The keto diet continues to be all the rage right now. Not that it’s brand new really, but it’s the latest low-fat diet or low carb diet that is catching attention as a weight/body fat loss eating plan. A lot of people also attempt to use keto to alter diagnoses and/or help with symptoms they’re experiencing.
Not unlike its predecessors (e.g., the Atkins diet), it’s hard to not have others around you diving in with hopes of obtaining positive results. I have had many clients who, by the grace of God, have found Medical Medium and eventually Reclaimers of Health after trying everything to get better, including keto, and they come to us worse off than when they started. As such, I feel it’s important to give the RoH community a bit more to think about when it comes to eating and living “keto.”
This post covers what the keto diet is, why it’s not the way to healing (including side effects), and what dietary choices would better serve your body.
First of all, what is “keto?”
The ketogenic or “keto” diet is the latest low-carbohydrate (low-carb), moderate-protein, high-fat diet that is acclaimed for putting a person’s body into a metabolic state called ketosis in order to promote weight loss. Believers will say that during this state of ketosis, one’s body becomes efficient at burning fat for energy and that it also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain.
The keto “meal plan” is high protein and rich in fats. It typically includes plenty of meat (including processed meat), eggs, cheese, fish, nuts, butter, oils, seeds, and, if you’re lucky, a few vegetables. The keto diet excludes the consumption of carbohydrates such as fruit, most vegetables, and grains.
Why Keto is Not the Way to Healing
I understand that, initially, switching from the Standard American Diet to any diet more “strict” will typically bring down the inflammation in one’s body. When a person cuts out fast food, greasy food, processed foods, and refined sugar, he/she is going to lose body weight as well as eliminate some toxins and, as a result, provide his/her body a bit of respite. This part is a good thing.
Over time, however, the lack of antioxidants (think FRUIT) is not healthy and will catch up to a person. Fruit is packed with water, minerals, vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants as well as glucose. Nearly all of us who have seen success by subscribing to the Medical Medium lifestyle are very well aware of how essential fruit is for our healing.
Fruit not only prevents illness, it slows down aging, kills off pathogens, and heals our bodies on a cellular level. When we are told to fear fruit, we are essentially being told to avoid the very thing that will bring us the most life. -Anthony William
Even in foods outside of produce, it is not the sugar alone that’s typically the problem, but the fat. To take this one step further, the primary reason why the keto concept is flawed is that our bodies do not run off of fat, but actually run on glucose.
We don’t run on fat. We run on glucose, which is sugar. If it were true that our bodies could flip from burning glucose for energy to burning fat for energy, as the keto diet suggests, then it would be impossible for someone who was overweight or obese to starve. If the ketosis theory is correct, you could take away an overweight person’s food completely and they’d continue to live for a long period of time, using their fat as energy. But that’s not how it works. Fat does not convert to usable material for our bodies. -AW
The Keto Flu?
Now let’s talk about the “keto flu” and, yes, this is a real thing. The “keto flu” is something new keto dieters often experience when their bodies are adapting to this style of eating. People frequently report symptoms such as nausea, constipation, and trouble sleeping.
Sadly, it makes sense that when one overloads his/her body with heavy fats and meat, these types of reactions can occur. Keto flu aside, when looking at overall health, this diet plan/lifestyle also has risk factors for heart disease and kidney issues as well.
Keto and Chronic Illness
The reason many of my clients have found Medical Medium and Reclaimers of Health is that they have experienced (or are experiencing) mystery symptoms and/or diagnoses of chronic health conditions or “dis-ease.”
In these situations, keto might pop up as a potential “solution.” Simply put, however, the side effects of the keto diet are PARTICULARLY dangerous for people who are already fighting for their lives.
This is especially true for those with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The keto diet, being low-carb and low-fat, can cause a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) where the blood produces too many blood acids (ketones) and causes the blood to become acidic. This condition is life-threatening to those with type 1 diabetes, but it can affect those with type 2 as well, just less severely. Too much fat also affects the body’s ability to consume insulin.
Too much fat in the blood is a big problem. When there’s too much fat in the blood, the body tries to get rid of the sugar. It tries to move sugar into the cells because your cells need sugar to survive. But it can’t accomplish this well because the fat blocks the sugar from entering the cells. So then your body produces more insulin and you end up with insulin resistance. The sugar gets trapped in the bloodstream, insulin resistance begins, A1C levels go up and the liver becomes more sluggish….The real issue for chronic illness, diabetes, blood sugar issues and weight gain is a sluggish, fatty, tired liver that’s overloaded with pathogens and toxins. – AW
Keto is not intended for the long-term.
Even when someone sees “success” with weight loss doing keto in the beginning, eating this way is not easy to maintain. Many experts and proponents of the ketogenic diet actually state that the keto meal plan is only intended to be short term for weight loss goals. It’s very difficult to maintain eating this way and to feel good. Sadly, down the road, the ketogenic diet leads to situations where even MORE weight is gained once a person moves past the initial honeymoon period.
Many people on the keto diet also incorporate intermittent fasting into their plans and feel “great” while they’re fasting and immediately after the fasts. It makes sense that giving one’s body a break from the very foods that are harming it would feel good.
With all that fat clogging the bloodstream and reducing the blood’s oxygen levels, your organs and cells can’t get the oxygen they need. Fasting offers a reprieve compared to the alternative of eating more fat and protein. So people often fast, filling their depleted energy levels with caffeine and coffee and chocolate to get through the day. – AW
I likely don’t have to elaborate much on why caffeine is harmful to our bodies. Simply put, caffeine amps up adrenaline production and, in turn, gives our livers MORE work to do, causing even more damage.
A better alternative
It should go without saying that RoH is all about helping my clients find optimal health and wellness. Whether labeled as keto or not, diets that are high in fat and high in protein are a huge burden to our livers that are already working overtime to deal with the toxins we’re exposed to in our everyday lives (and toxins that have been passed down from our ancestors as well).
It’s best to remember that our bodies and brains require the nutrients, antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals that are packed into leafy greens, fruits, berries, veggies, coconut water, and raw honey in order to obtain optimal health benefits and to function at their best.
As with any diet or lifestyle, I encourage you to do your research before committing. Need some help with finding the best “plan” for you? I offer single consults as well as several support packages.
Join Us in the Empowered Moms Course Apr. 6
If you are looking to dive MUCH deeper than a one time consult, come spend a month with me, LIVE! I am getting ready to run the next round of Empowered Moms. This virtual course was designed to take the important aspects of my practice and dig a little deeper within a group coaching format and has a special focus on moms and how they can support their children.
It covers using food and herbs medicinally, how to support the body as a whole, and includes tons of bonus resources (like a 69-recipe e-cookbook of family-friendly meals). AND it includes access to a private Facebook group where you, all the other moms, and I can discuss the course content and any questions you have.
Kimberly brings an enormous amount of compassion and light to her work as a healer. Her personal experience of overcoming chronic health issues while managing the demands of her busy life as a mother, wife and health practitioner gives her a special and invaluable insight into the challenges and struggles so many of her clients face. I deeply respect and honor Kimberly and her genuine commitment to helping her clients heal. She is a true ambassador of the healing information I share. – Anthony William, Medical Medium