On the keto diet, you are meant to eat as healthy and pure as possible. Of course, you eat because it’s tasty, but also because you want your body to get all the right nutrients. And this may be one of the reasons that the keto diet is associated with so many health benefits and can help with so many diseases. Of course, there is an important role for ketones and especially the super ketone betahydroxybutyrate, but also the fact that you eat healthy, real food probably plays a very important role.
What is real nutrition?
- Real nutrition is nutrition as it occurs in nature. It has no ingredients. The product itself is the ingredient! There are no ingredients on spinach, eggs, steak, milk. The product itself is the ingredient!
- Real nutrition is food that people who lived a long time ago would also have recognized. Our ancestors wouldn’t have recognized packs of cereal or protein shakes! They would have recognized a piece of meat, fish, vegetables or cheese.
- Real nutrition is nutritious. If you eat real food you get a feeling of satiety and you will therefore automatically stop eating! This is just as true for real foods that naturally contain more carbohydrates. Take oranges, you can drink multiple glasses of orange juice, but the chances of eating a kilo of oranges in a row are very small. This is because a whole orange also contains fiber. These fibers cause the carbohydrates to be absorbed more slowly (so you get a less large spike in your insulin level) and that you feel satiated earlier and longer.
Is all real nutrition keto?
On the keto diet, you limit the amount of carbohydrates so you can stay in ketosis. As a result, you cannot eat food high in starch and/or (natural) sugars.
Especially many types of fruits and a number of types of vegetables are ‘real’ foods, but still do not fit within the keto diet. This doesn’t mean they would be unhealthy, but they prevent you from staying in ketosis and that’s your goal on the keto diet.
This also applies to legumes and cereals. Cereals can be real food as long as they are not highly processed. Unfortunately, the fact that something is called ‘wholegrain’ does not say much anymore. This is because the definition of ‘wholegrain’ has been adjusted in such a way that you can also add the loose parts of a grain. So you first get the fiber from the grain and you get white flour and then add fiber again and then it can be called wholegrain. That is of course not a real food, real nutrition is natural food so not put together food!
It is already very good for your health if you eat real food as described above. Still, it can still happen that something looks like ‘real nutrition’, but it really isn’t. This has to do with how the food is produced.
Meat and dairy of grass-fed cattle
You prefer meat and dairy products from grass-fed cattle. Unfortunately, this is almost impossible to find. Even meadow milk comes from cows that often only walk on the meadow for a few hours for 1/3 part of the year. So for the rest of the year they are in stables and are almost always fed grain. This is not a natural food for herbivores. They’re supposed to eat grass, herbs, etc.
There is, of course, a reason why cattle are fed grain. The yield in milk and meat is much higher. Just as people get too fat from too many grains, so do cows. You get meat with much more fat veins, it is juicier because of this, but not healthier. Meat and dairy from cows that only eat grass contains higher amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids and this is much healthier for the cows and for us.
However, there are now several reports that very expensive natural meat from livestock that runs in nature reserves contains too many harmful substances. This is because the soil is so polluted.
Chickens that walk outside and eat varied food
The same goes for chickens. You prefer eggs and meat from chickens that have scraped together outside their own expense. These are seeds, insects, etc. Chickens are omnivores, I have also seen my chickens eat a whole toad! These types of eggs naturally contain more Omega 3 fatty acids and are therefore much healthier.
Yet eggs from chickens that roam freely are not always healthier. Unfortunately, the soil may be so polluted, containing so many toxic substances (including dioxin), that eggs from free-roaming chickens may contain more toxins beggs from chickens that cannot graze outside. This is, of course, very bad.
Hydroponic fruit and vegetables
Especially in the Netherlands, more and more fruits and vegetables are grown through hydroponics. They do not grow outside in the earth but inside greenhouses on water with added nutrients. The yield is much larger, fewer pesticides need to be used, changes in the weather have no impact, products can be grown throughout the year, etc. So many advantages.
Real food for healthy kids & not snacking all day
If you follow the keto diet with the goal of staying in ketosis continuously, you won’t be able to eat certain types of real foods. Of course, this does not apply to children. For the vast majority of children, there is no need at all to limit the number of carbohydrates they eat. What is extremely important for children in growth is that they eat real, pure food.
Children in particular need sufficient good quality (complete) proteins and of course healthy fats and vitamins and minerals. Normally, it’s not necessary and probably not even desirable for kids to stay in ketosis all the time. Anyone with a well-functioning metabolism will occasionally be in ketosis, because you do not eat for a longer period of time (at night anyway).
In addition to healthy, real food, the number of eating moments is also important for children. Except for perhaps the little ones, it is also not necessary for children to snack in between. Three meals a day are fine. And also for children it is a good idea to eat the last meal around 18.00h and certainly no later than 20.00h and then not to eat until breakfast the next day.