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.