Saturday, March 16, 2019

Beware of Dirty Keto

So what is Dirty Keto?

Dirty Keto is choosing poor quality fatty foods on the Ketogenic Diet that increase inflammatory and free radical damage. 

Understanding the difference between good fats and bad fats are paramount to long-term good health.

Those of us on the Ketogenic Diet are increasing our intake of dietary fat to use as energy. Using fat as energy lowers our blood sugar and subsequently lowers our insulin. 

Keeping our bodies in a low insulin state is one of the secrets to fat loss, lower inflammation, and improvements in insulin sensitivity. Eating plenty of fat, especially in the beginning can help you get Fat or Keto-Adapted.


There is a difference between good fats and bad fats. 

Introducing Dirty Keto:

Eating just any fats for the sake of getting enough fat into your diet is called Dirty Keto.

Eating excessive bad fats causes free radicals and they have been linked to a whole host of negative health issues including inflammation, arthritis, cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease and autoimmune diseases like asthma.

Too much bad fats cause free radicals and oxidative stress:

This study clearly shows an imbalance in the Omega-6/Omega-3 Fatty Acid Ratio Increases the Risk of Obesity.

A balance between free radicals and antioxidants is essential for optimal physiological function. The free radicals have to be regulated by antioxidants, if not, then you have oxidative stress that creates dangerous free radicals. The standard American diet consists of about an 15:1 Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio. The recommended ratio is about 1:1. Omega 3 fatty acids and omega 9 fatty acids help fight free radicals by acting as antioxidants.

Omega 9 fatty acids:

Commonly referred to as monounsaturated fatty acids, omega 9 fatty acids can be found in red meat, whole milk products, nuts, and high-fat fruits such as olives and avocados, olive oil, avocado oil, sunflower oil, macadamium nuts, and beef tallow. This information from Wikipedia shows that foods containing monounsaturated fats reduce low-density lipoprotein (bad) cholesterol (LDL), and increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) good cholesterol. The HDL is needed to carry the LDL back to the liver and prevents cardiovascular disease. Eating good fats can raise your HDL. Avocados are one of the healthiest foods on the planet for good reason.

nuts on the Ketogenic diet

This study on PubMD titled Good Fats versus bad fats, concludes that Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids found in vegetable oils may contribute to obesity.  Olive and avocado oil are mono-unsaturated fatty acids.  Research shows that they may benefit insulin sensitivity and blood sugar regulation. In addition, omega-3 fats from fish and fish oil have been proven to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Watch this video to see some excellent examples of healthy fats to eat:

Ketogenic diet fat ratio

This study on PubMD shows that heating oils past their smoke point can cause oxidative stress and contribute to cardiovascular disease.

These are the 4 best oils for cooking:
 (in degrees F):
  • Avocado 520
  • Ghee 482
  • Mustard 480
  • Palm 455 

A further study on Omega 3 fatty acids shows that omega 3 fatty acids slow the formation of proinflammatory markers and scavenge free radicals. The bottom line is that omega 3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and oxidation of the low-density lipoprotein particles. 

"To sum it up:  When looking at total cholesterol, if you have high HDL and are eating the right ratio of healthy fats, you are far less likely to have a negative cardiovascular event."

add Krill oil to a Keto Diet

Omega-3 fatty acids lower triglycerides, blood pressure, blood clotting, decrease stroke and heart failure risk and improve insulin sensitivity. 

The highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids are in:
  • Krill
  • Salmon 
  • Herring
  • Tuna
  • Mackerel
  • Trout

*Try to get your fish in the "wild caught state." For example, my favorite fish is salmon and a 4-ounce serving of salmon provides 2,400 mg omega-3s. The "farms raised" fish are grown in crowded pens where they are treated with antibiotics and eat a less healthy grain-based diet.

Don't forget about plant sources:

Plant sources of omega 3 fatty acids are excellent because they can also give you prebiotic fiber that strengthens your intestinal flora and can prevent constipation on the Ketogenic Diet.  However, the problem with plant sources is they don't actually contain omega 3 fatty acids. They contain ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). 

ALA has to be converted to omega 3s (EPA and DHA) by enzymes. So only about 9-14% of the ALA is actually converted to omega 3 fatty acids. Plus plant sources can increase blood levels of ALA and EPA but not necessarily DHA. So make sure you are supplementing your plant sources with animal sources.

Here are the best plant sources of ALA:
  • Flaxseed Meal
  • Chia seeds
  • Algae oil
  • Hemp hearts
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Walnuts
  • Perilla Oil

The bottom line is to keep your fat intake balanced, don't eat Dirty Keto. Increase your intake of omega 3 and omega 9 fats and lower your intake of omega 6 fats and you will have long term, healthy success on the Ketogenic Diet.

Robert N. Bryant

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