To put it simply, the Keto Diet is defined as follows:
“The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that in medicine is used primarily to treat difficult-to-control epilepsy in children. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates.”
Or to put it even more simply, it’s a diet that involves cutting out the carbs, upping the fats so that your body uses the fats as a form of energy instead of the carbs. Simple right?
No two peoples bodies are the same, but the basic idea behind the Keto Diet is that your calories will come from 60-75% fats, 15-30% proteins and 5-10% carbs.
There is a mountain of information on the ketogenic diet online. Since this is a recipe blog, be sure to come here for recipes developed in accordance with the correct macro breakdown (fats, carbs, protein) to enable you to stay in ketosis.
For years we’ve been told to stay away from things like butter and fatty meats because they cause heart disease and high cholesterol. We’ve been pushed by huge advertising campaigns to eat low-fat this, or drink low-fat that, and “carbo-load” to get us through the day because it was “good for us” and we needed the energy to get through the day.
But over the years it seems that even though these so-called “healthy eating” habits have invaded every aspect of our daily lives, the number of people with heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol and many other forms of disease have been increasing exponentially. Why? Well the answer is simple, it’s not the fats that are killing us, it’s the carbs.
“Coronary Heart Disease remains the number 1 killer in the UK. 160,000 people die from heart and circulatory disease. 73,000 people die from coronary heart disease (CHD). 42,000 people died prematurely from cardiovascular disease (CVD).” – www.heartuk.org.uk. That’s a very scary 275,000 people dying every year in the UK, from some form of heart disease.
What’s even scarier is that according to heartuk.org.uk approximately 17.3 million people died from some form of cardiovascular disease globally.
According to studies done by heartuk.org.uk, every year in the UK –
- Every 7 minutes someone in the UK will have a heart attack.
- Every 12 minutes someone in the UK will have a stroke.
- 1.2 million men and 900,000 women are living with chronic angina.
- 20,000 new cases of angina and 25,000 new cases of heart failure are diagnosed.
- 1 million men and nearly 500,000 women are living with the after effects of a heart attack.
- 600,000 men and 600,000 women are living with the after effects of a stroke.
- Over 1.6 million men and over 1 million women are living with CHD.
- 800,000 people are living with heart failure.
- Overall CVD is estimated to cost the UK economy 19 billion – 46% direct healthcare costs, 34% productivity losses and 20% to informal care of people with CVD.
You don’t need to watch a horror movie for a good scare, just look at these statistics and ask yourself, “am I one of these numbers?”.
In a nutritional study at The Lancet of more than 135,000 people across 18 different countries (the largest observational study ever), researchers found that the people that ate the least saturated fat (which is about the same amount as currently recommended to heart patients by the way) had the highest rates of heart disease and mortality, but people that consumed the most saturated fat had the lowest rate of strokes.
Analysing more than a dozen studies published by the British Journal of Nutrition, it’s quite clear that patients on low-carb diets had healthier body weights and cardiovascular systems than those on the massively popular low-fat diets.
Why do these myths that “carbs are good for you and fats are bad for you” still exist? Well, in 1961 the American Heart Association published its first report recommending that people limit the consumption of animal fats and dietary cholesterol. Even though they cited several studies that showed a link between high-fat diets and heart problems this finding was never put to the test in a clinical trial. Not very scientific, but this narrative became gospel.
What makes this eating “advice” so concerning is the following –
“Eventually, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) started conducting clinical trials. However, these trials were deeply flawed. Additionally, when evidence contradicted the dominant medical narrative, researchers effectively buried it. One NIH study, which found little-to-no relationship between saturated fats and various health problems, was conducted between 1968 and 1973 but wasn’t published for another 16 years.” – The Washington Post, July 8, 2018.
Why all the secrecy? It makes one ask the question nobody seems to be asking, who is profiting off this “advice” (this is not a conspiracy theory website by the way, this a KETO lifestyle website, but we had to throw that in there)?
So, now that all of that is out of the way and you’re looking at “fats” in a different, delicious light, you’re probably wondering when will we get to answering the question, “What is the Keto Diet?”.
The energy (or calories) to run the machine that is our bodies comes from 3 main sources, fat, protein and carbohydrates. These are the energy sources that keeps us going. When you load up on the carbs and still consume some fats, the body will immediately go to the easiest source of energy to burn, the carbs. Now, if you don’t do anything to burn all these carbs (your body converts the carbs to glucose) the leftover glucose is sent to the liver and stored as glycogen and you haven’t even started burning the fat yet, and all that fat is then stored too. (Too much glycogen and fat stored within a cell can be toxic. This buildup damages organs and tissues throughout the body, particularly the liver and kidneys, leading to the signs and symptoms of GSDI – not pleasant right?)
It’s quite logical then to say “cut out the carbs, increase the fat” and your body will have no option but to go directly to the only source of energy available to it, FAT!. Your body will burn FAT, say it again, your body will burn FAT!
The state where your body burns fat is known as ketosis. Ketosis occurs when your body has run out of its glycogen (basically sugar) stores so it needs to find another fuel source. When this occurs your liver begins to process fat into ketones which become your body’s main fuel source. Even more simply put – FAT to KETONES = ENERGY! Your body will essentially become a fat-burning machine.
And now you’re probably asking, if I’m burning fat, will I lose weight? Well, according to Keatley Medical Nutrition in New York, people reduce their calorie intake to about 1,500 calories per day on the Keto Diet because healthy fats and protein make you feel fuller sooner and for a longer period of time. And then you add in the fact that it takes more energy to process and burn fat and protein than carbs (burning carbs is the lazy approach, and laziness is not good is it), so you’re burning more calories than you did before. When you put 2 & 2 together, it gives you a simple answer – WEIGHT LOSS!
Weight loss is awesome, who doesn’t want to just lose weight, but here’s the thing, with the majority of these other fad diets out there, their only benefit is weight loss. That’s a “One for the price of One” deal and who wants that. The Keto Diet comes loaded with benefits and who doesn’t want that?
So here is a summarised list of the “Extras” the Keto Diet comes with:
1 – WEIGHT LOSS – Yes please!
2 – APPETITE CONTROL – No more stomach rumbling cravings for the “bad” things. Sugar addiction is no more.
3- BETTER MENTAL FOCUS – No more inconsistent energy because of the up and down blood sugar levels caused by carbs, which means the brain can focus for longer using the more consistent Ketone energy source.
4 – MORE ENERGY – As appealing as a nap after a carb laden lunch is, imagine not needing one. Ketosis is the never ending energy source.
5 – FIGHTS TYPE II DIABETES – Need we say more, but if you don’t believe us, read this!
6 – INCREASES HDL CHOLESTEROL – Before you panic, HDL is the good one and escorts cholesterol away from the body and to the liver where it’s given the boot.
7 – LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE – If you’re stressed about your blood pressure, click on this link (you’ll burn a calorie or 2 doing the clicking) and then take a deep breath, relax and know that you’re in good hands with the Ketogenic Diet.
Looking at the above, it becomes quite easy to make a decision on whether or not to try the Keto Diet. Nobody likes change, but when you’ve got nothing to lose (other than weight, high blood pressure, heart disease, cholesterol to name a few) and everything to gain why wouldn’t you take the leap and start enjoying that bacon and grass-fed butter that you’ve always been taught is bad for you!
DISCLAIMER: Please note that this is a recipe website. We are not medical professionals. Please consult your doctor if you are interested in starting a ketogenic lifestyle.