The Difference Between Low Carb and Keto

low carb vs keto

When it comes to dieting, most experts agree that taking things to an extreme can be dangerous. The keto diet, for example, can be highly effective for weight loss, but eating only 50 grams of carbs per day is not considered a balanced diet.

There’s a less restrictive option that still offers weight loss and heart health benefits associated with keto, and it’s done by going low carb, not no carb.

Low Carb Diet vs. Keto Diet:
What is The Difference?

Although the two diets both involve cutting carbs and can help with weight loss, the keto diet (short for ketogenic) is a far more restrictive way of eating and involves limiting carb intake and eating a high amount of fat, with moderate protein.

Meanwhile low carb diets limit the amount of carbohydrates consumed, especially simple and refined ones found in sugary foods, pasta and bread. Going low carb helps regulate blood sugar but it doesn’t produce ketosis, so the body will first use the glucose stored as energy, then move onto fat for fuel.

Going low carb also means you’re probably not eating as much fat as you would if you were trying to force the body into ketosis, and you’ll be eating lots of filling lean proteins and vegetables to stay energized. Like keto, low carb diets follow the same principle of cutting carbs and replacing them with protein, healthy fats, and vegetables. BMI studies have revealed that going low carb was associated with higher states of remission among people with type 2 diabetes.

Keto means the body has switched into ketosis and is using fat instead of glucose for fuel. The original use of the keto diet was developed in the 1920s to treat epilepsy, long before it became trendy. Although most people with epilepsy today control their seizures with anti-epileptic drugs, the diet is sometimes prescribed to children with epilepsy who have not responded to several medications. While the relation between WHY the Keto diet helps seizures is still be researched, studies show that it is because eating a keto diet, it has substantial changes to gut bacteria, and the gut bacteria associated with the Keto diet has shown to play a role on anti-seizure effects.

 Low carb means getting about 20% of your daily calories from carbs, which equates to somewhere between 50 to 150 grams. This way, you’re still taking in plenty of glucose, which is important for recovery and energy if you plan on exercising often. Carbs in excess can be detrimental, but that doesn’t mean they should be avoided altogether.

Try these “10 High Carb Foods that are Actually Incredibly Healthy”.

Fruits, oatmeal, and other foods high in fiber allow you to get carbs and sugar without experiencing the rapid rise and fall in blood sugar you’d get by eating a candy bar or drinking soda.

By eating veggies first, protein and fats second, and then starches and sugars, you’ll slow the rate at which your body absorbs sugar so you experience a more steady supply of energy. 

10 High Carb Foods, that are Incredibly Healthy

high carb foods

Over the years carbohydrates have gotten a bad reputation. People often associate them with weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and a variety of other health conditions.

Yes, it is true that processed foods high in sugar and refined grains typically lack important vitamins and minerals. However, many nutrient-dense, fiber-rich foods can be very good for you.

While low carb diets can be beneficial for some people, there’s no reason to avoid high carb foods altogether. Here are 10 high carb foods that are incredibly healthy:

1. Quinoa
  • Quinoa is highly nutritious and may help improve blood sugar management and support heart health. Quinoa is also high in protein and fiber, so it may be useful for weight loss, as both of these nutrients can help keep you feeling full for longer.
2. Oats
  • Oats contain many beneficial nutrients, including fiber and protein. Studies have also shown that eating oats lowers blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
3. bananas
  • Bananas are high in potassium, a mineral that play a key role in regulating blood pressure. Less ripe bananas also contain resistant starch and pectin, both of which can improve digestive health.
4. Sweet Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A, along with several other vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
5. Beets
  • Beets are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds. They also contain high amounts of inorganic nitrates, which can improve heart health and boost physical performance.
6. Oranges
  • Oranges are a good source of fiber. They also contain high amounts of Vitamin C and other healthy plant compounds. Eating oranges may benefit heart health and increase iron absorption to help prevent anemia.
7. Blueberries
  • Blueberries contain many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and help protect against oxidative damage.
8. Grapefruit
  • Grapefruit contains many beneficial vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It may provide numerous health benefits.
9. APPles
  • Apples contain a decent amount of Vitamin C, antioxidants, and plant compounds. Eating apples may improve blood sugar management, as well as reduce the risk of heart disease and potentially even certain types of cancer.
10. Chickpeas
  • Chickpeas are excellent source of plant-based protein and contain many vitamins and minerals. Eating chickpeas has been linked to benefits of heart and digestive health, as well as potential cancer prevention.

The bottom line is that it is a myth that all carbs unhealthy. In fact, many of the healthiest foods are high in carbohydrates. That said, you shouldn’t eat carbs in large amounts if you are on a low carb diet. In addition, refined carbs such as white break and pasta, may be unhealthy in high amounts.

How it Started... How it's Going

HOW IT STARTED... HOW IT'S GOING

At the conclusion of last summer’s youth baseball season, both of my sons found themselves without a team on which to play for the following summer. After countless discussions, brainstorming, try-outs, more discussions, more brainstorming and a few more try-outs, they finally landed on the same team, the La Stars 12U (meaning all the kids on the team are under 12 or younger.  

 

At this age, most teams have played together for a few years and have a strong sense of team dynamic, which helps them perform well on the field. This new 12U team is a hybrid of players from a variety of backgrounds. Some from my older son’s original team, some migrated over from other teams, and some had never played competitive travel baseball before.  

baseball huddle

At the onset of this season, several things were apparent. One – that all of these boys and their parents were happy to have found a team on which to play, and there were little expectations other than showing up to play some baseball. Two – the team had some really good potential but would need a bit of work to bring it out.   

 

This past weekend’s tournament was one that most of the players and parents will remember for a very long time. Our team came together and played incredible baseball – with each player realizing their potential on the field, which resulted in some really solid baseball. Our pitchers were on fire, nailing the strike zone and pitching with confidence. In the field, we dialed in the amount of errors and were executing diving catches and cross-field throws with impressive precision. At the plate, our bats were hot. Our team hit 7 home runs in 3 games. Three of our players hit their first ever home runs, and two of the players hit two home runs in the the same game. It was impressive to watch.  

 

On Sunday, after a decisive 10 run rule victory over our first opponent, and just before we were set to take the field for game 2, a storm blew in. It was quick and fierce, but we were certain that after a short delay we’d be back on track, playing more baseball and with high hopes of wining game 2 and making it into the championship game – a feat that seemed a little out of reach for our team a few months ago – especially in a 12 team tournament. However, our confidence was high with the way we’d been playing thus far.  

baseball pitcher

Then, the baseball organization made the unfortunate call that due to inclement weather, the tournament was over. Our hopes of wining and our opportunity to keep playing baseball for the day was over. I know I was bummed because it was a joy to watch the team play and to watch them celebrate each other’s epic plays and in-game victories with high-fives, and fist-bumps.  

 

After the news of the cancellation, I spent about 15 minutes packing up our sports wagon with all the gear required to survive a weekend of baseball with two kids on the team and a husband who coaches (the amount of bags , balls and bats is like NEXT LEVEL… and that doesn’t even account for all the snacks). Once the wagon was packed and the gear expertly balanced on top, I made my way over to the field where our team was. I expected to find sad faces and hear lots of complaining. Instead, I saw a field full of boys, being boys, running around in the dirt and mud and sliding in water puddles, and laughing all the while. The boys were so dirty that when they walked off the field, they looked like they were covered in wing sauce – all orangish red and gooey.  

My first thought was OMG – those pants will never be white again. OMG there is so much dirt and mud all over them.  

After exiting the field, the boys all made their way over to the pond at the park for a quick rinse and then followed that up with a second rinse at the splash pad which took off the first 7 layers of dirt and mud. All of them rode home soaking wet, but happy.  

Today, I did a second Clorox soaking of those “white pants” and another cold water wash with OxyClean and the pants are a little whiter but still have a red hue to them. While considering whether to try another method to get them white again, I decided that was ridiculous – these pants and their new hue are a visual mark of the great memories the boys made on Sunday. To wash that away would be pointless. Of all the baseball games they are likely to play in their lives, they will remember this past Sunday forever. The day they played some of the best baseball of their lives, and when their games were canceled, they to got play like little kids again – in the dirt and mud with their friends. 

I hope those stains stay in their pants for as long as they can fit in them and those memories stay with them forever. Because life isn’t about the wins or loses, it’s about the memories we make along the way and, the fun we have with friends. And this Sunday we got to check all those boxes.  

 

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The Lessons of Sports

The Lessons of Sports

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to go to the LHSAA State wrestling tournament. I haven’t been to a the state tournament since my older brother finished his wrestling career in 1995…. So a very long time ago.  It was a fitting time to return as my brother is now the assistant coach at Tuerlings Catholic and they were set to win another state championship title. Even more fitting as I awoke to find an article in the local paper featuring my brother. The story was a great reminder of the journey that was my brother’s wrestling career and the impact it had on those around him and the impact it is still having today. 

            My brother was born with club feet, a birth defect in which the foot is twisted out of shape or position. He had to endure 5 very painful surgeries before he was 5 years old and the doctors told my parents that he would never play sports, never run, and might never be able to walk. My parents, being the brave and wise souls that they are, never told my brother that. They never discouraged him in any of the things he attempted, instead they watched carefully as he and his will to work hard and overcome obstacles far outpaced the doctors predictions about his abilities. He played a variety of sports during his youth and had a scrappy hustle to him that was hard to miss. This scrappy hustle eventually lead him to wrestling, where he found his true home as an athlete. 

            Wrestling is the ideal sport for people who are both mentally and physically strong. It’s a sport where brute force strength combined with a solid strategy and technique, some good flexibility and the sheer will to win defines the athlete. A wrestling match is 3 periods, each of which last only 2  minutes. A winner is declared by either having the most points or pinning your opponent to the mat. It the most intense sport I’ve ever witnessed and those 6 minutes on the mat are gut-wrenching and exhausting both mentally and physically. 

            My brother ended up winning the state title in his weight class all 4 years in high school and went 40-0, his senior year. The last match he wrestled that year was the most nerve-wracking 6 minutes of my life. His victories were incredible to watch and were inspiring. However, it was the speech my brother gave me my junior year in high school that really had the biggest impact both on my life then and in my life now, 20+ years later. 

            Growing up, I was fairly athletic. I played several sports and was pretty good at them. And because being pretty good came natural, I took that for granted. I was the athlete who had a lot of talent but no real drive to get better, work harder and step up and be a leader. I sort of took it all for granted. My older brother noticed this and picked up my lackadaisical approach to being an athlete. One evening, he barged into my room and gave me a good talking to. He told me that he had worked incredibly hard to establish himself as a hardworking, dedicated athlete and that my current approach to being an athlete was disrespectful to my coaches, my teammates, and myself. He told me that taking for granted my natural abilities and not working hard was a disgrace to our family, and to the abilities I was born with. 

            The 16 year old version of myself was FURIOUS by this. How dare he tell me how to live my life and criticize me. What did he know anyway… right… And then the next morning, it all sounded different. I realized he was right. I was wasting my time and talent and being disrespectful of all those trying to push me to be the best I could be. I owed it to my coaches, my teammates and myself to work harder and push myself to get better and to step up and be a better team leader. So that afternoon, I made a decision to give it my all and be the person that my older brother thought I could be. And it was the decision that defined the character that has carried me through life thus far. Since that moment, I’ve give my all to everything I’ve done – school, sports, college, career, family, etc. I’m grateful every day that my brother held me accountable all those years ago and challenged me to be the best version of myself I could be. And I’m grateful that all these years later, my brother is a high school wrestling coach and continuing to motivate and challenge kids to be the best they can be. Because those lessons learned are about so much more than a sport, they are about overcoming obstacles, rising to the challenge and doing the hard work when nobody is watching. They are the lessons that define who you become not only as an athlete but as a person, and that is one of the many benefits that sports can bring to one’s life. 

Jennifer Macha