I am trying to keep a schedule for this blog, but I failed to publish on Sunday because I was sick. I had the flu. Regular flu, not keto flu. Just your run of the mill flu.
This made me think of something I have noticed in the keto world: there are two groups of keto followers. There are the keto-ers who think keto is a miracle on a plate that will fix every ailment and problem. Diabetic? Try keto. Cancer? Try keto. Marriage on the rocks? Try keto. Dog got fleas? Try keto.
Maybe we will talk about that group another time. Today, I want to talk about the other type of keto-er. The ones who blame keto for EVERYTHING. What do I mean? I am referring to the perennial Facebook post or podcast question where the questioner relates a random illness or symptom and asks, “is this because I am eating keto?”
Now, I understand that keto can have some unexpected side effects like keto flu, keto breath, or hair loss; but some things have nothing to do with keto. For example, every feeling of illness is not the keto flu, sometimes it’s just a cold. Ask yourself: is everyone around you also coughing, sneezing, or blowing their noses? If so, you probably don’t have a new strain of contagious keto flu. Have a scratch? Ask yourself, “do I have a cat or do I really think ketones are sharp and poke me from the inside?”
I see these types of posts attributing everything to keto so much that when I noticed my curly hair was not looking so curly, my first thought was, “is keto straightening my hair?” No, it was the super dry cold weather. Like it is every winter. I needed conditioner, not carbs.
Carbs is what it comes down to. Many of the posts I see trying to pin anything and everything negative happening to that person also will contain the phrase, “should I increase my carbs?” There it is. That’s the real question.
I am no expert, but if you are experiencing a new ailment first think, “does this look like any other cold/allergy symptoms I have had a million other times?” Next, “do I really think this is a keto problem or a craving problem?” Be honest with yourself. Then do some research and see if it is a keto side effect.
Whether you find it or not, it ultimately comes down to we are all unique individuals with unique needs, so you probably need to do experiments on yourself and determine your carb-tolerance. What amount of carbs keep you feeling tip top and in ketosis?
Not whomever turned you on to keto.
Not your favorite expert.
That is the blessing and the curse of keto. We are all different and have different needs, so you have to play around to find what works best for you. Keto is not a set formula, so it initially can take a lot of work to find your winning keto combination.
I wish it were easier than that, but this ain’t no calorie in, calorie out oversimplification.
Good luck and keep washing your hands. It’s (non-keto) flu season.