Unpopular opinion: Keto diet

September 16, 2021 ✨ Cattail Life

Unpopular opinion: Keto diet

Abs for daaaaaays!

His FB post image: his washboard abs.

His post content: he's now 55, has obvious abs of steel and hasn't eaten ANY carbs or sugar since the mid-90's.

Incoming: hot topic water-down

A trend that's been around in the wellness industry for a while now is a four letter word,

Keto.

The keto diet is touted to be the Crème De La Crème

THE key to reversing health woes.

And friends, I'm here to tell you it's not.

Do some people find great results from eating a ketogenic diet? Yes.

Can it be fantastic for people like Mr. Abs? Yes.

Can it be dreadfully harmful for others, particularly menstruating women or those who have big or little traumas in their life? Absolutely.

Let's take a closer look and get science-y for a sec.

Originally a ketogenic diet was used in the 1920s to treat severe cases of epilepsy in children.

While shown to be beneficial for those with epilepsy, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, or metabolic syndrome, there is little to no research on the long-term effects of this diet in healthy people.

A keto diet is essentially:

  • 65 – 80% of calories from fat
  • 10 – 15% of calories from proteins
  • 5 – 10% calories from carbohydrates (grains, sugar, fruit, and root vegetables like beets, sweet potatoes, and yams NOT allowed)

A ketogenic diet is a low-carb diet, where the body produces ketones, which is the result of using fat for fuel instead of carbs (or glucose/sugar).

These ketones are produced in the liver to be used as energy. Your body will use/burn your fat as it's energy source.

Glucose (sugar) is the easiest molecule for your body to convert and use as energy so it will always be chosen over any other energy source. When we consume glucose, insulin is produced to process and circulate it.

Which is why, if you're eating unbalanced meals/snacks - your body will use the sugars as your energy source first, and then the fat sits there and accumulates.

When there isn't enough glucose (sugar), glycogen levels become depleted, blood sugar and insulin are lowered in the body, and now your body starts looking for an alternative fuel source, in this case, fat.

Can we just pause there for a minute.

OUR. BODIES. ARE. AMAZING.

So innately intelligent - knowing what to do, when to do it, and always serving us by way of seeking homeostasis (a state of balance for best-case survival).

When done correctly, the ketogenic diet may help:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Decrease cravings
  • Increase the good, HDL cholesterol
  • Quicker weight loss because of the metabolism manipulation
  • Increase energy
  • Lower blood glucose and hemoglobin A1C levels

**When done correctly - and most often with testing your ketone levels on the regular.

Speaking from research and experience - the keto diet, short term, can be a great booster to ones wellness journey.

However,

And that's a big, HOWEVER,

a ketogenic diet is NOT for those with sensitive nervous systems or those with thyroid or adrenal issues.

For those of you who are healing from trauma, have high levels of stress, imbalanced hormones, or may be experiencing burnout (I fit this overall camp - sensitive, and healing, nervous system here),

we fair MUCH better on a steady release of glucose into our system via complex carbohydrates to shut off the fight-or-flight nervous system response so our bodies can settle and learn the rest, digest and heal space.

Yes, I'm saying it - ladies, we need our carbs!

Our hormones need carbs

our thyroid and adrenals need carbs

these amazing and intricate systems in our bodies need to be fed and nourished so our overall system can create, experience, and exist in a peaceful state of homeostasis.

I'm NOT saying we need to go all crazy with the carbs, gals, so come back to me.

I AM saying our bodies are going to heal, rest, and repair in ways we can never manipulate them to otherwise, when we have a well-balanced amount of carbs in our dietary lifestyle.

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