I don’t like to use the word “diet” but it’s quite difficult not to. It sounds always very negative.
Anyway, let’s go straight to the important bit. You probably don’t know too much about the ketogenic diet and, even knowing it’s growing since I’ve heard about it for the first time, it’s a subject that not many people want to talk about, particularly the industries that promote carbs.
So what is this ketogenic diet – also known as keto?
A ketogenic diet is a low carb high fat diet. This diet uses the fat that you consume to give your body energy instead of using carbs. What? Consuming fat? You must be thinking I’m crazy. No, I’m not crazy and so many scientists have studied the diet and it seems like the story that everyone has told you about fat being your worst enemy is just a story. And when I say fat, i mean good and unprocessed fats.
My job is not to tell you to avoid carbs, which many of you already do, but explain why these are not so good for you. Yeah, even that quinoa you had for lunch with sweet potato and that whole grain bread. It’s obviously better for you than binge on a whole pack on cookies but will be identical from a physiological standpoint – they will be slowly turned into sugar and insulin will take care of it.
All carbs are processed the same way when they enter your body. Some with a prolonged absorption (therefore with a lower glycemic index and less impactful on your blood sugar levels) and some being quicker absorbed but all of them are processed in the same way.
When you eat carbs, your body produces glucose and insulin. The first one, is the easiest molecule for our body to convert and use as energy, and insulin is produced to process glucose and take it to your body in your bloodstream. Since glucose is the primary source of energy, the fat is not needed so it won’t be used and it will be stored (in all those places we want).
On a keto diet, your carb intake is so low that your body will enter the state of ketosis. When in ketosis, ketones are produced from the breakdown of fat from the liver. This is the principle of keto: keep your body in this state and use ketones as the primary source of energy.
I could give you 1001 reasons why this is a good diet. Not only because it helps on weight management but, most important, it helps diabetic or pre-diabetic people. Since there’s only a few carbs in your body, there will be no high and low insulin levels like it would happen when you eat the smallest amount of carbs.
I know you’re probably shocked and saying “Oh not me, I wouldn’t be able to live without carbs”. Well, if you want it, you can. I don’t do ketogenic diet as my life style because I don’t think I need to. Instead, I do it here and there, for a limited period of time, because I feel tired of carbs and I understand the benefits of doing it. An if you read the studies, you’d agree. The problem is that we all learned, since a young age, that fats are bad, that fruit is healthy (all full of carbs) and a proper portuguese just wants some pasta and some bread on the table because that’s what’s going to give you energy. Not really.
And I could keep going on this subject but it’s just a marketing campaign where fats should be avoided and lights products are popular. Even recommended by doctors! Is it difficult to understand that if a product is light, it means it has been processed and has more carbs? There’s no point cutting on your rice portion and fill up your grocery basket full of light stuff. But is not your fault. Is more convenient to buy carbs. They are easy to produce in large amounts and therefore they’re cheaper.
I just want to make it clear that this post is about the ketogenic diet and I do it because I want to. I’m not selling you guys the cure for cancer or for that 6 pack. I’m only giving you a bit more information about this diet so that you can understand the impact of fats (natural fats) and carbs on your body.
And yes, I also believe in a balanced healthy diet. That’s what I normally do. But you already know about that one so there’s no need for a post.
Any diet you choose to do just remember that, at the end of the day, it’s always going to be calories in calories out. So don’t over do it.
For you guys who read and made up to here, congratulations for not closing the window as soon as I said eating fat is ok. If you are interested to learn more a ketogenic diet, there are some studies and I recommend this ones: