Keto 1.0: For Beginners
“Keto” comes from the words ketones, or ketosis.
Our bodies have only a few ways to obtain the energy necessary to perform their many, varied processes. The body can burn either glucose from carbohydrates (sugars) or ketone bodies from lipids (fats) to accomplish its tasks. At different times, the body utilizes both of these sources . When the body is using ketone-based energy, that body is in a state of ketosis.
Living, growing and thriving from ketone-based energy is very natural. When we are first born, we may already be in a state of ketosis if our mothers are healthy! Breast feeding allows infants to burn ketones for energy in the form of breast milk. These ketones are hugely important for brain development! Once carbohydrate-based foods become part of our diets, we become primarily glucose-burners. Not good! Not good at all!
The 1950's brought about changes in our eating habits with the introduction of convenience foods, fast food and prepackaged prepared food (TV dinners anyone?) This highly processed food brought more and more carbohydrates into our daily diet than ever before. In the early 70's, Dr. Robert Atkins, published the Atkins Diet which promoted a ketogenic diet, however, it was not necessarily “clean" or with the correct percentages of macronutrients (fats, proteins, carbohydrates). It was low in carbs but perhaps too high in protein with not enough emphasis on high quality fats as the main food factor.
The traditional food pyramid tells us to eat high-carb, moderate lean meat, and low fat for a healthy diet. Those carbs will then be converted to glucose, which is our body’s easiest way to get energy.
For ketosis to happen, however, we need higher fat, moderate fatty protein, and very low carbohydrates. By lowering the carbohydrates, our bodies will convert the fats to ketone bodies, which will then be burned for energy. This is what the fat stores are there for in the first place! The fat fuel is a much more efficient and clean fuel than glucose. The glucose fuel is not nearly as efficient and over-utilization of this fuel source, for prolonged periods of time, causes serious and chronic inflammatory health issues!
On a ketogenic diet you will get a much higher percentage of your calories from fat and a much lower percentage from carbohydrates. That’s how you enter ketosis and stay there, by feeding your body fat to burn (or using your body’s own fat stores) instead of burning the glucose that it would be getting from carbohydrates.
The government’s “food pyramid,” together with the food & agricultural business industries and the medical profession, have all advocated a low fat, high, so-called “healthy” carb diet since the 1980’s.
Interestingly, during that same time, there has been a dramatic rise in obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other lifestyle health issues, particularly in kids.
Sugars, artificial sweeteners, soda, sweetened beverages, fruit juices and processed foods are primary causes for obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s and more. Soda consumption is a primary cause of obesity in children.
The wheat and gluten grains found in most breakfast foods and baked goods cause inflammation and drive many chronic pain and auto immune conditions, such as degenerative arthritis, neuropathies, degeneration of the brain, memory, and cognition issues. These are all inflammation issues.
“So called” corn vegetable oils, (we say “so called” because corn is actually a grain), canola and soybean oils, found in nearly all commercially prepared salad dressings and snacks, have been genetically modified. They have chemicals in them, which also cause inflammation. These chemicals are needed to extract the tiny amount of oils these products actually contain. Then the oils need to be further processed, to eliminate the nasty colors and smells. Margarine and “partially hydrogenated oils” are just man-made chemicals and have virtually no nutritive value!
Do The Margarine Test!
Sure, it has a long shelf life….Open a tub of margarine, and leave it outside for a week or so. When you go back to check on it, it will most likely be untouched by bugs, birds, bees, or any other creature of nature. Why? Because it is NOT real food! And animals and insects KNOW this!
Most adults find weight loss success with a moderate approach to the ultra, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet, simply by focusing on eliminating carbohydrates and increasing calories from healthy fats and protein.
First and foremost, consider that the type of fats you consume are very important— as not all fats are created equally.
Ketogenic Fat Check!
To get enough healthy fats in your diet, focus your efforts on fats like coconut, coconut butter or coconut oil, avocados, and avocado oil, high omega-3 chia seeds or flaxseeds, both of which need to be freshly ground from organic sources, just prior to using. The store-bought ground flax meal and flax oils are almost certainly rancid, so purchase them fresh or leave them alone!
Consume a moderate amount of real food from sources like: grass-fed, grass-finished beef, occasional raw, full-fat dairy products, pasture-raised poultry, free roam pastured eggs, bone broth protein, wild-caught fatty fish, and organ meats. Other sources of fat, like polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats, should come from healthy, whole foods like sprouted organic nuts & seeds, and also olives.
Veggies on Your Table!
Enjoy many different vegetables; diversity is your gut microbiome’s friend! Pay particular attention to leafy greens, mushrooms, broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, spinach, kale, sea veggies, peppers, etc. Eat organic, when possible, to avoid consumption of toxins, pesticides, fertilizers, sprays, etc.
Avoid Unhealthy Foods Altogether!
Unhealthy foods include processed and ultra-processed foods high in calories and bankrupt in terms of nutrients. Examples of unhealthy foods include those made with white flour or wheat flour; most all corn products; foods with added sugar; breads and other processed grains, like pasta, and white rice; sweetened snacks (cookies and cakes); most boxed cereals; sweetened drinks; ice cream; and pizza. Also avoid conventional dairy products, especially “low fat” products, and stay clear of meats, beef, poultry, and farmed fish (as opposed to wild caught fish) that originate from confined animal feeding operations ( CAFO) . You really want to focus on grass-fed meats; free range poultry; and organic choices as a serious health concern. This is not a “fad” or a “trend”. This is to eliminate poisonous toxins, hormones and more that are chemically added to almost all of our foods. We eat what our food has been exposed to or been fed. Think about this. Also, avoid any foods with food coloring, or dyes, for SURE.
Shop the parameter of the grocery store.
Don’t eat much from the middle!
A good rule-of-thumb when you’re shopping is to do most all of your shopping around the perimeter of your grocery store and don’t even visit the middle isles! Visit the produce, the butters and cheeses, the dairy, the nuts, the meats, poultry, and fish! Eat fresh food...real food! HINT: “Real food is food that spoils and rots. That is a very good sign that the food is actually REAL food. Avoid eating a chemistry set. Avoid eating plastics. Yuck! Don’t eat dyes, either!
There is a lot of good information out there on all of these topics. Visit the rest of our website for articles, recipes, cookbooks, FAQ’s and resources to help you at home and in the kitchen! We can help you learn, step by step, how to live your own “cleanandketo” lifestyle and optimize YOUR health with instructions that are broken into easy to follow steps.
Our GEARED2bewell Program is designed to help you learn what to eat and why, in language and instruction easily understood, so that we can share this experience with you and help you on your journey to improved health and wellness.
Our health, and the health of our loved ones, is very important; it’s irreplaceable. There’s never a better time to get a grip on a healthier lifestyle than now! It’s quite unlikely our environment will ever get healthier, so it’s up to us, as intelligent human beings, to work around our toxic environments for the betterment of US. No pill is going to fix this toxic state of affairs.
Changing from a glucose-burner to a ketone-burner can do wonders for weight loss, and, more importantly, improved health and longevity. Try it for yourself! Learn more by clicking here!