria,  fatty acid oxidation defect or pyruvate carboxylase deficiency are absolutely contraindicated to start the ketogenic diet. If you currently have or have a history of an eating disorder, any diet is contraindicated unless you’re actively working with a specialist. Talk to your doctor to make sure you don’t have any of these conditions prior to starting.


How do I start?

First calculate your total caloric intake and the percentage of fats, proteins and carbohydrates are right for you at . Use a calorie tracker (examples include myfitnesspal, cron-o-meter, lose it!) to tract your macronutrients each day to make sure you hit your daily goal.

Not all calories are created equal. Just hitting your macronutrients may not be enough. In a study they found that those who followed a ketogenic diet with a plant-based focus with a Mediterranean diet twist lost more weight than those on a ketogenic diet with high animal products (Perez et al, 2008).

Watch out for more specific blog posts on the ketogenic diet.



Pérez-Guisado, Joaquín, Andrés Muñoz-Serrano, and Ángeles Alonso-Moraga. “Spanish Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet: a healthy cardiovascular diet for weight loss.” Nutrition journal 7.1 (2008)


Yancy, W. S., Jr. (2006). A Low-Carbohydrate, Ketogenic Diet Versus a Low-Fat Diet to Treat Obesity and Hyperlipidemia: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. Yearbook of Pediatrics, 2006, 427-431. doi:10.1016/s0084-3954(07)70252-x


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Dr. Angila Jaeggli