Dr. Aaron Casey is my chiropractor, a friend and the owner of Casey Chiropractic in Colchester, CT. He is a huge proponent of the ketogenic diet and hosts regular workshops at his practice about the health benefits of following a keto diet.
I have been following a ketogenic diet for the last year to augment brain health, reduce inflammation in my body and use fat as a predominate energy source.
I sat down with Dr. Casey to discuss some key points about the diet and better understand its recent surge in popularity.
Q: What exactly is the ketogenic diet in simple terms?
A: The ketogenic diet is eating 70% fat, 25% protein, and 5% or less carbohydrate to change our body’s metabolism to burn fat as a primary source of fuel instead of sugar. When your body is in the state of burning fat you can actually access and use the stored fat in the body.
Q: You are an avid tennis player, business owner, husband and father to three children under the age of 7. How has this diet affected your overall health and supported your busy life-style?
A: My wife and I have been on the keto diet for about 6 months now. We have found our energy levels have improved, we've lost weight and our food cravings have stopped. I would say my mood is generally better and my sleep has improved... at least when the kids are sleeping through the night.
Q: Is keto for everyone?
A: It is for most people, but not all. Type I diabetics should not try this diet. (Type II diabetics should absolutely consider this diet). Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consult with their doctor before attempting this diet. People on medications for high blood pressure or Type II diabetes need to monitor their medications with their doctor as the need for these medications can change rapidly with the diet.
Q: What are the main benefits of keto?
A: The reduction of carbohydrate in the body and the switch into ketosis can greatly influence the treatment and prevention of many "modern" diseases. To name a few keto is great for Type II Diabetes, chronic inflammatory diseases, Chronic neuro degenerative diseases (Alzheimers) and cardiovascular disease.
Q: What are some of your favorite resources on ketogenic diets and recipes?
A: I direct people to dietdoctor.com. It's a great resource that is very user friendly and an easy introduction to the ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting. Also, YouTube has a plethora of talks/lectures available. There are several great cookbooks as well. Quick and Easy Ketogenic Cooking by Maria Emmerich is an example of a great starter recipe book.
Q: In your opinion, is this just a fad or does it have staying power?
A: I do believe this is going to change the way many people eat for a lifetime. The science and benefits of the diet are strong and the diet is manageable in the long term for most people. There's very little "suffering" on this diet. The foods are very satisfying and most people experience decreased appetite and better food control as cravings also decrease significantly.
Q: When can I come over for dinner?
A: ASAP! Bring the zoodles.
*Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and it is not my intention to push particular diets and/or eating habits on individuals. I am fiercely passionate about health and wellness and exploring different ways of optimizing health and performance through exercise, diet and other mediums. I believe that every individual is unique and advise that they follow the diet that meets their needs and allows them to be their best self.