The Ketogenic Diet is increasingly gaining popularity, so it’s helpful to learn what this diet is all about. Here are some of the basics with the positive and negative aspects of it.
The Ketogenic Diet brings to our attention that…
- The fat-free philosophy from 20+ years ago has created a huge increase of obesity and most of the major diseases we experience today. Today it is estimated that almost 75% of all Americans are overweight – obese!
- With the removal of fats from many foods, the replacement was/is sugar to make foods more palatable. This replacement has created more intake of sugar, more addictions to sugar, and more risks for heart disease, cancer, diabetes and more!
- People have to come to believe that they need a high carb diet to fuel their energy. And the alarming part is that studies show that 45% of American’s sugar intake comes from drinks: soft drinks, sport drinks, energy drinks, more! In actuality, we get a better source of usable, long-lasting energy from fats instead.
- Fats don’t make you fat, as much as sugar makes you fat! Fats not only fuel energy, but they are vital for brain function and overall body function. Children’s learning disabilities and behavioral challenges, and adult emotional and cognitive disorders, can directly be linked to the lack of good fats, and an over-indulgence of refined carbs.
- A healthy diet of fats, protein, vegetables, few fruits, and no refined carbohydrates is typical of our hunter-gatherers of the past and is still one of the healthiest diets today.
Agreed! So what’s wrong with the Ketogenic Diet?
1) Quality is not the focus!
This was one of the biggest downfalls in the Atkins Diet, and is a HUGE flaw in the Ketogenic Diet as well. Some of the information promoting the Ketogenic Diet may include the recommendation of looking for the omega-3 fats (from grass-fed animals), rather than omega-6 fats (from grain-fed animals), yet bacon is continually recommended that is definitely NOT an omega-3 fat…..always an omega-6 fat. Pigs eat all the garbage foods available, but mostly grains, and GMO corn specifically. Bacon typically goes through a curing process, where the meat is soaked in a solution of salt, nitrates, spices and sometimes sugar. Ham and other pork cuts are not much better.
Cheese also is highly recommended on the Ketogenic Diet. Cheese can be a source of omega-3 fats or omega-6 fats depending on what cows are fed (grass or corn/soy – and commercial dairies all feed the animals corn/soy, etc), but choosing quality again isn’t the focus on the Ketogenic Diet. Milk products, especially cheese and all of it’s forms – sour cream, cream cheese, cheese varieties – can be one of today’s most unhealthy foods and here’s why. Whereas the farm cow of years past ate hay or grass, today’s dairy cows are given regular doses of antibiotics, vaccinated regularly, fed of diet of hormone enriched, GMO corn/soy based feed. Furthermore, the milk is homogenized and pasteurized which produces a milk and milk products that hardly resemble the nutritive quality of the farm cow milk.
There are different grades of milk too, Grades A & B. I had been told this and read this, but once I heard it directly from two different dairymen, I was convinced of the truth. Cows are fed a hormone-rich diet simply to force them to mass-produce more milk. Whereas dairies in the past had to keep track of their cows to regulate times of milking twice daily, today’s cows come in “voluntarily” 3-4 times a day because they are SO engorged! Yes, women, we know what that’s like and what a breast infection is….painful and uncomfortable! Grade B milk can include 5-8% of pus and blood from a cow’s infected utter due to engorgement. “Consequently, only Grade A milk can be used for fluid consumption; Grade B can be used only in manufactured dairy products such as cheese, butter, and nonfat dry milk.” www.dairymarkets.org
The quality of any animal product is based directly on how the animal is fed and treated, so you decide–is cheese a healthy food?
As for the other fats and proteins recommended in the Ketogenic Diet, again, quality is not often mentioned or the focus! But here’s the real truth! Unless you are choosing animal fats and proteins that come from omega-3 grass fed animals, you can hardly consider the Ketogenic Diet a “healthy diet” at all!
2) Quantity is not the focus!
This was also typical of the Adkins Diet and is typical of the Ketogenic Diet. I’ve reviewed many plans and daily diet recommendations, and though I see photos of luscious green salads with healthy proteins and fats, the daily plans include loads of….
- cheese, cream, sour cream, cream cheese
- ham, chicken, fish, beef
- raw nuts & seeds
- butter, lard, coconut oil, olive oil
- AND an occasional reference of a vegetable!
The quantity of “unhealthy” fats and proteins are HUGE in comparison to your vegetable intake. Again going back to our hunter-gatherers and the Westin Price studies of some of the healthiest people, the majority of the diet has always been plant foods. And these diets have consisted of very few grains if any simply because the home gardener simply can’t grow grains successfully! Plant foods have been mostly greens, vegetables, and tubers.
Quantity matters! Take a look at the Ketogenic Diet plans. If the emphasis is so overboard on fats and proteins, and you have little emphasis on eating vegetables, not only is this a highly expensive way to eat, but more importantly, this creates a whole slew of additional problems as we will discuss below. The scary thing is that the Ketogenic Diet is recommended for the long-term healthy lifestyle….scary!!
3) Acidity is a Huge Concern
All fat is acidic, omega-3 or omega-6. All animal protein is acidic. It doesn’t matter what the source is, it’s acidic! All cheese and it’s forms, butter, and eggs…all of these are acidic too. So if you are eating mostly meats, cheeses, and fats, you will end up with a very acidic pH – and an acid pH not only puts you more at risk for all of your major diseases, but is also the culprit of inflammation & chronic pain. This is a MAJOR concern with the Adkins & Ketogenic Diet plans.
The ONLY way to bring up your pH to more alkaline levels and bring balance between the two, is to include many fresh leafy greens and raw vegetables, some fruits in each of your meals and snacking intervals!
4) Enzymes and Probiotics are Lacking
Your body was never meant to produce all the enzymes need to digest your foods. Most of your enzymes should come from raw, living foods: fresh vegetables and fruits, sprouts, and raw nuts are all good sources of living enzymes. Live probiotics include raw sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, kombucha and more….also important for a healthy digestion and keeping your gut a healthy environment for good digestion.
A diet high in meats and fats does not include good sources of enzymes and probiotics UNLESS the meat is raw! And I haven’t seen anything that points to that suggestion! Again, you must consume a good healthy intake of leafy greens and vegetables!
5) Against Biblical and Modern Scripture
As I see diets come and go over the years, I always have to compare it to what is recommended in our scriptural texts….what does the Lord say about these foods to his people? In reality, God is the creator of all we have, and if our foods are not found in nature, we suffer as a people. And that’s why today we are suffering greatly because we are choosing to eat man’s recreations: unhealthy animal proteins and fats, processed, refined, and chemically-filled foods over what is healthy, whole and wholesome foods!
From the Holy Bible we note…..
In Leviticus 11:7 and Deuteronomy 14: the pig was regarded as the type of all unclean beasts. Its flesh was forbidden as food. Today it is also one of the most unhealthy of meats….it’s no better, it’s no different than it was back then and could possibly be worse! I’ve seen what hogs are typically fed….nothing good for sure!
Meats, fats, and cheese were undoubtedly referenced throughout all scriptures as being food for man (in moderation), yet back in the day animals ate mostly grasses and produced clean meats high in omega-3 fats. Today that’s not the case so if you desire better health, you’ll need to be choosy. Vegans and vegetarianism isn’t necessarily the answer, and you will notice that most vegetarians eat a diet high in carbs, lack healthy proteins and fats which can produces long-term unhealthy consequences and excess weight (though for a cleanse and recharge of health, removing animal foods for a time can be beneficial). Breads and grains were eaten, but again they were not Genetically-Modified, highly-refined, bleached, and overly and abundantly produced in almost every possible form like they are today. They were pure grains eaten whole.
Here are a few basic suggestions that I would suggest for optimal health….
- Eat mostly plant-based foods – herbs and fruits in their season: raw leafy greens, raw, baked and steamed vegetables, sprouts, raw nuts and seeds should be your foundation in providing nutrients, enzymes, fiber and plenty of carbs.
- Eat good “quality” sources of fats – we need good fats for good brain health: raw nuts, butter, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, coconut milk. Eliminate ALL processed fats, trans fats, fried foods, unhealthy milk/cheeses from your diet.
- Eat good “quality” sources of proteins – we need good, clean proteins for a healthy functioning body: grass-fed chicken/turkey, wild-caught fish, raw nuts & seeds, range-free eggs. Eliminate peanuts, ALL processed meats, and nitrate-cured meats (which includes bacon and pork).
- Eliminate ALL, yes ALL, refined carbs (sugar, white flour products) – remove them from your diet and your children’s diets especially. Substitute vegetables sticks and fresh fruit with raw almond butter for snack time!
- Eliminate ALL grains and grain products from GMO sources – and most of them are – then eat only whole grains (cooked or sprouted) on an occasional basis. Also, keep your beans to a minimum as well.
I know this may seem like a challenge but it’s really not! Healthy eating must be proactively learned – but if I can do it….you can do it too!
If you think this information resonates, then don’t hesitate to invest in your health and the health of your family by getting my latest book, The 7 Secrets of Healthy Happy People. It’s available here:
Happy Healthy Eating!