Many people ask, what about the health aspects of a Ketogenic diet?
Won’t all this fat clog my arteries and kill me?
The answer is, it’s really up to you.
You can do a ketogenic diet while still eating healthy foods. For meats, you can stick to fish, chicken, and other healthy favorites.
And for your 30 grams of carbs or so per day, you can have salads with lettuce, broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, and so many other foods that are incredibly healthy for you!
For your fat consumption, you can altogether avoid Trans Fatty Acids, which are the evil ones, and you can also mostly avoid Saturated Fats, or at least keep them down to a level that you’d see even on a regular diet. Also, there is a safety aspect of staying in ketosis for long periods of time, as pointed out in this guide, and that you must be aware of.
The best resource I can point you to is a book called ‘Fats that Heal Fats that Kill‘ by Udo Erasmus for under $20; it gives astounding information on fats and health in general.
All I can do here is give a brief summary…
There are three major types of fatty acids:
- Saturated Fat (like beef fat/lard)
- Monounsaturated Fats (such as Olive Oil),
- Polyunsaturated Fats (such as Fish Oil).
The best fats, the fats that heal, are the Polyunsaturated fats called ‘Essential Fatty Acids,’ specifically called Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids (more information to educate yourself). Omega-6 fatty acids are quite common, and most people get enough of these from foods like chicken.
Omega-3 fatty acids, on the other hand, are essential, and most people are deficient in them. Omega-3 fatty acids can be obtained from Fish Oils, Flaxseeds, and other sources.
The absolute worst kind of fat is called a Trans Fatty Acid, or TFA. TFAs are created when polyunsaturated fats are heated or ‘hydrogenated’ (as in ‘Partially Hydrogenated Oil,’ which is very common in many foods).
An oil’s consistency is directly related to the number of unsaturated bonds found in it, when you partially hydrogenate an oil and remove some of those unsaturated bonds, you make it solid, but also create evil TFAs.
This is why they’re now saying butter is better for you than margarine. Butter is almost all saturated fats, but at least it doesn’t contain TFAs which are much worse. Note though, there is some margarine that is TFA free, such as ‘I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter’, which should be very healthy.
The reason TFAs are bad is because they have the same structure as healthy EFAs, but the bonds are twisted around. This allows them to take up the receptor sites that EFAs usually take, but due to the twisted configuration, they don’t have the same positive effect as EFAs do. This is very, very bad.
One healthy food that’s an INCREDIBLE benefit to keto dieters would be ground flaxseeds.
Because they’re very high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which as you know now are some of the best fats you can eat.
They’re also high in much-needed fiber, vitamins, minerals, calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which the ketogenic diet naturally drains from your system. Flaxseeds can fix so many ‘problem’ sections of the diet – it’s just amazing.
I recommend eating 2-4 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds per day, either with a protein shake or sprinkled on your other foods such as salads.
Keep improving your keto diet lifestyle and please, stay safe.