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How many of you are old enough to remember being told dietary fat was bad?
All the hype was about eliminating as much fat in our diets as possible. The ads were promoting low fat or fat free and the shelves were lined with these “healthy” items.
Doctors were telling their patients that if they wanted to lose weight, lower their cholesterol, and keep their hearts healthy they needed to cut the FAT!
What are we hearing now? High fat and low carb.
I don’t know about you but I am beginning to not believe everything I am being told.
Honestly, I think we all struggle with our weight and our health and are continually looking for solutions and that one right answer.
At least most of us that over 50.
You know what? I hate to break the news but there is no ONE right answer.
Sure, I know someone is reading this right know and saying, “ Lisa, you are wrong because I am on the Keto diet and have lost a ton of weight and feel better than I ever have in my life”.
And you know what I say to that? Keep on doing it then because you did find the diet answer that works for you. (if you can sustain it, that is).
How many of you have tried the Keto diet and lost weight but now you are off the keto diet and have gained the weight back?
Why is that if the Keto diet is so great?
That is because it is not sustainable for most people.
Anything restrictive usually isn’t.
There are also other important reasons why carbs should not be restricted.
Carbohydrates are found in most foods except meat products. They are found in vegetables, fruits, and grains.
When we eliminate or restrict these foods from our diets we are also depriving our bodies of cancer fighting foods, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that we need for a healthy functioning body including our thyroid many other physiological processes.
So Let’s talk about the Keto Diet
The Keto diet requires you to go into a state of ketosis which causes the body to burn fat as its primary fuel source instead of carbohydrates.
So this is how the Keto diet works when followed properly:
The first week you lose pretty much just water weight.
The fat burning doesn’t typically start until you have been in a state of ketosis for a week or maybe even two weeks.
That is why you can’t just jump in and out of Keto and have it work. You can’t cheat!!
It also promotes a diet very high in fat.
So now you have eliminated veggies like carrots, potatoes, corn, peas, beans, etc and instead you are eating fat bombs, bacon, and cream cheese.
Now tell me is that really healthy? Yummy maybe, but no so healthy.
And studies show it is really not much more effective than any other diet out there. One study published in February of 2018 showed no statistically significant difference in the amount of weight dropped in a direct comparison of low-fat and low-carb dieting over the course of a year.
Now, mind you- there are real health benefits for some folks. Certain conditions like epilepsy are treated very effectively with this diet.
I acknowledge it is not all bad.
I just do not believe it is all good either.
So what is?
Well, there is something that works pretty much for everyone.
We have all seen that really skinny person that is not necessarily healthy looking.
I know this calorie deficit thing is not sexy, new, or a lot of fun to talk about but when you are wearing your summer outfits that you had to buy in a smaller size then everyone will be talking.
These principles are a way of life AND… drum roll please…
Guaranteed to provide weight loss and to sustain that weight loss.
Ok, let’s get back to carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates can be broken down into two main categories; simple and complex.
Soda, sweet tea, candy , and cake contain simple sugars while whole grains, cereals, and many vegetables, contain complex carbs.
The main difference between the two groups are their chemical structures.
Simple sugars are made up of a few sugar molecules while complex carbs are made up of hundreds and even thousands of these molecules put together.
In your body, the end product of both is glucose.
Simple sugars cause your body to be flooded with glucose almost immediately and complex carbohydrates allow the glucose to trickle a little at a time providing you with sustained energy while providing your body with available nutrients
Using ketones for fuel means less energy to be active which is a key component in weight loss.
Less B vitamins, minerals, and nutrients also means less healthy thyroid and hormone function which is another key component to weight loss.
The ketogenic diet also tends to cause more calcium to be lost in the urine so over time can lead to osteoporosis.
Carbohydrates are an important part of a healthy diet. But some people consider all carbs, from soda to sweet potatoes, to be equal. Decades of science tell us that this simply isn’t true—the body handles lentils differently than it does lollipops. ”
Lee Crosby, R.D., Dietitian, Physicians Committee
Studies have also shown us that simple sugars contribute to obesity and diabetes, especially in children.
It has also been shown that eating the good carbs(complex) can shield you from many types of cancers.
So next time you pick up the magazine about the newest low carb claim, throw it away and grab an apple. (speaking of apples read this article to discover all the the wonderful healthy benefits of eating green apples).