Just as I mentioned in my previous blog: Diet Is Not A Bad Word, the word ‘diet’ itself has been greatly misinterpreted for many years.
Diet simply means a person’s nutrition plan or what is most commonly eaten. I try to avoid using the word diet because people assume you’re talking about weight loss.
While I’d rather discuss natural ways to improve your health, many people have me wondering what is making them so obsessed with this thing called the ‘Keto’ diet.
The Keto Diet
Keto is short for ketogenic which is when your body goes into a state of ketosis.
This happens when you starve yourself of carbohydrates.
The reason why some people like this is because it increases metabolism and therefore results in significant weight loss.
There are variations to this diet depending on which diet specialist you’re following but the standard keto diet consists of the following:
75% of your diet from fat
20% of your diet from protein
5% of your diet from carbohydrates i.e. avoid sugar!
Most specialists promote eating healthier fats but I find this to be a bit difficult.
Think about it. If you are told you can eat 75% of your diet from fat, what’s the first thing that pops into your mind? Oh, wow! I can eat fat! Exactly.
The ketogenic diet began in the 1920’s for use as treatment for epilepsy. This was and still is found to be beneficial because ketosis forces your body to use fat as fuel.
When this diet is not focused on weight loss or burning stored body fat, the extra fat intake helps with neurological brain functioning.
This then has shown to improve other neurological disorders such as autism, Alzheimer’s, migraine headaches and Parkinson’s.
Also some findings also suggest that the ketogenic diet “can result in behavioral changes similar to those seen after antidepressants are administered.” – U.S. National Library of Medicine
Other benefits to the keto diet are pretty much all centered around weight loss but also include reducing inflammation and of course, stopping sugar addiction.
Diet vs. Lifestyle
Just like with any ‘diet’, there are downsides. I wholeheartedly believe that ‘diets’ are temporary, they are not long-term.
Although the keto diet seems to help with serious neurological disorders, for some people, and I’ve witnessed this myself, it can actually cause brain fog.
When you take natural sugars out of your diet, your brain doesn’t have enough for proper functioning.
Also, your body during ketosis is detoxing, so most likely the weight loss you see right away is actually water loss.
Changing your eating habits may seem very exciting if your goal is to lose weight. Any diet can do that. But how long can you maintain avoiding fruit and complex carbs?
Fruit contains necessary micronutrients, water and fiber that sustain human life.
Complex carbs are avoided in many diets but are a great source of fiber as well.
Other known side effects of the keto diet (Please note that such occurrences vary from person to person and are usually caused by long-term dieting):
Malnutrition (lacking in micronutrients and minerals specifically)
Fruitarians or frugivores would go bananas if you told them not to eat fruit because it contains sugar!
Fruitarians believe that the optimal diet is primarily fruit based. A lot of this has to do with the fact that our closest living relatives, chimpanzees, share 98 percent of our DNA.
Fun Fact: When you think of chimps, you often think of bananas. Interestingly enough we also share about 50 percent of our DNA with bananas.
The belief that we are mostly fruitarian would help explain why we crave sugar. Cravings would include carbohydrates and alcohol, since our body metabolizes these as sugar.
Unfortunately, our lifestyle habits including our eating habits have gone so far off the natural path, that it would be difficult to jump into a fruitarian diet. I mean, you obviously can’t give someone who has Type 2 diabetes a basket of fruit because you could actually kill them.
But, it is worth looking into.
A comprehensive study funded by Bill and Melinda Gates found that the number one killer for human life was not eating enough fruit! (Lancet. 2013)
Also according to Dr.Greger of NutritionFacts.org, if we avoided fruit, we could become extremely deficient in certain nutrients to the extent that we could actually shorten our lifespan.
Watch his video: What’s the Natural Human Diet?
Do More Research
Before you start any diet, do your research first! Be sure to look at various sources from medical based journals not so called gurus out there trying to make money off the next best ‘diet’.
Your health should not be center focused on losing weight.
Rather, it should be focused on a long-term plan for healthy living.
Ask yourself this question – Can I maintain this diet for the rest of my life?
In other words, is your diet a ‘diet’ or is it a lifestyle?
Would you like to learn more about making your diet a lifestyle? Book your session with me HERE!
Be well always.