Fighting or Feeding Disease | The Importance of Wholefoods

It's one thing getting into the state of ketosis because that will help you to lose weight, but ultimately, you want to follow a diet which promotes longevity.

15-Mar 2022, by Lee Sandwith

Fighting or Feeding Disease

Every time you either eat or drink, you are either fighting or feeding disease.

In our last article we talked about the different types of keto.

A central point was that the primary objective of any ketogenic diet is to encourage the body to switch gears into the metabolic state of ketosis, i.e. nutritional ketosis.

I also intimated that there is much more to it than that, and I emphasised the importance of following a high quality, wholefoods-based keto diet plan.

So what’s that all about?

Does the end justify the means?

A critical issue with the keto diet is that it's possible to get into nutritional ketosis by consuming very unhealthy products and foods.

Previously we’ve talked about things like vegetable oils, high GI sweeteners and processed meats.

All of these, strictly speaking, could be classed as “keto friendly”; however, they can be highly damaging to health so should be avoided.

This is where terms like “dirty keto” come from: getting into ketosis but in a less than “clean” way.

There’s no doubt that following a “dirty keto” approach can be just as effective as “clean keto” when it comes to weight loss.

But while losing weight is great, and of central importance for health, what we should all really be interested in is nutrition which supports improved healthspan and lifespan, i.e. longevity.

It's one thing getting into the state of ketosis because that will help you to lose weight, but ultimately, you want to follow a diet which is very healthy in the long term to promote longevity, the ultimate prize.

How should we think about this?

We have a saying that we live and die by, and that is the foods that you consume either “fight or feed disease”.

This is by no means a viewpoint that we can claim to have introduced to the world, it’s actually attributed to attributed to Heather Morgan (MS, NLC) who coined the phrase:

“Every time you eat or drink, you are either feeding disease or fighting it.”

But we love it because it so superbly resonates with what we’re all about. We care about the long-game, that is longevity.

If you choose a diet which comprises processed meats and vegetable oils and stuff like that, these are the type of ingredients that are going to feed disease.

Processed meats are linked with cancer, vegetable oil heart disease, you get the picture.

This is why we advocate a high-quality keto diet based around wholefoods, because this way of eating is now well accepted as the way forward in terms of health, wellness and longevity.

Eating “proper food” will not only provide your body with the nutrients it needs for optimal health, it’s also very difficult to overeat so it’s a natural way to control your calorie intake.

Every time you eat or drink, you are either feeding disease or fighting it.

What do we mean by “wholefoods”?

What we are talking about here is where you buy ingredients from the supermarket like fruits, vegetables, meat and fish, and then you prepare your meals yourself.

That’s right, you prepare your meals yourself. No take away, no packaged or processed foods, just well prepared, wholesome homecooked meals.

But you don’t need to be a culinary genius to pull this off, you just need to learn how to prepare meals.

And there’s a big difference between being able to “prepare” meals and attaining chef status.

If you know how to follow simple instructions, preparing is easy. Anyone can do it.

The 80/20 rule

I'm not saying there's no room for treats and desserts. We offer a lot of healthy snacks and desserts on our website and keto treats, desserts and snacks definitely have their place.

But you should really try and minimise “non wholefoods” treats and desserts and make sure that your diet comprises wholefoods for about 80 per cent of the time.

And if you like to eat keto chocolate and sweets and snacks, obviously picking a sugar-free, keto friendly snack is a much better option; but it's still a snack and should be limited to around 10-20 per cent of your diet.

The way I personally achieve this is by following really high-quality diet throughout the week, and at the weekends, I'll treat myself.

But 80-90% of my diet is dialled in, primarily based around wholefoods.

Key take aways

  1. Think of foods as either “fighting or feeding disease”.
  2. Build your keto diet based around high-quality, wholefoods.
  3. Learn how to prepare foods.
  4. Enjoy keto snacks and treats but try to limit them to 10-20% of your diet.
  5. Remember the 80/20 rule: 80% “real food”, 20% everything else.

About the Author

Lee Sandwith holds a Masters Degree in Clinical Nutrition and is a registered nutritionist with the Association for Nutrition. You can book a free 30 minute consultation with Lee here.

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