As the New Year rolled in many people set their resolutions. Taking better care of oneself and choosing healthier diet, especially after holiday parties and endless eating feasts, was one of the goals on the list.
There are hundreds of different diets. How can you choose one that is right for you? As we joke, google knows everything! You just type in a question and thousands of blogs, articles and videos will pop up with the answers. I found that overwhelming, since most of these writers never study the subject or work in that industry themselves. However, that does not stop them from becoming an expert. Then we all have friends and family that know exactly what you should eat and how to fix everything in your life. Well, after reading dozens of blogs, articles and watching some documentaries, I was still confused, because there was too many contradicting theories. I needed to find a better source. I went back to school to study nutrition. Certification in nutrition did not set me with answers about 100s of diets for life. But what it helped me with was finding a solid understanding of the whole human body and the major nutrients it needs to functionin a healthy matter. Diets, just like fashion, come and go. Right now the most popular is the Keto diet. People are talking about it, creating recipes and suggesting it to their friends, family, coworkers, on social media, blogs...
Since the beginning of this year, I had a wave of new and existing clients come to me with skin issues that they either never had before or it reappeared. After skin analysis and consultation, they shared with me that they started a new diet, the Keto diet. The situation with my clients made me do the research, because it is my nature to not just help with the topical skin issues, but find the root cause of the problem. So what is the Ketogenic diet?
"The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that in medicine is used primarily to treat difficult-to-control epilepsy in children. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Normally, the carbohydrates contained in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported around the body and is particularly important in fueling brain function. However, if little carbohydrate remains in the diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The ketone bodies pass into the brain and replace glucose as an energy source. Most dietary fat is made of molecules called long-chain triglycerides (LCTs). However, medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs)—made from fatty acids with shorter carbon chains than LCTs—are more ketogenic."- Wikipedia
What I found about Ketogenic diet on Wikipedia did not sound bad at all. That seemed like a very good diet to follow. It suggested to: exclude high-carbohydrate foods and increase the consumption of foods high in fat. However, as I kept reading about what foods that this diet recommends, I understood where the problem originated. It might be a good suggestion to cut out starchy fruits and vegetables, bread, pasta, grains, and sugar, and increase the consumption of foods high in fat. The issue arises when the recommended high fat foods include dairy and fatty meats.
The approach people take to incorporate this diet onto their life is a huge problem. Recipes for Keto diet that include cheese, dairy cream for fat and animal meat for extra protein are NOT healthy suggestions. Multiple studies showed that dairy and meat (especially red meat) causes great risk for health.
It is not the ketogenic diet that causes the skin problems or general health issues, it is the foods in which people choose to eat when they think “low carb, high fat”.
Dairy DOES negatively affect the skin. Acne, hormonal breakouts, eczema, rosacea, premature aging are the most common effects caused by dairy products. Even hormonal acne can be caused by dairy. Hormones in cow's (or any other animal milk) cause hormonal imbalance in humans. Hormone IGF-1 abundantly present in cow's milk helps baby cows grow big and strong, but in humans it causes inflammation. It causes an insulin spike that leads the liver to produce even more IGI-1 hormone. In addition, dairy glues together dead skin cells inside of the skin which leads to congestion and eventually acne and bumps. Besides the acne, other skin issues like eczema, rosacea, premature aging, overproduction of sebum (skin oil), clogged pores, congestion, and even hyperpigmentation (dark spots) are caused by dairy-induced inflammation.Read more about dairy here
Quality is important when it comes to the type of fats you are choosing while eating keto. Trans fats, fried foods, dairy, and meat are highly inflammatory for the body. Instead fill your plate with whole foods to maximize your nutrient intake and choose fatty foods like avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts and seeds. Super-foods like chia and hemp seeds are both, fatty and high in protein.
Bottom line, you select a specific diet to get healthier. Be mindful of your choices what you load up your plate with. It is easy to get a good idea blown out of proportion. Make wise decisions for long term not “quick fixes” that can damage your health in the long run.
Here are some links to plant based vegan recipes if you choose to explore and incorporate Keto diet in your life:
P.S. The picture for this article we found on the internet. We were trully facinated how they suggest to eat cheese (piece of cheese is in the piramid), but also suggest to cut out milk (it’s crossed out at the bottom). Cheese is made from milk, so how can you have one without the other?
Diana Ralys, LE, COE, HC
Board Certified Holistic Drugless Practitioner
Owner and Founder Radiance Wellness Spa
Diana Ralys Skin Health Product formulator
#1 Best Selling Author
Educator and Event Speaker