Are you curious about a keto diet? Do you currently do it and the title of the article just triggered you enough to come read it? All jokes aside let’s look at the basic concept of what a keto diet is and what it means to be in ketosis. Ketosis is simply when your body takes fat, processes it through the liver and creates an energy source called ketones. These ketones can then be used for energy, and act as a high grade fuel for the brain. This state can be achieved in many different ways like fasting or controlling insulin by cutting carbohydrate intake. There are a few ways to get into ketosis so if you plan on trying it, search around, experiment, and find what works best for you. So we now understand what it means to be in a state of ketosis, but what is the problem with it? Now before I explain my quick point I would like to say that I am not against a keto diet at all! It can be great if you have to lose weight and can be awesome for giving you cognitive performance, as well as protecting the brain itself. The problem does not lie with ketosis, it lies with how people are doing it.
Have you ever seen people posting about keto and how great it is, only to see that what they are eating is clearly unhealthy junk? I see this all the time and it sends the complete wrong message about what the keto diet should be! All over social media I see people eating fried foods, processed junk, and poorly cooked meat. Let’s make one thing clear, just because your diet has put you in ketosis does not mean you are healthy. If you are eating foods loaded with toxins, you will cause inflammation, ruin that brain function ketosis can provide, and increase your risk of disease. If you are cooking your food on a high heat in oil and burning it to make it crispy, you are eating oxidized fats and depending on the food, heterocyclic amines. The oxidized fats can cause havoc all over your body. They cause inflammation, disrupt chemical functions in the brain, and negatively alter your hormones as well as your immune system. Fat is a very important nutrient. It comprises a large percent of our brain tissue, as well as a large majority of the cell walls that surround every single cell in your body. If you eat burnt and oxidized fat, that is what you are using to build your brain and body. It is like trying to build a house out of styrofoam instead of wood. A styrofoam house (body built with oxidized fat) will only be able to withstand so much before it collapses, but a house made of good wood (body made with healthy fat) can last a lifetime or two! As for the heterocyclic amines, these are chemicals produced when you cook meat at high temperatures for long periods of time. So why are these so bad? Well they are known to trigger cancer! And that should be enough of a reason for you to stay away.
So what I want everyone to take away from this is: Yes, ketosis can be awesome for life and your fitness goals, but it is not an excuse to eat fried, overcooked, or packaged junk foods. Just because it doesn’t have carbs doesn’t mean it is healthy to eat. Simply put, ketosis is a tool, but not a shortcut to health. So if you do ketosis or want to try it, go for it! But make sure it is done clean. Don’t overcook your food in oils, and eat crappy food just because it is low carb. Eat organic grass fed meats, a bunch of vegetables, and plenty of un-oxidized fats. This way, not only will ketosis help with brain function and weight loss, but it will also build a super healthy and resilient brain and body that can last a lifetime!
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Author: Mike Cuccio