Is this high-fat diet supporting menopausal weight loss?
There is still a lot of confusion around keto, a high-fat diet that puts the body into ketosis, which basically means you stop eating carbohydrates so your body burns fat for fuel rather than glucose.
However, it’s still a calorie restriction diet because if you eat more fat than your body requires you will gain weight not lose it.
So the appeal is being able to eat more high-fat foods like eggs, bacon, meat, chicken, salmon, cheese, Greek yogurt, cream, avocadoes, olives, and olive oil.
Only certain vegetables are allowed, and the carby vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, corn, and beetroot are avoided.
Here’s where the confusion starts – it’s NOT the carby vegetables that are ‘fattening’ it’s that they contain carbohydrates, and when you follow keto you have to eat more fat than carbs to keep your body in ketosis.
So the ‘good’ part about keto (like ANY diet) is that you can lose weight.
However is it healthy and is it sustainable?
Is keto healthy?
There are currently no long-term studies on keto.
In the short-term many cardiologists are saying keto is their worst nightmare. Why? Because a high-fat diet increases atherosclerosis, the build-up of plaque in the arteries which can lead to heart disease.
Plus the incidence of fatty liver is prevalent on high-fat diets.
Incidentally, the average person eats a high-fat diet (as opposed to a keto diet) hence why we have nearly 70% of Australians overweight or obese.
Yes we eat a lot of sugar as well BUT most sugar comes packaged with fat – think chocolate/cakes/biscuits/milkshakes etc
As the main detoxification organ, a fatty liver seriously impacts your health and can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, and worst-case scenario, cirrhosis of the liver (scarring) and death.
If you’re following a keto diet I recommend you have a 6 monthly blood test to monitor your lipid (fat) levels and liver function (to check for fatty liver).
Is keto sustainable?
Keeping your body in ketosis requires that you severely restrict the amount of carbohydrates you eat. So eating a small piece of sweet potato can bring you out of ketosis.
As soon as you stop being in ketosis, you’re then eating a high-fat diet which means weight loss stops.
Plus you’re now insulin resistant because you’ve trained your body to burn fat, not glucose.
AND while you may have lost weight, your cells are actually jam packed with fat, so they resist insulins’ attempts to open the door to let the glucose in.
This means that the pancreas keeps pumping out insulin because the glucose level in the blood is not going down (from the sweet potato you just ate).
High glucose levels in the body are dangerous (think diabetes) so your body releases more insulin (also a fat storage hormone) and sends the glucose to the liver to store as fat.
Not being able to eat carby vegetables, most fruit, whole grains, beans & lentils, plus bread, pasta, or rice, means that keto is difficult to sustain.
Studies are now showing this and many of my clients will agree!
Is keto healthy?
My biggest issue with keto is the health aspect… because it contains minimal fiber and more importantly, it restricts most plants (like whole grains, beans & lentils) so diversity of fiber is impossible.
We know that fiber is the key to our health because it’s only fiber that feeds our good gut bacteria, which is responsible for 70% of our immunity. You can read more here https://naturallynic.com.au/do-you-know-what-to-put-on-the-end-of-your-fork-for-your-healths-sake/
When we’re not eating a wide variety of fiber foods (fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans & lentils) our health is compromised.
Fiber is an estrogen and toxin magnet and removes them from the body, which helps to reduce menopausal symptoms (as does eliminating the high estrogen foods like dairy and animal products).
So I do not recommend keto.
Yes we need healthy fats, but moderation is the key if you need to release unwanted weight.
You can read about the fats you do need and the ONE oily hack that will kick-start your weight loss. https://naturallynic.com.au/this-one-oily-hack-will-kick-start-your-weight-loss/
The women I work with optimise their health, reduce or eliminate their menopause symptoms, and release unwanted weight by following a plant-powered lifestyle.
When you discover the power of eating more plants you can create a lifestyle that is both nourishing (meeting all your nutritional needs) and sustainable for the long term.
We do know that the happiest, healthiest longest living cultures on the planet eat 95% plants as shown by the Blue Zones study.
So why not embrace a way of eating that ticks optimal health, weight management, and long-term sustainability?
If you’d like to learn more you can grab my FREE training Plant-based hacks to kick-start weight loss and learn the simple steps you can take to release stubborn menopausal weight.
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