Fats or Carbohydrates for fuel?
Updated: Jun 23
Fat or Carbohydrates for fuel?
One of the biggest debate floating around the health communities is "Fat or Carbs for fuel"? Which is naturally what the human body prefers.
Many scholars, scientist, and doctors have arguments supporting both sides. One side is that excess intake of carbohydrates is the cause of many autoimmune diseases, and other health issues. Excess sugar and grain have gotten blamed for why so many are experiencing negative health affects. It has also been said that eating 5 to 6 small meals daily will speed up your metabolism and assist the human body in operating efficiently. So the concept for the carbohydrates side is- glucose is the preferred fuel source because the body cannot store sufficient glucose so we need to supply it continuously. The argument is that this will keep your mood, brain and muscles ready for a full day of activities. If carbohydrates are not present we experience low blood sugar, body goes into starvation mode, and will cause cortisol to rise. When cortisol levels are high for an extended period of time the body exhibits illness like reactions. Other professionals say a high carbohydrates is necessary if you are an avid gym goer or training for a strenuous event like a marathon. There are many proven and non-proven debates supporting using carbs for the primary source of fuel.
So for the fat lovers, the argument is that restricting the carbs and eating in a set hours of the day like intermittent fasting, trains the body to utilize fat as its fuel choice. It has been said that this fuel choice is cleaner and more efficient for the body. The body uses its stored fat for energy and hence burn fat and help significantly with common disease that plague our world. When fasting you burn fat without scarifying muscle tissue. Using fat as the primary fuel choice will increase insulin sensitivity , moderates energy and mood swings. It also reduces cravings, and hunger.
OK, My experience is it really depends of the individual. I struggled with my weight for many years and watch many friends and family develop health complications from what they were eating. I lost weight and felt great when I stuck to a portion controlled diet plan. This was difficult for me. I was raised to use food as love, which is why I am a chef. Very few places serve the correct portion and quality of the food that we should be consuming. From food trucks to capitalism its often difficult for food establishments to serve organic and vegetable heavy meals.
Going Keto was the answer for me because I understood that the ketogentic diet is vegetable heavy. It’s not protein heavy. So many are not doing the ketogentic diet the correct way. I consume 6 to 8 cups of raw vegetables daily with fat being dominant. Eating healthy vegetables fats like macadamia nuts, walnuts, avocados, chia seeds, coconuts and dark chocolate helps with keeping my diets high in fats. My meals are 10% low glycemic carbs, 20% high to medium fat proteins, 20% low glycemic vegetables and 50% healthy fats. This is an estimate I envision when creating my meal plan. If I am at a restaurant I generally order a salad with no dressing and I add the fat like avocado, nuts, and salmon.
So this is what works for me. Each person is different which it why it's important to do research, talk with your doctor and or hire a keto coach. Also important to add, After reaching my desired weight I introduced some root vegetables moderately. Thought out my dietary changes I only consumed organic and grass finished meats when possible.