SALLY-ANN CREED ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS
‘Is it true that there are adverse effects to ketosis?’
Q: Should I take omega-3, -6 and -9 fatty acids?
A: You only need to worry about omega-3 fatty acids. The source should be fish oil, not flaxseed oil. Even though omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are both essential fatty acids, you probably get way more than enough omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-9 fatty acids are found in avocados and olive oil. They’re good fatty acids but not essential, as the body can create them, so there’s no need to take a supplement.
In the food industry, virtually one hundred per cent of the oils used are seed oils – and they’re very high in omega-6 fatty acids. This throws out your ratio, which should be 2:1 or 1:1 omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids. In modern man it is anywhere from 10:1 to 50:1. To balance this, take a fish-oil supplement or eat fatty fish three times a week. Don’t consume anything with omega-6 fatty acids in it (vegetable and seed oils such as canola, flaxseed, hemp, sunflower, and safflower, as well as soya, margarine, processed foods, and supplements), as you get enough already.
Forget the seed oils – they damage your health, contributing to cardiovascular disease and inflammatory disorders. There are so many delicious fats and oils that are safe and healthy: all animal fats plus olive oil, macadamia oil, avocado oil, coconut oil and butter.
Q: I love fruit but it’s not usually included in the LCHF lifestyle. Are there any I could eat occasionally?
A: If you really want some fruit, raspberries are best, as they contain only 3g carbs per half cup. See the list opposite of some fruit you might want to indulge in, especially with summer coming. Work out your carbs accordingly.
Q: Are there adverse effects to ketosis?
A: It’s not necessary to go into ketosis to lose weight. Some people (especially men) do very well on a ketogenic diet, but we’re all different. For diabetics it might work better than anything else, but for those with a sluggish metabolism it might not be that great. Seizures are well controlled in ketosis, and it is also beneficial to those with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, autism, bipolar disorder and polycystic ovary syndrome.
It’s extremely hard to sustain a ketogenic diet, though, so cycling in and out of it might be better.
In the long term there are possible adverse effects to consider. Some of the problems I’ve seen in women who sustain ketosis for too long include:
• Hypothyroidism • Slowing down of the
metabolic rate • Loss of period (and possibly
infertility due to this) • Other menstrual irregularities • Depression • Sleep problems • Constipation/diarrhoea • Vomiting, nausea/reflux • Thinning hair • Kidney stones • Muscle cramps • Hypoglycemia • Nutrient deficiencies • Heart arrhythmias • Acute pancreatitis
If you feel you’re damaging your health rather than benefiting from ketosis, stop, and follow a more balanced low-carb diet.