The field of nutrition sees as many fashions as fashion does, so it would seem.
I often counsel awareness of the short shelf life of many nutritional trends- and always, always remind people that there is not a PERFECT diet out there that suits all of us.
AND TRENDING RIGHT NOW....
The high fat low carb (HFLC) diet, similar to the Paleo diet but without all the maple syrup, sweet potato and dried fruits; similar to the Atkins diet, with more emphasis on quality, certainly has buckets to offer if you are looking for a health promoting eating style.
BUT IS IT JUST ANOTHER PASSING FAD??
We just have to cast our minds back some 3500 or so years to see that a HFLC diet is not a "new" dietary fad.
Before mass agriculture humans survived on mostly fat, (predominantly animal fat) animal protein, wild harvested plants, some nuts, berries & seeds and when very fortunate and brave enough to take on a swarm of bees, some honey.
FAST FORWARD TO 2017 AND THE MODERN DAY DIET
Despite recommendations from government health departments to adopt a low fat, high carb diet; which the population has largely done, we are seeing unprecedented rates of chronic diseases, especially the METABOLIC diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and neurological conditions such as Alzheimers and Parkinsons.
ENTER THE KETOGENIC DIET
The ketogenic diet is a more refined version of the HFLC diet and has been around for a long time now as a treament for epilepsy, and before insulin was available it was the diet of choice for Type 1 diabetic patients.
It is essentially a high fat diet- anywhere from 60% to 90% of calories are sourced from fat. In fact, the Eskimos have always consumed a ketogenic diet and enjoyed good health whilst our high carb/low fat dietitians scratched their heads over this fact.
As well, think the French Paradox- all that butter, cheese and duck liver pate alongside of low obesity rates.
With a ketogenic diet most of our energy comes from dietary fats or excess body fat (hence it's potential for safe, rapid weight loss) and to be successful we need to restrict carbohydrates in order to switch our metabolism to utilising fats as fuel, in an efficient manner.
BUT IS IT SAFE?
There is an increasing body of evidence supporting the ketogenic diet as a way of reversing and slowing many common diseases. Evidence suggests it's huge potential for:
Obesity/ Rapid weight loss.
Type 2 diabetes.
Alzheimers/ epilepsy/ Parkinsons & MS.
Cancer- during chemotherapy and in non treatment respondent cancers.
Enhanced athletic performance.
Be aware that there are many myths, misconceptions and misunderstandings about ketogenic eating plans so be sure to speak with a practitioner that understands nutritional ketosis which is very different to diabetic ketoacidosis.
THERAPEUTIC KETOSIS- A POWERFUL TOOL FOR REVERSING CHRONIC DISEASE
I have seen numerous dietary fads come and go over the years, many exciting, some dubious and others downright dangerous. In light of the health concerns we are facing on a global scale the ketogenic/ HFLC diet has got me superexcited.
Whilst it might not be for everybody- there are some, though not many, contraindications- and is not a one stop fix all diet I think it certainly has the potential to be a one stop fix many diet.
What are your personal health goals?
Better blood sugar control?
Improved athletic performance?
Better neurological health?
More balanced moods?
If you are ready for a lifechanging shift give us a call at Health Expressions to find out how you will benefit, is it right for you, is it safe for you, how long it takes and any other questions you might have...
If you are wondering how to get started, or want more details on how to safely implement a ketogenic diet be it for rapid weight loss or chronic disease management contact us today to get the most out of our in-clinic or Skype based programs.