The case for keto as new lifestyle
For those new to the concept of “keto”, this way of eating can seem quite confronting and counterintuitive. Keto focuses on deriving our fuel from good fats and a diet that is high in fat, moderate in protein and low in carbs. This is in contrast to what we have been taught, that is the modern food pyramid. So why has the ketogenic diet become so popular and what does the science say?
So, for those of you who don’t know, I trained and registered as a pharmacist in my early 20’s (I am no longer a pharmacist and took a number of career turns before starting Low Carb Emporium). Naturally I was sceptical at first when I heard about the ketogenic diet. But I followed the science as per my training. This is what I found (I’ve eased off on the technicalities here).
How we evolved: We certainly didn’t evolve eating the sugar laden highly processed products available today. Our early evolutionary ancestors were hunters and gatherers with a diet rich in meats and vegetation. Modern farming practices introduced grains and lots of new foods such as breads, cereals and pastas. The modern era took it one step further with a plethora of highly processed produce that doesn’t resemble anything that we had evolved to consume – laden with sugars and processed oils. This had coincided with the explosion of obesity and a raft of other inflammatory medical conditions in the western world.
Essential nutrients: What does the body actually need that it cannot make (these are called Essential Nutrients)? As it turns out if you look at the 3 major sources of energy Protein, Carbohydrates and Fats, carbohydrates is the only energy source that does not contain any Essential Nutrients. Meaning if your body does need glucose (the ultimate breakdown molecule of all carbohydrates), you body will actually make some by a process called gluconeogenesis. What your body cannot make is 9 essential amino acids (the ultimate breakdown products of proteins – namely histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine) and certain Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. The key to a good supply of these essential nutrients is the consumption of good quality protein and healthy fats.
Evidence for health issues improvement: A low carb and ketogenic diet is documented to assist with many inflammatory conditions. While it’s best that you discuss your specific health concerns with your healthcare professional, a good place to start is The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) – the Australian Government agency responsible for scientific research. They have been extensively researching a low carbohydrate diet and its impact on diabetes and blood glucose control. They have developed the CSIRO Low Carb Diet and have a number or resources available to support it. To read more about this please visit: https://www.csiro.au/en/research/health-medical/diets/csiro-low-carb-diet
So where to from here? Well, if you are reading this blog and you’ve made it down to this point, you are clearly interested in improving your health and even in exploring if a keto diet is right for you. Make sure to check out our USEFUL RESOURCES page on our website and especially make a point to visit the Low Carb Downunder website.
As with any new diet or exercise program, make sure to consult your healthcare professional first especially if you have any underlying health concerns. If you are looking for a healthcare professional that is well versed in a ketogenic diet, Low Carb Downunder has a directory of doctors, dieticians and other healthcare professionals.
If you are still onboard for given keto a go, we’re here for you. We have hundreds of low carb and keto friendly versions of cooking, pantry and snack favourites. Our friendly staff are always happy to help make your journey as easy as possible.
If you have any questions, make sure to drop us a line.
All the best,