THE KETO DIET
I like to explain things in the most simplistic way possible, you could really get very scientific when it comes to ketosis, the keto diet or ketogenesis. I have been a practicing chiropractor and nutritionist in the Kingwood and Spring Texas area for over 19 years. Before that I was putting my way through college playing on the professional handball tour travelling all over the world.
So basically I have always been into diet and nutrition to maximize results for not only myself but also for my patients since 1993. For myself being a professional handball player I was trying all kinds of diets based on the fact that I was trying to maximize my healing, repair and performance. Since 2000 when I started my chiropractic and nutrition offices in Kingwood and Spring, I have used many different diets to helps maximize the results for my patients, whether it be healing and repair for headaches, sciatica, neck pain, back pain or shoulder pain, or for my nutrition clients and their chronic fatigue, insomnia, hormone imbalances, digestive issues or weight issues.
Please believe me when I say that I have always tried these diets personally before ever recommending them to a patient. I always tell patients that I am fully transparent, I am not going to recommend something unless it works; and how do I know it works? Because I have seen the positive changes in my health and my health concerns when using diets and supplements. If at anytime I experienced negative effects or challenges from a diet or supplement I would also pass that on to my patients as well.
Have you ever gone to a specialist like a cardiologist, endocrinologist, or internist and they don’t look like they should be recommending what they are recommending, lol. My point is that if someone is recommending a keto diet than that person should probably be doing the diet as well, or at least tried the diet to know what the results were. If you cardiologist is overweight and taking cholesterol medicine that seems king of wrong to me; but that is just my opinion.
Ok so let’s get back to the keto diet; like I said before I like to keep things very simple, that way people can be educated in a simple way which will in turn get them better results. Most Americans, unfortunately are eating the standard American diet, (SAD), which is heavy on grains and carbs. Just imagine for most Americans they have these little tiny worker cells that are used to breaking down sugar and carbohydrates for energy; and they have been working over time for years and years. Now for a second imagine that someone start eating a keto rich diet which means lots of good fat, some protein and very little carbohydrates; in this case there is a whole different set of tiny little worker cells that are breaking down fats into energy.
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In a nutshell that is basically it, in many keto diets the person will be eating 60-80% fat for their diet. So how is this good and how is it challenging for the person starting a keto diet. It is challenging for the person because these cells that are breaking down fats for energy and not used to doing this at all so as a result the person might feel a little lethargic, brain fog, digestive issues and more. It can be very challenging to the gallbladder when eating that much fat, because the gallbladder helps break down and store bile which comes from fat. So if one does not have a gallbladder or has had issues with their gallbladder one has to ease into the keto diet because that much fat can wreak some havoc on the digestive system. On the other hand the Keto diet is great because it gives the person energy from breaking down fats but it does not cause blood sugar spikes, so once your body gets used to the keto diet you won’t feel lethargic or like you need to take a nap after eating.
Instead of the straight keto diet I like more of a modified keto diet which is kind of like a paleo diet. But don’t get all worked up or frazzled in the details. I have patients that come in with a variety of different health complaints and I give them all my modified keto or paleo type of diet, which means eat protein and a good fat with every single meal and snack, then I recommend getting good quality carbohydrates which can make up anywhere from 10-20% of your diet; depending on how much the patient wants to dive in or what kind of health conditions they are dealing with. So in general here is the simplest way to stay healthy, and again you can get caught up in measuring food, macros, micros etc but I think that is too much to deal with.
- Eat real food, anything that is in a can, box or bag is NOT real food and full of preservatives.
- Eat 3 decent size meals per day, 50% fat, 30% protein and 20% good carbohydrates, (from vegetables)
- Eat a couple of snacks per day, anything that is protein, good fat and you can digest easily is great, almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, pecans, vegetables dipped in almond butter, boiled egg, avocado or guacamole, (I have only met one person in my life who did not like guacamole, lol)
- Stay hydrated- try and drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces per day of water. Some times on keto, paleo or higher protein/fat diets people have digestive issues like gas, bloating, constipation etc; if you drink lots of water this can significantly help.
- I am also a big fan of intermittent fasting, you hear about bulletproof coffee and that is what I use when I wake up in the morning. You can think of doing a 10 hour fast or 16 hour fast once a week if you like; it is a good stress to the body. So I will eat dinner at 6 pm, then have my bulletproof coffee at 7 am the next day, and then nothing until lunch.
- More recently I have just started incorporating the “no lectin” diet as part of my recommendations to patients. Lectins are proteins that are found in many foods including lentils, beans, grains, tomatoes, cucumbers, cashews and many more foods that you might think are very healthy but in reality they are not. Lectins are really hard for humans to break down and digest causing major digestive issues and inflammation so that is why it is a good idea to stay away from them.
I hope this helps explain the keto diet, what it is and how it works in the body, or how your body responds to that particular diet. I have seen some patients do really well full blown keto and others who feel the keto flu and feel really bad so it is really up to each person. That is why I recommend more of a modified keto diet which from what I have seen has helped many of my patients with auto-immune conditions, thyroid disorders, chronic fatigue, insomnia, joint aches and pain, fibromyalgia and hormone imbalances. When you give the body the right natural things often times it know what to do, and the healing and repairing will start happening automatically.