The ketogenic diet was developed in 1921 by Russell Wilder to treat epilepsy. The diet is characterized by severely restricting carbohydrate intake, moderately restricting protein and providing upwards of 90% of calories from fat.

This teaches the body to burn fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. It is recommended to use healthy fats such as olive oil, butter (preferably from grass-fed cows) and avocados.


The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein and low-carbohydrate dietary therapy that is used in medicine to treat difficult-to-control seizures in children with epilepsy. It is designed to put the body into a metabolic state called ketosis, which is when your blood sugar levels are too low and the liver starts burning fat for fuel.

Eating enough protein is essential to maintaining muscle mass on a ketogenic diet. The average person should consume about 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of their target body weight.

Protein can also help reduce hunger by increasing the feeling of fullness and lowering appetite-stimulating hormones, such as insulin and ghrelin. Protein can also provide important micronutrients, such as amino acids and B vitamins, especially if you choose higher quality proteins (like fish, poultry and eggs) over processed meats.

You can get sufficient amounts of protein by eating whole foods like meat, fish, dairy and nuts. In addition, protein powder is an option if you want to increase your intake without drastically changing the rest of your diet.

A protein-rich diet can also boost your energy levels by promoting the production of ketone bodies, which can be used for fuel by the brain and other cells without affecting blood sugar or insulin levels. A high-protein diet can also help prevent nutrient deficiencies if you are following a low-carbohydrate plan for an extended period of time.

A registered dietitian can help you monitor your biochemical changes during a ketogenic diet, and create a meal plan that is safe for your unique health status. A dietitian can also help you reintroduce carbohydrates when your weight loss goal is reached. In general, a registered dietitian can help you follow any diet safely and effectively.


The keto diet has gained popularity due to its positive effects on certain health conditions. Originally used in clinical settings to reduce seizures in children with epilepsy, the low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet is also being tested for use in other neurological disorders and conditions such as diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, and cancer.

Carbs provide your body and brain with the energy they need. When you eat a ketogenic diet, your blood sugar (glucose) drops and the liver breaks down fat to produce fatty acids called ketone bodies, which become your primary fuel source. Several studies suggest that the ketogenic diet helps protect against some types of cancer and slows tumor growth.

The diet allows moderate amounts of protein, but the majority of calories come from fats. Choose unsaturated fats such as olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil. Avoid saturated fats, which increase your risk for heart disease. Nuts, seeds and unprocessed meat are rich in protein, as well as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These foods are high in fiber and have a low amount of carbohydrates.

Yogurt and cottage cheese are a good choice because they contain both protein and calcium, which help keep you full. If you choose higher-fat yogurts or cottage cheese, they can help you stay on the keto diet longer because of their fat content.

When you follow the ketogenic diet, you want to eat lots of nonstarchy vegetables and leafy greens because they are low in carbs but rich in nutrients such as vitamins C and K, potassium, selenium and zinc. You also want to consume lots of healthy fats, including olive oil, avocado oil and nut butters. Avoid processed meats because they’re not good for your heart, but if you do eat them, make sure they’re lean.


No matter your diet plan, nutrient-rich vegetables are essential. But for the ketogenic diet, they’re especially important because of the way this eating pattern limits carbs. This is so that you can shift to using fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. This process is called nutritional ketosis. You can start to experience it after just a few days of following a very low-carb routine. You can learn more at ieatketo if you are trying a keto diet for yourself or for your family.

The goal of the ketogenic diet is to reduce your carbohydrate intake to between 20 and 50 grams a day on average. In the meantime, you’ll eat a lot of fat-rich foods and moderate amounts of protein. Vegetables aren’t usually allowed in large quantities, though some do make the cut, like kale, collard greens, and spinach (45). And if you’re looking for ways to spice things up, there are plenty of herbs that offer loads of flavor with very little carbs.

Nonstarchy vegetables are a good place to start, as they’re low in carbs and high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They include cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower, as well as leafy greens. Several varieties of peppers are also appropriate for this diet. Plain coffee and tea, which have zero g of carbohydrates and are rich in antioxidants, are also A-OK on this diet.

Cheese is another good choice for the ketogenic diet because it contains lots of protein, very few carbs and no fiber. Plus, it’s a great source of calcium and vitamin D. However, you’ll want to limit dairy because it’s rich in saturated fat. If you do eat dairy, choose options like yogurt, cottage cheese, cream, and half-and-half.


While the keto diet has been shown to help people lose weight, it can be hard to follow long-term. It’s limiting and requires you to completely cut out many common foods like grains, beans and legumes, potatoes, sugary drinks, fruits and processed meats. This can cause some people to drop out of the diet, leading to unhealthy yo-yo dieting behaviour.

The good news is, you can still eat cheese while following the ketogenic diet. You just need to choose the right cheeses. You want to pick a cheese that is high in fat but low in carbs, such as cheddar or Gouda. Avoid processed cheeses and low-fat cheeses as they are often higher in carbohydrates than full-fat options.

When it comes to pairing your cheese with other food, choose low-carb vegetables and lean proteins. This will help you stay on track with your macros and balance your meal.

It is also important to choose a quality cheese. Avoid low-fat, processed cheeses as they can contain additives and preservatives. Instead, opt for artisanal or small-batch cheeses that are made with natural ingredients.

You can also add cheese to non-starchy vegetables, which are low in calories and carbohydrates. Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, green beans and zucchini are all suitable for a keto diet. These vegetables are rich in vitamin C, fibre and a number of antioxidants that can protect against cell-damaging free radicals. In addition to these benefits, they are also an excellent source of protein.


While the ketogenic diet is often touted as a weight loss tool, it was originally developed to reduce seizures in children with epilepsy. Since then, the low-carb, high-fat diet has gained a foothold among athletes looking to improve their performance and endurance. However, some studies suggest that long-term adherence to the ketogenic diet may not meet dieters’ main goals of long-term health and weight loss.

A standard ketogenic diet typically provides 70-80% of total daily calories from fat, 5-10% of calories from carbohydrates and 10-20% of calories from protein. It’s important for people following a ketogenic diet to choose the most nutritious foods possible. A variety of permitted meats, eggs, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds can help ensure adequate intakes of nutrients like fiber, B vitamins, potassium, magnesium and zinc.

Eggs are an excellent source of protein on the ketogenic diet, and they contain a lot of other good-for-you nutrients, including choline, vitamin D, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids. Choose organic, free-range eggs whenever possible and consider adding a few yolks to each meal. Egg yolks also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that protect eye health.

While the ketogenic diet has many positive benefits, it is important to follow a balanced diet and avoid empty calories. Eating too many processed meats or refined grains can lead to an imbalance in the body’s nutrient levels, as well as excess sodium and inflammatory metabolites. For this reason, it’s best to stick with whole foods, focusing on high-quality protein from animal sources and healthy fats. Avoiding processed foods, reading food labels and bringing your own food when going out to social events can make it easier to stay on track with your ketogenic diet.