All of our recipes are designed and approved for people following a Ketogenic Diet. At the Charlie Foundation, we believe that a ketogenic diet should consist of whole foods that are organic, high in fiber, and sourced from one’s local environment. In order to maximize the therapeutic benefits of the diet, nutritional supplements, electrolytes, and hydration are also important to consider, and individuals who are suffering from digestive problems should seek additional medical support.
More information about our recipes?
There are five variations of the Ketogenic Diet which have been published in medical literature as effective treatments for diseases like epilepsy, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. Our recipe pages call out which diet plans they fit, and highlight the ratio of fat to protein and carbs in the meal, which we refer to as the macronutrient ratio.
The major difference between each Ketogenic Diet is the amount of calories that come from fat, protein and carbs, which are what we call “macronutrients”, or nutrients in our food that have a caloric value. The three macronutrients differ in many ways, namely, their caloric density per gram, as well as how the body uses them. Fat is the most calorically dense macronutrient, having 9 calories per gram, compared to 4 calories per gram for both carbs and protein. In a homeostatic state, the body utilizes fat and carbs for energy production, while it uses protein to rebuild the cells of our body. While this is generally the case, an overconsumption of protein can lead the body to break down the excess protein into glucose, preventing the state of ketosis. All of our recipes are designed with these principles in mind to ensure one’s diet delivers optimal therapeutic results.
The Basics – what is the Ketogenic Diet?
The Ketogenic Diet, also referred to as the ketosis diet, or Keto for short, is a way of eating that mimics the effects of fasting. By consuming a diet rich in quality fats, adequate in protein, and low in net carbohydrates (total carbs minus fiber), the body’s metabolism begins to utilize fat as its main source of fuel, rather than carbs. This shift has profound effects on metabolism for both the sick and healthy alike. The diet shows promise for improving or reversing many neurological conditions and metabolic disorders. For the healthy, the diet represents a tool for preventing chronic disease, as well as optimizing cognition and body composition (i.e. fat loss).
What is Ketosis?
The term ketosis refers to a byproduct of the breakdown of fat into useable energy, called ketone bodies, or ketones for short. This fat can be derived directly from the food we eat, or adipose tissue stored throughout your body (otherwise known as body fat). Ketones are used directly by the body to power itself. This breakdown of fat into useful energy is similar to the process that dietary carbohydrates undergo in producing glucose to fuel the body. In other words, ketones are to fat what glucose is to carbohydrates. Ketosis is defined as having blood ketone levels > .5 millimolar/L.
What are the benefits of Ketosis?
Achieving a state of ketosis can have many benefits from treating chronic illnesses to optimizing performance. While the benefits are well documented, the underlying mechanism of action is not entirely known. The diet seems to enhance the ability of mitochondria, the power plants of our cells, to deliver our bodies’ energy needs in a manner that reduces inflammation and oxidative stress. Through optimizing the way our body uses energy, we fortify our bodies’ ability to take on the ever-growing stressors of our modern way of living.
If you think you can benefit from adopting a Ketogenic Diet, we encourage you to consult one of our dietitians so that we may guide you towards the most fruitful option given your specific needs.