Low carb is so hot right now. Right? I mean you hear it often, and you see Atkins things everywhere, and people love it, and people hate it. “Don’t demonize an entire food group.” “Your body needs carbs.” Blah blah blah. Do YOU. Whatever gets your results. Whatever makes you healthier. Whatever you have researched and believe in. Whatever is sustainable and an enjoyable way for you to live. THAT’S what matters. Personally, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been with a specific way of eating because I’m eating DELICIOUS food. Is fat not delicious?! Isn’t that why they had to add sugar to everything? To replace the yumminess they removed when making anything and everything “low fat”? I vow to never ever eat another low fat food again.
You must buy this pimento cheese from Publix!
I digress… so yes, you see low carb things all over the place, but I want to clarify the difference between low carb eating and keto. They are not the same thing, but I do see them used interchangeably all the time. I see this most often on Pinterest, where misinformation runs RAMPANT. Beware.
So what’s the difference?
Keto is always low carb, but low carb is not always keto.
Let me explain: “keto” refers to nutritional ketosis, a state in which your body is producing a fuel source called ketones. This fuel source is converted from fats via food and body fat stores. Clearly, we all store plenty of body fat, so your body has lots of substrate to use in which to make ketones! The trouble is your body only does this when there’s an absence of glucose, or blood sugar. Considering our typical diets, our bodies are never without glucose for very long, hence we rarely ever to get to run on ketones which are said to burn like high octane fuel! They’re the good stuff. So to consume a keto diet means to typically consume less than 10% of total calories from carbs, although that’s not a hard and fast rule. Any diet with less than 100 grams of carbs per day is usually considered low carb, but that diet may or may not be conducive to ketosis. You see, the amount of fat and protein going into the body matters too, as protein can also be converted to glucose! This was news to me. This is where Atkins gets away from keto. An Atkins diet is usually high protein, moderate in fat, and low in carbs. This works for a lot of people, but you won’t get into ketosis with a high amount of protein in the diet. A keto diet typically calls for about 20-30% of calories from protein to keep gluconeogenesis from happening– which is the conversion of protein to glucose. Fancy, huh? So you can kick the bread and pasta and oats and sugar, but if you’re still eating lean beef, turkey bacon, and chicken breast, you’re still missing the mega benefits of the keto diet! Once you’re in a state of ketosis, it has a protein-sparing effect, so you don’t have to worry about muscle wasting at that point where a lot of people would worry they weren’t eating enough protein.
Our bodies used to be primarily fat burners. Think about the design of our bodies, the amount of fat we can store versus the amount of carb we can store (not a lot), and how we used to go a lot longer between meals when food was more scarce. Do you think our bodies were designed to graze and need to eat every few hours to keep blood sugar up? Me either. I think we were meant to be sustained for hours, perhaps days. I think we were meant to be able to focus on everything but eating for long stretches. Our bodies in this modern time of grains and agriculture and excess are primarily sugar-burners, but we can totally get back to being fat burners. I’m in the process of getting fat-adapted, and I’ll admit: it’s been slow. We’ve been pretty strict for about six weeks now, and I really do feel great! Hunger is not at all an issue, where I used to feel constantly hungry. My legs are still sluggish while running, but I think it’s getting better with every run. I’m down under 18% body fat for the first time in my adult life, which is huge considering I was once 35%. I’ve been enjoying this process so much, and I’m hopeful for all the keto research that is being done today. I truly believe in its ability to defeat diabetes and it’s potential for neuroprotective benefits. I ordered exogenous ketones last weekend, and I can’t wait to see how those change the game, too! Stay tuned.
Please allow me to share with you the cheesiest, most amazing broccoli I have ever eaten that I JUST made! Seriously fresh out tha oven.
That is the original recipe I was going off of, and I’ll tell you the changes I made. I forgot to get cauliflower at the store, so I decided I would make it with broccoli. Marcus much prefers broccoli anyways. So I used two 10 oz bags of frozen broccoli. I steamed them for about 8 minutes or so, and just let them sit while I chopped the scallions. I cooked 4 pieces of thick sliced bacon at 350 for about 20 minutes, then crumbled it. I used about 6 oz of pepper jack cheese melted in with the heavy cream, cream cheese, and cheddar in place of Monterey jack. I finally chopped one fresh, seeded jalapeño and added it in with the green onion. Once all that gooey amazingness was mixed together pretty much per the recipe, I added the broccoli, stirred it all together, and salted and peppered it. I put it in a large corningware with a lid and placed it in the oven at 350 for about 35 minutes. Then I removed the lid and let it stay in another 10 minutes or so with the oven off, and the cheese browned a little on top.
Marcus hasn’t tasted it yet, but I just know he’s gonna love it! It’s rich and delicious and perfect for hitting that keto fat I want 😉