Dinner Diva: Myths of keto

dinner diva leanne elySince we started Hot Melt last year, we’ve had a few questions (understandably) that I want to address, especially because this is the information that runs rampant in the health space that needs to be squelched once and for all.

The first is that it’s unhealthy–and to that, I say solidly that NO it is not.

But it can be–especially if you’re on Pinterest pinning a bunch of fatty keto recipes that only address ketosis and not the nutrition you absolutely still need, regardless.

Second is that putting your body into ketosis isn’t “natural” and it is bad for you. All ketosis is, is your body’s way of letting you know it’s starting to use fat for its primary source of fuel, not sugar. It’s a sign, not a medical crisis!

Ketoacidosis on the other hand, is a true medical issue and involves symptoms like shortness of breath, abdominal pain and more–completely different than ketosis.

Another myth (and again, I’ve seen this perpetuated on Pinterest) is you can pretty much eat any fat you want, as long as you’re choosing fat over other macronutrients. SO not true! Your body STILL needs nutrients! And while bacon, butter and cheese are certainly a part of the keto diet, it’s not ALL of it and woe to those who go that route.

And lastly, you’ve heard this one, I’m sure–your brain needs glucose to operate. Where does glucose come from? Carbs! But here’s why you don’t need carbs to make that happen. There’s a process called gluconeogenesis  which means you convert protein to glucose and that is what feeds your brain. As a matter of fact, there is science that supports that this is superior fuel for your brain!

It’s a matter of adapting to running on fat vs sugar is all–it’s just getting there that can be problematic. The “carb flu” is a symptom of someone becoming fat adapted and brain fog might be one of those symptoms!

But the good news is it’s temporary–once adapted, people who have done it will tell you they’ve never had more clarity, dropped weight effortlessly and feel fantastic!

I hope that helps you understand a little bit more about this keto diet stuff–

As a nutritionist, I’ve seen it all (hey, I’ve been doing this for 25 years!!) so for me, the biggest sticking point of course is the nutrition side of things. Getting those nutrients in is critical in the short run and in the long run.

We developed our own nutrient-rich version of keto called The Hot Melt Diet and have seen amazing results in our own little exclusive Facebook group of Hot Melters. It’s really exciting to see their results!

Here’s a recipe from our Hot Melt Diet…it’s our Hot Melt Spaghetti, and people are going crazy over it! Enjoy!

Hot Melt Spaghetti

Ingredients

  • 2 zucchinis, spiralized
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, pressed
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or olive oil
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes or fresh equivalent
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dash of red wine
  • 1 pound Italian sausage, cooked
  • shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)

Preparation

First up, in a large skillet, heat the ghee and add the onion. When the onion becomes translucent, now add the tomatoes, spices and simmer a couple of minutes. Use a potato masher to smush up the tomatoes. Add the garlic now and red wine and simmer another few minutes.

Add the zucchini to the pan and cover. Allow to simmer for a few minutes until cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Now add the cooked sausage and mix altogether. Serve in a bowl, top with parmesan if you like. :-)

Leanne Ely is a NYT bestselling author and the creator of SavingDinner.com, the original menu planning website, bringing families back to the dinner table for over 15 years.