Dave gets a lot of questions regarding LCHF/Keto Nutrition. One of our DSTC members recently asked a number of great questions on nutrition and I’d like to feature his questions and my answers here!
As I embark on my move to a low carb/high fat diet I have many questions.
1) How essential is getting the body to utilise fat instead of glucose? I can understand how important it would be for half and full Iron events, but it would seem less so for shorter Sprint/Standard races?
2) Secondly would you recommend for optimum results a total move to a Keto diet being most beneficial e.g. only selecting/majoring on those foods marked with an asterisk*?
My breakfast has always been a staple part of my food intake and typically consists of the bowl of the following mix;
Oats, raisins, cranberries, sunflower seeds, hemps seeds, pumpkin seeds, linseed/flax seeds, chia seeds, cinnamon and topped with blueberries.
It used to be topped with protein granola (which I’ve now removed) and soya milk (which I’ve now replaced with full fat dairy milk).
I understand removing the raisins is probably necessary, my real challenge is around Oats, as these have always been a staple part of my diet and also very much in winter when I would make porridge.
The above has also always been a key part of my pre-race food which if eaten 3 hours before a race I knew would provide me with sufficient energy and importantly would present no gastric problems etc.
3) Is there anything alternative lower carb to replace the oats?
4) Or is it still ok to consume the oats?
From a taste/substance perspective removing the oats and raisins doesn’t make it very appealing.
I have my breakfast at circa 7.15am, following my morning swim/bike or run session which would start at approx. 5.45am.
The other thing I really like about this meal is it’s simplicity. When I’ve looked at most other Keto type breakfasts they involve cooking hot food, which is ok while (temporarily) working from home due to Covid, but when I am back in the office it would not be practical/feasible. Where as a bowl of the above cereal mix is simple and easy to have at my desk following my early morning swim/bike or run session.
This is one area I’m wrestling with before moving completely to a low carb high fat diet.
The other area is bread.
Typically for lunch again for convenience I’d have a sandwich which would contain cheese, ham, spinach, rocket (this was before I moved to a plant based diet).
On a plant based diet it would often be a sandwich containing peanut butter and jam.
I’d make this in the morning before work and before my morning session and eat it at my desk at 12.00pm, it felt like I was getting something nutritious which would feel filling and set me up ok for my afternoon/early evening session at 5.00pm.
5) Moving forward I could easily transition back to the sandwich which would contain cheese, ham, spinach, rocket, but what could I use to replace the bread as a low carb alternative?
I could revert to making a meal containing tuna/salmon, spinach, rocket, lettuce, tomatoes, seeds, salad etc., but feel this may not be sufficiently filling and may leave me hungry later in the afternoon and also for my afternoon/early evening session at 5.00pm.
6) Hence, the main question is around replacing Oats and Bread and maintaining something which is nutritional, convenient and practical.
7) What is best keto based recovery product for straight after a session.
Previously/currently I’d have a protein based shake after a hard run or bike session.
Or just pint of milk (previously soya milk on Plant based diet) and a few raisins.
I’m now just having ¾ or a pint of full fat milk.
Is this ok or are there any better alternatives?
Other questions related to your Superfoods list:
8) Are the foods listed “the best recommendations” or are they the only products which should be eaten?
A few surprising omissions from the list were;
Peanuts, Cashew Nuts, Peanut Butter, Sunflower seeds, Green Beans, Peas, Mange Tout, Lettuce, Cucumber, Cajun spice.
9) Are any of these not allowed or is it that those on the list are better alternatives?
I was surprised to see bacon on the list.
10) Does this include cooked bacon, ham and gammon?
11) As full fat milk is on the list is it ok to have this in tea as this is my preferred option.
12) Final questions, whilst I can understand the need eradicate sweet/sugar based products from the diet, is there the potential to have daily cheat treat?
E.g. I’d previously have half a chocolate bar as a treat (pre-vegan) or when on vegan diet a vegan biscuit. This was my daily treat in the evening following two training sessions in that day.
13) Should this be avoided/eliminated going forward?
Similarly at a weekend, I may have an odd beer and maybe one small packet of crisps.
14) Should I replace the beer with a glass of red wine and a few nuts?
15) Or even better have neither?
Again, apologies for all the questions and the long email, I just want to ensure that I get all the answers I feel I need before embarking and fully committing to what would be quite a big change.
As always thank you in advance for your guidance expertise.
Best regards, Scott
1. Sprint races on LCHF or KETO absolutely yes! Your body will optimally utilize your energy organelles called the mitochondria. No inflammation from excessive carbs, less fueling before racing if any and all and your organs will love you! LCHF can oxidize fats over twice the rate or carbs. Keto also uses the key ketone to fuel your brain. Both intakes are beneficial and start with LCHF.
2.My Super Foods list is all goooood! Eat away and not just the ones with an asterisk.
3 and 4. Eating Oats – no! Replace with LCHF granola. Here is mine and you can shift the contents to your desire: Coconut flakes, macadamia and almonds, pecans, blueberries, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, himalayan sea salt, stevia and add coconut milk. You can eat this raw or bake at 350 degrees with coconut oil for 10 minutes. NO OATS!
5. Grain bread is out. I like to bake but it takes too much time. I like the lineup with JULIAN Bakery. They use almond flour. Now you can have a sandwich!
6.Same as 3 and 4 above.
7. Post exercise fueling. A Shake is great. Collagen protein, mixed with Whey Protein, mixed with Hawaiin Spirulina (I work with Bioastin) this is my go to super protein mix. If you pick one go with the Whey. I add: coconut yogurt or whole fat plain yogurt, macadamia and walnuts, spoon of coconut oil melted, raspberries, almond or coconut milk, ice if desired and blend together. Don’t forget about my comments on Na,K and Mg. These can be added as a post supplement.
8 and 9.Scott just indulge lightly! They are not on my list for all the reasons of LCHF and KETO. However, live your life and eat to please yourself. Even if you have a bucket of cashews and a bowl of beans, you can fast for a longer period of time or go exercise!
10 and 11. All teas are golden except sweetened can or herbal teas. Have the milk with them or full fat cream.
12. Cheat! No one is pure and above 75% cacao for chocolate is great. No one eats a whole bar and allow some indulgence in your life!
13. Vegan bisquit is not great at night. Have some nuts or seeds.
14 and 15. Dry wines with very low residual sugar are fine – in moderation. Drywines.com has a great list and most wineries that make deep reds will have dry wines. With a piece of cheese and nuts – perfect!
A few comments about LCHF:
1. Depending upon your sweat rate this will increase the need for sodium, potassium and magnesium. Low sweat rate take in: Medium Sweat Rate = Na approx. 3000mg/ day and K @ 80mg and Mg @ 400 mg. These numbers look wrong but they are not! Take these in Boullion cubes at two dosages / day along with K as Potassium Citrate. Mg can be taken at night as Mg Threonate or Glycinate.
2. Heavy Sweaters are @ 25 – 35 % above the noted ranges above and Light sweaters are 50% below ranges noted above.
3. Use Himalayan Sea salt or Redmond Salt to add to your foods.
4. SFuels products all contain the proper amounts by volume for pre/ during and post training.