I have always suffered from eczema.
I come from a family with eczema, asthma and hayfever, and my other family members also suffer from psoriasis.
When I was a child, the eczema was pretty intolerable. I used to scratch endlessly, and my skin made me very self-conscious.
Anyone who has ever suffered with skin complaints will know exactly how I felt.
As I became an adult, my symptoms improved, but never healed completely. Stress and certain foods caused flare-ups, as did sweat and hot showers.
I don’t even want to think of the amount of sorbolene and cortisone I slathered on my skin. Nothing worked, and I just resigned myself to being allergic to most cosmetics, most shampoos and conditioners, and having really rotten skin.
Eczema and the keto diet
I decided to try the keto diet about two months ago, mainly to lose weight.
I won’t go into the details of the keto diet – they’re all over the net anyway – but my macronutrient breakdown averages about 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbohydrates.
Immediately my skin began to improve, despite the fact I was eating lots of eggs and cheese, two foods I’d long thought cause my skin to react mildly.
Since changing my diet, persistent dry patches at the back of my shoulders – that I’d thought were caused by hot showers – have cleared up for the first time in years, and my skin is soft and supple all over.
Even the dryness on my elbows and knees is gone.
As for rashes – totally gone. No reactions from the hot showers, the cheese or the eggs. Hmm…
However, the moment I cheat and eat carbohydrates in any significant amount – back come the rashes, the dry patches, the discomfort.
I even find eating carbohyrates affects the quality of my sleep, my digestion, and my energy levels. Carbs dumb me down and sap my energy – I feel thick and slow when I cheat with carbs.
So I don’t cheat any more. It’s not worth feeling that bad… not worth feeling as bad as I used to feel on a typical Western diet.
I’m not a doctor but I can’t help thinking, Have I found a cure for eczema?
Have I stumbled, like so many others, on the diet that humans are really supposed to be eating?
What are humans really meant to eat?
I’ve been thinking lately about what humans are really meant to eat.
And here’s a disclaimer before I go on – I was a vegetarian, then a vegan, for many years.
Here’s the thing: I think, upon reflection and experiencing the difference an animal-based diet can make, that humans are predatory meat-eaters by nature.
We’re meant to eat meat. Lots of meat.
Human diet before we lived in cities
Here’s my guess on human pre-history: I think we started out as hunters and gatherers, but mainly hunters. If we ate plants at all in our pre-history (I’m talking before farming and civilisation and cities here), we did so to fill our stomachs because we were starving and couldn’t find any meat.
Look at stone-age civilisations, and they all eat the same way pretty much. Lots of meat, very little plant matter. And no stone-age vegans or vegetarians anywhere on the planet.
Farming changed everything. It enabled civilisation, because suddenly we could store long-lasting bulk foods like grains, which enabled cities to happen, followed by the wheel, and smelting, and writing, and other technologies. But although we could digest plants, they weren’t our ideal food. We were meant to eat meat.
Farming plants was great for our civilisation, but terrible for our bodies.
Now we’re stuffing ourselves even more with plant foods than ever before. We’re eating massive amounts of processed carbohydrates, which convert to sugar, and we’re not getting the healthy oils that come from animals our bodies need.
People like me, with dry skin and allergies, need a bit more fat in our diet than the average. We might be even more sensitive to plants than most people too.
A carb-centered diet, bereft of animal fats, is terrible for our health, even more so than for other people.
The result? Parched skin and hair, allergies, reactions, eczema. Some end up with coeliac disease. Others with diabetes.
Put the meat back in and take all the carbs out and all the problems go away.
Now this is all just my theory. Like I said, I’m not a doctor, so this isn’t advice.
But it’s a theory that seems to be holding water for me. My skin is healed. My eczema is cured. For now, anyway. I’ll tell you if things change back again. But I’m not going back to eating carbs any time soon.
But what about the planet? Isn’t a vegan diet better?
Says who, exactly? I quit being vegan a few years ago when I realised that the tofu, lentils, beans, and grains we were importing for our vegan diet were far more detrimental to the planet than eating the organic lambs that lived five meters from our front door.
I don’t believe any diet is good for the planet if you’re importing it all, and packaging it all, and shipping it hundreds of miles. It doesn’t matter if it’s mung beans or meat you’re shipping, that’s a lot of gasoline and plastic.
Eat what you want, but my body got cured quitting carbs!
In the end, I trust evidence. My eczema, after nearly 50 years of struggling, is gone and my skin is better than it has even been.
If you suffer from eczema, you might want to give keto a go too. Or even the carnivore diet, which is fast gaining traction and seems to help people lose weight and regain health even better than keto, although the evidence is still scanty as it is such a novel idea.
Whatever you choose, listen to your body. It knows what’s best. Mine does.