Successful, dynamic, beautiful and healthy, who wouldn’t want to be? In our society, these terms have a strong positive connotation and are absolutely desirable. Our service society transfers the pressure to be successful to all areas. When professional athletes such as footballers, light athletes or biathletes help out with doping substances, people turn up their noses in front of the television with contempt. But these athletes live on successes and also put their health at risk for their professional existence. With the next doping scandal one hears people indignantly call: how can these sportsmen sink only so deeply!
What about you?
Imagine that there is a powder that makes you energetic, that supplies your brain with energy during exams or difficult job meetings. If the children get annoyed again or you want to do sports, they eat or drink the dissolved powder and can “higher, faster, further”. No more afternoon hole. As soon as you feel tired, there is some “magic powder”. It also costs only a few cents. Sounds tempting?! Side effects? Well, scientific studies show that if you take too much of the powder, sooner or later you can expect numerous illnesses, but there are always people who seem to have no health problems with the powder. What about you? Would you get yourself the remedy? Just in case? If it had to be? Only in emergency situations of course!
Think about it!
You and I and the largest part of the population take the remedy almost daily: Sugar! Doping for the people! To make this clear, I am not talking about the carbohydrates that are generally considered evil! I am explicitly talking about artificial industrial sugar. There is nothing natural about it, and some of the production process is assisted by chemicals.
I often hear from people: I don’t need a dietary supplement, I just eat things naturally. Sugar is anything but natural and it is harmful when consumed in excess. Institutions such as the World Health Organization (WHO) or the German Society for Nutrition (DGE) do not agree on the exact amount that is considered safe. They do agree, however, that regular and/or high consumption is significantly harmful to health. After consumption, sugar first of all upsets our hormone balance and our body has to find its balance again. Sugar has a negative effect on our intestinal flora, which is an important factor in maintaining the body’s defenses, especially in times of corona. Our society has been brainwashed. Whoever rejects food supplements but eats a piece of cake has not understood it! I personally eat sugar very well. I am aware of what I am doing and I think more and more often about whether it can cause great harm even in small amounts. More and more people reject sugar and sometimes even do without it completely.
To record this in all clarity: If you eat sugar, you are eating an artificially produced, unnatural product. A substance that has been proven to have harmful side effects and can cause a kind of addictive behavior. And this substance is performance-enhancing.
What is the solution?
With the right diet, minds are divided. Vegetarian, vegan, low-carb, high-carb or Atkins, all diets claim to be the only true and correct form of nutrition. Each of them has examples to prove this. Without having to go into any of the respective proofs and examples at all, you can wipe everything away by looking at how our ancestors lived and how today’s primitive people eat. The still few, “naturally” living people often differ from their eating habits by miles. Nevertheless, one cannot see that there is a better or superior diet underneath. Often the primitive peoples even eat a little bit of variety and still do not get sick. In the icy polar regions of the earth there is often only fish and eggs to eat. In tropical areas or in the highlands, the food is sometimes only fruits or starchy plants.
Man is naturally able to metabolise the three nutrients fat, carbohydrates and proteins. Our intestines and teeth speak a clear language: man is omnivorous. I do not want to make an ethical assessment – like eating animal products – at this point. In general, humans are able to use all three nutrients and it is left to healthy people to decide how they want to organize their diet.
Society is constantly finding new nutritional trends. For some years now, carbohydrates have been demonized and considered the origin of widespread obesity. As can be seen from the example of numerous primitive peoples, who predominantly eat a carbohydrate-rich diet, carbohydrates alone cannot be the problem. To equate carbohydrates and sugar is simply wrong. Even if all carbohydrates sooner or later arrive in our body cells as simple sugars, the complex carbohydrates from nature are not household sugars.
Nevertheless, humans can live without sugar or carbohydrates and more and more people want to and are doing so. In addition to the so-called low-carb or slow-carb diets, in which carbohydrates (carb=carbohydrates) are severely restricted or only those are eaten that allow the sugar level to rise slowly, there is another more extreme form: The ketogenic diet.
If you extract sugar from the body, our brain is the first to notice this. Everyone of us knows hypoglycaemia with trembling, weakness or concentration problems. Our brain lives directly from sugar. Our brain cannot use most fatty acids as energy. That is why it is often difficult for us to lose weight, because our brain gets into a lack of energy and gives us a bad feeling. With a longer chamfering period this bad feeling suddenly falls away in the course of the chamfering, the head becomes clear and one could tear out trees. What has happened? Where is the hypoglycaemia? If the body runs out of sugar, it must continue to supply the brain with energy. For this purpose, energy building blocks are produced in the liver from body fat, which reach the brain and also other body cells and muscles via the bloodstream. These energy sources are called ketone bodies or ketones for short. If the liver produces ketones, this can be measured in blood or urine. As soon as the concentration exceeds a certain value, this condition is called ketosis. But even if you do not fast, the body can produce ketones. To a small extent, ketones are produced during intensive sports or during moderate interval fasting. Mostly, however, only a few ketone bodies are produced and one does not speak of ketosis.
For our ancestors this mechanism was important to ensure survival in times of food shortage. But even if very few carbohydrates are eaten, it is possible to reach the state of ketosis. Indigenous peoples living in the arctic regions often live on fat and protein alone. Fish, eggs and wild animals are then for a long time the only food.
Babies have the knack
Ketogenic nutrition is used in medicine because ketones have a kind of signal effect in the body and thus have positive effects on health. Ketogenic nutrition has long been used in forms of epilepsy and more recently in Alzheimer’s disease. An application for type 2 diabetes could follow soon. As soon as we humans come into the world, we are in a state of ketosis as a baby. Our body is able to produce ketones after only a few hours without food. The survival in infancy is thus ensured. Even when breastfeeding, the ability to produce ketones on a high level does not initially disappear in the first months of life.
With a low-carb diet, the ketosis state is not reached. In order to get into ketosis, the carbohydrate content in the daily diet must not exceed 20 to 60 grams. The exact amount varies from person to person. Large amounts of protein must also be avoided, as the body would form carbohydrates from protein. It takes some time for the body to relearn how to produce ketones. Between 3 weeks and 2 months can pass with a ketogenic diet until sufficient ketones are produced. Until then you often feel weak and lacking in energy.
Perhaps the new miracle cure?
The condition of ketosis and the presence of ketones in the body has many positive effects on health. As you can observe while fasting, you feel more awake and full of energy. Studies prove that the quality of sleep improves. Insulin sensitivity increases, which in diseases like type 2 diabetes with insulin resistance counteracts the disease. Ketones counteract inflammation in the body and success has been shown in cancer therapies. However, the ketogenic diet is very rich in fat. Some people may experience problems with cardiovascular disease and intestinal problems are also possible.
Meanwhile, there are ketones as dietary supplements, which are used in medical therapies. In competitive sports, ketones are also being used more and more often, as they act as an energy source to boost performance, increase fat burning and promote regeneration.
Household sugar and white flour are not the same
It cannot be denied that ketones have very good effects on health. With a ketogenic diet, however, one must make numerous cutbacks. The pretzel in the beer garden or the piece of grandma’s cake are then no longer possible. As medical studies with ketones show, however, the ketogenic diet has its justification and goes beyond the mere “hunger metabolism”. Certainly it is not a form of nutrition that nature intended for a whole human life. Humans can be healthy even with carbohydrate-rich food. The frequent use of industrial sugar remains however questionable. Purely chemically, household sugar is something different from the starch in potatoes, rice or noodles. Household sugar, called sucrose, is a dual sugar consisting of one part glucose (glucose) and one part fructose (fruit sugar). This combination of the two simple sugars occurs in this concentration only in fruit and honey. However, fruits also contain a high proportion of dietary fiber, which means that the full amount of sugar does not enter the bloodstream immediately. Sweetened drinks and fruit juices in particular are increasingly suspected of triggering numerous diseases. The special combination of glucose and fruit sugar in concentrated form upsets the metabolism. The details to be explained here would fill a whole book chapter. However numerous civilization illnesses go on the account of the artificial sugar.
We must say goodbye to the idea that sugar is the same as carbohydrates and carbohydrates are evil. A sugar-free diet can be implemented in everyday nutrition. For professional athletes, it is crucial to be able to perform as well as possible, especially during hard training and competitions. The most common way to do this is to use a white powder, the popular drug sugar.