KETO 101
BBC Good Food ME|June/July 2021
Lee Sandwith, CEO & Co-founder at Ingfit, discusses the various elements of the Ketogenic diet and why this high protein diet is effective for weight loss

The word keto comes from the term ketosis; a metabolic state where the body produces molecules called ketone bodies used for fuel instead of glucose. The scientific term is actually ketogenesis, which translates into generates ketones.

The body does this by using fat as the main energy source instead of carbs, essentially by converting fat into these ketone molecules. When we talk about fat, we’re talking about two things. First, dietary fat (i.e. any fat that you consume in the diet). And second, we’re talking about fat stored on your body in the form of what’s technically referred to as adipose tissue, which is just a fancy term for body fat.

The keto diet, therefore, is one which encourages the body to switch its main fuel source from glucose to ketones through the process of ketogenesis. The best way to think about ketosis is that it’s a secondary backup energy system that evolved over time to allow humans to survive and thrive during times of food scarcity. There are a number of ways to encourage the body to switch to ketosis. The most direct way is through fasting as, over time, the body will burn off any excess glucose and will need to generate the energy it needs from body fat. However, what has become popular over recent years is what’s called nutritional ketosis. This is where we drive ketosis through making changes to the diet; specifically, by keeping carbs incredibly low.

THE BENEFITS

This diet requires a very disciplined approach to macronutrients, primarily carbs and protein. Carbs must be kept incredibly low, normally in the region of 20-50g per day for newbies; however, this varies from person to person. For example, people who are more experienced, or what we call “fat adapted” or folks who are extremely athletic, can usually tolerate much higher levels without impacting ketosis. Personally, I can tolerate high levels whilst still maintaining high ketone levels, often up to 200g per day!

MYTH DEBUNKED!

The major myth is that keto causes ketoacidosis; a dangerous condition where the body produces dangerously high levels of ketone bodies, which can lead to a coma or be fatal. It is mainly seen in people with Type 1 Diabetes and for that reason, it’s usually called Diabetic Ketoacidosis. The issue is where the body can’t produce enough insulin to use glucose. This is not the same as nutritional ketosis which produces ketone levels around three to five times lower than ketoacidosis.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM BBC GOOD FOOD MEView All

Flavours of the month

What’s hot and happening around town this month

3 mins read
BBC Good Food ME
August 2021

Use up your leftovers

Discover how to make our recipes stretch further, plus tips for storecupboard odds and ends

1 min read
BBC Good Food ME
August 2021

Fun for everyone

Spend this summer exploring some of this city’s most exciting attractions

2 mins read
BBC Good Food ME
August 2021

Spiced sticky wings

Our clever recipe will give you crisp hot wings straight from the oven – there’s no need for deep-frying

2 mins read
BBC Good Food ME
August 2021

Tried & tasted

Our top dining experiences this month

6 mins read
BBC Good Food ME
August 2021

COOKING PROJECT - Mango chutney

Spend some time making this mango chutney and capture summer in a jar. We’ve used a classic blend of aromatics and spices, but you can adjust it to suit your own taste. Serve alongside curries, with cheese or in sandwiches, toasties and kebabs. It makes a great gift for family and friends.

2 mins read
BBC Good Food ME
August 2021

Top buy

From tableware to gifts, here’s our list of most wanted items to make dining and entertaining all the more fun

2 mins read
BBC Good Food ME
August 2021

GIANT STUFFED CRUST

Similiar to a calzone, this Italian stuffed loaf oozing with cheese is easily adaptable, plus it can be made ahead and frozen for when you have less time to cook

2 mins read
BBC Good Food ME
August 2021

FISH FOR FRIENDS

Barney Desmazery goes pescatarian with a summer menu inspired by British seaside favourites

6 mins read
BBC Good Food ME
August 2021

Chicken stew

Two members of the Good Food team share their favourite one-pot recipes

4 mins read
BBC Good Food ME
August 2021