• Nana Alison

The Keto Diet: Top Five Benefits for Grandparents

I feel like I’ve been dieting off and on for most of my life and I’m sure many of you can relate.

I was very lucky in my teens and twenties to be one of those people who didn’t have to watch what I ate to maintain my slender frame. It wasn’t until my first pregnancy at the age of 30 that it caught up with me. I thought I could still eat whatever I wanted all through my pregnancy. Well, in my eighth month, I learned that I had borderline gestational diabetes. (Having this condition means you are much more likely to be a type two diabetic later in life). By this time, I had gained a significant amount of weight and unfortunately, it wasn’t all baby. After my 9 pound plus son was born (having a large infant can be another sign of blood glucose issues), I was significantly heavier and found myself struggling to lose. This was in the early 90s when low-fat eating was all the craze. The theory at that time was to avoid all fat and fill up on carbs. After all, It didn’t matter how much sugar was in Snackwell Cookies because they had no fat, right?! Well, needless to say, avoiding fat, and filling up on grains and sugar did not work for me. I would lose a few pounds here or there, but always found it again. Thus began the beginning of many years of yo-yo dieting.

Thankfully, I finally learned that the only way for me to lose weight is limiting my carbohydrate intake. The Keto way of eating has come to be an accepted and even healthy way to eat. According to www.DietDoctor.com, a keto or ketogenic diet is a low-carb, moderate protein, higher-fat diet that can help you burn fat more effectively. When you drastically limit your carbohydrate intake, your body uses up its glycogen for fuel and the liver begins converting fat cells to ketones (hence the name.) These ketones are then used for fuel. It has many benefits for weight loss, health, and performance, as shown in over 50 studies. That's why it's recommended by a growing number of doctors and healthcare practitioners. Here are five benefits of a keto diet.

  1. LOWERS INSULIN RESISTANCE-A majority of Americans have some degree of insulin resistance, which is a condition in which your body can no longer process sugar and starch properly. It is linked to hypertension, pre-diabetes, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, to name a few, AND it causes you to gain weight and struggle to lose it (even when cutting calories and exercising.)

  2. LOWERS INFLAMMATION-This is a huge health benefit for us Baby Boomers. Inflammation is linked to heart disease, hypertension, and a weakened immune system.

  3. IMPROVEMENT OF HDL AND TRIGLYCERIDES-Your HDL to LDL ratio will improve and your triglycerides will go down, all of which are important for heart health.

  4. CRAVINGS WILL SUBSIDE-Once you are burning ketones or in a state of “ketosis” your longings for something sweet or starchy will diminish and motivate you to stick with the diet.

  5. WEIGHT LOSS-The best part is that this diet will cause you to lose a significant amount of weight in the first few days because your body will stop retaining excess water. As you continue along in ketosis, your appetite will be curbed allowing you to eat less, resulting in long term weight loss.

So, what do you eat? Start with lots of healthy fats, such as avocados, nuts, full fat and grass fed dairy, olives and olive oil. Pasture raised eggs, grass fed beef, wild caught salmon and organic chicken thighs are all great sources of protein. Don’t forget to add non-starchy vegetables including broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, spinach and greens of any kind. Absolutely, no sugar or grains are allowed. A good rule of thumb is to stay around 20 to 30 net carbs per day (net carbs are total carb grams minus the grams of fiber). There are vast resources for this diet, but here are a couple of websites that I have found helpful: www.keto-mojo.com and www.marksdailyapple.com. I also recommend this book by Dr. Josh Axe.

Maintaining our health and weight is an important part of making sure we can keep up with the grandkids and be there for their future. If you’re looking for a diet where you don’t feel constantly hungry and can actually enjoy some cream in your coffee, give this a try.