Anti-inflammatory Diet | The role of a Keto Diet in Treating Inflammation

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Last week, we started exploring the role of an anti-inflammatory diet and its many benefits to our overall health. In addition to reducing the effects of Candida (our focus last week), an anti-inflammatory diet can also be instrumental in reducing the effects of various thyroid conditions, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, cancer, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, Alzheimer’s, IBS, arthritis, and others. Some people are looking to this in the Keto Diet (Ketogenic).

Yes, the power of an anti-inflammatory diet is huge and worth investigating further.

It seems that everywhere we turn these days, someone else is has started a Keto diet.

While it is now being used predominantly as a weight loss program, the Keto diet was originally developed to help with the treatment of seizures back in the 1920’s, and is now also known as a strategy for managing diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.

The Keto diet, based on the metabolic principles of ketosis, works when the body turns to burning fat for energy, as opposed to glucose. Significantly reducing the amount of carbohydrates in one’s diet (less than 5% of total food consumption) means that the body doesn’t have glucose to burn; instead, it has no choice but to burn fat. The burning of these fatty acids produces ketones in our blood; thus, ketosis, and the effects of a Keto diet.

Everyone is talking about it, but what does it mean?

In order to enter ketosis, one must adjust the “macronutrient” percentage of their diet (have you heard people throwing the term, “macros,” around lately?) This essentially means consuming 75% healthy fats, 20% protein, and 5% carbohydrates. Specifically, people on a keto diet need to seriously up the ante when it comes to eating REAL food – meat, eggs, nuts, non-starchy vegetables, and as much “clean” and non-processed food as possible.

The role of a keto diet in reducing inflammation

We know that sugar causes inflammation, right? Sugar can trigger chronic illness in a way that no other foods can. It inflames the blood vessels and can stimulate the body’s immune response. It also causes the body to produce large amounts of insulin. All in all, we should be working to drastically reduce, if not eliminate altogether, sugar from our diet.

With respect to a keto diet, recent research has shown that the state of ketosis helps the body release key anti-inflammatory ketones that essentially block receptors in the body from causing inflammation. This is good news for those looking to treat inflammatory conditions without the use of pharmaceuticals. And, while it is not yet an exact science, there is positive and progressive evidence that an anti-inflammatory diet can be very helpful in reducing some of the side effects of these serious illnesses – particularly those manifesting in chronic pain.

And now, back to the important stuff – what exactly can and can’t you eat on a Keto diet? For the purposes of a broad audience, we have included all ‘diets’ and have made special notation to vegetarians and vegan diets below. 

 To eat/drink freely:  

  • grass-fed meat and pastured eggs
  • a blend of healthy fats (coconut oil and ghee, macadamia nut and olive oils, avocado oil)
  • avocadoes
  • dark, leafy greens (chard, kale, spinach, lettuce, collards, bok choy)
  • other non-starchy vegetables like cucumbers, asparagus, celery, summer squash
  • lots of water to drink (limited tea and coffee)
  • fermented foods (sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha)
  • whey protein
  • all herbs and spices (turmeric is especially known for its anti-inflammatory properties), as well as lemon and lime

To eat/drink occasionally:

  • cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli)
  • nuts and seeds
  • dairy products (full fat milk, cream, or butter are allowed)
  • berries
  • nightshade vegetables (peppers, tomatoes, eggplant)
  • wild-caught fish
  • cacao powder

To avoid completely:

  • all grains and products made from grains
  • factory farmed pork and fish (contain inflammatory omega 6’s)
  • processed foods (look for and avoid carageenan – found in some almond milk -, MSG, wheat gluten)
  • artificial sweeteners
  • alcohol
  • refined fats/oils
  • dairy products (especially low fat milk, sour cream, yogurt, etc)
  • tropical fruit, fruit juice, dried fruit
  • legumes (chickpeas, lentils, beans) – typically high in carbs and have been linked to leaky gut syndrome

*Vegetarians eating a keto diet would look to eggs, hard, full-fat cheeses, nuts, and whey for sources of protein.

Vegans would look to nuts and seeds and vegan protein powders.

When examining this diet in more detail, it is interesting to note how many of these key principles are already followed here in Ki’s Kitchen. It is also interesting to know that some of the ancient practices of Ayurveda can also be linked to a keto diet.

For example, some of the cooling, healing ingredients that we work with all of the time show up on the keto diet too:

Spinach– packed with antioxidants, as well as Calcium, Folate, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin E and Vitamin K. Anti-Inflammatory properties.

Coconut milk– it is cooling, alkalizing, and high in fat and fiber. It contains protein, Calcium, Iron, Potassium and Magnesium.

Cacao powder– it is an antioxidant, as well as a great muscle relaxant and energy stimulator. It is also great for boosting brain activity and elevating mood.


Thank you so much for visiting! I hope you have found some valuable information, if so, I’d love to hear about it!

Please feel free to share this post with anyone who might benefit, and comments are always welcome!

I look forward to connecting with you next time!

And be sure to check out why you should order your family’s next meal courtesy of Ki’s Kitchen  
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From our kitchen to yours,

Love + Peace

Kiran 

 
 
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4 Comments

  1. kay goodnough says:

    is there a vegan keto diet?

  2. Yohana says:

    Thank you for the article I have Lymphedema and I have seen a difference. I know that with my lymphedema I have good day and bad days but I can tell a difference. Keto has change my life and way of eating.

  3. Lori says:

    I’m doing a Paleo diet for anti-fungal benefits. Thoughts on Paleo vs Keto?

  4. Diana Raymond says:

    Tk you. Helpful information

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