Keto Diet

Every day I get an email telling me about the wonders of the keto diet and I really have no idea what it is.  Since the Daily Inkling is asking me to respond to the phrase, “But Carrots Are an Important Source of Vitamins and Minerals”, by stating what is a food that you’ve been told is good for you over and over again, but never found a way to enjoy?  Or, is there a food you once hated but learned to enjoy?”, I am going to get to the bottom of this once and for all.  The New York Times says, “A typical ketogenic diet restricts carbs to less than 10 percent of calories and limits protein to 20 percent, while fat makes up the rest.  Proponents say it causes substantial weight loss and can help those with Type 2 diabetes dramatically improve their blood sugar levels, which fall when people avoid carbs.”

Maybe this is just what I need, as I am a Type 2 diabetic and it would be good for me to lose substantial weight.  Let’s start with the word ketosis, which is a metabolic process (normal body function that involves conversion of food to energy, conversion of food/fuel to building blocks and the elimination of wastes) which happens when your body doesn’t have enough carbs to burn for energy.  Instead, it burns fat and makes substances called ketones, which it can use for fuel.

Like the Atkins diet, this keto diet will allow you to get more calories from protein and fat and less from carbohydrates.  This is done by cutting back most on the carbs that are easy to digest, like sugar, soda, pastries, and white bread.  Eating less than 50 grams of carbs a day, forces your body to eventually run out of fuel (blood sugar) that it can use quickly.  After 3 to 4 days, you’ll start to break down protein and fat for energy, which can make you lose weight, the essence of ketosis.

The ketogenic diet is a short-term diet that’s focused on weight loss, rather than the pursuit of health benefits, so although this low-carb, high-fat diet can lead to weight loss, scientists debate the long-term effects on health.  The keto diet tries to eliminate most grains, fruit, starchy vegetables, legumes and sweets and replace those calories with fat.  Hey wait, I like eating grains and I always say, “Give me my daily bread”, because I enjoy eating toast, muffins, crescent rolls and bagels for breakfast every day.  I know that I should be eating whole grains, which are grains that contain the endosperm, germ, and bran, in contrast to refined grains, which retain only the endosperm, but I also eat refined grains because they taste good.  As part of a general healthy diet, consumption of whole grains is associated with lower risk of several diseases.

Food is supposed to be a science and opinions are always given out by a panel of experts, but I am beginning to think that food is more of an experiment than it is a science.  Some experts will tell you to avoid all fat and other experts might tell you not to eat any whole grains, so how am I expected to separate the wheat from the chaff?  Some experts will say that sugar is better for you than artificial sweeteners, because artificial sweeteners tend to confuse your body into not responding properly to the sweet signal that proclaims that you have just received calories, thus your body will no longer distinguish between being hungry and not being hungry and you will eat whenever and whatever you want, leading to weight gain.  Once your body has been fooled enough, it will stop responding, like the people did to the boy who cried wolf and they won’t be fooled again.  The more I look into food, the more complicated it seems to get, but I am not throwing in the towel yet as I need to beat around the mulberry bush a bit more.

Moderation is the key to a healthy life, so you must take in the big-picture, strive for balance and control as much as is possible.  Don’t become preoccupied with food, effective weight loss is a process of do’s and don’ts, where you are supposed to eat this, and not eat that.  You can try every diet that is on the market, but you can’t trust every diet, as everyone’s body responds differently to different foods.  Food keeps on changing and we are still learning how it affects us and although carrots may be an important source of vitamins and minerals and they may also help your body to remove free radicals, (those unstable molecules that can cause cell damage if too many accumulate in the body which will increase the risk of various types of cancer) and they may even help you see in the dark, this high-fiber food is relatively low in sugar, so it is unlikely to trigger a blood sugar spike, making then safe for people with diabetes to eat, you should also be aware that overconsumption of vitamin A can be toxic.

The ketogenic diet (KD) was introduced by modern physicians as a treatment for epilepsy in the 1920s.  Over the past 15 years, there has been an explosion in the use, and scientific interest in this diet, but I don’t think that this is right for me and I wish they would stop spamming me with it.  I have a good idea of how many carbs are in the food that I eat and I test my blood sugar twice a day and this strategy seems to be working for me, although I have been getting some higher readings over the holidays.  I know I should go easy on the stuffing, and not enjoy that slice of pie, but everyone has to die from something and I may as well die happy.

Written for Normal Happenings Daily Inkling food prompt.

32 thoughts on “Keto Diet

  1. What’s a good diet one week is bad the next. I’ve been on the merry go round of them for years, and finally have found one that works……… it’s not this one.
    As you say, everyone is different and will respond differently to different things. Balance is key, and as I balance a bar of chocolate in one hand and a carrot in the other, it works for me as my hands are now occupied and I can’t eat.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Try wholemeal bread over white. I found carbs are difficult to cut out completely, though, just really because they’re so staple. But I find different carbs affect me differently. (You’ll see all this if you test yourself so regularly.) My sugar is a lot better controlled now, but I’ve put weight on rather than losing it. That’ll be because the stroke means I sit around a lot more.
    Empirically, I have also found that artificial sweeteners have exactly the same effect as sugar. For that reason, I mostly avoid both alcohol and soft drinks in favour of just tea or coffee. Just means that when I do have alcohol, I savour it even more 🙂.

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    1. I write every day in hope of keeping my mind sharp and not getting dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and I hope to live longer than 80, but who knows how long this fragile world will still be around. There is nobody around that would care for me now, so my future is not all that bright.

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  3. I agree with Di that what’s thought to be a good diet one week is thought to be bad the next. When I learned some about nutrition in high school, we were taught that the average person eats too much fat and protein and too few carbs. Now some fifteen years later, low-carb is the go-to diet du jour. I think moderation is key. Eat what you want but limit portions.

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    1. That sounds like good advice to me Astrid. A lot of diets become fads like the South Beach Diet, the Ketogenic Diet, Paleo Diet, The Zone Diet, The Dukan Diet and some of them may work for a while and then when your body becomes used to it, these diets don’t help you lose any more weight.

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  4. A diet made of fat mostly isn’t good for a person. Grains are ok, but the gluten in wheat bread is not. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat soluble, which means they aren’t washed out of your body and can reach toxic levels. I have read over and over again that being dehydrated can trigger a feeling of hunger, so if you drink enough water (4-6 glasses a day) you might avoid that trigger. Foods high in fiber make the body work to digest it and keep the intestines scrubbed. My older son and his gf are juicing 2 meals a day now and son says it keeps hunger away for hours. The down side of juicing is that they dump the pulp which has all of the fiber in it.

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    1. It is funny how the meaning of words change over time as alley juice was a very cheap wine and heroin was called Joy Juice and people that shot up were juicers. I am glad that your son and his girl are the other type of juicers.

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      1. I learned something new today. Our very cheap wine around here was MD2020 which we called Mad Dog. Heroin as Joy Juice and juicers. Yes good thing they aren’t that kind of juicers!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I have been following a keto type eating plan (not calling it a diet exactly) and have lost 50 pounds since March of 2019. I am hoping to lose another 25 and be at my goal weight by my birthday in March of this year. I HAVE had a significant change in my Type II diabetes in that I was able to go from 2 pills a day down to 1 and then eventually none. My fasting blood sugars are in normal range now and I am expecting my hemoglobin A1C to be great when I get it checked again in March. I was concerned about my cholesterol getting high if I ate too much fat as suggested by the actual Keto proponents so while I did use more fats in the beginning, now I am not. I try to keep my carbs down to under 30 a day and I use intermittent fasting (I try to eat dinner by 7 PM and don’t eat again until after noon on the following day) which means I am only eating about 2 meals a day instead of 3. I am walking the dog twice a day but other than that no real exercise although that is one of the things I’m going to work on this year because I know the closer I get to goal the harder it will be to lose. I did have some extra carbs over the holidays but like one of your commenters said, moderation is the key in anything.

    Liked by 2 people

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