In February 2018, I decided to do a personal experiment on myself. This consisted of modifying my diet in order to adopt the ketogenic diet to see where it would lead me. Here I will tell you about my lived experience in a series of articles on the subject. To learn more about this diet, consult the first article in this series: A danger is hidden behind the ketogenic diet…?

Get ready!

It is important to take a moment to be properly informed before embarking on this diet, because you have to change and rethink your diet. I therefore offer you some relevant suggestions.


– The Diet Doctor website:

– The books and works of Tim Noakes:,


– The website of Dr Èvelyne Bourdua-Roy (Reversa clinic):

– Dr Bourdua-Roy’s text in Huffington Post Québec:

Practical advice

Where do we start when we embark on this new adventure? First you have to think about calculating your food. I don’t like this exercise, but I still had to tame it. Fortunately, after a while, you recognize the carbohydrate content and you can stop calculating everything.

Here is what can be understood in the simplest breakdown. Bread, potatoes, pasta, sweets, root vegetables and, at first, fruit should be banned. Do not buy products with 0% fat because fat is replaced by carbohydrates. Industrial foods that contain modified milk ingredients and additives such as carrageenan should also not be purchased. Legumes should also be avoided, as they contain too many carbohydrates.

Now let’s look at the foods to prioritize! Do not set any limits for avocados and their oil as well as for olives and their oil. Choose butter, 35% creams, real cheeses and plain fatty yogurts (10%). It is recommended to eat leafy vegetables. Low carbohydrates; you still have to look at the content of these (and for all foods consumed).

Regarding protein, the amount consumed should not change if your diet is currently balanced. So keep fish, meat and eggs in your meals! Also, don’t remove nuts from your daily life, but keep an eye out for their carbohydrate content, since carbohydrates can vary greatly from one kind of nut to another.

A formula to simplify your life

All of this probably doesn’t seem obvious to you yet. I suggest the following small formula to help you easily carry out a nutritional analysis of foods (when the information is present on the label or through your research):

Total amount of carbohydrates – Total amount of fiber = Net carbohydrates (net carbohydrate content)

The start of my adventure

So that you can compare my biological results throughout my experience, I will share the table below which presents my blood data before the start of my ketogenic diet (about 1 month before).

  • Glucose 5.3
  • Potassium 4.2
  • Sodium 141
  • Urate 295
  • ALT 25
  • Alkaline 36
  • Cholesterol Lipids 6.05
  • Triglycerides 0.7
  • HDL 1.56
  • LDL (Calculated) 4.18
  • Non-HDL cholesterol 4.49
  • TG/HDL (<0.5) 0.45
  • Chol tot/HDL (<5.0) 3.87
  • Hb A1c 0.051
  • TSH 1.006
  • Insulin 18.3
  • Vit B12 397
  • Ferritin 97.9
  • CRP 0.9
  • Apo A1 1.64
  • Apo B100 1.02
  • B/A (<0.6) 0.62

By the third day of my diet, I had already felt the effects of this dietary change. Here are the symptoms of my first few days: lack of concentration, loss of energy, mental confusion, feeling of fullness in the abdomen and stomach.

To reduce these effects and respond to the reduction in water retention caused by the ketogenic diet, Dr. Bourdua-Roy strongly recommends drinking more water (prevents hypovolemia) and consuming more salt. In my case, I could drink up to 50% more water every day than before and I had increased my salt intake up to 2 times my daily intake as recommended to prevent water loss and/or electrolytes. It is also important to increase the dose of magnesium and to have a sufficient dose of potassium (leafy vegetables and meats).

As for salt, you may say: Yes, but it is mentioned everywhere that you have to reduce salt to be healthy! Unfortunately, the subject is not as simple as that. I have written a few articles on my website that deal mainly with salt. You can go and consult them to learn more (French Only): To take with a grain of salt, Too much salt or not enough?, Salt: reduction or obsession?, The salt of life, The end of another dogma?, War of salt or the salt war.

Goals and confidence

Think again! I did not want to lose weight by changing my diet. I was mainly looking to find answers to certain questions.

Improved cardiovascular health

Since my blood pressure is close to hypertension and my blood lipids (except for triglycerides) are high, I was curious to see if I could say so regarding the impact of the ketogenic diet on improving cardiovascular health was true.

Impact on the nervous system

This dietary approach appears to increase mental alertness and focus.

I must admit that this specific point spoke to me a lot since Alzheimer’s disease scares me. If you look at my genetics, you can quickly see that I am a person at risk. My parents and two of my uncles passed from it.

By doing my research, I discovered that this diet would be effective in warding off the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. I am aware that I would not necessarily see the effects of this nutritional approach on this disease for quite some time, but this factor was a motivation big enough for me to embark on this adventure.


Follow my progress in my next articles which will present my reality and my results after several months! Until then, take care of yourselves!

Jean-Yves Dionne, Pharmacist