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6 Keto Diet Myths That Are Stopping Your Results

The keto diet is the latest trend in the diet world. Is there merit to this way of eating? Can eating bacon and eggs REALLY be healthy for you? What’s the catch? You’re not alone if you have doubts about the keto diet or if it seems to good to be true.

What is the keto diet?

Keto is short for ketosis, a state in which your body is burning fat for fuel rather than glucose. This is achieved by eating a diet that is high in healthy fat with moderate protein and low carbohydrates. Unfortunately, you can’t just reach ketosis by skipping your morning muffin as it does require diligence with the number of carbohydrates you consume from all sources, including fruits and vegetables. That said, it’s one of the most satiating ways of eating because you get to eat lots of healthy fats, yum!

The keto diet was first observed in Inuit populations in Northern Canada over 100 years ago and has been used to treat epilepsy for decades. More recently, the benefits of using fat for fuel have become trendy in order to achieve weight loss, manage diabetes and some autoimmune conditions as well. Those on the keto diet often report weight loss, high energy, and a clear, focused mind.

There are many benefits to keto and it taps into our body’s physiological ability to burn fat, which is more efficient than burning sugar. If you think back to our hunter-gathering times, we needed to be sharp and energetic to hunt our food without eating first (they didn’t have frosted flakes back then). Being in ketosis often feels like you have lots of energy, feel sharp and hunger is much less intense. In fact, many people in ketosis eat one or two meals a day and that’s it. No more blood sugar ups and downs! That said, there are myths about keto that may scare you from trying what can be a very beneficial diet.

Keto Myth #1: Eating Keto is Dangerous and can be Life-threatening

Yes, this sounds a little over the top. The confusion comes from a fear of ketoacidosis (the names are similar but they are not at all the same thing). Ketoacidosis is a rare but very serious condition where a person’s blood pH is too low. This can be fatal if not treated quickly. Ketosis and ketoacidosis are NOT the same things. Ketoacidosis can only occur when there are both extremely high ketones and very high blood sugar at the same time. For most people, these two things would never occur at the same time. The real risk is in people with uncontrolled or undiagnosed diabetes. If you are diabetic keto can be a great fit for you but more caution may be recommended (as always, working with a knowledgeable healthcare practitioner is the way to go!)

Keto Myth #2: All Meat, All the Time

The key to a successful keto diet is eating high fat, low carb, and moderate protein. It’s a common misconception that keto is a “meat and cheese” diet. Whatever diet style you choose to follow it’s important to have a wide range of nutrients that will almost always come from a variety of vegetables. Leafy greens are always a basic staple and eating a colourful selection of veggies is important to ensure you’re getting what you need (moderating the high carb veggies such as carrots and peas as needed). Because fat is almost twice as dense at protein and carbohydrates you won’t be eating a huge volume of fat even though it’s your primary source of calories. The proportions of your plate may take a bit of getting used to and that’s okay!

Keto Myth #3: Quality Doesn’t Matter

No matter what foods you choose to eat, quality is always important especially as our food and farming practices have changed drastically over the last 40 years. The best place to start is choosing grass-fed & finished animal products that are full of healthy fats and are high in anti-inflammatory omega 3 fats. Conventional animal products, on the other hand, are very inflammatory and can slow the health results you’re wishing to achieve.

Keto Myth #4: Foods are Not “Keto” or “Not Keto”

Unlike eating a vegetarian diet where animal products are off-limits, eating keto doesn’t mean you can’t have a certain food or not. This takes a bit to wrap your brain around but the focus is more on the overall balance of macronutrients- fat, carbs and protein – and less about what foods. Now, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone keto who eats bread because that wouldn’t leave any room for veggies or any other sources of carbs. That said, you can have carrots or even a small amount of grains and still be in ketosis.

Keto Myth #5: Calories Don’t Matter for Weight Loss

Just like keto isn’t a meat and cheese diet, it’s also not an eat as much as you want diet IF your main goal is weight loss. First off, when you achieve a state of ketosis you will be a lot less hungry, making it hard to overeat. Also, eating lots of high fat foods is self-limiting. You either won’t feel well or you’ll have no desire to continue eating. That being said, if your goal is to lose weight you must also be aware of calories. There can be some initial weight loss while eating higher calories but while calories are one piece of the weight loss puzzle, you can’t ignore them entirely. If you’re finding you’re not losing weight it’s possible your snacking on too many nuts or not being as aware of portions as is needed.

Keto Myth #6: Your Brain Needs Glucose so Eating Keto isn’t Healthy or Sustainable

This one is a bit tricky but it is simple once you break it down. It’s true that our brain does require some glucose to function. However, our bodies are capable of MAKING glucose from ketones in order to give the brain sufficient fuel. Also, you’ll likely be consuming some glucose while you eat keto and you also will be exposed to glucose if you do a carb up the practice (which is simply eating higher carbs every week to few days for hormone balancing, athletes, etc.) Keto is one of the more sustainable diets because you don’t feel restricted, can eat tasty foods and it can be easy to manage without strict carb counting. Also, if you were to go and eat a pizza one day you likely wouldn’t feel great and you definitely wouldn’t be in ketosis, but once you are fat-adapted your body will slip back into a state of ketosis easily and in as little as a day.

As always, one style of eating won’t work for everyone. That being said, keto does tap into a physiological adaptation that humans have carried for thousands of years. Fuelling your body with whole foods and lots of healthy fats while enjoying what you eat is often a perfect combination for an effective, enjoyable eating style. Best of luck on your keto journey!

All content found on this website was created for informational and general educational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your primary care provider or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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