What To Eat On A Ketogenic Diet
The aim of the ketogenic diet is to put your body into the metabolic state known as ketosis by limiting carbohydrate intake, including all grains and starches such as rice, pasta, cereal etc. Carbohydrate-rich vegetables such as potatoes or carrots are also eliminated, along with all fruit , beans and peas or lentils, and low fat, diet products which are often high in carbs to compensate for the low fat content. The safest way is to restrict daily carbohydrate intake to 150g of taro, 300g of sweet potato and 70g of cooked white rice, or other starches.
What you can eat plenty of includes:
- All meats including steak, sausage and bacon
- Nuts and seeds
- Green vegetables, tomatoes and onions
- Butter and cream
- Fatty fish, like salmon, tuna, trout and mackerel
- Coconut oil and extra-virgin olive oil
Because carbohydrates exist in so much of the food we eat, it can be difficult to avoid them at first. Approaching the diet in a logical and methodical way by producing a meal plan and shopping accordingly is the best way to ensure success.
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Ill also report back with final results for how this low carb fast food experiment affects my health, well-being, and bank account. And youll get some simple low carb recipes and other tips from me for all the times youre not eating in a fast food joint.
What Other Symptoms Come With A Keto Headache
There are many other crappy symptoms of keto flu that team up with keto headaches to make your life keto miserable.
If youve just started a keto diet and have a headache alongside any of the following symptoms, theres a good chance you got yourself a good old fashioned keto headache there, Jack:
- digestive troubles like nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, and stomach pain
The intensity and combination of keto flu symptoms vary from person to person. Theres no way to tell prior to starting the diet how it will affect you.
A 2020 review found that most people report a keto headache and accompanying symptoms as starting within the first week of the diet. This sh*tshow normally lasts up to a week, although some report experiencing symptoms much longer than this.
Scientific Evidence Supporting Keto Diets For Migraines
Research on the ketogenic diet for migraines is sparse and nearly all of it has been overseen or conducted by the same team of Italian researchers.
In 2013, they published a case study of adult twin sisters with frequent migraines who were following a cyclical ketogenic diet to lose weight. For nine months, they alternated between eating a keto diet for one month and a low-calorie, lower-carb diet for two months.
Eating this way not only allowed the sisters to reach their weight loss goals but also led to an unexpected but very welcome dramatic reduction in the frequency and severity of their migraines during the keto periods of the diet.15
Next, the researchers arranged an observational study in 96 overweight women with migraines at a local clinic. Participants received advice from a dietitian to follow either a standard low-calorie diet for six months or a low-calorie ketogenic diet for one month and a standard low-calorie diet for five months.
The first month, women in the keto diet group had significantly fewer headaches and used far less migraine medication than the standard low-calorie diet group. Once the keto group began eating the standard low-calorie diet, their migraine attacks increased, although they remained lower than at baseline.16
Another non-controlled trial from a different team in Italy demonstrated a significant reduction in headache frequency and duration in subjects trying a ketogenic diet.19
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Keto Diet For Migraines
According to the world Health Organization , 30% of the worlds population aged 18 to 65 is said to have migraines. Due to the influence of hormones, three times more women than men are affected.
In addition to helping with weight loss, research has already shown that the keto diet is also a good weapon against neurological diseases like epilepsy and schizophrenia.
If you are really interested in following a keto diet plan check out this post, Thomas Delauer Keto Diet Plan.
Ketogenic Diets For Neural Health
These days, we think of low-carb diets, sometimes called ketogenic diets, as being used for weight loss. But the truth is that ketogenic diets were originally introduced in 1921 to help treat drug-resistant epilepsy. These dietary changes had genuine impact, but it was unknown whether these diets could have a positive effect on other neurological disorders, such as migraines.
Low-carb diets are called ketogenic because when the body doesnt have carbohydrates for fuel, it burns fat in a process known as ketosis, which produces ketones. Its these ketones that are credited with the neurological benefit for migraine sufferers.
Its believed that the ketones represent a more efficient energy source for neurons as well as muscles. They also help counter oxidative stress and inflammation which are suspected of playing roles in migraine. The combination creates a more efficient function of the brain , leading to a reduction in migraines.
Recommended Reading: Ssdi For Migraines
How To Stop Keto Headache Fast
Here’s the thing:
Keto headaches are a common side effect of the ketogenic diet usually lasting up to 7 days or longer.
Headaches are nagging and dull,
especially when you try to find the strength to change your life and lose weight.
The truth is:
Headaches during the start of your journey is actually a good thing.
In this article, I will show you why, when it’s bad and how to stop it for good.
How Long Does The Keto Headache Last
Some people may not experience any withdrawal symptoms at all. Everyone is different and the length of the symptoms depends on several factors.
For example, if you followed a diet relatively low in carbs before going keto and ate large amounts of green vegetables , theres a chance that your symptoms would be very short-lived or even nonexistent.
On average, the keto headache will last anywhere from 24 hours to one week.
In rare cases, it can take up to 15 days for the symptoms to subside.
Some people prefer to start keto on the weekend so the symptoms are more tolerable and wont affect everyday life too much.
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Get Help From A Professional If You Want To Try The Keto Diet
If youre considering restricting carbohydrate in your diet or following a full-fledged keto diet, its a good idea to work with your doctor or a dietitian to make sure you continue to get the right amount of nutrients and essential vitamins and minerals, including salt, says Morena.
One of the pitfalls I often see when people undertake a low-carb, ketogenic diet is not eating enough salt or replacing enough electrolytes, he says.
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Muscle Cramps And Spasms
Dehydration and electrolyte imbalances can cause muscle cramps. Electrolytes are substances that carry electrical signals between the bodys cells. Imbalances in these substances lead to disrupted electrical messages that may cause muscle contractions and spasms.
People following the ketogenic diet should ensure that they are getting enough electrolytes from the food they eat to avoid muscle pains and other symptoms of an imbalance.
Electrolytes include calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium. A person can get these from eating a balanced diet. However, if symptoms persist, a doctor may recommend supplements or other dietary changes.
Headaches can be a common side effect of switching to a ketogenic diet. They may occur as a result of consuming fewer carbohydrates, especially sugar. Dehydration and electrolyte imbalances can also cause headaches.
Ketosis headaches typically last from 1 day to 1 week, although some people may experience pain for longer. See a doctor if headaches persist.
For example, a 2018 study suggests the ketosis diet as a possible treatment for those with drug-resistant cluster headaches.
However, much more research is necessary to confirm the diets effectiveness for treating or preventing these types of headaches.
Some Parting Advice For When You First Start On A Ketogenic Diet
The first few weeks on keto can be a bit painful. I definitely had some ups and downs then.
I had some headaches that resolved quickly with Aleve in spite of hydrating and trying some broth.
But, I also had times of great energy and excitement about not craving goodies and high-carb foods. I never thought that would happen!
Since then, I have found I can even eat a small amount of my known migraine triggers and not feel symptoms.
The ketogenic diet allows me much more freedom to eat in restaurants and I feel like Im participating with my friends and family. I feel great!
Finally, dont overthink it! Get a buddy or coach to help you through the practical matters and give you the support you need.
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Mental Fog Is Normal At The Start Of Keto
One of the very first signs of this induction phase comes from your brain losing its main source of fuel glucose.
If youve never followed a low-carb, high-fat diet, your brain has been using carbohydrates as its main energy source.
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When you start increasing your fats and restricting carbs, your body starts to burn through its last stores of glycogen. At first, your brain wont know where to find the energy it needs because of the lack of carbohydrates.
Its normal to start staring off into space, experiencing headaches, and feeling irritable.
A good way to combat these symptoms is to go as low-carb as possible when youre first starting out. This way your body is forced to use up all of its glycogen stores much faster.
Many people try to taper off their high carb intake over time, but doing so will only make the brain fog last longer.
When you get into a state of ketosis, a large portion of the brain begins to burn ketones instead of glucose. It can take a few days or up to a couple of weeks for the transition to happen.
Luckily, ketones are ahighly potent fuel source for the brain. Once your brain gets accustomed to using fats as energy, brain function is optimized.
Many studies have shown long-term ketogenic dieters to have improved brain cognition. The keto diet has even been considered for treating brain conditions such as memory loss.
Cause #3 Sugar Withdrawal
Animal studies show that sugar has drug-like effects. Human studies have also noted that sugar affects the brain’s reward system.
So, cutting back on this addictive substance leads to withdrawal symptoms like cravings, agitation, and headaches.
How severe your withdrawal symptoms will be depends on how “addicted” you are to this macronutrient.
If you noticed that tend to overeat on carbohydrate-rich food when stressed, chances are you have developed a sugar addiction.
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Failed Attempts At Diet Changes
Over the years, Id tried other food-related migraine cure-alls. I had a go at the Drink Your Ten Times Your Weight In Water remedy that friends suggested. After six months, when my migraines hadnt abated, and I had reoccurring dreams I was floating to Mars, I went back to drinking normal amounts of water. Just on the off chance that I had a food allergy, Id also gone gluten-free for several years with the only success being that my grocery store had an abundance of tortilla chips.
How To Prevent A Keto Headache
The headache you get when adapting to burning fat for fuel comes from an impaired ability to effectively use fat as energy.
Any time your bodys ability to burn fat is impaired, you have a hard time losing weight. You become very hungry when your blood sugar runs out no matter how much fat you have available to burn.
To combat the keto headache, you must improve your bodys metabolic flexibility to burn fat as energy instead of glucose.
Metabolic flexibility is your capacity to adapt fuel oxidation to fuel availability. This is your bodys ability to switch from one fuel source to another .
Your keto headache symptoms will soon diminish once you become used to using fat as energy.
Here are five techniques you can implement today to prevent keto headache:
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What Happens To Your Body When You First Go Keto
Youve probably spent a good portion of your life feeding your body large amounts of carbohydrates, many of them from processed food sources.
This means your cells, hormones, and brain have adapted to using carbohydrates as their main source of energy.
Transitioning to a fat-dominant fuel source will confuse your bodys metabolism in the beginning.
This metabolic confusion will put your body through an induction phase.
This is the time when your metabolism works overtime to get accustomed to using ketones for energy rather than glucose .
During this phase, you may experience flu-like symptoms commonly referred to as the keto flu especially headaches and brain fog because your body is going through physical carb withdrawal.
Ketogenic Diet And Migraines: Is The Keto Good Or Bad
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The keto diet consists of fats, high protein, and low carbohydrates. The idea behind this kind of diet is to put the human body into a ketogenic metabolic state. It claims health benefits including a decrease in migraine attacks. It decreases the consumption of carbohydrates and enhances the proportion of fats and proteins within an individuals diet. But, research about the relationship between migraine and the ketogenic diet has shown mixed results.
Do you know ketosis occurs when glucose level starts to drop because of a lack of carbohydrates in the body or fasting?It can be the reason for migraines because the human central nervous system and brain begin using ketone bodies as an energy source if there is less energy source.
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The Weight Loss Part Works
Her story underscores that, while keto can be very effective for dropping extra pounds, weight loss isn’t always desirable and the diet can have some side effects.
Can a ketogenic diet prevent migraines? There is no guarantee. But following a ketogenic diet could potentially reduce the frequency and severity of the attacks. At a minimum, it may help you lose weight. Obesity is one of several risk factors for the progression of episodic to chronic migraine. Each case is different.
If you feel a migraine coming on while on the ketogenic diet, mentally review what you’ve eaten over the past few days. Have you allowed your carb intake to creep up and knock you out of ketosis? Are you keeping up with the essential electrolytes? Though a ketogenic diet can be difficult to adhere to at times and the diet will not work for everyone, it may be the answer for you.
How Can You Treat And Prevent Headaches On Keto
You’re not totally powerless against keto headaches. Nutritionists say there are many ways you can get ahead of them and stay on track with your keto diet.
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Electrolyte Imbalances Are Common When You First Go Keto
The main electrolytes to keep a close eye on are magnesium, sodium, and potassium.
When your body excretes water, you begin to flush out these essential electrolytes which are crucial for several different bodily functions like energy production, body temperature control, and optimal brain function.
Your daily electrolyte requirements are higher on keto compared to a normal diet.
Anelectrolyte supplement can help while youre in transition.