I am a big fan of a low-carb lifestyle and it has brought me and many of our clients great health benefits. However in ketOntrack we try not be dogmatic.
People have very strong beliefs, and many cultivate their entire lifes around those beliefs and are very religious about them. There are some very serious pitfalls in this way of thinking. This inhibits us from learning, adapting and makes us very resistance to new experiences. And when it comes to health and nutrition this can be dangerous.
We are very far from unlocking the mysteries for human health, and although qe have discussed many times why a low-carb diet is probably the most beneficial for humans but we have also discussed why getting all our nutrients on a daily basis is equally important.
It is very simple:
- Get all your nutrients every single day
- Get your nutrients from quality sources to avoid toxins and inflammation.
Achieving the above is a lot easier with keto (and with no side-effects) than other diets, but you will often find in the keto community people talking about the golden rule of 75% fat, 20% protein, 5% carbs. This guideline can be so misleading when it comes to health without addressing the actually sources of foods.Imagine someone telling you to drink eight glasses of liquid every day. Beer is also liquid! Same stands for macros.
We all know there are three types of macro-nutrients. Fat, protein and carbs.
Fats are essential for health and we need fats for brain function, temperature regulation, vitamin absorption, creation of hormones and many more. But all fats are not created equal.
Saturated fat from animal sources like grass-fed butter will not oxidize in your cells, but the same amount of O6 from sources like sunflower oil, peanut butter, nuts and seeds contain a huge amount of a compound known as linoleic acid, which will create an inflammatory response throughout your body when you eat very much of it and inhibit the satiety signals in your body and make you overeat!
Similarly consider that many “good” fat sources contain high about anti-nutrients such as oxalates, phytic acid which can cause digestive disorders.
Fats aren’t the same, even though they are all fats.
Proteins contain all essential amino-acids which are the building blocks of every living tissue and organ in our body. But again not everything is created equal.
Plant proteins and animal protein are very different as plants don’t have all the essential amino-acids our body needs. On the other hand if you eat meat but grill it until it is black you are probably at an increased risk of cancer due to the toxins that are produced (HCA). Also if you get your from supplements (e.g whey protein) where will you get your folate and the other B-Complex vitamins?
Carb consumption can be a very big discussion topic, and I don’t generally recommend consuming carbs especially if you are not metabolically flexible, but for a healthy individual eating carbs in moderation should not be an issue. But there are many different types of carbs. What if you eat your 5% of carbs purely from white sugar? Would that be ok?
Apples, table sugar, pasta, bread, squash will also mostly turn into glucose in your body but have a completely different effect in the body. Sugar and bread will spike your insuling sky-high while giving you only a short term energy with non of the nutrition.
On the other hand starches like squash have plenty of fiber and vitamins while having a moderate insulin spike. Butternut squash has a glycemic index ranking of 51 and a very low glycemic load of 3. Our recommendation is that even if your are healthy and able to handle carbs try to stick mostly to green vegetables and some starches, like pumpkin, potato, celeryroot, rice.
It’s our job to know what each food does to your body, regardless of whether it is a carb, protein, or fat if we are interested in leading a healthy life.
There are 60 minerals ,16 Vitamins ,12 Amino Acids and 2 Fatty Acids which are considered essential. This means that our body can’t make these so we need to get them from food.Not eating a properly designed diet and ending-up with one or more defiencies can have very bad concenquences for your health.
You don’t want to become deficient
Lat’s take for example magnesium (see last week, and also here).
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and is a co-factor in 700-800 different enzymatic reactions in the body. It plays a role in regulating many biochemical processes including protein synthesis, nerve and muscle function, blood sugar control and blood pressure regulation. Do you serioulsy want to be deficient in magnesium?
An another example is folate. Folate supports a system known as methylation, a biochemical process that takes place within our body. By methylating certain genes, we can turn off your genetic tendency to many disease. This process of turning genes on and off is known as epigenetics. Methylation is crucial for more than 200 of our body’s functions!
- Methylation makes our mind more flexible.
- Methylation of histamine reduces the severity of skin allergies and allergy-like symptoms.
- Methylation is needed to make creatine. Athletes take this as a supplement to support bigger and stronger muscles. But creatine also reduces depression, and it supports digestion, eyesight and skin health.
- Methylation protects against fatty liver, supports the digestion of fats in our diet, helps contract your muscles, and supports sustained, focused attention.
These are all functions where folate is involved and required!
Folate deficiency is usually associated with anemia, where we have fewer red blood cells than you should, and where they are bigger than they should be. This can result in feeling tired, weak, or cause our heart to skip beats or beat irregularly. You don’t want to be deficient in folate trust me!!
Similar examples can be given with most vitamins and unfortunately deficiencies are one the main reasons people have so many issues, low energy, lossing hair, breaking nails and more.
- Try tracking what you eat. Doing this for a month with give you a very good indication where you are with your diet. We use with all our client Cronometer.
- Eat plenty of good salt to get the minerals you need.
- Include once a week some organs meat . I know some of you don’t like them having 200gr of liver once a week will give you most of the B-Vitamins you need.
- Include whole foods and avoid empty, low quality calories such as fast food and check out our ketOntrack pyramid.
- If you have any questions or want some advice just drop us an email
- Macros are not the indication of health.
- Focus on getting all the nutrients you need every day from whole, seasonal food.