Butter is back Babe, at least that’s what the New York Times published in their June 2014 cover. “Eat Butter” it says claiming in the article that butter is not as bad as we once thought and that saturated fats are coming back! It wasn't too long before people ditched oatmeal for breakfast to fill their plates up with bacon and eggs to the point their finger at us “health nuts” and say, “see we were right all along”.
Not so fast though, when analysed further we find that this article was very misleading and had neglected to analyse the scientific based evidence properly. The main issue was that this study failed to have proper comparative groups. They took people eating butter and compared their health to other people eating things that are just as bad for heart health. So yes, eating butter may look better than eating lard and other saturated fats but that does not mean its healthy.
The Harvard School of Public Health stated that this publication is "seriously misleading" highlighting "many errors and omissions". Dr. David Katz, Director of Yale Prevention and Research Center also called this article "a potential danger to the public health".
So butter is not back, as the research still shows that limiting fat intake is good for heart health. Well known doctors like Dr. Campbell and Dr. Esselstyn will even say that completely ELIMINATING processed oils, dairy, meat and eggs is essential for reversing heart disease.
It is interesting to see that despite all the research shown regarding a plant-based diet in promoting longevity that the ketogenic diet has gained such popularity in the media very quickly after we were all suddenly "allowed" to eat saturated fats again. This diets #1 claim is that it will finally shed those pounds right off as you put your body in a ketogenic state where it begins to use fat as fuel instead of sugar. To get to this state of fat burning it requires you to limit your carbs to and extremely low amount or take in zero carbs at all eating a diet that is around 70-80% fat, 5% carbs, 15-20% protein.. This means that whole grains, fruits (besides low sugar berries), potatoes, rice, and high carb veggies are out and butter, bacon, meat, fish cheese and oil are in.
This means that you have to ignore the research coming from Dr.Campbell's study, which currently is the longest longitudinal study on preventing and reversing heart disease, for a diet that has no studies that prove it beneficial for arterial health and in fact shows evidence that it damages your arteries and does not promote long-term health.
With this information alone I am already out, as this fad diet is telling you to load up on dangerous, artery blocking, acidifying foods and limit healthy nourishing foods like fruit and whole grains that provide vital micro nutrients for our bodies to thrive. But for those of you who still think that a keto diet is healthy for you or who have friends who are doing the ketogenic diet and you would like to be able to knock some sense into them then continue reading please.
Let’s understand more what the ketogenic diet does. By putting your body in Ketosis it is mimicking a starvation state and your body will essential fight to live so it starts to turn fat into ketones which is an acid that can feul your body for a while and as it does this you will start burning fat. This can lead to temporary weight loss but if your body breaks down too much you can be in big trouble.
But don't just take my word for it, let's see what a non-vegan Doctor has to say about this diet.
Paleo mom, a ketogenic diet advocate and PhD, shares cautions about a ketogenic diet. She says “ a diet with inherent risk as evidenced by the extensive list of adverse reactions reported in the scientific literature” She goes on to clarify that “adverse reactions are not the same thing as side effects. An adverse reaction is an unwanted/unexpected and dangerous reaction to a therapeutic agent” .
Some of these adverse reactions are; gastrointestinal disturbances (diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, GER), high inflammation markers, thinning hair/hair loss, kidney stones, muscle cramps/weakness, hypoglycemia, low platelet count, renal tubular acidosis, nutrient deficiency, osteoporosis, sepsis, infection, acute pancreatitis, cardiomyopathy and the list goes on and on.
This sounds like a drug commercial to me! It doesn't surprise me though with the type of foods people eat on this diet that they would have these type of complications as this diet lacks in vital nutrients, antioxidants and fiber. One of the scariest things I think that comes with this diet though is that when your body is in ketosis it will begin to lose muscle, and I am not just talking about your biceps here although those too will surely go after during this diet for a while, but I am talking about one of your most important muscles in your body; YOUR HEART.
We shouldn't be playing around with this muscle as there are serious side effects like death for example that come from heart failure. So eating a diet that will risk you loosing your heart muscle is NOT HEALTHY!
Still thinking that you want to take advantage of the weight loss that can happen and tell yourself that once you lose the weight you will go back to normal eating? Most research shows that those who go on this diet to lose weight end up regaining the weight right back as most of the weight in the beginning is merely water weight.
I want to stress here the importance of this next sentences because I see so many people go astray here,
DON'T EVER EVER EVER GO ON A “DIET” TO LOSE WEIGHT “ QUICKLY”.
This can lead to restrictive mindsets, binging, yo-yo dieting, and is often not sustainable or healthy. I always emphasize creating lifestyle changes, easing into weight loss, living better, and connecting your mind and body to eat intuitively and make sure that it your weight stabilizes at your healthy set point.
Instead of doing diets that may help you lose weight in the beginning do your research because that weight loss may be at the cost of your health over-all health.
Instead of sticking to a diet log, calorie counting, and macro tracking all day it would be better to eat REAL WHOLE FOODS, in abundance and begin to eat intuitively to understand what your body needs.
Food should not bring ill health but should increase our longevity and our ability to thrive. We have the science now to show that eating a plant based diet is healthy, good for you, and will help prevent chronic diseases. We have the research showing that your body thrives when eating a high nutrient filled, varied, diet with lots of colors. We have the common sense (hopefully) that being healthy does not involve eating large amounts of animal products, processed oils and little to no fresh, whole living foods.
With this research I say learn to eat NOURISHING FOODS. Don’t get caught up in this fad or that fad, stick to the basics and learn to eat intuitively from those healthy options and watch your body find a more sustainable state of health and longevity.
Here is a chart showing the difference between a plant based diet and a Ketogenic diet so that it's easy to see the differences side by side.
If you have any questions don’t hesitate to shoot me an email,
Therapeutic Nutrition Councelor
Certified Eating Psychologist Coach
BPH Public Health- emphasis health promotion
Here are some links about Keto and fat intake:
http://tinyurl.com/zqlcx28 paleo momma