April 16, 2019 by Dr “Chris” Ibikunle – Bariatric and Reflux Surgeon
Why the Keto Diet Has Gained So Much Popularity Recently
Even if you’re young or don’t read about diet and health, you’re probably aware of a tremendous shift in the kinds of foods that Americans started producing and buying over the last few decades. Keto diet is one of the prescribed solutions to counteract the effects of processed foods in our diet.
We eat more processed foods, fewer fresh foods, and larger portions than our grandparents and great-grandparents did, and it’s showing up as epidemics in obesity and metabolic diseases among every age group.
By eating trans fats, hydrogenated oils, sugar (especially high-fructose corn syrup), and factory-raised animals who’re fed unnatural diets and live under stressful conditions, we’ve have lowered the amount of nutrients our bodies get, while upping the calorie count.
The problem was compounded by misguided advice that urged us all to eat fewer fats and more carbohydrates. The low-fat, high-carb approach to dieting led to unsustainable weight loss, weight regain, and spikes in insulin that trigger fat storage.
Burning a new type of fuel
The ketogenic (keto) diet is a low-carbohydrate approach to eating that might seem counterintuitive the first time you hear about it. Instead of limiting dietary fat, keto’s aim is to train your body to burn fat by cutting out sugar and high-glycemic carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, and white potatoes.
Keto puts your body into a metabolic state called “ketosis,” in which all the calories you need come from energy-rich ketones produced by your liver after it digests fatty acids. Expert doctor and surgeon Dr. Christopher Ibikunle of the Atlanta Body Institute in Atlanta, recommends keto for women and men who want to:
- Lose weight
- Reduce disease-causing inflammation
- Increase energy levels
- Eliminate brain fog
- Lower blood sugar
- Lower cholesterol
- Improve overall health
The keto diet originated decades ago to help children who had epilepsy. It’s also used to treat or prevent other diseases, including type 2 diabetes and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
Before conducting any medically supervised weight loss at the Atlanta Body Institute, our doctors perform a thorough medical exam and order a blood panel. We let you know if keto is the right diet for you.
Forget calories; think Keto Diet nutrients
If you’ve counted calories when attempting to lose weight, you’ll welcome Keto’s emphasis on eating sufficient quantities of whole foods without worrying about the total calorie count. Instead, Dr. Ibikunle and the rest of our team urge you to focus on the nutritional value of the foods you eat, as well as their quality.
The first step is to eliminate high-carb foods that cause your body to store fat rather than burn it, as well as foods that cause inflammation, including:
- Grains (including whole grains, breads, and pasta)
- Sugars (including honey, agave, and high-glycemic fruits such as cherries)
- Starchy vegetables (white potatoes, too many yams)
- All processed foods
- Conventional, unfermented dairy
- Legumes (beans and peanuts)
On the keto diet, you get about 75% of your energy from high-quality fats, 20% from grass-fed, pastured animal protein (including fatty fish and eggs), and 5% from carbohydrates.
Most vegetables are low in carbs but are supercharged with nutrients, so you can enjoy as many as you like. And since you’re eating a high-fat diet, you can flavor steamed, sauteed, or raw veggies with rich, satisfying fats such as grass-fed butter, ghee, and olive oil.
Don’t guess about Keto Diet, know
By working with the Atlanta Body Institute, you’ll know whether your body has gone into ketosis and is burning ketones for energy, instead of sugar. We’re also here to help you learn how to adjust to new ways of eating and thinking about food.
While you may worry about restricting beloved foods like bread and cake, we encourage you to think about the amazing array of new flavors and textures that keto opens up to you, including delicious, filling fats that you can eat alone or on vegetables, such as:
- Bacon (pastured, uncured pork only)
- Grass-fed butter and ghee
- Virgin coconut oil
- Virgin olive oil (not for cooking)
- Pastured lard
- Pastured bone marrow (good for bone broth)
Unlike other low-carb diets that are sometimes mistaken for keto, a true ketogenic diet does not require protein loading. In fact, proteins are kept to between 20% to 30% of your diet to reduce the risk of your body converting proteins to sugar (an unwanted process called gluconeogenesis). Keto-friendly protein choices include:
- Grass Fed beef and lamb
- Fatty, omega-3 rich fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines)
- Pastured eggs
- Organic turkey and chicken
- Pastured gelatin
- Pastured organ meats (livers, kidneys, hearts)
- Macadamia nuts, pecans, walnuts
Our team helps you identify Keto-friendly foods and can even steer you toward recipes that your whole family can enjoy. You can expect benefits such as more energy, clearer skin, and better sleep.
The keto diet is part of a series of lifestyle changes we may recommend to optimize your weight and health, including exercise and sufficient hydration with filtered water. To find out if the keto diet is right for you, call us today or book an appointment online.
About The Author:
Clinical Professor of Surgery, Augusta University and University of Georgia
Fellow, American College of Surgeons
Member, American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
Dr Chris is the CEO of Georgia SurgiCare and its subsidiaries, the premier Same Day Surgery center in Georgia. He is an Augusta University Professor of Surgery who specializes in all aspects of General and Bariatric Surgery, including acid reflux, weight loss, gallbladder, hernia repair and cancer care. He is a leader in his field and at the forefront of technology, committed to providing high-quality, personalized and compassionate care to patients every day. As a testament to his hard work and dedication, Dr Chris has received numerous prestigious awards and distinctions such as SBDC Business Development and Innovation Award, Best of Gwinnett.
For more information regarding Keto-Diet, please go to:
- Healthline.com The Ketogenic Diet: A Detailed Beginner’s Guide to Keto
DietDoctor.com The Ketogenic Diet: A Detailed Beginner’s Guide to Keto
- Havard University https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/ketogenic-diet-is-the-ultimate-low-carb-diet-good-for-you-2017072712089
- WebMD https://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-ketogenic-diet
- Cleveland Clinic https://health.clevelandclinic.org/what-is-the-keto-diet-and-should-you-try-it/