I was chatting with my dad (who is on a Keto diet) about why he made this decision, slightly frustrated because his daughter runs a vegan blog and his health care service recommended a more plant based diet. He goes on to tell me about how much weight he's lost on it and how if you research it right, your body can sustain it. Which I can surely understand but even aside from animal cruelty, there are just a ton of facts that show animal product heavy diets are unethical and not sustainable. But if it's something that he was doing in the short term I guess I would be able to get behind it if it could make him healthy again. But then he said the really annoying part. "and as it turns out..the things that make cows fat, makes us fat too!" Omg okay sure it's not all the genetic mutations, antibiotics, and everything else they stick into those poor animals. Obviously this comment from dear ole Dad sparked this blog on the benefits of carbs. FYI i'm no expert on the Keto diet and this is mostly a blog about why carbs aren't so bad for you from the everyday, average, vegan lady point of view.
Carbs ARE Healthy!
Is broccoli a carb? Yes but wait… Why do we care? Our body needs carbs for energy. I love to run and stay active in all sorts of ways. But even if I’m not that active, my body still needs carbs for my brain to function properly..! Right? So why is it that we have been told to eat broccoli our whole lives, but suddenly a high carb diet is to be avoided…? I am worried that we have been steered in the wrong direction. But have we? Do you guys realize that vegans are basically on an all carb diet? No, it’s not because we are taking this thing that burns up like all of our carbs… (omg, I can’t stop making Mean Girls references) But it’s because we eat carbs to fill up our bodies. Beans, broccoli, quinoa, fruit, and sweet potatoes are packed with vitamins, protein, and yeah, obviously are also considered to be heavy in carbohydrates.
High Carb/Low Fat Diet
A healthy vegan typically eats a high carb/ low fat diet. There are many diets out there that do the opposite by training the body to burn fat instead of carbohydrates. I’m not an expert but I do know that ketosis is what your body goes into when you die, and diets like that freak me out! I want to function like I’m living, and our body uses carbohydrates for energy.. than if we are overeating, it will be stored as fat. Just like if we overeat fat, protein or anything else.. it all is stored as fat. Below is approximately how many calories are in each gram of macronutrients:
Fat- 9 calories/ gram
Carbs- 4 calories/ gram
Protein- 4 calories/ gram
Alcohol- 7 calories/ gram
I’m not sure whether non-vegan keto diets are ok for our health to use in order to drop weight quickly, but in a world with a growing population encouraging these animal product heavy diets.. they are not sustainable in the long term. It takes 1,800 gallons of water to produce 1lb of beef. This is not because cows love to drink water all day long, it’s because it takes so much water to grow all of the plants that the cows eat to grow until maturity. The higher up the food chain we eat as humans, the more energy and resources are wasted. I hate to feel like a “preachy” vegan when I talk about sustainability.. (and I do often avoid talking about animal cruelty because I know it is often not well received) but I can't not speak up. I can’t help feeling like when we grow alfalfa in California and sell it to China to feed their cows, were basically taking food out of a babies mouth in a 3rd world country! If everyone went vegan over time, world hunger would like...go away! There's my Miss America speech! But all jokes aside, if there are more sustainable ways to get healthy...why not go that route?
Still need fat though..
OMEGAaawdd fatty acids! Yup, still need them for brain function, cell growth and all sorts of stuff. Vegans just get the cholesterol free version from foods like flax, coconut, avocados, nuts, seeds, and olives. And whoever is telling you cholesterol is not a thing anymore, make sure it’s not info you are getting by some corporation sponsored by the dairy or a meat industry. Like just double check. Hint. hint. They are literally not aloud to call eggs healthy anymore because just 2 eggs have over 120% of the daily recommended amount of cholesterol. I’ll go ahead and avoid those once known to be “healthy” but now only know to be “edible” eggs
...Not so incredible and edible eggs.
For some of my favorite nutrient packed, carb loading recipes, check out the links below!
Sweet Chipotato-- a chipotle bean salad stuffed sweet potato
Butternut Chop Salad- Mexican style flavors... but with butternut squash.Worked so well and I felt like a genius.
Sweet Potato Curry Bowl- The best textures ever all mixed up in this savory bowl!
Mighty Green Flatbread- If it's green it must be healthy! Yummy flat bread, perfect for family or something to put on the table when having friends over. Buy your favorite crust or use the 3 ingredient crust in the recipe!