Keto Clarity, by Jimmy Moore. Published in 2014. 256 pages.
A good friend of mine loaned me this book a couple of months ago and asked that I read it and tell her what I thought of it. Since I’d been toying off and on with the idea of “going keto” for quite some time, I was glad to do it.
Incidentally, my friend is a very thin woman with no need to diet. Her interest in the subject was not motivated by weight loss but rather the numerous other health benefits which have been reported by people who have adopted a ketogenic approach to health and fitness.
For those unfamiliar with the term “ketogenic diet“, the idea is based on the premise that most carbs are bad for you, that our traditional way of thinking is wrong (namely, that we need extra glucose for our metabolism sake), and that a high -quality- fat, low carbohydrate diet is the best way for most carbohydrate addicted Americans to reset their metabolism and break the addiction to sugars and grains which is the real culprit behind our obesity/diabetes/heart disease ridden population.
I just started on this particular journey two weeks ago, so I haven’t reached a definitive conclusion on the matter itself. My purpose at this juncture is simply to review the book. The one thing I can say unequivocally is that over the past two weeks hunger between meals has been virtually non existent, as well as cravings. The jury is still out on pain relief, although I worked out my injured shoulder pretty hard this morning and the expected pain has no materialized. So far, so good. Now, to the book:
I liked it as an informational tool. I took some time to cross reference the information, read a few studies, and do the best I could as an amateur nutrition research sleuth to find out if there was anything here that was blatantly false or dangerous. I couldn’t find anything. Given that I long ago dismissed the notion of the “four food groups” as essential to good nutrition, I was careful to make allowances for my anti-grain bias.
The biggest misconception people have about keto, according to Moore, is that it is a high protein, meat gorging diet. In reality, too much protein is discouraged:
“There are three reasons why people fail to reach a ketogenic state: too many carbohydrates, too much protein, or not enough fat.”
The fats are of course, high quality fats: avocados, coconut or olive oil, butter (preferably grass fed), nuts, etc. Meats are a small part the equation, and it’s one of the things that distinguishes keto from paleo, although they are closely related. The biggest difference is that keto discourages heavy consumption of starchy fruits and vegetables such as bananas and potatoes.
The bottom line according to the authors -and I was convinced of this before I ever encountered this book- is that sugars and many grains are inflammatory to the body and to be strictly limited. This plan however, isn’t for every one and while I think the book is very useful for informative purposes, my endorsement of it is not a recommendation that the readers embark on a ketogenic lifestyle.
It is without question in my mind, better than the standard SAD; including wheat based products.
Content advisory: This post is not meant to be received as medical advice or endorsement of any kind. Read the book for yourself, and talk to our doctor if you have any other questions.