I want to talk about fat. We are so scared of fat. We have been told not to eat fat, not to be fat. We have given fat a negative connotation, when it is a necessary part of our lives. We all need to have fat. We all need to eat fat. Fat is fuel.
As we touched on in the last post, a lot of what we are taught in terms of nutrition is swayed by bad science and the food industry. Our aversion to fat is no different. The episode we talked about in the last post actually starts off talking about why we believe fat is so bad. And, the reason we think fat is bad is because of a bad scientist who cherry picked data and the sugar industry pushing bad science for profit.
You can read more into why we were taught fat was the enemy and how the low-fat diet trend did nothing to help America’s heart problem because the real problem this entire time has been sugar…here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. You can also find all of the links used in the episode here.
The keto diet is simply the idea that the body can be fueled more efficiently on fat than on carbohydrates. The idea is that fueling the body on sugar and carbs can lead to a lot of health issues and that fat is one of our most basic sources of nutrients that can be used as fuel.
Everyone loves to post the memes about people doing the keto diet just to eat bacon and cheese. They’re funny because it’s true. Some people do start this diet thinking they can eat bacon and cheese all day. It wont make you feel good, but you could technically be in ketosis and eat just meat and cheese. I feel like any time I am talking to someone and I say keto they just rolls their eyes because it’s become a joke of people eating just Baconators all day. How could that be healthy? We’ve been told beef and bacon and cheese is bad for you because they have fat. But, is it?
There is a lot of misunderstanding around fats and how our body breaks down fat. If you read through this whole article you know that even in saturated fats, that we have all been taught to fear so we don’t have high cholesterol, actually have both good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. Some fatty foods actually have more good cholesterol than bad and can be beneficial to your health. For example, stop torturing yourself with egg white omelets because the cholesterol in the yolk is good cholesterol that can lower your risk of heart disease.
When your body is in ketosis you are using fat as your main source of energy. So, the fat your are consuming isn’t being stored, it’s now being burned for energy. But, because carbs burn and create energy much more quickly, if you keep carbs in your diet your body will burn carbs as energy and the fat will be stored. Of course, in both cases any excess will be stored, so the most important rule no matter which fuel you choose is moderation.
Once your body has adjusted to using fat as fuel, you become what is referred to as “fat-adapted.” It usually takes a couple weeks to become fat-adapted and the process is probably where most people quit. You can have symptoms that a lot of people refer to as the “keto flu.” From what I have read and what I experienced in my own “keto flu” phase, electrolytes are the easiest way to make the first two weeks of getting into ketosis much easier. (Ultima Replenishers are one of the only products marketing itself as keto that I actually really suggest you buy if you are planning on trying keto)
We want to become fat-adapted so we are using fat as our main energy source because it is a more sustainable source of energy. The fat burns slow and long, unlike carbs which burn quickly but don’t last. With carbs after the shorts burst of energy, you become tired and your body becomes hungry for more carbs. When your body is using fat for energy, you will have less cravings and more energy and you will feel more full for longer with less food. You won’t have those crashes in blood sugar that lead to overeating.
If you are someone who is tired often, or feels hungry all of the time, or feels their blood sugar dropping in between meals, it may be a good option for you to see if ketosis and becoming fat-adapted could help you feel better.