I’ve already addressed that you want to ignore the (big-agriculture funded) advice of the American Heart Association. You want to avoid an oil that inexplicably comes from a grain or “vegetable”. Corn, soy, canola, margarine….don’t even feed it to your dog.
So what oils are you supposed to eat?
About six years ago I was nursing my third baby. I wasn’t producing enough milk and she was experiencing constipation. Around that same time I was learning the truth about healthy and unhealthy fats. I threw away our vegetable and canola oil, along with our “butter-esque” spread. I replaced everything with virgin coconut oil and real butter.
I added tons of natural fats, especially coconut oil, to my diet. My milk and my baby’s health improved dramatically. My baby even took on a faint coconutty scent that others commented on. She still loves coconut.
The myth (still propagated to this day!) that saturated fats were unhealthy came from a study by Ancel Keys in the 1950’s. He wanted to show that fat was the cause for all our health woes. His results showed anything but, but he chose to cherry pick the data, dump what didn’t support his hypothesis, and presented his findings to the scientific community. Here’s a funny, quick video that sums it up- funny truth bomb video
We all switched to whole milk, organic when possible (we’re a family of five, six if you count the 90 lb. dog, on a single income!). I cook with lots of butter. We’ve consumed a lot of saturated fat for the past 6 years.
When I started a part time job last year people were shocked at my age. They assumed I was a good 5-8 years younger than I am. I’m 31. I got asked where I go to school! I assume this is because of the anti-aging properties of healthy saturated fat and avoiding the aging properties of vegetable oils.
It’s frustrating to me that people still think saturated fats are unhealthy. What happened when everyone switched to skim milk, margarine, and 6-11 servings of grain a day? Obesity, heart disease, diabetes…it all skyrocketed. To make up for a lack of flavor food manufacturers added extra starch and sugar to low-fat products. Snackwell cookie, anyone?
All of this was pushed on the public. You’d only know the truth if you knew how to do your own research. It makes my blood boil a bit.
The fact is, saturated fat is healthy. It’s where the majority of our fat calories should be coming from. Saturated fat Vindicated Saturated fat is going to be shelf-stable. It doesn’t oxidize at the rate of fats from vegetable sources. When you eat an oil that has been chemically squeezed from a grain it is going to cause a cascade of inflammation and oxidation in your body. These oils aren’t shelf stable. They degrade quickly. Therefore they all undergo a process of hydrogenation to some extant. Vegetable Oils and Oxidation Since oxidation is basically causing us all to age and eventually die, we all want to limit it as much as possible, capiche? I implore you to do your own research. Literally chuck your vegetable oils in the garbage. Replace it with real butter (yum!), coconut oil (amazing for you!), olive oil, avocado oil, and natural animal fats. Your food will taste better, you’ll feel better, I promise!
I spent the day on a quest for mayo. Yep. Mayo. I did have some great stuff made with avocado oil but I ran out. I tried making my own but that was a disastrous, runny #fail. So I actually drove through a blizzard to obtain some.
Why? Well, mayo is one food that is encouraged on the keto diet. It’s awesome stuff. With the caveat that it has to be made with a natural oil. Hydrogenated soybean oil aint natural. Good luck finding any mayo that isn’t full or either soybean or canola oil. Both of which are horrible for you- yuck and yucker! Even the stuff labeled as “olive oil” mayo. Check the ingredients, topping the list will be soybean oil.
In my quest I checked some four stores and eventually had to brave the vegan/prius crowd of whole foods. I finally found some mayo made with sunflower oil. Which is not ideal, but acceptable. Why We Should Limit Vegetable Oils
I’ve just been craving cheeseburgers (no bun, ppl!) with lots of spices and of course a lot of mayo. It’s so good. It almost shouldn’t be allowed on a diet! My kids don’t complain either, which is a plus.
In truth, I had other errands to run but finding decent mayo was definitely at the top of the list. One fun thing about the diet is going nuts with the dietary fat. I love pouring liberal amounts of heavy cream in my coffee. Who needs sugar when it’s so rich? Steamed veggies are so nummy soaked in butter and a sprinkling of salt.
True, the diet is pretty restrictive. But I am finding it to be very fulfilling and easy to follow. Plus I am pulling out my jeans I haven’t been able to wear in ages!!
I don’t know why I haven’t made the connection until now (because I was aware of how net carbs work) but up to this point I’ve been counting total carbs, and trying to stay under 40 grams or so.
The body fat has been melting off like candle wax but this is unsustainable for obvious reasons and difficult to maintain.
What is the difference between a net carb and total carbs? In simple terms you subtract grams of fiber from the total carb count to get net carbs. Example: a serving of avocado has 12 grams of carbs, but a whopping 10 grams of fiber, so the net total would be only 2 carbs. That’s why images of avocados are so ubiquitous in the keto movement! I ate two last night. 😉
Why? Because these fibrous carbs are largely indigestible. We eat them, but we can’t break them down enough for them to contribute to actual carb/sugar energy for our body. They do, however, have an enormously positive impact on digestion, gut health, and even lowering blood sugar levels. Total Carbs vs. Net Carbs
Some people chose to go by total carbs. Some people chose to go by net carbs. Some crazy-dedicated people go zero carb. Zero Carb I’m all about doing what works for you but I wouldn’t recommend going zero carb. Mainly because there are so many benefits from eating low-carb, fibrous veggies. Without them it is possible to “starve” your healthy gut flora. Fiber and Gut Flora Fiber feeds our beneficial bacteria just as much as sugar feeds parasitic bacteria. We’re just beginning to understand how critically important our microbiome is for our total health and well-being. But simply, if you want to be healthy, keep your gut happy!
It seems for the most accelerated weight loss, you want to keep total carbs at 20 grams or lower. That goes for people who are pre-diabetic or just very carb-sensitive. If you want more of a maintenance program you can loosen up a lot and count net carbs.
At this point, personally, I’m thinner than I’ve been in probably 6 years, since before the pregnancy of my last baby. I’m going to investigate a weight maintenance program soon. Because it isn’t healthy for women to drop too much body fat. We need a base line of at least 15% for healthy hormonal function. Women, Health, Body Fat I want to stick with it as a lifestyle though. My skin looks great. My thinking is clearer. I’m not plagued by sugar cravings. My anxiety has been greatly reduced. I’m still nourishing my body and eating 1,500-1,900 calories a day, depending on my activity level and hunger cues.
Ok guys, I’m sorry but this topic is going to be for the ladies…..
We’re talking “shark week” aka PMS.
I’ve been in my shark week, not realizing it. Things got started a bit sooner than usual. Probably because my hormones have been “off” as I’ve lost a few pounds of body fat. Losing Body Fat, Releasing Estrogen
Anyways, I’ve been cranky. Ok, that’s an understatement. I’ve been beastly. The mere sound of my children’s voices is like nails on a chalkboard. I’ve been walking around with an angry ogre face that has hilariously prompted my 5 year old daughter to apologize (without having done anything!) multiple times.
As many of you ladies know, when that beast comes out of it’s slumber a certain time each month the only thing that will soothe it is chocolate. Good news is, chocolate is actually ok on keto, as long as you opt for very dark or chocolate with an alternative sweetener. That way you can not commit homicide and stay on track with your diet!! 😉 Dark chocolate is actually incredibly good for you as well (like we need any excuse!)… Dark Chocolate Benefits
So I ran out and got some 90% dark chocolate. No, it isn’t as yummy as a lighter chocolate, but it only has 3 grams of carbs per large square. I think I will melt it in a double boiler and add some peanut butter to make it a more palatable “fat bomb”.
And if you’re one that craves chocolate it could be because you are low on magnesium or even iron, both of which chocolate is a good source of. I’ve had blood work done in the past showing anemia so I take iron (and magnesium) every day and it’s been very helpful. If you regularly get cravings you might want to get blood work done to rule out vitamin deficiencies.
If you’re craving fatty and salty foods like fries or potato chips, you can get some pork rinds. I’ve found these parmesan crisps to be ah-mazing. Zero carbs and you’ll get your “chip” fix.
Be aware of your cycles so the beast doesn’t spring out and catch you totally unprepared. I track them on my phone. Eat dark chocolate, take bubble baths, get more than usual time alone (your family will thank you!), try deep breathing, put duct tape over your mouth….
If you’re losing weight your period can be worse than usual. But those symptoms should pass with time. Just take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone and it will pass. Don’t sweat it if you eat more than usual. You’re eating for two; you and your angry uterus. I blew past my calorie goal, but it’s ok. For heaven’s sake don’t weigh yourself either.
After going off sweeteners (except for a bit of stevia) I had a pretty rough couple days. Then I woke up this morning feeling much better. Feeling “keto-calm”- happy and positive. I think the insulin spiking was too much for me, with the sugar alcohols. I was turning into the wicked witch of the west. I was craving carbs. I was stressed out. I felt awful.
I’ve read that some people can tolerate different sweeteners. Some people can’t. You just really have to pay attention to how your body reacts.
Trust that your taste buds will adapt. If you cut out the sweet, you’ll stop craving it. Really!! Yesterday I noticed the sweetness in a diced tomato like I never have before.
I’m keeping a bit of stevia in my diet to make life a bit easier. I use vitamin water zero to mix my chlorella and probiotics (now that juice isn’t an option). Plus it doubles as a sweet treat for me. The taste isn’t amazing but it’s good enough. Most keto experts agree that stevia is generally pretty harmless for most people. Benefits of Stevia
Another thing I’ve learned is the importance of timing your carb intake. The best time to take in carbs is right after a workout. It won’t spike your insulin, it won’t take you out of ketosis- because your body will use it to replenish your store of glycogen in your muscles. How to Carb Cheat
I had about 15 grams of carbs after a 45 minute workout in the form of a designer whey protein shake with fairlife filtered milk and a scoop of natural peanut butter.
You don’t want to go nuts, but if you are an active person you have more wiggle room in your carb intake while you stay in ketosis.
One big positive side effect that I’ve noticed is for my family. My husband is making positive changes too. He is a slim guy, he doesn’t need to lose weight but he is cutting back on carbs too. He quit drinking soda, which is huge. There are benefits to cutting back on carbs, even if you don’t go full keto. Benefits of Cutting Back on Carbs My kids are also eating less sugar cause I’m not eating sugar.
I don’t know about you but my kids want to eat my food. If I’m eating snickers, they want it too. Being wary of looking like a hypocritical meanie I shared my candy with them many times in the past. Now when I make a salad I make a huge one because my 5 and 8 year old want to eat salad too! Last night they all ate big helpings of asparagus with butter and parmesan along with their kid-friendly chicken nuggets.
When you make positive life changes it doesn’t just affect you! It has a domino effect. That in itself is reason enough to make changes.