You’ve most likely heard the term “keto” before. Largely due to the fact that it’s super trendy at the moment. It has even been the foundation for newer network marketing companies! Products are being marketed as “keto friendly” or are even claiming to catapult your body into this state with no other effort on your part. No wonder some are skeptical. I’d be too!
I have been lucky enough to have been taught this diet before it became mainstream. Before people mass produced products to help them, “cheat.” I learned how to succeed with keto with real food and to do it correctly. In this way, I have to say that the Keto lifestyle, when done mindfully has changed my life for the better. Dare I even say, it may be part of the solution to the modern-day epidemic of food-induced diseases and obesity.
What is Keto?
“Keto” is short for ketogenic, which is known to be high in fat and low in carbohydrates. This will trigger one’s body to go into ketosis. This is when your body breaks down fat for fuel, especially deeply-stored fat. This whole process produces compounds called ketones which circulate through one’s blood and replace carbs to produce energy.
Keto has been around for quite a while and is actually more of a lifestyle than a diet. Sure, you can lose weight really fast on the program, but it’s all about sustaining it long term that defines its lifestyle. When you achieve ketosis, you’ve trained your body to burn fat at a higher rate than it normally would.
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Many misconceptions have caused unnecessary fear. Here are a few:
The most common misconception with keto is that it’s a high-protein diet.
However, to remain in ketosis it’s not just about eating nothing but protein; it’s about eating the right amount of protein for your body. If you just consume nothing but protein, you risk putting your body in ketoacidosis, which can be a life-threatening state in which your blood becomes highly acidic.
When your protein intake gets too high, your body converts it to glucose and this causes your blood sugar to spike. That’s the opposite of what the keto diet is about. Although I have never really run into this, as it takes a lot of effort for your liver to turn protein into sugar. It will not default to that first, so don’t worry if you had an extra hard-boiled egg as a snack! Many “gurus” and healthcare practitioners advise about 6 to 8 percent of your daily calories to come from protein to remain in ketosis.
Your Brain Needs Sugar
Many people believe that your brain needs high amounts of sugar in order to function. Right? This is simply not true! This may be slightly true if your body runs in sugar-burning mode (What happens when you eat carbs?).
Although, if you’re doing keto, your brain will also be running on ketones. Sure, your brain still needs some glucose, but that’s why your carb levels on the keto diet are super low and not zero. It’s just enough to get you by. But ketones are actually better for your brain! They help improve your mental acuity, cognition, focus, mood and more. Eating for the keto lifestyle can greatly benefit your brain! Also, as mentioned before, our bodies have to ability to turn protein into glucose if needed. Amazing!
You Can Eat Any Type of Fat
Many think they can eat bacon galore while on keto, since it allows them to eat any type of fat. But that’s not true. Just because you need to be in ketosis doesn’t give you the green light to simply eat saturated fat sources. You can replace saturated fat like bacon, ham and sausages for unsaturated fats like fish, grape-seed oil and the like. You can optimize your keto lifestyle by getting the bulk of your needed fat from things like nuts, seeds, extra virgin olive oil and fatty fish.
The Keto Diet Is Dangerous
Critics of the keto diet think that it’s dangerous. They believe that since you’re eating a lot of fat that you’re more susceptible to elevated cholesterol, a lack of vital minerals and vitamins , thus being inclined to develop ketoacidosis. You just have to be selective on what you eat and make sure you follow the diet as well as you can, and you’ll be fine!
This is where choosing healthy fats is wise, such as coconut oil, olive oil, grape-seed oil, etc. I also take high-quality food-based vitamins, potassium, omegas, and, sea salt. My favorite is to put freshly-squeezed lemons in my water each morning. I do this to cover my bases. Something we all should be doing regardless of our lifestyle!
It Should Only Be Done for A Short Amount of Time
Some think it should only be done for a short period of time and that it’s not sustainable for a long-term lifestyle. But it’s actually easy to follow long-term once you get the hang of it. You’ll actually find that when you do start to carb cycle that your body won’t do well with your old eating habits. You’ll feel bloated and inflamed a lot more than when you were following keto. This is why many choose to make it a lifestyle rather than just a diet.
There are many benefits to keto, so if you’re been wanting to try it, don’t let these misconceptions stop you!
If you have been on the keto diet or are considering it, we’d love to hear about your thoughts or questions on our Facebook page!
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*Disclaimer – Please know that I am not a medical doctor. I cannot cure, mitigate or diagnose anything. Speak to your health-care practitioner regarding what is best for you. This article is simply my perspective and what has worked out well for me.
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