Last Updated on August 28, 2020
Does eating a low carb diet affect your gut health?
The ketogenic diet has become a worldwide trend. It involves eating more animal-based proteins, more fat, and fewer carbohydrates. A lot of people have taken nearly all grains out of their diet. Not just wheat, but all sorts of carbohydrates.
I’m noticing an alarming trend that so many people are diving headfirst into a ketogenic diet. They are consuming more fresh and processed meats, more fat, more butter, and more coconut oil. They’re also eating large amounts of eggs, chicken, and fish. They might be losing weight, but is it sustainable? Is it healthy? What’s going to happen to their gut over the long term?
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I’m worried about the impact on the gut. By reducing the intact of carbs and fiber, you can starve your colon of the short-chain fatty acids that it needs. SCFA’s are the byproducts of bacterial fermentation.
A ketogenic diet may also be low in antioxidants. A person may lose weight but end up with major gut problems instead due to imbalances in the GI tract. Some doctors respond to this concern by suggesting people follow a “healthy” keto diet. My concern with a healthy keto diet is people are still going to eat far too much meat.
By 2050, it’s predicted that there’ll be over 10 billion people on this planet, and meat consumption is completely unsustainable at that level of population. It’s even unsustainable today. We’re seeing what’s happening around the world with fires and with how much land an animal needs to produce a couple of hamburgers. It’s ridiculous. I’m not a vegan, and I’m not again saying you should not eat meat.
I think meat forms an important part of the diet, but I think it should make up a very small part of what we eat
A high-fat, high meat diet is not suitable for bowel health. It could even contribute to the acceleration of diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
What’s the solution? More plants in your diet. And you definitely don’t want to chop 100% of grains out of your diet. I suspect there are a lot of health complications after years of eating low-carb.
If you look at people living in the Mediterranean, they don’t cut out most of the grains in their diet. The Japanese haven’t taken rice out of their diet. Did they all die of heart disease at a young age? No, the opposite! They live long lifespans. They were skinny people; they weren’t fat people. They were balanced. They had balanced lifestyles, where they worked hard, and ate well.
These people make their own food and have a diet heavy in antioxidant-rich foods. They eat meat sparingly and have ample nuts, seeds, and vegetables. That, to me, is the basis of a healthy diet.
Some of the best carbs to include in your diet are quinoa, millet, oats, buckwheat, bananas, sweet potatoes, beetroots, blueberries and grapefruits, and brown rice.