The Ketogenic diet is all the rave right now as the Atkins diet was back in the 70’s. Everyone is going onto it but, is it really safe or sustainable?
I know that the “Keto Fanatics” as they have been called are going to be all over me for even questioning this. No doubt, they will come at me with words of wisdom from their Keto Bibles and swing clubs at me for having said a word about their beloved diet. There are swear words in their gullets and not the gallons of fat that they’ve poured into their coffees but, there need to be questions that get asked of any diet plan that is as restrictive as one such as this one.
The Ketogenic Diet Hasn’t Had Long Term Studies Done On Its Effects Yet
Many Fad jumpers will leap upon this statement and say,
“but it’s been around for over a decade now! What more do you need?”
First of all, it’s been around a lot longer than a decade or so. While it varies from the old Atkins Diet where Protein was number 1 on the pyramid and fat was #2, Keto has done the opposite by putting fats as #1 and protein as #2. In other words, the amount of fat in the Ketogenic Diet far outnumbers the amount of protein in percentages. However, Ketogenic Eating has varied in its composition but, it’s been around for more time than we know except in differing forms, amounts, and balances. The problem with this is that nothing stays long enough to get long termed research done because it all eventually either hits a snag in terms of reports on elements of it with new research or it falls out of favor and people are onto newer fashioned versions of it.
Back in the 1970’s, I can remember going onto the then, “Atkins” Fad Diet. I lavished in the idea of being able to eat beloved bacon, steaks, eggs, real mayonnaise, whipped cream, chicken, cheese, tuna and if there’s a protein source, we were eating it until it came out of our ears. There was a perverse delight in being able to demolish entire chickens if we wanted to and watch the Vegetarians and Vegans turning shades of purple and green while we breathed our fire Keto Breath onto them, knocking them out with it.
I can remember that it was also the era in which McDonalds came out and YIKES, I couldn’t eat that. I had to remove the beef from the bun and eat that without ketchup or special sauce. I couldn’t even eat the small piece of lettuce, pickles but, I could eat the cheese in those days if it was real cheddar.
Enter the day that I went to a family member’s home for dinner where roasted beef was featured as the meat entre. I couldn’t eat potatoes, salad, vegetables, gravy or anything else that the hostess had served. I could only eat 2 thin slices of the beef without anything but salt on it. That was difficult, to say the least, but I quickly learned that taking my own dinner with me in Tupperware containers left me less hungry. Try toting an entire dish of bacon, cheese, steak etc.. It was akin to slapping the hostess in the face I also rapidly learned. People weren’t receptive to guests bringing their own meals of meats unless there was a dire allergy that the cook didn’t want to be responsible for possibly mixing in accidentally. Yes, I even tried that approach as well. I tried the “allergy” route but, it was hard to explain the mounds of meat and cheeses that I ate at a time.
Oh yes, I lost weight. I lost over 70 pounds in rapid leaps and bounds. I faithfully peed on my Keto Stix and purple became my favorite color. There’s still a fondness for that shade but, I digress. For the first few months, I even had a bounty of energy as well. As in most cases though, great turned to meh and a carrot or apple looked like a delicacy to me. “My Kingdom for a cup of peas, please.”
Eventually though, as in all fad diet plans that disinclude entire food groups, I thought that if I looked at another piece of meat, poultry, fish, chicken, egg, a hunk of aged cheese or bowl of whipping cream, I’d go mad. I didn’t even want to eat anymore. More weight got lost only at this point, I had long since begun to feel muscle mass being lost versus the abundant fat on my body and I had already started feeling weaker because of it. Loose bowel movements plagued me and I feared going out at all, even to work. I wasn’t alone either. Others on this diet plan were also feeling the same fate, along with headaches, aches and pains and other maladies that doctors couldn’t find a disease upon which to pin it upon.
Then, one day, weight long since lost and feeling like death warmed over, my father came home with a box of his favorite (and mine), Orange Crullers. Of course, I balked. I didn’t want any. Actually, I didn’t want anything except for water which wasn’t about to stay in no matter what I did. It was upon his insistence that I finally broke down and had a bite of one. Inside of a half hour, I began to feel a bit better and downed the rest of that donut. The next day, I joined Weight Watchers (also restrictive but, much different than the crash, exclusive diet that I had been on).
The digestive issues cleared up almost immediately and I regained my zest for Life again but, in spite of being on a diet still and being good about it, I regained the lost weight rather rapidly and without a decent reason because I was following Weight Watchers and had been sticking to it faithfully. Eventually, though, the gain evened off and I began to re-lose it by staying on Weight Watchers. More than anything, I was eating normal foods again like fruits and vegetables, resizing meats, fats and carbohydrate portions. It was like learning to walk all over again. That does a number on the old brain, I’ll tell you.
Dr. Atkins hit the news with his death from hitting his head on ice while going for a jog. What eventually was revealed was that Atkins had clear arteries but, had suffered from heart disease that was said not to be a result of his diet. The jury was out on that style of eating.
Since that day, many other diets have tried and been reformulated to sell programs to people. Ketogenic Eating may be simply another of them.
The world has gone crazy with low carb eating for decades now and yet, we are the heaviest that we’ve ever been in spite of it all. Some will say that it’s portion sizes gone wild. Others will say that it’s the sugar. Yet others will say it’s the carbs and yet there are those who will say that it’s the animal products. In other words, no one really and truly knows despite those who have spent endless hours with noses in books, on the net and feel that they’ve found the Holy Grail of eating properly through their own proclamations and even promotion of their personal beliefs. Many others will make millions off of books and products to suit their theories or should we say wallets. Some will earnestly believe their own propaganda and mean well while others know that what they are selling are simply money making plans or ideas, lotions, potions and otherwise. One thing is sure though, the diet industry is a multi-billion dollar investment with a return that nets those who enter it, willingly, knowingly or otherwise, a tidy sum for their efforts.
One thing that I do know for certain is that cutting out entire food groups is not only unhealthy but, it’s a sure-fired fail way to hit the downward spiral. Not many can stick to a diet plan like that forever or without breaking it. Once one lays down a wagon upon which to fall off of, one will fall off of it eventually and come down with a thud, hurting oneself on the way down. It’s much like those who make a New Year’s resolution to go to a gym and work out. In January, the gyms are filled. By March, they’re about half full or less and by April or May, they’re down to skeleton numbers except for those with a hardcore bodybuilding mentality or those who have a need to do something regularly. It’s much like a crutch for a few of those people.
Even more balanced eating plans like Weight Watchers which is now simply WW, reconfigures its plans almost yearly based upon newer research. Sadly, even that newer research will change again over time. Where does that leave the fringe diets or eating plans then? That’s the question that bounces off of those who have tried it all from the cabbage soup diet to shakes and even the Interval Eating fans. It even encompasses the Vegetarians and Vegans who will extoll the virtues of eating their way. However, the truth is, no one really knows what’s best and what isn’t. It’s all in what one can stick to and keep up with.
One Vegetarian friend who struggled with her weight said to me that she’d never eat meat again as it disgusts her. When asked why it is that she’s Vegetarian, her response was a form of a canned answer.
“I’m not an animal cemetery,” she stated while fastening her real leather shoes and throwing her leather purse over her shoulder. After-all, no self-respecting fashionista would be caught without the latest and most fashionable real leather now would they?
From my little corner of life to yours, eat what you wish to eat, don’t eat what you don’t. Follow what you believe to be your truth or what works for you but, don’t try to tell others what they should and shouldn’t be eating because in all honesty, no one really knows and the jury is still out on long termed research on anything. If we knew what worked and what didn’t, we’d all be doing it. Well, at least most of us would anyway and, no one would be pouring thousands of dollars a year into eating plans, energy into dieting or going back onto either the same plan or another, now would we?
Be well. Love and Light,
Have a GREAT day or evening.
PS: Please save any nasty comments that you have or your beliefs to yourself as I am not interested in being bombarded with those types of comments. Thank you for understanding.