The Downside of Ketogenic Dieting
A Guide to KetoGenic Dieting: https://warriorsoulagoge.com/collections/fitness-products-and-coaching-services
Alright, so over the last few months, I’ve discussed many of the benefits of a ketogenic diet to you. If you missed my blogs and videos, and you’re too lazy to go back and read everything else I’ve written about high fat, very low carb diets, here they are bulleted out for you:
- Sustained energy and cognitive clarity due to lack of blood sugar fluctuations
- Increased ability to oxidize and burn fat during exercise
- Enhanced insulin sensitivity to help with health, fat loss, and muscle building.
- Improved performance due to enhanced ability to produce ATP and lack of reliance on limited glycogen stores
- Better protein uptake and retention leading to enhanced recovery and muscle building due to less susceptibility to gluconeogensis, or the conversion of protein to sugar
- Less need to constantly eat to build muscle or sustain energy levels workouts
- Ability to lower levels of inflammation due to less production of insulin
- Increased hormonal balance due to increased intake of fats
These are just a few of the benefits that ketosis has to offer. But what about the fears about ketogenic diets? Are they completely unfounded? As someone who prides himself in being completely honest and objective about the knowledge he puts out there, I am going to tell you no. They are not completely unfounded and there is a dark side to ketogenic dieting just as there are dark sides to every other diet regimen on the market. So I’m going to go through all of the potential negative effects of a ketogenic diet with you here, and I’m going to give you some tips that can help you to do a ketogenic diet without ruining your health or your performance. I’m also going to write another article this week for those of you who are too scared to go full blown keto, and things you can do to gain many of the benefits of ketosis without bringing your carb levels down to super scary levels.
The Down Side of Keto
So what are these downsides that everyone speaks of? Here is a list of bad things that can happen and ways to avoid them:
- High triglycerides can cause you to get fat and they are a known cause of heart disease. Yes, you can get high triglycerides by overeating sugar, but if you’re on a low carbohydrate diet, this is of less concern. What you do need to be concerned with are heated oils (including coconut or olive), roasted nuts, and nut butters from these roasted nuts. This causes free radicals to be released in the nuts and exposes your cells to damage. If your high fat intake consists of a lot of these, then you are dumping lots of triglycerides into your blood stream. If you get yourself tested, and your triglycerides are higher than 150 mg/dl, then they are high. To avoid this, opt for cold pressed coconut and olive oils, raw, soaked and sprouted nuts and seeds, and raw nut butters.
- High Inflammation – High cholesterol is not dangerous in and of itself, and if you are on a low carb, high fat diet, your cholesterol is probably high. What you do need to be worried about is if that cholesterol is mixed with a high level of C-Reactive Protein. C-reactive protein or CRP is a measure of inflammation. High levels of CRP in your bloodstream, along with high cholesterol, will likely cause the cholesterol in your blood stream to become oxidized. This can generate free radicals and cause damage to your heart and connective tissues. High C-Reactive Protein levels (0.5 or higher) can come from too much exercise, exposure to toxins, not enough sleep, and a stressful lifestyle. My advice – If you are going to do a ketogenic diet, it is important that you live an otherwise healthy lifestyle. Avoid smoking, excess drinking, make sure you’re doing your cardio (but not too much), manage your stress, sleep more, and don’t overtrain!
- High blood sugar becomes really really dangerous – If you strictly follow a ketogenic diet, then one of the benefits of the diet is decreased blood sugar. But what happens if your blood sugar is already high, and you start loading yourself up with fat? Cholesterol damage. With glucose and cholesterol in the bloodstream, glucose adheres itself to the cholesterol. This keeps the cholesterol in the bloodstream longer since the liver can’t process it if there is glucose attached. The longer cholesterol is in the bloodstream, the more likely it is that it will cause damage that could lead to atherosclerosis. So if you’re going keto, skip dessert and avoid cheat days with high amounts of sugar if you want to keep your heart healthy.
- Your thyroid could become non functional – Carbohydrates help inactive thyroid hormones to convert to active thyroid hormones. Without carbohydrates, then thyroid production can slow or shut down. This, however is fully preventable by eating foods that are high in selenium, which helps to support the thyroid. Raw brazil nuts and green vegetables are your best sources of this and you should be including them in your diet. Additionally, if you are a very active athlete, you could do a cyclical ketogenic diet and include carbohydrates at the end of the day after your workout. With enough activity, you could even remain in ketosis afterward.
So to sum up my advice to avoid the pitfalls of keto:
- Avoid farm raised meats, processed meats, and nuts or vegetable oils that have been exposed to extremely high temperatures or highly processed. Opt for grass fed, free range, wild caught meats and animal products, and cold pressed coconut and olive oils. Avoid roasted nuts, seeds, and nut butters, and opt for raw nuts, seeds, and nut butters.
- Lead a healthy lifestyle while you are on the keto diet, otherwise your fat intake could come back to bite you.
- Avoid high amounts of sugar and high carbohydrate cheat days.
- Include selenium rich foods like brazil nuts and green vegetables in your diet. If you’re extremely active, include moderate amounts of carbs at the end of your day.