Terminology and Abbreviations

Below, you can find a list of common terminology and abbreviations that are used on a ketogenic diet. Feel free to bookmark this page and come back to it in reference.

Common Terms

  • A1/A2 – Types of beta casein protein found in cow’s milk.
  • ACV – Apple cider vinegar.
  • BG – Blood glucose.
  • BHB – Beta-hydroxybutyrate. The most prevalent ketone that’s used in our body for energy. The main ingredient of exogenous ketones (which are not needed).
  • BPC – Ketoproof coffee. A high-fat beverage that produces ketones in the body through the help of medium chain triglycerides.
  • BS – Blood sugar.
  • CICO – Calories in, calories out. The basic idea that energy stored = energy in – energy out.
  • CKD – Cyclical ketogenic diet. Intaking large amounts of carbs 1-2 days a week to replenish glycogen stores. Usually used in conjunction with extremely intense workouts.
  • EFA – Essential fatty acid. These are fatty acids that cannot by synthesized by humans.
  • Fat Bomb – food item (usually a snack) that is 90% calories from fat or higher.
  • Gluconeogenesis – the biochemical process of breaking down amino acids into glucose.
  • Glycolysis – the biochemical process of breaking down glucose into energy.
  • HIIT – High-intensity interval training.
  • HWC – Heavy whipping cream. Often used in place of milk and other liquid dairies on a ketogenic diet due to high-fat content.
  • IBS – Irritable bowel syndrome.
  • IF – Intermittent fasting. Fasting in intervals, for example, 16 hours fasting and an 8-hour eating window.
  • IR – Insulin resistance. When the body builds a resistance to producing sufficient insulin, resulting in high blood glucose levels.
  • KCKO – Keep calm, keto on.
  • Keto – Ketogenic. Just a short-hand term that many people use.
  • Ketoacidosis – a metabolic state where a high concentration of ketone bodies lead to acidic blood levels which can be deadly. Typically only happens in diabetics.
  • Ketogenesis – the biochemical process of breaking down fatty acids into ketones.
  • Ketone – the alternate fuel your body will use when glucose is not available, typically through restriction of carbs.
  • Ketosis – a state that the body enters when there is no carbohydrates for energy. Also occurs during times of no food intake.
  • LCHF – Low carb high fat. It’s what the ketogenic diet is.
  • Macro – Macronutrients. The main 3 nutrients that make this up are fat, protein, and carbohydrates.
  • MCT – Medium chain triglycerides. Bypasses the usual digestion and is transported directly to the liver to make ketones.
  • Micro – Micronutrients. The vitamins and minerals that are in our foods.
  • N=1 – An experiment that only involves 1 subject, usually themselves.
  • Net carbs – the effective carbohydrates that are processed during digestion. You can calculate this by subtracting the fiber from total carbohydrates.
  • NSV – Non-scale victory.
  • RDV – Recommended daily value.
  • SADStandard American Diet. The typical diet of most Americans.
  • SF – Sugar-free. Be careful of this term on goods in the supermarket as they may still be high in carbs.
  • TKDTargetted ketogenic diet. Intaking carbs prior to a workout. Usually used with moderately intense workouts when a standard ketogenic diet is not giving enough energy to get through.
  • WOE – Way of eating.
  • WOL – Way of life.

Omega-3 – Omega 3 Fatty Acid

  • EPA – Eicosapentaenoic acid.
  • DHA – Docosahexaenoic acid.
  • ALA – Alpha-linolenic acid. Only available in nuts and seeds.

Omega-6 – Omega 6 Fatty Acid

  • GLA – Gamma-linolenic acid.
  • CLA – Conjugated linoleic acid.

Other Fatty Acid Terms

  • LA – Linoleic acid.
  • ARA – Arachidonic acid.
  • PUFA – Polyunsaturated fatty acid.
  • MUFA – Monounsautrated fatty acid.

Omega-3 vs. Omega-6

The typically recommended balance to have is a 2 to 1 ratio of Omega-6s to Omega-3s, but anywhere between 1:1 and 4:1 is good. A few techniques to help with this are:

  • Stop using cooking oils that are high in omega-6s (e.g., vegetable oil, soybean oil, and corn oil).
  • Eat more fatty fish and/or supplement with a DHA and EPA supplement.
  • Eat grass-fed meats and dairy and pasture raised eggs and pork.
  • Limit your almond, almond flour, sunflower seed, and walnut consumption.
  • Eliminate all processed foods from your diet.

Vegetable Types

  • Cruciferous vegetables – vegetables in the family Brassicaceae. These include kale, radish, collard greens, horseradish, cauliflower, broccoli, bok choy, arugula and more.
  • Allium vegetables – a genus of monocotyledonous flowering plants. These include onion, garlic, leek, scallions, green onion, garlic chives and more.
  • Nightshade vegetables – the Solanaceae family of flowing plants. These include tomato, tomatillo, eggplant, potato, goji berries, all peppers varieties.
  • Tubers – root vegetables. These include potato, turnip, yam, rutabaga and more.

Oil & Processing Terms

  • Refined – treated to remove flaws and make it more sellable.
  • Unrefined – pure, untreated.
  • Virgin – slight defects in aroma and flavor, usually resulting in lower price.
  • Extra Virgin – must meet high standards and have no defects in aroma or flavor.
  • Pure – blend of refined oils, usually extra-virgin, virgin, and refined oil.
  • Light – similar to pure oil, but with a higher concentration of refined (lower quality) oil.
  • Expeller pressed – mechanical process of squeezing the oil from its source. Friction may cause heat.
  • Cold pressed – the same process as expeller pressing, but closely temperature controlled for more sensitive oils.
  • Hydrogenated – chemical processing of oil, adding hydrogen to turn unsaturated fats into saturated fats. Considered very unhealthy and should avoid.


  • Soluble fiber – dissolves, creating a gel that may aid in digestion. This slows digestion and makes you full longer.
  • Insoluble fiber – attracts water into your stool, making it softer and easier to pass.
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