Myth: The Keto diet works for everyone
The Keto diet has fast taken the place of the Paleo Diet. It seems that everyone that was doing paleo has now jumped onto the keto bandwagon. But is this for a good reason?
FACT: YOUR BODY THRIVES OFF CARBOHYDRATES
So first off let’s just clear a few things up. The main source of energy and the first source that will ever be utilized if available is Glucose, which occurs when carbohydrates are broken down.
If your body is denied carbohydrates it will use a mechanism called ‘gluconeogenesis’ to turn anything it can in the body into glucose. The first thing to go is proteins in our body which builds up your muscles and organs, allows for the transfer of oxygen through your body – you name it!
So in order to protect itself the body enters ketosis. This is where fat is broken down into fatty acid and further down into ketone bodies.
Ketosis is our back up system. Our liver creates these ketone bodies but there are trade-offs of using this back up system.
Our body is clever, it does everything it can to protect us. But that doesn’t mean it is not a serious thing. For Keto diet we essentially trick our body by denying it carbohydrates and feed it dietary fat to make it enter ketosis.
However, the downfall of a lot of people following the Keto diet is they increase their veggie and protein sources and remove ‘carbs’ from their diet. The problem is eating more than two sticks of celery has enough carbs to remove your body from ketosis. Similarly, if protein is provided to the body it stays in gluconeogenesis for longer as it thinks that a carb source might come soon so it will just hold off and use the protein for energy first!
To get your body into ketosis it can be very difficult. It calls for dramatic changes to the way your eat. You specifically have to increase fats.
Ketosis is not more protein and less carbohydrates. You need to be eating 80% of your diet as dietary fat. You need to eat low carb vegetables (yes all veggies have carbs). But If you eat a lot more protein your body breaks them down to amino acids which through gluconeogenesis turns into glucose. THIS IS NOT KETOSIS…
Our brain cannot use fat as fuel so when fat is broken down to fatty acids it needs to be broken down into ketone bodies so that it can pass the blood brain barrier.
Online it has become this sensation that ketosis makes you burn your fat stores. However, that is not actually the case. It might have been, back when our ancestors would starve and their body would go into ketosis.
You are still eating on the keto diet so your body will always use that fat and protein first as a way to protect itself. You need to eat dietary fat during ketosis to make sure that your body doesn’t revert back to using protein for energy
A lot of people do experience a sence of ‘clarity’ or clear mind when following the keto diet. And studies have also found this to be true. That is because the brain does work well off ketone bodies. However the danger is, if too many ketone bodies build up in the body it can throw off the acid based balanced causing some serious issues in the body.
Just to wrap up.
The compliance rate of the diet is incredibly low. It is very hard to follow the strict guidelines the diet. Imagine making up only 5% of your diet wity carbohydrates every day. And now remember that vegetables are carbohydrates. Instead you now have to make up 80% of your diet with dietary fats. Eating out has just become very difficult. Because if you fall off the keto diet for just one day, your body will revert back to wanting glucose or as a backup go into gluconeogenesis and use protein for energy.
If you can imagine that, and think you could stick to it by all means try the keto diet.
I am providing you with the science in the article. I am not a clinical dietician, I don’t know your situation or your health so I can’t tell you what to do or what not to do. There are benefits to the diet, and there are also some very serious side effects that sometimes take a while to come about.
Something things I would like to point out are
- A lot of people online, are not actually in nutritional Ketosis they might be eating low carb but that is not ketosis.
- It is a very strict way of eating, which can be a trigger for disordered eating
- Very limited vegetables and dairy
- No Fibre
- Ketogenic foods are not a thing, your body can enter ketosis but one ‘ketogenic bar’ will not put you into ketosis. It takes your body a few days to enter ketosis. So just one day ‘break’ will cause your body to get out of ketosis.
The Keto DIET is still a DIET. The Keto Diet has now over taken the Paleo Diet. A lot of people have jumped on the keto bandwagon and are promoting it on social media and online but don’t have the full understanding of what ketosis is or what the side effects can be.
I am not telling you not to try it, that Is your right. But if you do, make sure to seek professional advice from a doctor or dietitian. Someone that can monitor you, do your blood work and check in with you.
If you want to hear about a nutritionist’s experience with keto – yes she tried it out herself for 12weeks for a scientific study – Check out Nadia Felsch on YouTube (Here).
Before you do ketosis, or any diet ask yourself – why do I need a diet? Why do I need to label it?
To feel your absolute best you need to look at yourself, what makes you feel best. Do you like pizza? Do you like cake? Why are you going on a diet that is going to restrict you from ever eating this.
A diet is a diet in the end. Really look at why this label is needed in your life.
Between extremes is always the best place to be. Before you buy in to hype and fads do research about it, ask a professional about it don’t just take the advice of someone on social media.