The Two Faces of Keto

In this episode we’re going to break down why this particular style of eating has so much controversy.  

People seem to either LOVE or HATE the keto diet, based on a variety of reasons.  

The ketogenic diet has been around for over 100 years...so it's not just a recent weight loss craze.  

In this episode I also mentioned that I'm doing a personal Metabolic Reset Challenge and I've invited everyone to join me!  If you want to join or have questions, send me an email: andrea@healthylifewithandrea.com 

Episode Transcript:

The two faces of keto - fad diet or therapeutic.
In this episode we’re going to break down why this particular style of eating has so much controversy.  
First, let’s talk about what a ketogenic diet really is and how it was discovered.  
In 1911, doctors discovered that seizures in children and adults were less severe when they fasted. In the 1920s, they realized fasting worked for patients because their metabolism switched from burning glucose primarily to burning stored body fat (ketones).  So, they knew fasting worked, but also knew that you can’t fast forever…eventually you need nutrients (especially vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and certain amino acids that are required for life).  As soon as these subjects ate their normal diet again, seizures returned.  They needed a different solution. 
Dr Wilder at the Mayo Clinic proposed a very low carbohydrate high fat diet in place of fasting, which would provide the necessary nutrients while maintaining the ketone production. They conducted numerous trials and found a tremendous success rate in reducing or eliminating seizures.  
Ok…so that’s seizures.  What does that have to do with weight loss, diabetes, heart disease, mental health, hormone imbalances, and infertility?  They’re all related to metabolic health and fuel utilization issues.  Specifically, these conditions all have issues running primarily on glucose, but do very well running on ketones.  And we now have 100+ years of research, clinical observation, and personal anecdotes to prove it.  
In looking at PubMed Central, the National Library of Medicine published study database for the word “keto”, brings back 3,403 publications as of May 2024.  And there are 491 ongoing Clinical Trials for a variety of conditions from specific cancers, type 1 and 2 diabetes, various heart disease conditions, PTSD, brain injury recovery, for intubated patients in critical care, depression, anxiety, kidney disease, and so much more.  
So, why are there so many different opinions on “keto”?  Partly in the application of the diet.  
“Keto” becomes a fad diet when it involves pre-packaged junk foods, low carb treats, and a bunch of artificially created food-like products that are low in carbohydrates.  Most of these foods are filled with artificial sweeteners, chemical flavorings, and added fiber to bring the “net” carbs down.  But these ingredients don’t support proper metabolism or cellular function.  Sure, they may result in some weight loss due to being lower calorie, but they aren’t providing those essential nutrients that your body can’t make…amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals from their natural source.  
A well-formulated, whole-food ketogenic diet contains non-starchy vegetables, quality proteins, and healthy fats.  It also often is accompanied by fasting, because these foods are incredibly satiating, so snacking and frequent meals aren’t necessary.  
The benefits of a proper ketogenic diet can be: reduced appetite, increased fat burning, balanced blood sugars, boosted energy, improved mental clarity, reduced joint pain and inflammation, lower insulin levels and improved insulin sensitivity, improved lipid profile (reducing triglycerides and increasing HDL), weight loss, reduced fat in the liver, reduced visceral fat, improved cognitive function, balanced hormones, improved fertility, improved blood pressure, and so many more.  When done correctly, this is a therapeutic nutrition plan…not a fad diet.  
Let’s face it, the world is getting sicker by the day.  A study of data in 2017-2018 showed that 93.2% of the adult population are not ideally healthy from a cardiometabolic standpoint, and the US is far from the worst.  These diseases are primarily driven by poor diet…highly processed and refined foods, far too many carbohydrates, unhealthy fats, and eating too frequently.  This trend will continue as long as therapeutic diets are turned into cash cow fad diets that aren’t helping improve health, but simply improving revenue for the junk food makers.  

If you are ready to take your health back, I want to invite you to join me in a challenge that will teach you how to incorporate fasting the easy way, quality proteins, healthy fats, and reduce your reliance on carbs, caffeine, and junk foods. I’m going to be doing this challenge with you starting Monday, May 20th.  If you want more information on this challenge, send me an email.  I’ll leave the address in the show notes.  If you are hearing about this challenge after May 20th, send me a message and let me know you’re interested.  I’ll give you the updated information based on when you reach out.  Until the next, be well and vibrant! 


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