The Human Natural Diet and the Evolution of the Zero Carb Diet. (Part 6)
Ten years ago, when Zero Carb was just starting, Kimkins was the popular fad diet. Kimkins was a low carb, low fat diet. Most people who come to the Zero Carb diet, did so via a low carb and or a low fat diet, so many of our members were low carb, low fat or Kimkins refugees. Due to the fear of saturated fats, high cholesterol and heart disease, we had to stress eating fat. Eating animal fat is healthy, the human body loves animal fats. Animal fats give our bodies the fuel it needs to build a strong healthy body and brain. But people were conditioned to eating skinless chicken breasts, lean pork and fish, because those were the healthy white meats. We had to tell people to add fat in the form of butter, lard, tallow or bacon grease because if you do not eat enough fat, you will have no energy, and you will eventually give into carb cravings or quit the diet, altogether. Most of us added fat to our meals. It was like our bodies were fat starved. We craved it. We seeked out fat scraps in restaurants, butcher shops and grocery stores. We were fat crazed!
I believe we added fat for a good 2 years, then noticed we didn’t want so much fat anymore and began eating regular fatty meats like well marbled cuts of beef, chicken with the skin, 80/20 ground beef (instead of 73/27). Not one of us long time Zero carbers eats lean meats. We do on occasion, if we have to, but we don’t feel well on lean meats.
Fast forward to 2014. I’m not sure exactly when it started, but around 2013-2014 we started seeing KETO refugees. The KETO diet (Ketogenic) in my opinion is a hack of the Zero Carb diet for people who wanted their fat, sweets and veggies too.
A Zero Carb diet is the ultimate ketogenic diet. It is a carbohydrate free diet that forces your body to burn fat (ketones) instead of sugar (glucose). The Zero Carb Diet as we defined it, is a diet of animal products only. Zero Carb sweeteners are not part of The Zero Carb diet. We learned that even Zero Carb sweeteners raise blood sugar just like regular sugar. Zero Carb sweeteners also feed sugar/sweet cravings and lead to sugar or carbohydrate binging. Sugar addiction is a real thing. Then there are people who believe some vegetables, fruits, nuts and plant oils have magical nutrients and antioxidants that the human body NEEDS. And so the KETO diet was born.
The KETO diet thinks maintaining a high level of ketones is of some benefit to the human body. ( There are studies showing a ketogenic diet is helpful for epileptics and cancer patients, but I am not sure if it is due to the presence of ketones or due to the absence of carbohydrates.) This diet relies on manipulating Macros (carbohydrate, fat, protein) to maintain high ketone readings on a meter. The problem with this is on a very low or zero carb diet, our bodies become more efficient at using ketones and therefore it becomes more and more difficult to maintain high ketone readings. In order to keep ketone readings high, people need to limit protein, increase fat, lower carbs, fast and or workout more. At some point they burn out and get sick of all the tweaking and measuring.
In my opinion and experience, if your body is still producing high ketone numbers it is not running efficiently. It is not fully fat adapted and you will not see the benefits of strength, endurance and health that is achieved in a fully fat adapted body. The KETO diet puts the body in a position of hybrid fuel burning, straddling the line of either glycogen or fat burning, never giving the body a chance to fully engage in 100% clean fat burning.
Today, we no longer tell people to add fat, because they are coming from KETO where they are drinking fat in their coffee, consuming fat bombs and eating way too much fat in order to maintain high ketone numbers. The problem with too much fat, besides having to run to the bathroom all day long, is that nutrients are in the meat. If you are eating too much fat, you get full faster and don’t consume enough meat and nutrients. Too much fat is just as bad as eating lean meats.
This brings us to today. Keto and low carb are getting some good press. This is a good start for some real changes in nutrition guidelines. There are some very influential people putting out books and collecting data about how limiting carbohydrates can reverse diabetes, prevent or reverse Alzheimer’s, prevent heart disease, obesity, control cancer, etc. But, if they know carbohydrates are not essential and they know carbohydrates cause bad health, why are they still eating them?!