|Over the years there have been a number of ‘fad’ diets come and go. Atkins, South Beach and Dukan are some of the more recent ones that spring to mind. I always find it amusing to see the upswing and eventual levelling out (or downright crash) of any such trend. All of these diets, however, do actually have some merit or evidence behind them. It is always handy to be a little objective when looking at them and deciding whether or not a diet, or elements of one, would benefit you.
The Ketogenic diet is the latest one to be hitting the airwaves and radars of the health conscious. You may have heard about keto supplements or fat bomb treats for example. So let’s take a closer look at Ketosis and what it does for you.
When your body can’t access glucose (sugar) as a fuel, it switches to being able to burn fat as fuel. A handy mechanism to have when traditionally, we would go through periods of feast and famine throughout the year. We know that people who fast regularly have stronger immune systems and experience less obesity, brain fog and other chronic health issues. A ketogenic diet is one that is high in good fats, moderate in quality protein and very low in carbohydrate. Ketogenic diets have been used for many years to help people with epilepsy plus there is growing evidence that certain brain tumours, neurological conditions and type 2 diabetes also respond well to this way of eating.
So, should EVERYONE get on the Keto craze? The answer is a definite no. There is an epidemic of poor health and chronic disease in the making thanks to our disconnection from a natural diet and the modern way of living. We are designed to eat in line with the seasons and what grows naturally during those times. A period of fasting is normal and healthy for our bodies, immune system and nervous system. There is, however, no evidence that living in a state of fat burning long term is positive or even negative to our health.
Unless you have one of the above mentioned health challenges, it is probably a much better idea to incorporate more healthy fats into your diet and stop eating so much of the foods that break down to sugar in your body, especially those processed carbohydrates such as sugar, sugar substitutes, white flour and white potatoes. Move more and know where your food comes from.
Foods that contain Ketones are made in a laboratory rather than in your body have had no long term testing as to their effectiveness or how they may influence your health in the long term. To me, this seems like an area that deserves more observation. Incorporate some aspects of the diet, but consider more long term balance in how you fuel your body and plan your longer term healthy life.