So you’ve heard of the Keto, or Ketogenic, diet and many people are losing weight on it and they’re even going off prescription medication for diabetes, high blood pressure and it’s even curing cancer.
Should you be paying close attention to it or is Keto a fad diet? Is it like those diets that come and go? Was it created because of a new trend and will disappear and die down soon?
Is it healthy or not? Is it sustainable? Can yo really lose weight or control your medical conditions with this diet?
Well, I’m going to answer all of these burning questions for you and much more. Why should you listen to me? That’s because I’ve been on the diet and I’ve seen what it has done to me. I experienced it first-hand.
So let’s dive right into things here.
When Did Keto Start?
In order to know whether Keto is a fad diet or not, you need to understand where it came from and why this diet was created. You’ll be shocked with all the good information that I have to give you.
You see, our bodies can run off of two different types of energy sources; carbohydrates and fat. Neither of those are a state of emergency, like Jillian Michaels wants to make you believe.
The Keto diet, before it was even called that, has been around for centuries. It’s how our forefathers used to eat before the industrial era, when they were hunters and gatherers.
During those times, there would be times when meat would be abundant, where our bodies would be fuelled by fat, and other times when it would go scarce and they would eat nuts and seeds and maybe some fruits.
We can now see that our bodies are very versatile, being able to run off of two energy sources, much like a hybrid car being able to run on gas and electricity. Neither is harmful to our bodies. It’s just a survival and adaptation mechanism for our bodies.
During the 1950s, the president of the USA suffered a heart attack and the American scientists did indeed notice that heart disease was becoming a major cause of death. In comes the great (sarcasm here!) Dr. Ancel Keys.
Dr. Keys believed that fat is what made everybody fat and was the cause of heart disease and the other major health problems that were arising, like blood pressure and blocked arteries, and performed tests all around the world.
Out of the 23 countries he tested, he only cherry-picked 7 of them that showed what he wanted people to believe. The USDA became involved as well as politicians, and that’s when the low-fat-high-carb dietary guidelines were set.
That’s when all those “skinny” recipes started coming out and when ads on “Eat your healthy grains” were being broadcasted. But fact is, Dr. Keys was wrong. If you haven’t noticed, this actually allowed all sorts of diseases to prosper.
Before the 1900s, before the sugar and processed-foods era, dying of a heart disease was rare. If Dr. Keys was right, why hasn’t this trend stopped, but instead, is being allowed to grow?
What Is Keto?
Okay, so if those science blokes were wrong, then what is the right way to eat?
Well, the right way is to go back to the old way, the way that our forefathers used to eat before all these refined sugars and processed foods came along. It’s eating keto!
Keto earned its name because it allows the liver to produce ketones out of fat for energy, instead of using carbs. This is called being in a state of ketosis.
This diet was initially prescribed by doctors to patients with epilepsy, and by the way, this proves a very big point.
And that’s the fact that our brain, which is 75% fat, runs better on fat than on carbs. But on the treatment of epilepsy note, it also helped patients maintain a healthy weight and was just as effective on its own, without the need for medication.
To get into ketosis, you need to eat a very low-carb, moderate protein and high fat diet. Now that you’re taking a very low amount of carbs, you need to replace this source of energy lost by increasing your fat, hence, high fat.
Not only does increasing your fat intake boost the production of ketones, but it also helps you feel satiated so you don’t overeat and you don’t binge on anything. That’s why this diet is so great because you don’t feel the need to eat all the time.
The other thing is that though you may feel withdrawal symptoms from drastically reducing your carbs, you’ll eventually eliminate the cravings for sweets and other refined carbs. That’s truly killing two birds with one stone.
P.S. – No birds were killed or harmed during the writing of this article.
What Do You Eat On The Keto Diet?
You might have heard of people saying, “Oh it’s a lot of bacon and cheese!” but that’s completely false. It is really unhealthy to be eating bacon and cheese all the time and that’s not what Keto is about.
Actually, I’m on Keto, lost 43lbs as of now and I hate bacon! So that’s not what you need to eat to really get yourself into ketosis. The big idea behind Keto is to avoid the processed stuff and go back to eating natural.
Well, that’s exactly what you need to eat: a lot of healthy fats, like ghee, olive, coconut and avocado oils, nuts like almonds and macadamia, grass-fed proteins like chicken and beef and wild caught fish.
Don’t worry, you’re also allowed veggies, like leafy greens including lettuce kale and spinach. You’re allowed cruciferous veggies as well, like broccoli, Brussel sprouts and cauliflower. You can even have other veggies like cucumber, peppers, celery and so on.
You need to stay away from some veggies or really limit your intake of them and this list includes but is not limited to onion, potato, carrot, pumpkin, beetroot and parsnip.
Don’t think that because you’re on a diet that you’re going to be limited. You only feel like it’s limited because you don’t know the versatility yet but believe me when I say that there are so many different keto-friendly versions of a lot of recipes you can make.
Like the delicious keto-friendly butter chicken I made yesterday!
Is The Keto Diet Safe?
The keto diet is absolutely safe if you’re a person without any medical conditions but just wants to lose some weight or to become healthier. If you do have medical conditions, the best way to know whether it’s right for you is to consult with your doctor.
It’s not the right diet for everybody but the keto diet has been proven to manage epilepsy, Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, migraines, hormonal imbalance and heart diseases. It can also be used as a preventative measure for those conditions.
Actually, you might have gone in and out of ketosis without even realizing it. If you’ve ever done a water fast, or gone for a whole day without eating or even been hiking and hunting for a few days, you would have gone into ketosis.
Some people might come to you and say that you could get diagnosed with something called Ketoacidosis, which can be fatal. That’s when an excess amount of ketones is being produced and released in the blood stream without being utilized.
The concentration becomes too much for the body to bare and that becomes dangerous.
But that is only caused in those people that don’t produce ANY insulin at all, namely, in Type 1 Diabetes patients. This does not mean that Type 1 diabetics cannot do keto.
If you’re a Type 1 Diabetic, you would still need to be injected with insulin from time to time but the dosage would be way lower because you’re naturally reducing your blood glucose level. I’m no doctor though, I’m just pointing out the possibilities.
That’s why whatever I write in this article should NOT be taken as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor about whether or not the keto diet will suit you. Consult with several different doctors if you need to, to get the general consensus.
You NEED Carbs, They Say!
I’m not gonna lie; yes, your body needs carbs. 25-30% of your brain as well as your cells need carbs to function properly. But that’s the thing; there are essential fatty acids and essential amino acids (proteins).
But there is no such thing as essential carbs.
That’s because your body can produce carbs on its own depending on demand. Carbs don’t need to be consumed. Your body can break down other particles in your body, including proteins to make glucose in your body, a process called gluconeogenesis.
On the contrary, excess carbs are actually stored in your body as fat so your body can use it for energy when carbs are lacking. But your body doesn’t do that right away. It will prompt you to eat, injecting more and more carbs to be used as energy.
That’s because it’s a longer process to break down fat than it is to break down glucose for energy. Your body wants the easy way out, because it’s naturally made to STORE, not to burn.
By drastically reducing carbs and elevating good fats, you’re training your body to use fat for energy and also teaching your body to create its own carbs, rather than depending on outside sources and making it lazy.
So, Is Keto A Fad Diet?
I think my position on the keto diet is pretty clear; I do NOT think that it is a fad diet. It’s been around for much longer than those others diets that sprung up in the 1900s, claiming to prevent all sorts of diseases.
It’s how our ancestors used to eat so long ago, when heart disease, diabetes and all those other medical conditions were rare. The stuff that was killing them were outside stuff, like poor sanitation and hygiene, allowing bacteria to proliferate.
Keto may not seem sustainable because of all the junk that the USDA has been feeding us about eating low-fat and with the introduction of so many refined sugars and processed foods, but the truth is that this is the MOST sustainable diet.
People have existed on this diet for hundreds of thousands of years before our time. If they were able to do it, so can we. We’re all humans. What makes human bodies now different from then?
Keto has been around for a while and will always be around. I have made this into a lifestyle, not simply a diet to lose weight.
Our bodies haven’t changed. It’s society that’s changed. With the industrial era came the greed for money to make all kinds of different processed foods without concern for our health and we gladly accepted it.
It’s time for a change. Even if you’re not fully convinced, how bad can reducing refined carbs and processed foods, and increasing whole foods be for you? Give that a thought… 🙂
What do you think about keto? Is it a fad? Have you tried it? Has it worked? Let us know in the comments below.
Are You Interested in Starting Keto But Don’t Know Where to Start?
Check out this book that you can get from Amazon, that will give you al the details, from the specific explanations on why you should choose Keto, different ways to do keto, complete with shopping lists and delicious recipes!