Start the day with a piece of toast, a little margarine and jam, as well as a glass of fresh orange juice? Certainly not, says David Harper, cancer researcher.
The kinesiology professor has not eaten toast for more than six years: he began following a ketogenic diet strategy rich in fats and carbohydrates in 2013, and stated that he's not going to Was never turned to the past.
Harper said he and his wife, Dale Drewery, both relied on grease to feed them all day.
"I eat oily cream in everything," Harper told Business Insider, adding that he was consuming a lot of nuts and seeds, green beans, "lampshades" like liver and up to At a dozen eggs a week.
The keto diet that Harper follows is designed to force the body into a state of ketosis, in which it uses fats to produce energy and produces ketones, instead of relying on carbohydrates to turn them into glucose. (This is essentially the same switch our systems perform when they are starving.)
Harper and Drewery wrote a new book on the keto entitled "Biodiet", released in May. In this document, the couple suggests that our modern diets are formulated around too much sugar and too few vegetables.
Harper refers to high carbohydrate diets as a modern "axis of disease", a reference to the term "axis of evil" used by President George W. Bush to describe Iran, Iraq and the United States. North Korea. Mr. Harper insists that the "three common enemies" against which we are at war are obesity, insulin resistance, and inflammation.
"At the heart of the disease axis is a weapon of mass destruction," Harper wrote. "The high carbohydrate diet that most of us have eaten all our lives."
According to Harper, this high carbohydrate diet promotes the formation of a vicious circle of diseases and disabilities in our body.
"When these conditions worsen, they feed one another: obesity contributes to insulin resistance, which in turn worsens it; inflammation aggravates the condition." obesity, further promoting inflammation; insulin resistance causes more inflammation, which worsens insulin resistance, "he writes.
The axis of disease in our plates
On a well formulated keto diet, the idea is that no more than 5% of a person's daily calories come from carbohydrates, while about 80% consist of fat. Harper said he and Drewery would often divide a marbled steak for dinner or combine a little chicken (oily skin left) with low-carbohydrate shirataki noodles made from Japanese yams.
Harper believes that reducing carbohydrates in this way will help him and Drewery to live up to old age and stay sharp, neat and full.
"We do not eat a lot of packaged foods, we do not eat a lot of processed foods," he said.
Harper also avoids pasta, potatoes and sandwiches, as well as some foods that are naturally heavy in carbohydrates such as beans and apples. The last part of this approach may be controversial, as many studies suggest that people who consume more fiber – a carbohydrate found in many vegetables, whole grains, and legumes – tend to live among the longest lives.
Harper said that he draws his daily fiber from vegetables such as cauliflower, peppers and green vegetables – "anything that grows above the ground that is not a grain, a fruit or a fruit. a bean, with the exception of green beans, "he said.
These are not carbohydrate-free foods, as even lettuce and peppers contain carbohydrates, including natural sugars.
"You're going to get some sort of residual carbohydrate in the nuts we eat and in the vegetables we eat," Harper said. "But the essential of the carbohydrate that it contains is going to be fiber."
The rest of the carbohydrates in these vegetables, he said, is not enough to have a significant impact "in terms of maintaining ketosis, so I do not worry about that."
Eating fat does not necessarily make you fat
For a long time, the conventional wisdom was that, if you limit your calorie intake – whether it's fat, carbohydrates or protein -, avoiding weight gain should then be a gambling game. ;child. Reduce your intake of dense fats to 9 calories per gram; fill up on carbs with 4 calories per gram and a little protein instead; to exercise; and voila: a low fat lifestyle.
But "we've been trying this for 40 years and it's not working," said Harper.
Carbohydrates are not inherently diabolical, but scientists believe that sugar, whether natural or artificial, is not good for our body in large doses.
In fact, foods rich in sugar and carbohydrates do not fill us as well as high-fat foods. Because fast-burning carbohydrates like white bread, white rice and sweet cereals are digested at an extreme speed, it's easier to overeat and boost blood sugar levels. Over time, people who consume these foods tend to have more cases of diabetes, gain more weight and develop more heart problems than people who opt for whole grains and fresh produce.
Recent research has even shown that all-natural sweetened juices can be almost as harmful to the liver and blood sugar levels as soda, and can contribute in the same way to illness and premature death.
Unfortunately, public health efforts to eat "low-fat" – particularly popular in the 1980s and 1990s – have led some people to replace fatty foods such as bacon and butter with low-grade substitutes. fat often loaded with sugar to maintain their taste. It now appears to have been a poorly directed and often lobbyist-driven dietary program that has led people to gain weight.
"It's sadly a myth that eating fat makes you fat, but it's a myth because it makes sense," Harper said. "Fat calories are twice as dense."
Keto or not, we should probably all eat more vegetables
Today, more than one in three Americans is battling diabetes or prediabetes, and the number is increasing. A study conducted in 2017 at Harvard suggested that 57% of American children would be obese at age 35.
Many doctors agree that keto diets can help people fight these chronic diseases.
"Keto is undeniably the best way to fight type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance," said cardiologist Ethan Weiss, who himself follows a keto diet plan, told reporters. Business Insider.
But even keto enthusiasts, like Harper and Weiss, point out that the keto plan is not for everyone.
Some people have metabolic disorders that prevent their body from using ketones as fuel. They must eat carbohydrates to live. Other people take certain medications, carry certain genes or have kidney problems that can make the food keto dangerous to health. Anyone thinking of trying a new restrictive diet like the keto diet should consult a doctor and a nutritionist.
However, nutritionists and doctors generally agree that no one should use sugar alone. Adding fresh vegetables to your plate is almost always a beneficial change, as is a reduction in your consumption of ultra-prepared snacks.
"If you do not want to be ketogenic," said Harper, "use only sugar and starch in your diet and make sure you eat real foods, not processed foods."