9 Interesting Facts About the Keto Diet
It seems like EVERYONE has been talking about the Keto diet lately, especially in our circle, as so many Keto fanatics love our Beef Sticks because they meet Keto macros, are packed with protein and low on carbs. Here at Vermont Smoke & Cure, we don’t endorse anything but a well-balanced diet, but eating fat to burn fat was too intriguing to ignore. So, we did some investigating of our own. There are tons of articles about what the Keto diet is and how to adhere to it, but we wanted to speak to real people (trainers, cross-fitters, students, moms) who have tried the Keto diet to learn about their experience.
9 Interesting Facts about the Keto Diet
The Keto diet triggers a biological process that burns fatKetosis is a metabolic state your body enters when switching from burning carbs for fuel to burning fat for fuel. Most carbs are converted into glucose (simple sugar) by the body, which is the body’s primary fuel source. When carbs are eliminated from the diet, the body burns stored fat instead, to provide glucose from triglycerides. This results in ketone production, an acid that builds up in the blood and is eliminated by urine. A minimal amount of ketones in the blood is perfectly safe, but high levels can lead to a dangerous condition called ketoacidosis.
The Keto Flu is real…but you can avoid it
Several people we talked to mentioned experiencing “the Keto Flu” in their first week of practicing the Keto diet, characterized by drowsiness, dizziness, intense sugar and carb cravings, difficulty focusing, nausea, difficulty getting to sleep, and general irritability. Drink lots of water (and some salt water to manage electrolyte loss) to combat these short-lived sensations as your body is transitioning to the Keto diet.
Many Keto-adherents practice “intermittent fasting”
Intermittent fasting (aka cutting out any calorie consumption for specific windows of time) can amplify the impacts of the keto diet. For example, someone might finish eating at 8pm and not have another meal until 10am the following day, fasting for 14 hours. This fasting can aid dieters that are trying to move into the state of ketosis.
A day on the Keto diet doesn’t even really sound like dieting
We asked one of our fans, who has seen extreme success with the Keto diet, what an average day on the diet looks like. Breakfast: Coffee with a pat of grass-fed butter. 2 Eggs cooked in grass-fed butter with a side of bacon, a few slices of avocado.
Snacks: A handful of mixed nuts, full-fat string cheese or Greek yogurt, a couple of squares of 88% dark chocolate, and plenty of VT Smoke and Cure beef sticks!
Lunch: A large salad topped with nuts, seeds, avocado, hard-boiled egg and dressed with avocado oil-based dressing.
Dinner: Slow cooker pulled pork and coleslaw dressed with avocado mayonnaise.
Many foods conventionally considered as healthy are banned on the Keto diet
Starchy and high sugar vegetables, most fruits (except for small amounts of berries) and whole grains are not suggested on the keto diet. On the contrary, while many would consider a high-fat diet unhealthy, healthy fats are the staple of the ketogenic diet.
You might experience increased energy and brainpower
In addition to weight loss, many people are on the Keto diet for the potential benefits of increased energy and brainpower. Social media foodie and Keto advocate @ketoinct informed us of a long list of benefits she experienced on the diet. “I have lost about 30 pounds which wound up being quite a bit on my 5’1” frame, 3 dress sizes, cured myself of my chronic migraines, lowered my LDL cholesterol, balanced my hormones, improved my sleep, gained sustainable energy…and this was all within the first year without exercise.”
You can use a urine test to check if you’re in ketosis
Because ketone bodies, the byproduct of ketosis, are eliminated through urine, you can use in-home testing strips to test if you’re in the state of ketosis.
The Keto diet was originally developed by doctors to treat seizures in children
The Keto diet was originally developed in the 20’s by physicians as a treatment for childhood epilepsy, as the ketogenic diet mimics the effects fasting has on the body (fasting has been used to treat epilepsy since 500BC)
You need to cook to follow the keto diet
Like many other whole food diets, Keto requires a decent amount of prep to meet the required macros every-day. Jade Jenny, the owner and head trainer of Champlain Valley CrossFit told us that the hardest part of following the Keto diet for him was finding Keto-approved snack foods and variety when preparing meals that meet the Keto macros.
The Keto diet lets you eat foods often considered unhealthy in a way that actually supports your long-term health goals. Reframing “dieting” to focus on the foods that you LOVE and can still eat, rather than what you can’t eat, can be an extremely useful way to stick to a diet.
“Food lists are not effective. People may look at those lists and think, ‘Those are my favorite foods that you’re saying don’t [eat] so I’m not going to even try.’ Or they try, then eat something [unhealthy], then beat themselves up. The more of a dichotomy we set up, the more a sense of failure, then the more people stop the plan” Dr. Lauri Wright, a Registered Dietician and Assistant Professors at USF’s College of Public Health said in a recent health.com article.
Not sure where to start? Try our Keto Cobb recipe (link out to separate recipe) and you just might be sold when you realize decadent, filling meals like this are part of the plan.Back to Blog