You know, many of the keto haters out there are making fun of how keto followers claim it can do everything. I think we will have the last laugh.
I work in IT at a pretty high level these days. I don’t have a clue how to fix your Apple Store issue. What I do, essentially, is solve BIG problems in an enterprise. I have an awesome team, of course, but often I have to direct efforts towards a particular path. One issue in particular, my techs had been trying unsuccessfully for about a month to fix a problem before I got involved.
What you run into at that level is – a lot of variables. You have to understand how systems work together, and you have to understand what things do, and what they don’t do. There is a lot of testing to isolate variables. It’s essentially a fancy way of saying “process of elimination”.
What I was able to do was to use a “binary sort” algorithm to quickly help solve the issue. For example, if you have 100 possible combinations, no one has time to test all 100 items. So you turn on the first fifty and turn off the second fifty. If the problem still occurs, it’s in the first fifty. I’d also then try and replicate the test to ensure that another variable didn’t affect it. Confirmed. Then you turn on the first 25 and turn off the second 25. Problem doesn’t exist? Confirmation test? Problem is in 26-50 of the settings. So on, and so forth, you’re able to find the answer to complex problems in a minimal amount of tests.
So what if keto has the same effect? Meaning – your bodies are extremely complex systems. What if eating a ketogenic diet is so effectively because you are removing a lot of bad things? It’s not that my giant salads are the healthiest thing on the planet – but perhaps by OMITTING things, my body is able to then function properly?
Let me explain a few items:
- Lectins – found in lots of beans, lectins are thought to have an effect on inflammation and autoimmune disorders. Did you know that they are now thinking that type 1 diabetes in children is an autoimmune disorder? The top items with lectin are kidney beans, soy beans, peanuts, potatoes, tomatoes, and wheat. Keto allows some tomatoes, and advises against peanuts in most cases. Lectins are thought to lead to “leaky gut” syndrome – which then allows lectins and bacteria into the bloodstream.
- Gluten – how many people do you know have gluten intolerance? They may not have celiac, but they have inflammation from this. Anyone ever hear of rheumatoid arthritis? From what I recall, this is due to a lot of inflammation and is autoimmune in nature. Keto tells you no bread. No gluten. We sneak some here and there, but generally speaking, my diet is 100% gluten free.
- Sugar – this is the big one. High sugar levels lead to lots of insulin being pumped into your bloodstream. This leads to insulin resistance, weight gain, and metabolic diseases. The “metabolic diseases” are the precursors to diabetes – which is a huge risk factor with cancer and heart disease. It’s also shown that reducing sugars will help with kids with ADD/ADHD.
- Processed foods – with keto, there’s not a ton of packaged foods. This helps us eat a LOT more whole foods. When you remove processed foods, you are removing the red dye 6 (or whatever the hell it is), all of the chemical ingredients, soy products, etc.
- Omega 6s – generally speaking, “fried” foods usually have some sort of flour coating. I bake things like chicken wings. By eating more whole foods, we are reducing the omega 6s which cause high inflammation.
- Trans fats – while these are mostly going away, for years, people like us have chosen butter over margarine. We look at labels and avoid trans fats.
- Fructose – this is a BIG one people. Many of you will be reading more and more about this in the years to come. Fructose is only processed in the liver, and sugar is sucrose, which is half glucose and half fructose. High Fructose Corn Syrup is 55% fructose and 45% glucose. Fructose in large quantities can give you non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and increase the fat in between your organs. The problem is people think fruit is healthy, so more of it is MORE healthy. I used to. I used to eat a ton of fruit. Well, it didn’t help with satiety and contributed to me getting overweight. What to do here? Choose fruits lower on the glycemic index and eat sparingly. With a lot of the berries, you could be getting a lot of powerful antioxidants.
- mTOR – I don’t know a ton about this, but it’s anabolic growth. This is also a contributor to cancers – think tumor growth. I read how a soldier in the civil war in the 1860s was an average height of 5’6″ and today the average height is 5’9″. This is somewhat attributed to our reliance on higher carb diets today – and the more carbs creates growth. Look at all of your favorite YouTube fitness stars who practice growth through tons of carbs and protein. Apparently, “carb burner” is very dirty with lots of nasties as a byproduct and fat burning is “clean”. By significantly reducing carb intake, by having “moderate” protein, and by having lots of antioxidants in berries, it’s possible that the conditions for cancer are lessened. Keto is now used as a protocol to treat brain cancers for a reason. You are eliminating the “cancer food”.
- Intermittent fasting – while this isn’t keto, per se, many, many people on keto also do intermittent fasting and dabble with other fasting protocols. I do this as well. The thing is, people don’t understand this, when you do keto effectively, you significantly reduce your appetite over about a month. This then lets you skip breakfast and have an 8 hour eating window, very easily. I usually do OMAD M-Th, don’t eat Fridays (fasting Fridays), and eat a few meals on the weekends. IF and 3 days fasting, while in keto, contribute to autophagy – where bodies eat their own weak and malformed cells. Additionally, there’s a lot of fasted workouts, which has been shown to improve autophagy in recent studies.
- Electrolyte balance – before keto, I never, ever thought about my electrolytes. I just thought, like everyone, I need a low salt diet. I had NO CLUE about the needs for magnesium and potassium – and how my salt intake needed to INCREASE when on keto. Sodium and potassium are opposites. So if you have high salt and blood pressure – you need to increase your potassium OR decrease your sodium. I never realized we needed 4700mg a day, and I can tell you, most of my life I was severely deficient in potassium. Same with magnesium. I supplement about 1000mg per day and I now feel at peace with the world. My BP is 107/67. Life is good. If you have some high BP, ask your medical professional about your diet and what increasing potassium may do. High levels of potassium reduce your BP and in turn, decrease your risk for heart disease.
- Cholesterol – so people think cholesterol is bad for you, despite us making a lot of cholesterol ourselves. Eggs are BAD! No, they are good. Wait, they are BAD! Good cholesterol/bad cholesterol. What they find is when people go from a standard American diet (SAD) to keto, ALL markers improve, except LDL goes a little higher. What they found is the LDL properties change – a SAD has “small dense” LDL particles which are associated with heart disease, and keto changes these into “large fluffy” particles which pass harmlessly by the arterial walls and do not get lodged.
So – the above list I just threw together to show why keto can be effective. It’s not that my diet itself is Superman fighting everything. What my diet appears to do is remove a lot of things our bodies were not designed to process by default. Maybe some of you react much better than me, but this is potentially why this diet is very effective for a lot of people. It’s the whole “primal” thing which is close to paleo.
Raspberries – I love me some berries. I wanted to let everyone know I’m putting up a nice box garden of raspberries over the next 2 weeks. If I’m “good” with this, perhaps next year I can add blueberries, strawberries, and perhaps some other boxes. While I rail on abuses of fruit – I plan on growing my own berries and freezing a ton of them to throw into morning smoothies prior to my training. As mentioned yesterday, your body can process about a cup or so of fruit per day, and I plan on using that as a strategic tool to help me with my training.
Bonus – Yardwork. It’s amazing. When you take off nearly 160 pounds, you seem to move much better. While I want to do a 24 mile bike ride today, I still have a lot to do in the yard. On Friday, I did nearly 3 hours of yard work and it registered as over 1,000 calories burned. So – looking for another 3 hours today, and if I’m still feeling up to it, maybe I’ll burn another 1,500 later today with biking? Could I possibly burn 2,500 calories today in exercise? We shall see!