High Fat, Low Carb Ketogenic Diets Work, But You’ll Have To Be Disciplined
Source:Supplied Used clinically for many years, specifically in the area of epilepsy where it is used to help reduce seizures, ketogenic diets are also known for their relatively quick weight loss outcomes. Not a new area of nutrition but one that has become increasingly popular in recent years, the question is, ‘is a ketogenic diet the right diet for you?’ Ketogenic diets refer to diets that are particularly low in carbohydrates (ranging from 5-20%, or 20-50g of total carbohydrates and high in fats (up to 75% in total fat). This is as opposed to standard ‘diets’ which contain 30-50% carbohydrates and just 30% fat or less. Diets that are much lower in carbohydrate than the muscles and the brain typically need to function shift the body into a state known as ‘ketosis’ in which fat stores in the body are broken down into ketones which fuel the muscles and the brain in place of the carbohydrates when they are in limited supply. The result is enhanced fat burning and relatively quick weight loss as compared to a traditional dietary approaches. There is no evidence to show that keto diets are damaging to the body. In fact, with their superior weight loss and associated reductions in inflammation in the body, there are a number of benefits, particularly for individuals with high blood glucose levels, fatty liver and significant amounts of weight to lose. The primary issue with keto diets is that the total amount of carbohydrate consumed needs to be kept very low, or the body will quickly come out of ketosis. For example, a low carb diet for most of the day followed by an extra snack of chocolate or piece of banana bread will quickly negate any of the potential benefits of ketosis as the total amount of carbohydrate rises above the upper limits of 50g or so for the Continue reading >>
High-protein, Low-carb Diets Explained
High-protein, low-carbohydrate diets, like The Atkins Diet, have been widely promoted as effective weight loss plans. These programs generally recommend that dieters get 30% to 50% of their total calories from protein. By comparison, the American Heart Association, the National Cholesterol Education Program, and the American Cancer Society all recommend a diet in which a smaller percentage of calories come from protein. Normally your body burns carbohydrates for fuel. When you drastically cut carbs, the body goes into a metabolic state called ketosis, and it begins to burn its own fat for fuel. When your fat stores become a primary energy source, you may lose weight. Some experts have raised concern about high-protein, low-carb diets. High cholesterol.Some protein sources -- like fatty cuts of meat, whole dairy products, and other high-fat foods -- can raise cholesterol, increasing your chance of heart disease. However, studies showed that people on the Atkins diet for up to 2 years actually had decreased “bad” cholesterol levels. Kidney problems. If you have any kidney problems, eating too much protein puts added strain on your kidneys. This could worsen kidney function. Osteoporosis and kidney stones. When you're on a high-protein diet, you may urinate more calcium than normal. There are conflicting reports, but some experts think this could make osteoporosis and kidney stones more likely. If you're considering a high-protein diet, check with your doctor or a nutritionist to see if it's OK for you. They can help you come up with a plan that will make sure you're getting enough fruits and vegetables, and that you're getting lean protein foods. Remember, weight loss that lasts is usually based on changes you can live with for a long time, not a temporary diet. Continue reading >>
Low Carb Vs Keto: Why Ketosis Is Different From A Low Carb Diet
Are you making a critical mistake when it comes to ketosis? I’ve been extremely guilty of it in the past. One of the biggest mistakes for people trying to improve their health is the misconception that a low carbohydrate diet equals a ketogenic diet. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case and could be killing your efforts to get all of the health benefits you are looking for. There are some critical differences in what people think a “low-carb high-fat” (LCHF) diet is and what a ketogenic diet is. High carb doesn’t mean diabetic. Just like low carb doesn’t mean ketogenic. If you’re not super down with what ketosis is, it is simply a metabolic state of using fats for energy. This provides a lot of benefits that we can get into later, but long story short, there are numerous benefits that you’re going to be missing out on if you are simply “low-carb” and not definitively in ketosis. Your low carb diet can actually be pretty brutal if it is not a ketogenic diet. As evidence, this is a maddening conversation that bubbles up more and more as I won’t shut up about ketogenic diets: Person: “Yeah, I tried ketosis and it sucked, I felt awful. Doesn’t work for me.” Me: “Hmm, that’s weird, did you check your ketone levels?” Person: “No. But, I was low carb. Ketosis isn’t for me. It sucks.” Me: “Well… low carb doesn’t mean you’re burning fats and utilizing ketones, so your body was still probably trying to use carbs as fuel, but you didn’t have enough around eating low carb, which is why it sucked.” Person: “I’m not tracking. Ketosis sucks. And so do you.” This person was low-carb, not keto. There is a huge difference. By why? Time for some definitions: Low-carb: Eating an arbitrarily “low” number of carbohydrates, or just a Continue reading >>
Is The Ketogenic Diet Safe For Weight Loss?
Share it: If you’ve been contemplating various weight-loss strategies, you may have run across the ketogenic diet. This dietary strategy, which is often used in a clinical setting to help improve seizure control in children with epilepsy, is picking up steam as an effective treatment for weight loss. But is it right for you? We turned to the experts to find out more. WHAT IS IT? The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that forces the body into a state of ketosis, where fat is burned for fuel instead of carbohydrate. (This isn’t to be confused with ketoacidosis, a dangerous condition typically caused by a lack of insulin in the body.) According to Dominic D’Agostino, a researcher at the University of South Florida who specializes in ketogenic diets, “The ‘classic ketogenic diet’ used originally for the management of drug-resistance seizures is a 4:1 ratio of fats to protein and carbohydrates.” That equates to about 80–90% fat, 5–15% protein and 5–10% carbohydrates. For weight loss, he says, this diet is typically modified “to allow a more liberal consumption of protein” (20–30%) with the same carbohydrate restriction. IS IT FOR YOU? Advocates of the ketogenic diet are quick to point out many of the benefits this diet can have for those looking to lose weight. “Rapid weight loss and a decrease in hunger are the most common and evident benefits,” says Kristen Mancinelli, MS, RD, author of “The Ketogenic Diet: A Scientifically Proven Approach to Fast, Healthy Weight Loss.” D’Agostino references promising studies that have been shown to “lower blood glucose levels, increase sensitivity to insulin, decrease inflammation and reduce triglyceride levels while raising HDL cholesterol.” READ MORE > 21 DIETIT Continue reading >>
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Not to be confused with slow carb diet. This article is about low carbohydrate diets as a lifestyle choice or for weight loss. For low-carbohydrate dietary therapy for epilepsy, see Ketogenic diet. Low-carbohydrate diets or low-carb diets are dietary programs that restrict carbohydrate consumption. Foods high in easily digestible carbohydrates (e.g., sugar, bread, pasta) are limited or replaced with foods containing a higher percentage of fats and moderate protein (e.g., meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, eggs, cheese, nuts, and seeds) and other foods low in carbohydrates (e.g., most salad vegetables such as spinach, kale, chard and collards), although other vegetables and fruits (especially berries) are often allowed. The amount of carbohydrate allowed varies with different low-carbohydrate diets. Such diets are sometimes 'ketogenic' (i.e., they restrict carbohydrate intake sufficiently to cause ketosis). The induction phase of the Atkins diet is ketogenic. The term "low-carbohydrate diet" is generally applied to diets that restrict carbohydrates to less than 20% of caloric intake, but can also refer to diets that simply restrict or limit carbohydrates to less than recommended proportions (generally less than 45% of total energy coming from carbohydrates). Definition and classification Low-carbohydrate diets are not well-defined. The American Academy of Family Physicians defines low-carbohydrate diets as diets that restrict carbohydrate intake to 20 to 60 grams per day, typically less than 20% of caloric intake. A 2016 review of low-carbohydrate diets classified diets with 50g of carbohydrate per day (less than 10% of total calories) as "very low" and diets with 40% of calories from carbohydrates as "mild" low-carbohydrate diets. Used for Continue reading >>
Everything You Need To Know Before Going On A Low-carb Diet
Much like Oprah, we LOVE bread. So naturally, the thought of cutting it out of our lives (along with any other carbs) is terrifying. But then again, if everyone and their mom (and lots of scientific research) claim that quitting carbohydrates is the key to weight loss, there's got to be something to it, right? Whether it takes the form of Atkins or the Paleo Diet, the low-carb trend has been around for a long time. But chances are you might not fully understand where it came from, how it works, and why experts are torn on whether this eating plan is smart. Here, we break down all of that so you can decide if carb-cutting in the name of weight loss is worth it. What Low Carb Actually Means Depending on who you talk to, there are different definitions of a low-carb diet. Plans can range from 100 grams of carbohydrates per day to zero grams (yikes), says Susan Kleiner, Ph.D, R.D., author of Power Eating. To put that into perspective, a small piece of fruit has about 15 grams of carbs and a banana contains up to 30 grams. For the sake of this article, though, we'll talk about a diet containing 100 grams of carbs per day, for someone who exercises three times a week at a moderate pace. For everyone else, a true low-carb diet would be about 50 grams per day, says Kleiner. What’s Considered a Carb? Unfortunately for Regina George, butter is not a carb. But according to the USDA’s Nutrient Database, lots of foods, including fruits and veggies, contain high amounts of carbohydrates. Though you probably know potatoes and bananas are packed with the carbohydrates, over 20 grams of the macronutrient are also found in a serving of grapes, apples, pears, and cauliflower. Plus, dried fruits, such as apricots, cranberries, and raisins, have a whopping 80 grams per serving. You’ll Continue reading >>
The Truth Behind The World's Most Cutting-edge, Fat-burning Performance Meal Plan: The Keto Diet
Timothy Noakes, M.D., is an emeritus professor in the Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine at the University of Cape Town. While his name may not ring a bell here in the U.S., he’s a full-blown celebrity in his native South Africa and one of the most accomplished exercise physiologists on the planet. You can’t walk by a restaurant in Cape Town that doesn’t offer a “Noakes option”—say, an avocado stuffed with breakfast sausage and eggs, or a double cheeseburger with lettuce sans bun—and evidence of his teachings seems to be everywhere, mostly in the form of the nation’s best-known athletes, including ageless golfing legend Gary Player and eight-time Ironman World Champion Paula Newby-Fraser. In fact, Noakes’ celebrity these days is such that he’s even been pulled into South African presidential politics: To echo the country’s papers of record, “Is President Jacob Zuma’s and his wife’s dramatic weight loss a result of the Noakes Diet?” No one is sure about the president, but his wife, definitely: She’s lost 66 pounds following the Noakes plan. To high-performing athletes, Noakes preaches that the bedrock tenet of endurance athletic nutrition—that winning performance is best fueled by eating lots of carbohydrates—is simply wrong. Instead, he believes athletes can alter their bodies so that their metabolism burns fat as a primary fuel source, a physiological process known as ketosis, either from stored body fat or from the foods they eat every day. For non-athletes and anyone trying to lose weight or keep it off, Noakes’ advice is that eating a high-fat diet, with few if any refined carbs and as little sugar as possible, will switch on the same fat-burning system and keep your body lean and your weight stable without making Continue reading >>
The Ketogenic Diet Vs The Atkins Diet: Is Ketosis Better Than Atkins?
It’s not uncommon for the ketogenic diet and the famous Atkin’s Diet of the 1990’s to get lumped into the same conversation as one and the same. But are they actually different, and is one healthier than the other? Which is more impactful over the long term? There are definitely differences between the two diets, and the real comparison might surprise you! But first, let’s step back and look at them individually. The Ketogenic Diet The ketogenic diet was founded all the way back in 1924 by Dr. Russell Wilder at the famous Mayo Clinic. The diet was initially used because it was discovered to be highly effective in treating epilepsy. The principles of the ketogenic diet are based on eating a specific percentage of macronutrients: high fats (60%), adequate protein (35%), and low carbohydrates (5%), to force the body to use what are called “ketone bodies” for energy. In the absence of carbohydrates for an extended period of time, our liver converts fats into fatty acids and ketone bodies, also just simply called “ketones.” Ketones can then be processed into ATP, which is the energy currency of the cells. Now, an elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood leads to a state known as nutritional ketosis. Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet There are several ways the ketogenic diet can help the health and lifestyles of those who follow it. Here are some of the biggest advantages: Blood Sugar Stabilization The ketogenic diet actively helps to lower glucose levels and improve insulin resistance. Without having frequent carbohydrate intake, blood sugar levels can stabilize more rapidly. Trigger Fat Burning Ketogenic diets can also be very effective for fat loss because they ultimately reset your body’s “enzymatic machinery” to burn fat as its primary fuel source Continue reading >>
The Low-carb, High-fat Diet That's Sweeping The Nation
It took a while, but by now most of us know that fat is not the enemy, that there are certain kinds of fat that can actually help your heart, and that it need not be obliterated from your diet if you’re trying to lose weight. In fact, for some people, fat is actually the superhero of their diet—and chowing down on olive oil, butter, and heavy cream is the key to watching the scale dive lower and lower, without feeling hungry or deprived. But can a diet heavy on the heavy cream turn out to be not unsafe—and maybe even good for you? We consulted top-shelf, unbiased sources that specialize in diet and nutrition, and were surprised to find that the answer is a resounding yes. First, the basics about the diet. It’s called a ketogenic diet, one that’s heavy on fat, moderate in protein, and extremely light in carbohydrates (typically less than 50g a day). The way it works involves a neat little trick of your body’s own biology, says Charles Passler, a nutritionist in New York City, who works with many of the top models you see sashaying down the runways at fashion week. (Bella Hadid is among his clients, as are many of the Victoria’s Secret models, including Adriana Lima.) The body typically burns carbohydrates—aka glucose—for fuel. But if you give your body little to no carbohydrates, it will go into ketosis. This is a state in which fat stores in the body are broken down into ketones, which then fuel the muscles and brain. If that sounds a bit odd, it’s not, says Passler. “The human body is designed to be able to handle times of food scarcity,” says Passler. “The trouble is, we currently have access to food 24/7, but our physiology hasn’t caught up with that yet. Say you have breakfast at 8 a.m., and then it's 1 p.m. and you think you're starving, Continue reading >>
No More Dragon Breath!
Too many people who eat low carb diets believe that they have to live with the intense bad breath nicknamed "ketobreath" if they are to keep their carbs down either to control their blood sugar or lose weight. That's because they believe that the bad breath is a sign that they are eating what is called a "ketogenic diet" which some dieters and low carb enthusiasts believe makes it much easier to burn off fat. The term "ketogenic" simply means "producing ketones." Ketones are a byproduct of fat digestion. They become significant when you are eating so few grams of carbohydrate each day because at that point most of your cells switch over to burning fats, including ketones, rather than glucose. You can tell when you have entered a ketogenic state because your body will dump a great deal of water when this happens, causing a weight loss of anywhere from two to six pounds within a day or two. When you exit the ketogenic state, those same water-related pounds come right back. Why this happens is explained in greater detail on this web page. Unfortunately, most people who cut carbs low enough to remain in a ketogenic state for more than a few weeks develop a distinctive and truly awful bad breath that they assume is a necessary part of eating a ketogenic diet. This is not true but widely believed. It is also the major reason why the loved ones of low carb dieter, after a period of patience, may start undermining the low carbers' diet, tempting them with carbs in the hope that if they ruin their loved one's diet they will no longer have to live with the wretched smell of that "ketobreath." This is rational behavior on the part of those loved ones. The bad breath--which the dieter usually can't themselves smell--is often so strong it makes riding in a car with the dieter unplea Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet Vs. Low-carb Diet: A Personal Choice
Ketogenic diets (aka keto diets, nutritional ketosis or NK) are currently all the rage, and for good reason. As I wrote in a previous post a few weeks ago, very-low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diets (VLCKDs) are extremely effective for weight loss and diabetes, among other things. There's also emerging evidence suggesting they may be beneficial for certain cancers and neurological conditions like Parkinson's disease and ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease). Having previously worked in a clinical setting with several patients who had the misfortune of contracting these diseases, I find it very encouraging that following a ketogenic might offer some improvement for them, as well as others in the same boat. I follow a VLCKD and receive a lot of great feedback from others who have also experienced overwhelmingly positive results with this way of eating. I love hearing these success stories, so please keep them coming. However, one reader named Michelle had this to say in the comments section of my recent article: "I don't do well on a very low carb diet; I have to have around 50-70 g's of carbs a day to feel well and function. I guess this is still low carb when compared to the standard diet, but find so much prejudice against me because people say 'If you just stuck to eating VLC you would eventually lose weight and feel better'. This just is not the case with me. I've adapted the LC diet for me and I feel great and I am losing weight steadily. Please folks, stop thinking that one size fits all, it does not! Great site. Thank you for all your efforts." I was disappointed to hear that this woman -- who is most definitely following a low-carb diet and having success doing so -- feels that others are judging her for not restricting carbs to ketogenic levels (generally defined Continue reading >>
7 Things Everyone Should Know About Low-carb Diets
Last week, my staff nutritionist Laura Schoenfeld wrote a guest post for my blog called “Is a Low-Carb Diet Ruining Your Health”. Perhaps not surprisingly, it has caused quite a stir. For reasons I don’t fully understand, some people identify so strongly with how many carbohydrates they eat that they take offense when a suggestion is made that low-carb diets may not be appropriate for everyone, in all circumstances. In these circles low-carb diets have become dogma (i.e. a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true). Followers of this strange religious sect insist that everyone should be on low-carb or even ketogenic diets; that all carbohydrates, regardless of their source, are “toxic”; that most traditional hunter-gatherer (e.g. Paleolithic) societies followed a low-carb diet; and, similarly, that nutritional ketosis—which is only achievable with a very high-fat, low-carb, and low-protein diet—is our default and optimal physiological state. Cut through the confusion and hype and learn what research can tell us about low-carb diets. On the other hand, I’ve also observed somewhat of a backlash against low-carb diets occurring in the blogosphere of late. While I agree with many of the potential issues that have been raised about low-carb diets, and think it’s important to discuss them, I also feel it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that low-carb diets can be very effective therapeutic tools for certain conditions and in certain situations. With this in mind, here are 7 things I think everyone should know about low-carb diets. #1: Paleo does not equal low-carb, and very low-carb/ketogenic diets are not our “default” nutritional state, as some have claimed. Some low-carb advocates have claimed that mo Continue reading >>
Is Low Carb Bad For Hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism is becoming increasingly more common in Western countries. One of the main symptoms of this hormone disorder is a slower metabolism and gradual weight gain. Low carb and ketogenic diets have emerged as popular approaches to weight loss, at least in otherwise healthy individuals. But there is some controversy over the safety of these eating patterns for hypothyroidism. This article reviews the scientific evidence available. What is a Low Carbohydrate Diet and Ketogenic Diet? A low carbohydrate (low carb) diet is any eating pattern that limits carbohydrate consumption. The standard Western diet is about 50-60% energy carbs, or roughly 300 grams per day. Low-carb diets are typically 30% energy or lower, although there is no set criteria. However, there is a clear distinction between a low carb diet and a ketogenic diet. A ketogenic diet (keto diet) is a very-low carb diet that restricts carbs to less than 20-50 grams per day, or less than 10% of total energy intake. This makes the body switch to ketones for energy – produced from fats – rather than glucose from carbs. Hence the name ketogenic diet. Summary: Low carb diets restrict carbohydrates to less than 30% of total energy intake, while ketogenic diets restrict to less than 10%. A ketogenic diet causes the body to shift to using ketones as energy, rather than glucose. Carbohydrates and Thyroid Health Thyroid hormones are essential to maintain and regulate carbohydrate/energy metabolism (1). Conversely, the energy (glucose) we get from carbs is required to fuel the production of thyroid hormones. This is because the parts of the brain ultimately responsible for thyroid hormone regulation – the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland – require glucose to function. In fact, the main regulation hormone, Continue reading >>
Why You’re Not In Ketosis
As the COO of Diet Doctor and low-carb enthusiast for years, you would have thought I’d nailed ketosis years ago. I haven’t, and here’s why. Am I still in ketosis? To get into ketosis, the most important thing is to eat maximum 20 grams of digestible carbs per day. When I went low carb in 2012, I followed that advice to the letter – replacing all high-carb foods like potatoes, bread, rice, pasta, legumes, fruit, juice, soda, and candy, with eggs, dairy, meat, vegetables, fats and berries – counting every carb I consumed. I felt great – effortless weight loss, no stomach issues, tons of energy and inspiration. But over time, something changed – I no longer felt as great as I used to. Until recently, I had no idea why. The journey to find out started with a simple question: Am I still in ketosis? The moment of truth At a Diet Doctor dinner a while ago, our CTO, Johan, gently challenged me. “Bjarte, you’re eating quite a lot of protein. Have you measured your ketones lately?”. “No”, I said, feeling slightly defensive, “I’ve never measured my ketones. Should I?”. It was wake-up time. Johan and I grabbed two blood-ketone meters from a dusty drawer, pricked a finger each, and touched the ketone strips. His results came out first – 3.0 mmol/L – optimal ketosis. He looked happy. It was my turn. The ketone meter made a weird beeping sound and the screen started blinking – 0.0 mmol/L – no ketosis whatsoever. What?! I’d been eating strict low carb for years, how could I not be in ketosis? I felt slightly embarrassed, but mainly relieved. Was this the reason I no longer felt great? Experiment 1: Eating less than 60 grams of protein a day Several of my colleagues agreed with Johan – I was eating too much protein. To test that hypothesis, I s Continue reading >>
Bulletproof Vs. Paleo Vs. Low-carb And Ketogenic Diets: What’s The Difference?
I was in my 20s when I started suffering from severe fatigue and cognitive dysfunction. I was 300 pounds, sick constantly, and almost had to drop out of grad school because I couldn’t concentrate. Back then, I thought my inability to think clearly and perform at high levels was some sort of moral failing. I would beat myself up. I would work harder and stay up later, trying to catch up with my peers. I tried every diet imaginable, including raw vegan and years of falling off the low-fat bandwagon. I hit the treadmill for hours every day. Nothing worked. So I took matters into my own hands. The Bulletproof Diet was born after a decade of working with some of the world’s top health and nutrition researchers. Over a span of about 15 years, I devoured thousands of research papers and books on human nutrition. I used my body as a testing ground to determine what worked best for my biology. The result is a diet that has helped thousands of people lose fat and gain the energy and clarity they thought they’d lost forever. So, what differentiates the Bulletproof Diet from other low-carb diets? Read on to find out. For an in-depth plan on how to boost energy and increase brain function in just two weeks, get your copy of Head Strong. Bulletproof vs. Paleo: The Big Picture If you were to map out the most popular diets, you’d see a vast spectrum of practices and plans ranging from low-fat vegan to high-fat, low-carb (HFLC). This deliciously fatty end of the spectrum is where the Bulletproof Diet and the Primal, Paleo, and Atkins diets would lie. The Paleo diet eliminates processed foods and focuses on what our paleolithic ancestors ate – mostly meat, plants, nuts, and seeds. The Bulletproof Diet is similar but designed to maximize your willpower by reducing cravings and m Continue reading >>