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Vegan vs Keto – Who is right?

Dr. Nick Delgado

Dr. Nick Delgado

Helping people with their journey to health, happiness and their goals in career, relationships and longevity.

See the Arguments:

Vegan Betrayal The Myths VS The Realities

Some people have complained to me that they have gained weight when switching to a vegan diet.   They point out that cows and elephants are vegan – they eat nothing but grass – and they look big and fat.  People want to look lean, not like cows, so they resist changing to a vegan diet.

This is a poor analogy because the human form is, of course, designed differently than these large animals – they look the way they’re supposed to look.  Cows have multiple stomachs to digest the grass and fiber they eat.  Humans can’t digest fiber, so we get fewer calories from plant-based proteins which are high in fiber; hence we need to eat more food, in terms of quantity, to get the amount of protein we need.

To reduce body fat, we must eat more:

  • Raw veggies, particularly those with the highest water content and lowest number of calories: Tomatoes, mushrooms, cucumbers, peppers, palm hearts, summer squashes, lettuces and other greens.
  • Many fruits, naturally high in fiber, are also high in water content — berries, kiwi, and watermelon – but they are higher in calories because of their sugar content. In many fruits, the sugar is “cancelled out” because of their high fiber content. Most importantly Fruit has polyphenols which keep the insulin at low levels and help us to maintain healthy glucose levels.
  • Other fruits, like bananas and apples, while still good sources of fiber, are lower in water content, and hence contribute more calories to the diet.
  • The same can be said of rice and beans. They are high in fiber, but also higher in concentrated carbohydrates, which easily convert to sugar during digestion as your body needs this critical fuel for the brain and for the red blood cells to survive, and glucose is the cleanest burning fuel (zero waste product) designed perfectly for our body’s needs.  And the higher fiber content which contributes almost zero calories and helps reduce the net “carbs” in these foods.

We should avoid:

  • Foods with high oil content and no fiber, such as cheese, butter, chicken, beef, and pork. These have NO fiber but contain concentrated fat along with their protein.  These are the worst when trying to lose weight.

Comparing populations around the world helps to illustrate the relationship between diet and weight of adults.  In the US, the average adult woman’s diet contains 45% fat, 25% protein, and 30% sugar – and most are overweight.  Experts often blame lack of activity and too much sugar, but fatty proteins are more to blame, because have some many more calories (9 calories per every gram of fat as compared to 4 calories per gram of glucose).

The diets of most people in countries like Peru, Venezuela, Nigeria, Vietnam, and Thailand are based on potatoes and vegetables; the whole foods, with unprocessed carbs, are consumed. Nigerians and Asians are generally active people, and since they eat mostly vegetables, they have to eat more white rice (starch without fiber) to try to keep weight on and not get too skinny!

John McDougall MD says “The best diet consists 70% to 80% complex carbs, 15% -10% fat from vegetables or fruit (we can add small amounts of whole seeds to increase our calories), and 15% to 10% plant protein.  Following these proportions results in zero obesity and a slender shape.”

It is a myth to say that eating more fat can help in weight loss. Eating more fat, oils, coconut oil,  and butter doesn’t make one burn more fat in ” ketosis.” This overconsumption of fat and protein makes us fat.  They say, “Eating more saturated fat from coconut increases a special kind of brown fat cells to burn more fat”. The reality is people in the South Pacific do eat a lot more fat from whole coconuts (not processed “virgin Coconut oil”- if they added oil they would be even fattier) and these people are large, heavy people!

  • Fats excess in our diet increase estrogens and lowers free SHBG. More estrogen increases the body’s ability to make fat and less free testosterone resulting in less muscle and more fat.
  • Excess animal protein is the most concentrated source of estrogen, causing more fat retention and higher body fat levels.

On the good side:

  • Plant proteins have lower excess estrogens and the fiber grabs onto fat in the gut, thus reducing harmful hormones and allowing the body to release fat.

We can only burn more fat by running and sustaining a faster heart rate and weight training – Creating a body that can effectively burn more fat takes over a one to three year period; it takes this long to reach a “training effect” where the body can effectively burn more fat — 80-90% —  and less sugar – to protect the vital short storage of sugar and glycogen. We can see this ultimate effect in ultra-distance runners and weight lifters who can do nonstop vertical lifts for 60 to 90 minutes, five days a week. (The other two days can be devoted to move circuit training build muscle to burn more fat).

Get the book Fit or Fat and watch “scientific methods of fat loss by Nick Delgado on YouTube and Chef AJ and Michael Klaper MD

10 Reasons To Consider Plant-Based Diet Plan

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