What Is a Ketogenic Diet?

What Is a Ketogenic Diet?


Hey, guys, Dr. Axe here, doctor of natural
medicine and founder of draxe.com. In this video, I’ll be telling you what the
ketogenic diet is and what it is not and how it is the diet that can work when nothing
else will. And medical studies now are proving that the
ketogenic diet can help you lose weight, boost your brain health, fight neurological disease,
balance hormones, and do a whole lot more. I’ll share with you in this video. And for starters, I want to talk about what
is it and where did this idea come from. Well the ketogenic diet is a very low carb
diet. So when you’re on this diet, you’re consuming
little to no carbs at all. Now over time, you can move into something
called keto cycling which I’ll talk about at the end. But for starters, you’re doing very little
carbohydrates in your diet. Now this was created in the 1920s specifically
to treat epilepsy, epilepsy and seizures and they found great results with the ketogenic
diet. The thought was this, your brain is made up
of mostly cholesterol and fat and so when your brain is made up of fat and cholesterol,
it’s really important that you’re getting plenty of those things that really support
the brain. And a ketogenic diet, what happens is your
body stops burning sugar for energy, starts burning fat, your body creates ketones, and
it’s actually a fuel source for your brain. Here’s another thing to know about the ketogenic
diet, 70 to 80% of your diet is fat when you’re on the ketogenic diet. The typical ratio when somebody gets about
typically the first week or two, a lot of times, people may consume about 80% fat, then
that ratio goes to about 70% fat, 25% protein, 5% carbs is what I’ve done with most my patients
in the past. And the results have been phenomenal and helping
them get into ketosis and experience that health breakthrough. So again, a ketogenic diet puts your body
into ketosis, that’s where your body switches from being a sugar-burner into a fat-burner. Now, one of the things I’ve noticed since
I started . . . now when I first went into ketogenic diet myself before I start to recommend
it to patients, I noticed I woke up in the morning and I looked leaner. I looked more fit in the morning. Here’s what the amazing thing that happens
on the ketogenic diet. Your body will keep burning fat while you
sleep, so your body is actually burning that fat, it’s pretty incredible. But again, your body burns fat rather than
sugar for energy and your body produces ketones as your fuel source with your brain and your
cells and body run off of instead of carbohydrates. So here are the big benefits of the ketogenic
diet. Again, number one is weight loss, it’s what
I just talked about. When your body starts burning fat for fuel,
you start losing those love handles and that abdominal belly fat that sits right here,
you lose weight really, really fast. In fact, this is my number one diet for people
to lose weight quickly. Number two, PCOS, that’s Polycystic Ovary
Syndrome, I can tell you this, in working with thousands of patients over the years,
many women that struggle with PCOS even sometimes issues like infertility or painful PMS during
the monthly cycle, when that happens, oftentimes, that’s related to a hormone called insulin. And what we found is when both men but especially
women with PCOS get on a ketogenic diet, when insulin regulates, insulin is a hormone, all
of these other hormones regulate as well estrogen, progesterone, cortisol. They all start to balance out on a ketogenic
diet. So if you’ve struggled with hormonal issues
and you’ve tried other things, the ketogenic diet can be the diet that works for hormones
when nothing else will. Number three, mental clarity. Now people for thousands of years have fasted
for mental clarity. So when somebody starts doing a fast, let’s
say they do mostly a water fast, what will happen is their body will start to go into
ketosis as well for fasting. When somebody does just a pure water fast
and when you fast and your body starts using ketones for energy, your brain, you have more
mental clarity, less brain fog. A lot of times, people say they experience
spiritual breakthroughs and emotional breakthroughs when they go on a ketogenic diet or a fast
because again, a lot of these carbs and foods we’re eating on a daily basis, they affect
our hormones, they cause inflammation and they affect the brain. Again, mental clarity, spiritual awareness
can have greater benefits when you’re following a healthy ketogenic diet. All right, number four, lower type 2 diabetes
risk. Most people who are getting way too many carbohydrates
in their diet affecting insulin. When you go on a ketogenic diet, you give
those insulin receptor sites to get burn out. Just so you know, that’s what for the most
part, type 2 diabetes is like somebody yelling and screaming and your ear, well you sort
of burn out your eardrums, those insulin receptor sites burn out and kind of go deaf over time
when you have too much sugar and carbs in your diet or consume too many things or have
too many emotions that affect insulin. The name of the game is balancing insulin. When you do that on a ketogenic diet, you
can see great results in lowering your risk for type 2 diabetes. Number five, having a healthier heart. You know, the ketogenic diet, when you’re
consuming lots and lots of healthy fats, it can reduce inflammation. Your body . . . again, also support your body
hormonally and improve your heart health. And number six, possible cancer fighter. You know, I actually just talked to a friend
who’s a doctor in Texas yesterday and he told me, he said, “You know what, I beat cancer
with the ketogenic diet.” There are thousands of cases of people that
have followed the ketogenic diet and beat cancer naturally. Now listen, I’m not telling you just following
a single diet can cure cancer. But I will tell you that following a ketogenic
diet, consuming the right supplements, getting your body the right place emotionally and
doing all of the things holistically to heal your body could help people experience a breakthrough
both in preventing cancer or potentially fighting cancer as well. So the risks here are immense. And this is me just scratching the surface
in some of the most popular conditions that the ketogenic diet can help. Now here’s some precautions when you’re . . . if
you’re going to follow a ketogenic diet. Number one, sometimes you get a keto flu. Now a lot of us . . . I saw a study that said
sugar is more addictive than cocaine. It is that addictive to the body. People crave it. We got to break those cravings so similar
like if you go off of caffeine or off of nicotine or tobacco or again, any time you get off
something you might be addicted to, you can get flu-like symptoms. It’s no different with the ketogenic diet. Electrolytes. Now, you want to make sure on the ketogenic
diet that you’re getting lots of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. You want to stay really well hydrated, drinking
a lot of water and eating a lot of vegetables that are high in electrolytes like celery
and cucumber. Number three, don’t over-exercise. When you first get on the ketogenic diet,
give your body a few days to adapt and get used to the diet you’re on because sometimes,
your blood sugar can drop because your body isn’t yet fully into ketosis, burning fat
for fuel. Number four, avoid processed meats. Processed foods are going to put your body
into more . . . a higher state of acidosis. So again, on ketosis, when your bodies fall
into ketogenic diet, your body tends to be slightly more acidic, so you want to be really
cognitive of eating a lot of vegetables, a lot of leafy greens, getting a lot of chlorophyll
and alkaline-rich foods into your diet. And then again, most people don’t drink enough
water. Make sure you’re getting plenty of water when
following a ketogenic diet. Here are the best foods on a ketogenic diet. Olive oil, MCTs which are found in coconut
oil. So we’ve got actually long-chain fats here. We’ve got medium-chain fats here. We’ve got short-chain fats that you’ll find
in ghee and butter. Some are thinking chicken fat. So if you’ve ever eaten a chicken and pulled
the skin off, chicken skin is full of collagen and healthy fats if it’s organic and natural. So again, chicken fat, avocados, flaxseeds,
wild meat like bison and grass-fed beef, wild caught fish, bone broth, and the non-starchy
vegetables is a perfect mix of foods to consume when you’re on a ketogenic diet. Here are the worst foods and foods that will
actually pull you out of ketosis. Added sugars, all grains, most processed foods,
and most alcohol will pull you out of ketosis. So these are the foods you want to stay away
from that can really affect insulin there as well. And listen, there’s also something great. Now, when you hear the ketogenic diet, the
ketogenic diet for most people could be followed for about 30 days, maybe 90 days or more,
but for most people, you’re going to follow a ketogenic diet and then it’s good to start
doing what’s called a modified keto or carb cycling or what I like to call “keto-cycling”
where you really consume essentially a ketogenic diet a few days or sort of on and off along
with just a lower . . . generally lower carb diet and add a few healthier things on your
diet like a little bit more fruit and potentially a little bit of rice or sweet potato on occasion. But again, this is more flexible, you can
aim for 30 to 50 net carbs a day. The big thing is you want to, again, stay
about 50 or under and then go in and out of ketosis. In fact, my own wife does this to where she
takes three days a week where she follows or four days a week where she does a ketogenic
diet. Three days a week where she adds in carbs
during those days and she’s noticed huge changes in her body. Again, I’ve done this with thousands of patients
and seen phenomenal results and then changing their body. So again, some days eat ketogenic, other days
don’t, that’s probably the way our ancestors ate so it’s closer to the perfect original
ancient diet there as well. So remember these benefits of following the
ketogenic diet. Major benefits with weight loss, balancing
hormones and fighting conditions like PCOS, mental clarity, fighting diabetes, healthier
heart, and possible cancer fighter. The benefits of the ketogenic diet are immense. And hey, if you want to learn more about the
ketogenic diet, make sure to subscribe here to my YouTube channel. We’ve got a lot of ketogenic recipes coming
out, some other healthy ketogenic diet foods and tips. Also, if you want to learn more about the
ketogenic diet, I’ve written several in-depth articles and have a whole recipe section on
my website draxe.com that goes through ketogenic recipes. Simply Google search “Dr. Axe Ketogenic Diet”
or “Dr. Axe Ketogenic Recipes” and you’ll find a lot more information there on my site,
guys. Hey, thanks for watching. Hi, Dr. Axe here, want to say thanks so much
for checking out this YouTube video and also don’t forget to subscribe if you want to get
more great content on things like herbs, essential oils, natural remedies, and how to use food
as medicine. Also check out more of our content on my YouTube
channel. Thanks for watching.

100 thoughts on “What Is a Ketogenic Diet?”

  1. I’m currently about 3 weeks into intermittent fasting and I feel great. I want to implement a keto diet, but unsure on what and how much to eat. what would be a good eating plan? I’m fasting 20-4, my window is from 4pm – 8pm.

  2. One question that might be relevant to s few of us. When it comes to INTERMITTENT FASTING and ketogenic diet… I still get up in the morning feeling hungry which I guess is caused duo to acidy stomach and I struggle with avoiding breackfast. 
    Sometimes I have coffe with dash of milk but milk or dbl cream sometimes causes reflux, would love to have coffe without whites but the reflux would go even worse.
    Any ideas on how to avoid stomach pain in the morning so and what to eat before bed or as a last meal? Thank you!

  3. I lost weight by paying attention to the glycemic index (GI) and calorie intake. I made sure that when I ate carbs, they had a low or medium glycemic index/load. I also cut back on total calories. I looked up the calorie intake for a person my sex/age and height and kept to that calorie amount. The key is to make sure that you do not eat fewer calories than you should as your body will go into starvation mode and hold onto weight. I lost 45 pounds in 4 months and have kept it off. I found that when I got to my target weight my stomach organ had shrunk and I got full a lot quicker than I did when I was overweight. So now I don't count calories, I just listen to my stomach and stop eating when I says it is almost full. I also try to stick to eating low/medium GI carbs, when I do have a carb as part of my meal. I make sure I eat plenty of nuts/seeds/dark berries and fruits. I also try to eat greens and cruciform vegetables. Lean meat for dinner. I also walk 10,000 steps 6 days a week to firm up my legs and glutes, which is where most of my excess weight was. Since then I have added bone broth, coconut oil and green tea to my morning ritual, as I found Dr. Axe reccommended them for health. I have seen improvement in the loose skin that I ended up with after I lost the excess weight. I also really cut back on my alcohol consumption. I maybe drink one night a week and that is just one or two drinks. Sometimes I go two or three weeks without any alcohol. I don't really miss it. Thanks Dr. Axe for the wealth of information that you provide to the public for free. Totally awesome, you are.

  4. Hi, I would like to go on this diet as i heard of all those health benefits but i'm a bit scared about the lack of vitamins and minerals i could get not eating fruits ! Could you answer this question for me please?

  5. Coconut and ghee are the main ingredients used in India in almost all dishes.. For infants brain development ghee is included. If you feel stressed eat one piece of coconut.. All the Prasad theertham from temples are coconut Tulsi milk seasme seeds till, koovalam , nanthyarvattam, thechy, jaggery, vegetarian food…..

  6. Hello sir, I'm starting my ketogenic diet few days ago. But I'm this kind of person who have sinuses problem/ runny nose everyday. so when I started this ketogenic diet, I don't know how to differentiate whether I'm having the keto flu or is it just my sinuses prob. since I strt this diet, its just started bcome crazy like never before. How should I deal with it/ what can I do to reduce this uncomfortable situation?

  7. We have three macronutrients: fat, protein and carbohydrate. 2 of these are essential, as in you will die if you go long enough without them, and that is fat and protein. Carbohydrate is not a required nutrient. I have no problem eating carbs, and the keto diet is very hard if you're coming from the average American diet. However, the fact remains that overall the ketogenic diet is the best diet for health and longevity. Carbohydrates should be timed correctly especially if trying to add muscle!

  8. Do this at your own risk. He is misleading you. Check out Dr. Mcdougall’s video on this diet. It’s dangerous and not sustainable. Dr. Atkins promoted this diet but had heart disease. This guy puts profits before people. He’s not a medical doctor.

  9. BAM i JUST cam off a fast and just looked up dr axe saw this video first thing fasting and spiritual break throughs …….CONFIRMATION

  10. What is with this constant bashing of fucking carbs? I'm sick of hearing these random morons on youtube (who love to call themselves doctors) claim that healthy foods like fruit, potatoes, and beans are somehow causing all these fat fucks out there to be obese. Use your fucking common sense.

  11. I love this diet! Been doing it after I had a baby in July. I was 180 lbs with him (I think I was 155 pre-pregnancy) and now I'm in the 140's :))

  12. i have a theory why we have mental clarity. our ancestors were in ketosis in and out most of the time, and it was crucial for them to have mental clarity while in ketosis to gather food in order to survive.

  13. Dr. Axe, you are one of the doctors I follow that share tips on ketogenic diet on YouTube. Today I watched a video , where one other doctor, who’ve been also sharing tips on keto, suddenly posted a video where he admits and states that ketogenic diet is the worst diet in the world. Also many other doctors say that dairy, eggs, meat are very bad to our health, and even dangerous. I’m so confused now((

  14. i think i'm on this diet naturally. I just stopped eating bread, and potatoes and pastries and basically only eat fruits, veggis, nuts and seeds

  15. Can I get advice about chicken feet from like an Asian or Mexican market? It doesn’t say grass fed… but is it ok to make a bone broth or am I wasting my time? I am so grateful for any opinion

  16. This is just superb, I been tryin to find out about "keto sample meal plan" for a while now, and I think this has helped. Have you heard people talk about – Leviwiy Ketogenic Kaiserism – (search on google ) ? Ive heard some great things about it and my brother in law got great results with it.

  17. Hey, Dr Axe! I just did this module on Food Biochemistry, and there was this topic on Lipid Metabolisation. I was taught that the brain feeds off carbohydrates instead of other sources of macronutrients, and if there's a lack of it, your body goes into gluconeogenesis and produces ketones to feed the brain. It was mentioned that ketones are acidic and not good for the brain. Is this true, and if so, why the mental clarity?

  18. Thanks for the information and all of your videos! Do you have any videos on the HCG diet? Would you recommend that diet or should I avoid it? Thanks

  19. I recommend checking out this e-book "Truth About The Ketogenic Diet" http://bit.ly/2FcjI59 which I have used as a benchmark for many of my clients's fat-loss regiments. If you're new to dieting, this is a good way to further your knowledge and assist you in your fat-loss goals. It is easy to understand and…in all honesty, an excellent way to help you get out of your weight-loss rut. It is fairly inexpensive and highly recommended. Although I have many years of experience in dieting and coaching, I have included this book in my own arsenal to further my own knowledge too. Do check out U-TUBE and research Dr Eric Berg. He posts good information on Ketosis too.

    If you feel that you want a more personalised approach, do feel free to review my personal FB profile "SOO BOON ANG" as well as my business page "PRIME FITNESS". Browse the "BODY TRANSFORMATION" and "CLIENT TESTIMONIALS" folders to view my folio. I am a fitness consultant and specialise in fat-loss for both men and women. If you are based in Kuching, I offer coaching for fat-loss as well as on-line coaching if you're based overseas. I may be contacted via Whatsapp (+6 0168998 156). Feel free to drop me a message.

    Hope this helps and good luck!

  20. geuss what? NO CURE for dysautonomia.. which is another neuro desease. Sorry but Listening to my nuerologist and GI.

  21. Hi Dr Axe. I had radioactive iodine for my thyroid 3 years ago. So I’m on thyroid replacement medications. Iv put on a significant amount of weight since then and I’m battling to loose it. Will the Keto diet work for me with my thyroid condition?

  22. Great video! Explains the diet well. I'm using this as my "go to" video to share when people ask about the keto diet.

  23. hi Dr. Axe, my keto sticks say I'm in ketosis but I don't seem to be losing weight 🙁 I did lose about 4 pounds in the first month. I am now on the second month and the weight doesn't seem to move.

  24. I know there is a keto OS supplememt powder form people take that puts you in the ketosis state. Is this what youre talking about or is this just a diet with food?

  25. I read your article regarding G6PD deficiency, which I have, would I be able to follow the keto diet, to lose weight and overcome fatigue, I would appreciate your answer

  26. Thanks so much for this information it's VERY informative. I really hope this works for me. I have been going through hell my whole life with health issues mainly my stomach, female organs and struggling with brain health like focus, memory and retention. I did the Mediterranean diet. I was vegan for 3 months. I even followed the doctor Sebi list strictly for a time until my husband and I found out I'm pregnant. None of these diets seem to help as much as I need them to. My herbalist recommended this Keto diet. I have a high risk pregnancy so I really need to get my health in order! I'm going to do more research. Thanks so much again! I just started following you a couple weeks ago and you are so helpful!

  27. Is there a vegan keto? I don’t have a weigh problem but want more muscle… on a vegan type diet. I will never be part of any violence and cruelty against any being. Any ideas?

  28. Hi Dr Axe can u plz make a video of ketogenic diet meal plan for week with brief explanation on how to eat during the day, it’ll be great help for the people who wanna go on keto diet plz don’t ignore the request thanks

  29. I thought you were all about juicing, veggies and fruit diets.. which one is the diet that keeps your body healthy and can heal things like cancer? I am so confused. HELP!!!

  30. Thanks Dr.Axe for sharing. I started researching this a while back after coworkers started and had amazing results. I work in cardiology so I wanted to read about long term effects….I also suffer from PCOS that has run my life. Happy to say today is day one of the diet!

  31. FOCUS ON FAT LOSS, not WEIGHTLOSS. Your body weight is NOT the end all, be all. How you look and feel are way more important. Remeber this ☝🏻#ketodiet.
    https://bit.ly/2Lvqh5w

  32. Cutting carbs is like cutting the gas line to your car.You mines will just get rid of it because it won’t work anymore.Organic non gmo diet high in fruits veggies nuts seeds and whole grains is the only thing that works re post this comment if you don’t want to waste your time with useless diets

  33. Can you suggest a good multivitamin when making the change to a keto lifestyle? Most of the ones I research have carbs.

  34. So should I follow this diet if I’m wanting to lose weight and burn fat? Also if I’m in the gym how would I go about this since carbs are the typical fuel source?

  35. Ive never personally attempted the keto diet but I have been in ketosis before because I practice extended periods of fasting (2-3 days only consuming calorie-free drinks and no food whatsoever.) You get extreme mental clarity as a result and energy levels are much higher.

  36. Does this mean grains and legumes are bad? If I choose to follow this diet, I need to forget about eating legumes and grains again? But those are very healthy foods?!!! How safe is this diet is you keep losing weight…
    Dr.Greger say that this diet has bad consequences. I trust him and you too a lot so I am confused…

  37. This is the only diet that I have ever come across that seems to make perfect sense as a lifestyle change

  38. Dr. Axe,

    I am beginning my kept diet starting yesterday. So, day two, but I feel great and I can see this working. That’s not what I wanted to stress on however. Your knowledge has saved my life. I suffer from a type of OCD and during a spike of symptoms I discovered your website. I discovered while searching for something to help with insomnia. This started a long life change that I have begun to integrate into my daily life. Food is medicine and I have put into my diet foods and supplements that have changed my life!! My OCD is so much more controlled now because of … diet changes.

    Herbal teas such as chamomille help me sleep so is there something else teas can do? Thanks to your site and information peppermint tea helped one night when I had some bad indigestion.

    This is only the beginning of the list but the results are amazing. I look to your site for ways to improve my health. The changes I have experienced have even got my wife, who was never a supplement person, to ask if there was something out there for her.

    Thank you, sir, for the time and the effort you put forth to educate us. It’s been a total life changer.

  39. Hi Dr Axe! I'm going to be starting the keto diet soon. I've done a lot of research on it. However, I am currently breastfeeding so I cannot go be as extreme with going low carb. What is an easy way to be successful with keto but make sure I get the carbs I need for breastfeeding?

  40. Good video you did, but Ms_Pancho's affordable meal plans has been working in my case just fine. Anyone can use it find more on https://tinyurl.com/yd6nhtul link.

  41. Dr Axe, can you please post recipes for seizures? I have been taking drugs for seizures since I was 9 years old. I have been watching videos, on children, being healed from this diet, but what about adults my age, 47? I am sick and tired of taking drugs and just want to be healed. Thank you and God Bless..

  42. Why do you shout? Would be much more pleasant to watch your videos if you were not yelling… otherwise, I enjoy your videos.

  43. So happy I found ketogenic eating. I thought that the only way to burn fat is through grueling exercise. NOT TRUE! Eating keto style makes losing weight feel effortless.

  44. How is this that different from the old “Atkins” diet which my parents went on and was my first intro to low-carb eating, basically since then in high school ages ago I’ve been mostly on a low carb diet. I eat carbs, but I just know if I ever want to lean up- I just know to cut out sugar or white bread, and I basically go gluten-free which also helps to cut bread stuff. I’ve not been very discipline lately and starting to feel it, so I want to get back to my healthier habits and at least feel better about my diet again. And I’m more interested these days in the long term health benefits besides just the shorter term vanity reasons.

  45. I’m sure someone asked this but I didn’t see it. I take synthroid and natural desiccated thyroid for hypothyroid. I’ve read the research that says keto is not good for thyroid (doesn’t allow conversion T4 to T3) and causes high reverse T3.

    My question is this. I love keto but does it affect my medication? Also, I tend to have a lot of thyroid pain on keto. What’s up with that?

    Outside of water weight, I don’t seem to lose weight on keto. Even IF/keto/20 net carbs a day.

  46. Dr. Axe, I have been following you on this diet and gave it a try. Low carb has always worked for me but I wanted to try this because of you sharing how it is great for balancing hormones and makes a person leaner. I was not that far off from my goal. This diet after being on it has indeed caused my hormones to go out of wack and I am hot flashing like crazy and the worst part is that I gained 6 lbs and I am very upset about this. I now have extra fat on my body. This diet is not that much different from what I was consuming. All I did was remove bananas that I used in smoothies and apples that I would eat sometimes. Once in a while I would use raw organic honey and I stopped eating healthy paleo snacks that I would buy for on the go. I also ate Ezekiel bread in the morning sometimes and a natural preserve with very low carbs. The only dairy that I had sometimes was a raw cheese. So this makes absolutely no sense to me after being on this diet for a month now. I don't overeat. I have been drinking your smoothie mostly every day but I am quitting as of today because I feel it's too many calories. The joy of being on a low carb diet is not having to count calories and make life difficult. I was going to critique what I was eating that caused those extra lbs to come back on after working so hard to get it off and now i have gone in reverse.

  47. Carb cycling is bad. Poison your body just some of the time? No thank you. Also, you are recommending to eat some grains like rice when grains are highly inflammatory and one of the worst things you can put in your body. You might be a doctor, but you need to research nutrition more.

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