I started following the Paleo diet about two years ago but was really into the science and the science explained that Paleo is a good place to start but does not really provide answers to all the issues I will promptly present. That is why I moved on to the Ketogenic diet about three months later and I feel it is the most important change I’ve made in my life and would like to explain why.
In order to understand what is wrong with the food we eat we need to examine the changes from previous times in human history.
Reading some data and historical facts, we can quickly identify three main issues with our modern diet.
- Industrialization – Much of the food we consume today is manufactured and not grown. Even grown things we eat are first treated with industrial chemicals and genetic modification.
- Abundance – Food has become more and more available to us. We used to consume food for survival but we now consume food at social gatherings, when bored, when entertained. We have a lot of food around us and we tend to consume it without waiting for the physical signal of hunger.
- Carbohydrates/Sugars – Are now about 80% of our diet and that was never the case throughout human history. We never consumed so much of them as part of any diet in history.
Let’s look at the Paleo diet first and determine how many of the issues mentioned above are dealt with.
Paleo diet tries to preach that industrial food is bad for you and you should get back to eating as the Paleolithic people did. Paleo diet does not mention the other two issues with our modern diet. It only addresses the first issue. There is no mentioning of food amounts or carbohydrate restrictions of any kind (there are carbs you can’t eat but no one tells you how much or how little to eat from the “safe carbs”).
What is a ketogenic diet exactly? A ketogenic diet is a very high fat diet that changes the body metabolism to use ketone bodies for energy instead of using glucose for energy.
The source of the fat is a big issue in the ketogenic diet. The well formed ketogenic diet as suggested by researchers Prof. Jeff Volek and Prof. Stephen Phinney, speaks about clean real food, which refers to food not touched by the industry, thus addressing the first issue above.
Eating fat as your main source of energy, fills you up pretty fast so you stop looking for something to eat all the time. The abundance of food does not concern you anymore. You stop chasing food all the time. Thus we address the 2nd issue.
The ketogenic diet restricts carb intake to a maximum of 50 grams of carbs if you’re not diabetic, and in many cases even less, which takes care of the third issue I brought up.
Bottom line is that while the paleo diet only answers one issue, the ketogenic diet answers all three.
Therefor, I believe, the ketogenic diet is the optimal nutrition for human health, well being and longevity.