November 7, 2018

How-To Series: Ketogenic Diet

Welcome to the first post of this fun How-To Series! I'm kicking this off with one of the most talked-about diets of the year: KETO (aka Ketogenic Diet)

A quick unbiased reminder: the point of this series is to educate you on all things nutrition. This doesn't mean that I'm going to persuade you towards a certain diet/lifestyle. I want to be transparent as I can with you about each topic and give a "research & study" point of view, and since I'm going to school for dietetics it seems fitting to give you an overall understanding without selling you on a product from some business. However, I will be recommending certain products that have research to back them up. Let's get right into it, shall we?

What is the Ketogenic Diet?
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that in medicine is used primarily to treat difficult-to-control (refractory) epilepsy in children. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. When the body has too little glucose in the bloodstream, the liver converts fats into a form of energy known as ketones and fatty acids. The body then uses the ketones as an energy source.

Who is recommended for?
Usually recommended by a doctor if the patient has epilepsy, seizures, or is obese. People who use the ketogenic diet to control seizures usually follow this plan for about two years of being seizure-free. However, a person must taper off the ketogenic diet gradually or risk seizures and other health effects. It is no surprise that keto is recommended by many online health coaches to lose weight and fight diseases such as autoimmune. 

What are the side effects?
The ketogenic diet can cause several side effects, such as no appetite, constipation, dehydration, high cholesterol, kidney stones, nutrient deficiencies, and diabetic ketoacidosis. The Keto Flu - which is the initial symptoms of transition may include fatigue, insomnia, digestive upset, achiness, and lightheadedness. 

What is recommended:
First and foremost you should consult with your doctor to see if this diet is a good fit for you and quite honestly I dislike the word "diet" and think of it more as a lifestyle change. People on a ketogenic diet MUST drink lots of water to stay properly hydrated. Although supplementation is not recommended, there are a few products out there that could help you on this journey such as: 

What are the common foods for the Keto Diet?
Beef, lamb, venison, wild-caught fish, ghee, pastured eggs, swiss chard, spinach, zucchini, spaghetti squash, asparagus, avocado, and black coffee are some of the most common foods. 

What are the foods that need to be avoided on this diet?
Avoid sweetness, grains such as rice, quinoa, pizza, ice cream, soda, processed foods, refined fats products are among the list of what to avoid. 

Once again, the keto diet consists of around 70% fat, 25% protein, and 5% carbohydrates. I have presented you with detailed information on the ketogenic diet and hope that you proceed with your own discretion. Just like any other diet: keto isn't for everyone. If you have serious health issues please consult with your doctor beforehand. 

  1. Talk to your doctor first.
  2. Plan on being on this diet for a while (your body takes around 2-7 days to reach the ketosis stage). 
  3. Don't eat processed fats! Eat the foods I mentioned above.
  4. Talk to an expert on Ketogenic diet
  5. ONCE AGAIN: This diet is not for everyone!
I searched a few books on Amazon to help you get started if you are serious about this diet: 

Below is a compilation of delicious and healthy "Keto Friendly" recipes should you chose to go that direction. Let me know if you try any of them! 

 1. Dill Glazed Carrots by teaspoon of goodness

3. Chicken Fajita Sheet by Meraki Mother 

 4. Low Carb Swedish Meatballs by Whole Lotta Yum

 5. Keto Salad by Diabetes Strong

I hope you enjoyed today's post! See you next Wednesday for another How-To

*Disclaimer: Nina Talks earns a small commission from affiliate links on the blog. I also receive compensation/products in exchange for reviews. All opinions are my own. I only recommend products we love. Thank you! 


  1. This is an awesome guide and education of the keto diet for anyone wanting to give this diet a try! super informative plus, the meals that you have listed here looks so yummy! thank you for sharing!

  2. My friend is big on the keto diet and will past this along to her!

  3. Wow! Photos are just wow. I am gonna share it.

  4. This looks so delicious! Until now, I have taught that kato is just another of those salad diets.

  5. Thank you for doing the research on this, I have a sister who has epilepsy and I think this may just be what she needs. I'm definitely sharing this with her.

  6. I've always wondered what this type of diet is. I'm not a fan of dieting but these recipes look that they would be a nice change at dinner time.

  7. I have been hearing a lot about this diet and I have considered starting it myself. Thank you for your insight!

  8. I have been combining for a while now the keto diet with the omad diet, and I feel so much better. It's incredible what clean eating can do for your body!

  9. I've never really gotten into the keto diet before but I see it all of the time. Wonderful information you shared for people just starting out!

  10. I have to say, it's pretty expensive to stay on this type of diet. I had tried, I just can't keep up lol

  11. This would have been really helpful before I quit keto I guess I will have to retry it again and try your recipes.

  12. To be honest, this diet scares me. For one, I'm a vegetarian, so that eliminates all the meat off my list. I also love quinoa and I see I can't eat that. I also hate the word "diet" because I feel that what you eat should be a lifestyle.

  13. I've tried Keto several times, and failed - yet my 3 sisters lost tons of weight from it. I don't like animal products (though I am not a vegan) - I guess this is my downfall.

  14. Such a great post for beginners. I love that you shared recipies too. My hubby was looking to start this diet. I'll pass your post along!

  15. These recipes (pictures) all looks soo good. I bet I could convince Tony to make some. He's super wary of going 100% Keto but eating these dishes occasionally would be alright I think. Thanks for sharing!

  16. I have so many friends that are having great successes with the Keto diet plan. You did a great job of breaking it down for beginners!

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