I have sat down to write this post about 3 or 4 times already. And each time I get started, I end up getting frustrated and walking away from my computer.
The goal with Keto Bootstrap is to help you live a healthier lifestyle through eating better and exercise. It is important for me to give you well-researched, helpful information that is as accurate as possible.
If you have done any amount of research online with regards to losing weight and being healthy (and I am guessing you have, as you are here reading this post), then you will know that there is so much information available out there.
The problem is, not all of it is good information. (I mean, have you heard of the Military Diet? Which has nothing to do with the Military, and is a terrible diet.)
Different scientific studies can produce conflicting results, and some scientific studies are not conducted as rigorously as others. This means that even when we look to the experts, we can be provided with confusing, and possibly incorrect, information.
But that isn’t even the main problem here. The bigger issue is all the self-proclaimed experts sharing inaccurate information. Whether this is done unintentionally, or willfully, it still has the same result – you end up with incorrect, potentially harmful, information.
It is no different with the ketogenic diet.
The ketogenic diet has gained a lot of attention in the last couple years, and as such, a lot has been written about it.
Unfortunately – not all of it is true.
There is still a lot of misunderstanding surrounding the keto diet, and many myths are being spread about the diet’s core principles by people who do not understand it properly.
In some cases, it is done deliberately, and in other cases, it is done simply due to not doing the proper research.
It is enough to confuse anyone who is trying to learn about the ketogenic diet. And I am all about keeping things simple!
(If you are just learning about the keto diet, our Ultimate Guide for Beginners is a great place to start!)
My aim for this post was to share with the most common myths being shared about the ketogenic diet, and what the real facts are.
The myths side of the post was no issue. In doing my research for the ‘facts’ side, however, I came across bloggers sharing information that was just plain wrong. Information that could (fairly easily) be checked out. And that is so frustrating to me.
So, before we dive in to this post, I want to encourage you – if you come across information that doesn’t sound quite right, is ‘too good to be true’, or is something you have never heard before – do these two things:
-Do more research from credible sources
Ok, now let me get off my soap box and on to the topic at hand.
Myths About the Keto Diet
There are many myths circulating when it comes to the ketogenic diet. Here I listed 6 most common ones that I have come across.
Myth 1: The Keto diet is high in protein
This is quite a common misconception in the ketogenic diet. The terms ketogenic diet and the low-carb diet are often used (incorrectly) interchangeably.
Many people assume that, because a diet is low in carbs, that it must automatically be high in protein.
In fact, on the keto diet, you should be getting no more than 20% of your calories from protein. Ideally less.
In comparison, low-carb/high-protein diets require 30-35% of your daily calories to be made up of protein.
If your diet contains too much protein, your body will end up converting some of it to glucose. This is counter-productive on the keto diet when you are trying to keep your glucose levels low.
Myth 2: Keto is a weight loss diet only.
The keto diet is, no doubt, a fantastic way to lose excess weight. However, there is far more to this diet than just weight loss. In fact – the ketogenic diet had nothing to do with weight loss when it was first developed.
There are many other benefits to following a keto diet that make it a great way to eat – no matter your health and weight goals. Increased focus, more energy, better sleep, stabilizing hormones, and increasing endurance are just a few of the many benefits you may experience.
It has also been shown to help fight Type II Diabetes, increase HDL cholesterol, and lower blood pressure.
(And if weight loss is not a goal for you, you can certainly still follow a keto diet – just make sure you are getting enough calories to maintain/gain weight.)
Myth 3: The keto diet is nutritionally incomplete.
A well-formulated keto diet will include a range of vegetables, proteins, and healthy fats.
Sure, you can eat steak and Fathead dinner rolls every day and be in ketosis, but that doesn’t mean it is healthy! In fact, eating this way is extremely nutrient-deficient and potentially dangerous. You still need to make an effort to eat healthy.
Your diet will be nutritionally complete if you choose to include quality meats (fatty cuts), dairy, nuts, and plenty of low-carb fibrous vegetables and leafy greens.
Myth 4: A keto diet raises cholesterol and increases the chance of heart disease.
For quite a number of years it was thought that eating foods with cholesterol would increase the LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol in your body. This has since proven to not be true.
So while our diet doesn’t necessarily impact cholesterol levels, it does effect triglyceride levels. And it is higher triglyceride levels that can lead to heart disease.
Triglyceride levels are directly correlated to the amount of simple carbohydrates in your diet. So reducing carbohydrates drastically will help prevent heart disease.
Myth 5: The keto diet lacks fibre.
If you’re going to eat fat bombs and cheese snacks all day, then yes, your diet will lack in fibre.
And you will be constipated.
And it will be very uncomfortable.
But you can’t expect your body to functioning properly if you are feeding it poorly. As I mentioned above, it is possible to be in ketosis but not be eating healthy.
For many people, switching to a keto diet means that their vegetable and fibre intake actually increases. Low carb veggies are also low in calories, so you will end up eating quite a lot to meet your percentage of carb calories for the day.
Eating enough low-carb veggies will keep your system working regularly – as it should be.
On a slightly related note – seeing as we have already got very personal – you may notice that you need to empty your bowels less often. This has been attributed to eating less volume overall, but also less ‘wasted calories’ (i.e. the food is used up, and there is less waste to go through your body).
Myth 6: You can’t exercise on keto.
For most people, they can safely exercise while following a keto diet. In fact, you should!
Exercise is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle.
If you take part in intense activity. however, – such as sprinting, weightlifting, or Crossfit – you may have to adjust your diet to include slightly more carbs than the recommended keto amount, in order to adequately perform.