Healthline defines the ketogenic diet as a low carbohydrate, high-fat diet. It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat.
By the day, the Keto diet, in Nigeria continues to gain popularity. I sat down with Okekporo Omosalewa Adenike a Biochemist and the Founder of Ketogenic Lifestyle Nigeria a community on Facebook, designed to help with weight loss, healthy eating and fighting diseases naturally. If you are just as late to the party as I am, then this is your opportunity to be thoroughly enlightened.
On how Denike came to be the convener of a 100.5k strong ketogenic community
“It all started in 2015 after I graduated from the Lagos State Polytechnic as the overall best student. I made headlines on major news publications in the country at the time. And for some reasons a certain news blog decided to headline the news thus “Robust Lady breaks record in Lagos State Polytechnic” I was furious!
Fast forward to the mandatory service year(NYSC), I served at a hospital at Maitama Abuja. There was an amputee who complained regularly about her artificial leg giving her trouble – she was overweight. She travelled to India for medical treatments and when she came back some months later, her weight loss was drastic. I asked her what the secret was. She said, Keto!
My boss at the time who was obese, as well, found it hard to believe. But I understood perfectly how it was possible because I studied it while in school. I explained it to him and he said, you know what, why don’t you try it. Try it and if it works for you, then count me in. I took up the challenge and here I am today”.
Everything worth knowing about keto
A ketogenic diet is a diet that incorporates more fat than carbohydrate. In schools we are taught there are three main classes of food, carbohydrate, protein and fats and oil and the body uses carbohydrates to give energy.
However ketogenic diet is about using fat to generate the energy the body needs. It’s simple, the body breaks down carbohydrate and converts them to glucose which supplies energy to the body and every excess carbohydrate is stored as fat and unchecked can result in obesity. The keto diet, it’s about less carbohydrate more healthy fat foods and protein. The body will break down the fat into the energy needs and there is no risk of excess carbohydrate. An ideal keto meal should have 75% fat 20%protein and 5% carbohydrate.
On why the ketogenic diet is not accepted by all medical professionals
It depends on the specialization. I studied biochemistry and keto was one of the areas we studied and so I know key things like who best can practice ketogenic diet, the effects, how fast a person reaches ketosis. Some doctors don’t know and what they don’t know much about they won’t recommend.
Difference between Ketogenic and vegetarian diet
The notable difference is the protein source. Vegetarians eat strictly vegetables, fruits and non-animal protein. Keto is focused on cutting down the carbs – protein, in all forms, is a yes.
Other than weight loss what are other benefits of keto
When you think about the source of the different types of disease that a lot of people suffer from you realize that the major contributing factor is the way we eat. So you see that a diabetic can improve his/her health and lower blood sugar levels by cutting off carbohydrate.
Is keto for everyone or it is restricted for those with certain medical conditions
No, it is not for everyone. Pregnant women shouldn’t partake of it. The best thing is to always seek the help of a physician before commencing keto.
Challenges a beginner may encounter
Our body is used to breaking down carbohydrate hence making the switch from carbohydrate to healthy fat would need some getting used to. Some report signs of headache, dizziness, tiredness.
On the sustainability of the keto diet in Nigeria
For most Nigerians, it’s a better option than going to the gym. The money you will spend on gym sessions that you don’t consistently attend would be put to better use in planning a keto diet. One of the myths about keto is that this lifestyle is very expensive, but that is not the case.
Keto meals – @KetogenicLifestyleNigeria
It gets even better. You can now buy keto products off the shelf. I mean ketogenic soft drinks, snacks and so much more. Check this out:
Links from sites we love
26 Best Vegetarian Sources of Protein– Eat This Not That
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Featured Image: Okekporo Omosalewa Adenike Find and follow @ketogeniclifestyleNigeria on Facebook