You may have missed this (returning) diet trend if you are not in nutrition counseling field, but everywhere I turn (both professionally and personally) there is a keto dieter on every corner. Clients ask for keto diets and pretty much majority of my friends (plus some family members) are obsessed with "fat bombs" and "bulletproof coffees". I am literally waiting for my guinea pigs to start picking their hay according to carb content.
It seems like it’s the next best thing after sliced bread and everybody is going nuts over it.
What the heck is this all about?
I doubt I have to explain this trend to anybody, since it is spreading online like a wildfire, but in case you have been keeping your devices on airplane mode for the last year or so, check out the principles behind it here.
I'll let you decide if this keto thing is the way to go for you and if you need professional help to figure it out, you know where to find me.
You also may want to check out a great book about living keto lifestyle by a fellow nutritionist who explains in great details the science behind it and ways to maintain a healthy body composition through this lifestyle:
But even if you are not jumping on a keto bandwagon, I think you will benefit from an increase in consumption of those two nutrients: healthy Omega fats and quality, plant sourced proteins.
Why you should not fear fats
Other than forcing your body into ketosis, fats play few important roles in our bodies, especially the unique Omega-3. Those fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids. They are necessary for human health, but the body can't make them. You have to get them through food.
Also known as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), omega-3 fatty acids play a crucial role in brain function, as well as normal growth and development. They have also become popular because they may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. They are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function. In fact, infants who do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids from their mothers during pregnancy are at risk for developing vision and nerve problems. Symptoms of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency include fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings or depression, and poor circulation.
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut, other seafoods including algae and krill, but there are also some great plant sources of Omega-3 fatty acids like flax seed, chia seeds and hemp hearts.
Coincidentally those plants are also an amazing source of fiber, which is a key element for health, especially when you are on a keto diet and/or you struggle with constipation or bowel irregularities.
Keto or not, you probably don't eat enough of it.
As per official recommendation, women need 25 grams of fibre per day and men need 38 grams of fibre per day. Most Canadians are only getting about half that much mainly due to diets that are high in dairy, meats and processed products. Plants are the only source of fiber, so think fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts and seeds. And why you should eat more of it?
- Normalizes bowel movements. Dietary fiber increases the weight and size of your stool and softens it. A bulky stool is easier to pass, decreasing your chance of constipation. If you have loose, watery stools, fiber may help to solidify the stool because it absorbs water and adds bulk to stool.
- Helps maintain bowel health. A high-fiber diet may lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids and small pouches in your colon (diverticular disease). Some fiber is fermented in the colon feeding your healthy gut flora, which prevents pathogens from multiplying.
- Lowers cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber found in beans, oats, flaxseed and oat bran may help lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering low-density lipoprotein, or "bad," cholesterol levels. Studies also have shown that high-fiber foods may have other heart-health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure and inflammation.
- Helps control blood sugar levels. In people with diabetes, fiber — particularly soluble fiber — can slow the absorption of sugar and help improve blood sugar levels. A healthy diet that includes insoluble fiber may also reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Aids in achieving healthy weight. High-fiber foods tend to be more filling than low-fiber foods, so you're likely to eat less and stay satisfied longer. And high-fiber foods tend to take longer to eat and to be less "energy dense," which means they have fewer calories for the same volume of food.
Here's my idea for a quick fix to the Omega and fibre dilemma.