Tweaklet #55 – The Keto Diet

Two popular eating modalities are the The Paleo Diet and the Keto Diet. The two terms get bandied about and are often confused, so in a previous episode we took a good look at the Paleo Diet and today we’ll explore the Keto Diet.

Its full name is the Ketogenic diet and it is structured around a diet that is high in fat, low in carbohydrates and a moderate amount of protein.

The main aim is to convert your body from a predominantly carbohydrate-burning machine to a fat burning machine. As a guide, the recommended calorie ratio, on a keto diet, is around 70 to 80 percent of calories from fat, 15 to 20 percent from protein and less than 5% from carbs.

The Keto diet has been used to treat epilepsy since the 1920s so it’s not the trendy fad diet we might think. When you get the balance just right you place the body into a metabolic state called nutritional ketosis. In this state the body creates compounds called ketones and burns fat, from your body as well as from your diet.

To reach ketosis and to maintain it you need to radically reduce your carbohydrate intake and focus on healthy fats, some protein and low-carb vegetables.

Foods to include on a Keto diet are Meat, Seafood, Poultry, Full-fat dairy products, Non-starchy vegetables, Eggs, Nuts and seeds and Unrefined oils, such as olive, coconut, flaxseed, walnut and avocado oil

Foods to avoid while following the Keto diet
All sugar and sugar-sweetened drinks. All cereal grains and products made with grain flours. Fruit except perhaps a quarter cup of berries. Legumes. Sweetened, low-fat dairy and Starchy vegetables

The Benefits that are associated with a Ketogenic diet include Weight loss, a Reduction in inflammation in your joints, brain and heart. It is reported to protect against Type 2 diabetes as well as neurological diseases such as  Alzheimers and dementia

The Paleo and Keto Diets both focus on nutrient-dense food and eliminate the traps of a sugary processed food related Western diet. Generally speaking they are both low in carbohydrate and low in sugar which is better for blood sugar, weight management and has many other associated health benefits. And they both have anti-inflammatory effects.

If you’re interested, you could explore combining both the Keto and Paleo diets which many people do very successfully. It’s fun to explore different eating modalities but like any Tweaklet, do your research to find out exactly what suits YOU!

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Tweaklet #54 – The Paleo Diet

When you’re exploring healthy eating alternatives and stepping outside the conventional three meals a day, food groups, calories etc, then you have probably come across the Paleo diet and the Keto diet.

Both have gained popularity for a variety of reasons. They can also easily get confused, so over a couple of segments we’ll talk about their differences and their benefits. In this episode, we’re talking about the Paleo Diet.

Paleo follows the principles of our hunter-gatherer ancestors, with its name loosely based on the palaeolithic era and foods that have the longest history of human consumption. So, The Paleo diet refers to a framework for eating. There are no specific foods to eat, just a leaning towards natural, nutrient-dense foods rather than processed foods.

Foods to include on a Paleo diet are Meat, Fish, Eggs, Nuts, Fruits, Seeds, Roots, Unrefined oils and Natural sweeteners.

Foods to be avoided on the Paleo diet are All cereal grains and products made with grain flours, Legumes, Dairy, Refined sugar and sugar-sweetened drinks, Refined vegetable oils, Processed food and White potatoes, in some instances.

There is no exact ratio of how the key ingredients are put together. However, it is generally regarded as a low-carb way of eating because it eliminates most processed foods as well as refined sugar, grains and dairy.

People who embrace a paleo diet are looking to reduce inflammation in their bodies and to improve their weight and blood pressure. They may have blood sugar issues, possibly even problems with insulin resistance. People who are at risk of cardiovascular disease or are showing signs of autoimmune responses also turn to the paleo diet.

And the Paleo diet is really a very simple Food Tweak that fits into many people’s lifestyles and makes a significant positive impact to their health mainly because it boosts your intake of quality ingredients and eliminates processed overly refined foods.

If you have a gluten sensitivity, other food sensitivities or want to jump-start your weight loss then the Paleo diet is a good Tweaklet to try!

So that’s the Paleo diet. Next time we’ll talk about the Keto Diet.

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Tweaklet #46 – The Startup Diet

Today’s Tweaklet is a request from friends in the startup world. Anyone involved in setting up a new business will relate to the challenges a start-up places on all areas of your life, especially your diet.

Whether your new venture is already underway or just literally at Start-up stage, you are undoubtedly faced with a lot of demands on your time and energy. All your mental and creative focus is being channelled into the business. You’re time poor, constantly tired, probably staring into an empty fridge and grabbing fast food to keep you going.

In fact, most fast foods are so high in carbohydrates and sugar that they are actually going to deplete your energy and only add to your brain feeling foggy and your body feeling sluggish.

So here are some simple tweaks you can make. You may have very little time but at least once a week shop for things like healthy snacks………raw almonds, hummus with celery and carrot sticks, blueberries, apples, bananas, pots of good quality yoghurt or kefir.

For main meals, you can buy an already roasted chicken if you eat meat, and/or some already cooked vegetables or salads. If you’re going to buy pre-prepared meals look for fresh frozen meals rather than packet meals.

Eggs are a good standby. Hard boil a few and keep them in the fridge at work for a snack.

Stay away from colas and sodas and ice tea (both the diet and regular versions), and keep control of your caffeine intake. All of these drinks rob you of energy and brain function and contrary to popular belief, do not keep you going, they significantly disrupt your blood sugar and your digestion.

Opt for water – sparkling or still. Try some herbal tea – hot or cold.

If all of that is too hard, then invest in a good smoothie or liquid nutrition program. Beware though of “diet” programs and high protein shakes.

I have compared many of these and the only one I recommend is Arbonne’s 30 Days to Healthy Living which gives you quality liquid nutrition that you just shake up with water, as well as blood-sugar balancing drinks and detox teas. Arbonne is all-natural and highly certified and ideal for anyone who is time-poor needs loads of focused energy or who needs to re-set their system.

So, my start-up friends, there are some tiny food tweaks. I wish you every success in your business, just please look after yourselves along the way as I want to see you next time here on Tweaklets.

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Tweaklet #45 – Eggs

I love the humble egg. Such a perfect and complete energy-giving little package. And there’s a long list of health issues that they support – from protecting your skin and eyes from UV damage…. to improving liver and brain function.

Eggs are a wonderful source of inexpensive quality protein. They are high in omega-3s and fatty acids. All good things, Yet eggs are quite controversial!

For a long time, eggs were thought to raise cholesterol but clinical trials now indicate that they regulate cholesterol absorption and inflammation in the bloodstream.

It was suggested years ago that we should limit our consumption of eggs yet now studies show that eggs can overturn even very serious conditions like metabolic syndrome.

The most important part about eggs is making sure you buy free-range. It’s not just about using your buying power to vote against the disgusting and inhumane conditions of caged chickens – that’s super important – but nutritionally, free-range eggs are very different.

Free-range eggs contain one third less cholestero, one quarter less saturated fat, than eggs from caged chickens, They have two thirds more vitamin A, two times more omega-3, three more times vitamin E, and seven times more beta carotene!

And something else I’m in the process of researching is people’s sensitivity or allergies to eggs. I have it on good authority, but not yet verified, free-range eggs are more likely to be fertilised, as in a rooster strutting his stuff around his hens – and that fertilised eggs do not cause any sensitivity or allergy.

I’m still looking into this but meanwhile, it strengthens the case for buying the best kind of free-range farmers’ market eggs you can find.

And that’s today’s tiny food tweak from Tweaklets.

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Download my free E-Book here.