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Can Ketosis Make You Depressed?

Does The Ketogenic Diet Work For Type 2 Diabetes?

Does The Ketogenic Diet Work For Type 2 Diabetes?

You’ve probably seen dozens of headlines about the ketogenic diet by now, which has made its way into popular culture largely by celebrities and supermodels giving the long-standing fad diet a repeated stamp of approval. Is this the diet to follow if you have diabetes? Studies suggest the answer isn’t so simple. Some science shows its meal plan may be helpful, while other research, like one study published in September 2016 in Nutrients, highlights the importance of whole grains in the diets of people with diabetes — a restricted food category in the ketogenic diet. While the keto diet can offer many potential benefits for diabetes management, following it requires pretty serious commitment. So take a beat before you take the plunge — and consider these questions that can help you and your medical team determine if it’s right for you: How Does the Ketogenic Diet Work Exactly? There’s a good reason the ketogenic diet is also referred to as a low-carb, high-fat diet. Indeed, following the ketogenic diet means reducing carbohydrate intake to typically less than 50 grams (g) of carbohydrates per day, while increasing fat and protein intake, according to a review published in August 2013 in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. To put that into perspective, an individual on an average, non-restricted diet can easily eat more carbohydrates than that in one typical meal — for instance, a turkey, cheese, and veggie sandwich on whole-grain bread with a small, 1 ounce (oz) bag of classic potato chips would come in at around 51 g of carbs. These dietary changes drive down insulin levels, eventually leading your body into a state of ketosis, during which it is burning fat rather than carbohydrates. What Are Some of the Potential Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet for Continue reading >>

Ketosis For Depression

Ketosis For Depression

Depression is so common these days that it seems hard to meet anyone who hasn’t experienced it in some degree. While this has perhaps become the new normal, it doesn’t need to be. Our eating choices not only affect our physical health but our mental health as well—so if you’ve been wondering whether the ketogenic diet can positively impact your emotional state, read on for the use of ketosis for depression. Diet and Depression It’s no secret that most people are overworked, under-rested, and living on a poor diet. It’s also no coincidence that the modern advice to eat a diet high in carbohydrates, low in fat, and with constant snacking or small meals throughout the day has coincided with a rise in diabetes, obesity, and mental issues like anxiety and depression. Let’s take a look at why this difference in diet could be causing these problems—and how ketosis and a ketogenic diet can help. Ketogenic Nutrition and Depression Most of us can agree that a high intake of sugar has a negative impact on mood. Just think of the sugar highs and crashes that result from eating high-carb foods. What follows is feelings of crankiness, low-energy, and maybe even depression. Now, think about how a steady intake of fats from a ketogenic diet could have a positive impact on mood and endorphin levels. Many people who start eating keto have come from a background of eating the Standard American Diet and not exercising enough. Starting a ketogenic diet, removing high-carb refined foods, losing weight, and eating whole foods is bound to help with mood and make you happier. This alone could have benefits for those with depression. In addition, there are some interesting links between ketones and many conditions of the brain similar to depression, including epilepsy and Alzheim Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diet Faq

Ketogenic Diet Faq

Simply click on the question to reveal the answer: Here are some very important factors to consider before you start. Is your liver healthy? A toxic liver will compromise your results and stand in the way between you and weight loss / health. Is your thyroid healthy? If you are either on thyroid medication or suspect a thyroid problem, a modified Ketogenic diet is the option for you. You could be doing more harm than good by doing a conventional keto diet. If you suspect any of the above is true for you, and you would like to find out more about how to proceed with Keto, I invite you to fill out my enquiry form below. Learn about my approach to a healthier you through a ketogenic lifestyle and health restoring program. I will be happy to look at your situation in depth and determine what kind of help would work best for you. If you are carb intolerant, pre-diabetic, overweight or always tired, this way of eating can be a life changer for you! Continue reading >>

The Ketogenic Diet: What You Need To Know

The Ketogenic Diet: What You Need To Know

There is hardly a day that passes without seeing a new article popping up about the damage sugar and refined carbs can cause but only lately is the connection of sugar to obesity and metabolic disorders starting to be realized. Many people we know may have some weight problems or metabolic health conditions and follow some weight loss program—none of which seems to be effective in the long run. This makes sense. If any weight loss program had led to permanent weight loss, those using it could stop and the company promoting it would go out of business. Long-term (often life-long) membership is essential if one wants to avoid yoyo dieting. Lately, I see many people rushing to change from the Standard American Diet (SAD) to various new diets, such as the Low Carbs High Fat (LCHF) or the Ketogenic diets. Are all these “diets” for weight loss? Some people call these “fad” diets, but are they? There was a time when sugar covered cereals were called “fads” but look what has become of that fad! It has become our everyday SAD. Fad is “a practice or interest followed for a time with exaggerated zeal: craze” (here). Sugar covered cereals have been with us for over 100 years, so definitely not a fad. What about the LCHF and the ketogenic Diets? Are they fads? Maybe, maybe not. Let’s dig a little deeper into the ketogenic diet since I consider the LCHF a less strict version of the ketogenic diet. Is the Ketogenic Diet a Fad? Looking at its history, “[ketogenic] dietary regimens have been used to treat epilepsy since at least 500 BC” (here). The ketogenic diet utilizes a metabolic process that can be awakened by fasting—though fasting is not necessary. “The ketogenic diet was introduced by modern physicians as a treatment for epilepsy in the 1920s” (here Continue reading >>

What Is Ketosis?

What Is Ketosis?

"Ketosis" is a word you'll probably see when you're looking for information on diabetes or weight loss. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? That depends. Ketosis is a normal metabolic process, something your body does to keep working. When it doesn't have enough carbohydrates from food for your cells to burn for energy, it burns fat instead. As part of this process, it makes ketones. If you're healthy and eating a balanced diet, your body controls how much fat it burns, and you don't normally make or use ketones. But when you cut way back on your calories or carbs, your body will switch to ketosis for energy. It can also happen after exercising for a long time and during pregnancy. For people with uncontrolled diabetes, ketosis is a sign of not using enough insulin. Ketosis can become dangerous when ketones build up. High levels lead to dehydration and change the chemical balance of your blood. Ketosis is a popular weight loss strategy. Low-carb eating plans include the first part of the Atkins diet and the Paleo diet, which stress proteins for fueling your body. In addition to helping you burn fat, ketosis can make you feel less hungry. It also helps you maintain muscle. For healthy people who don't have diabetes and aren't pregnant, ketosis usually kicks in after 3 or 4 days of eating less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. That's about 3 slices of bread, a cup of low-fat fruit yogurt, or two small bananas. You can start ketosis by fasting, too. Doctors may put children who have epilepsy on a ketogenic diet, a special high-fat, very low-carb and protein plan, because it might help prevent seizures. Adults with epilepsy sometimes eat modified Atkins diets. Some research suggests that ketogenic diets might help lower your risk of heart disease. Other studies show sp Continue reading >>

What Fruit Can I Eat On The Ketogenic Diet?

What Fruit Can I Eat On The Ketogenic Diet?

What Fruit Can I Eat On The Ketogenic Diet? As a mom is learning about the ketogenic diet they often wonder what fruit can I eat on the ketogenic diet? Eating fruit is definitely better than tanking up on sugar and carb laden treats but when a person is trying to lose weight on a ketogenic diet and put their body into a state of nutritional ketosis then they need to watch their carbs and fruit can often have higher amounts of carbs and natural sugars than are desired. It depends on how strict you’re wanting to go with the ketogenic diet but I will start off with the fruits with the lowest amount of carbs and go from there. On a strict ketogenic diet (less than 20 grams of carbs a day!) only berries are allowed. They have the least amounts of carbs. So that would include: Raspberries Strawberries Blackberries Cranberries Mulberries Blueberries are the highest carb berry so be mindful when eating them if you’re on a strict keto diet If you’re on more of a moderate low carb diet you can have: Plums Clementines Cherries Kiwis Cantaloupe Peaches Watermelon Now of course it all depends on how strict you are going on the Ketogenic diet but you must count your carbs. Generally people are able to get into ketosis by eating between 20-50 grams of carbs a day. Some may be able to have as much as 100 grams but rarely over that. You’ll need to purchase ketone strips to test your urine to see if you are producing ketones and in ketosis where you are burning fat. The Ketogenic diet is not for the faint of heart but you can of course still see excellent results from cutting carbs, and increasing protein, healthy fats and veggies. All of us moms have different health goals and are willing to make different changes to our diets. My philosophy is you do what you can and you make s Continue reading >>

Inflammation, Ketones And Depression

Inflammation, Ketones And Depression

New theories on how inflammation may be a cause of depression, and how the ketogenic diet may be a novel treatment option Depression is the most commonly diagnosed neuropsychiatric disorder, (Chen, 2017) characterized by persistent feeling of sadness, loss of interest and hopelessness. Is it estimated that >16 million people in US have suffered from a depressive episode in the past year, which represents 6.7% of all American adults. The cause of depression has typically been blamed on a chemical imbalance in the brain, specifically a decrease in the monoamine neurotransmitters (serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine). Most of the anti-depressant medications work by increasing the levels of these monoamines neurotransmitters. It is estimated that a third of depressed patients treated with these anti-depressant medications however, do not improve. (Miller, 2016) (Yamanashi, 2017) So maybe the pathophysiology of depression is not that simple. Scientific evidence now suggests that inflammation plays a role in the pathophysiology of depression. Psychosocial stress is a very common risk factor for the development of depression. Studies have shown that stress, especially early life-trauma, is associated with an increase risk for developing depression. (Miller, 2016) Stress has been shown to cause many pathological changes in the body including increased inflammation. When the body is stressed, the NLRP3 inflammasome is activated. When activated the NLRP3 inflammasome causes the release of the pro-inflammatory cytokines (interleukin 1 beta, interleukin -6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha). These pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are markers for inflammation, have been noted to be significantly higher in the brains of patients with depression and in people who have committed suici Continue reading >>

Dear Mark: Depression Diet?

Dear Mark: Depression Diet?

I occasionally get emails from readers who are interested in lifestyle changes that can either complement or replace their conventional treatments for depression. Since our post a few weeks ago on antidepressants, I’ve gotten a slew of emails asking me about the role of nutrition in mental health. In response I thought I’d devote a Dear Mark to the general question of diet and depression. Thanks to all who wrote in or commented on the boards or forum! It comes as no surprise that nutrition directly impacts brain performance just as it does the functioning of every other organ. Although the roots of clinical depression involve a complex (and theoretically contentious) mix of physiological, genetic and socio-emotional factors, the physical picture hones in on neurotransmitters, chemical messengers that travel between nerves in the brain. Of all the neurotransmitters, the key players in mood disorders are dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin. When we talk about a diet that supports mental health, we’re essentially looking at nutrition that sustains both optimal neurological functioning and hormone balance. Although it’s not commonly discussed as such, depression is an inflammatory condition. Current research emphasizes the underlying role of inflammation as a cause for both depression itself and the neurodegenerative symptoms seen in those with depression. Researchers have found that people with clinical depression show elevated levels of inflammation biomarkers. Furthermore, risk factors for depression include conditions linked to inflammatory response such as low omega-3 levels, leaky gut, and late pregnancy/postpartum rise in cytokines. Conventional anti-depressant medications, not surprisingly, have anti-inflammatory effects. Of course, I support an anti-infl Continue reading >>

Keep Yourself In Ketosis

Keep Yourself In Ketosis

When talking about a Grain Brain lifestyle, and the very similar ketogenic diet, it’s frequently mentioned that we are aiming to keep our bodies in ketosis. However, if you’re new to my work, it may be that you’re not exactly sure what ketosis is, or why we should be worrying about getting our body into this state. Allow me to explain. Ketones are a special type of fat that can stimulate the pathways that enhance the growth of new neural networks in the brain. A ketogenic diet is one that is high in fats, and this diet has been a tool of researchers for years, used notably in a 2005 study on Parkinson’s patients finding an improvement in symptoms after just 28 days. The improvements were on par with those made possible via medication and brain surgery. Other research has shown the ketogenic diet to be remarkably effective in treating some forms of epilepsy, and even brain tumors. Ketones do more than just that though. They increase glutathione, a powerful, brain-protective antioxidant. Ketones facilitate the production of mitochondria, one of the most important actors in the coordinated production that is the human body. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Our bodies are said to enter ketosis at the point when blood sugar levels are low and liver glycogen are no longer available to produce glucose as a fuel for cellular energy production. At this point, not only is the body doing the natural thing, and burning off fat, it’s also powering up the brain with a super efficient fuel. We can jump start ourselves into ketosis with a brief fast, allowing our body to quickly burn through the carbs that are in our system, and turn to fat for fuel. A ketogenic diet is one that derives around 80% or more of of its calories from fat, and the rest from carbs and prote Continue reading >>

Is It Ever A Good Idea To Eat A High-fat Diet?

Is It Ever A Good Idea To Eat A High-fat Diet?

The dieting world keeps fluctuating between its lead villains. Now that we officially hate sugar, can every meal be loaded with butter, bacon and avocado instead? When the low-fat-everything craze peaked in the late '90s, Australians did not magically become leaner and healthier. Instead, twenty years on, we have an unprecedented level of obesity on our hands. By now we have figured out that the other side of a ‘low fat’ food label should say ‘probably high sugar, will make you fat anyway’. As the case against sugar is mounting, that leaves dietary fats in an interesting situation. No longer the enemy, fatty foods are enjoying a comeback of sorts. The trend is especially prominent within circles adopting the #keto lifestyle. On social media it stands for a parade of athletic bodies, hard-boiled eggs, odd-looking smoothies and a truckload of avocados served in every way imaginable. Keto is short for ‘ketogenic diet’, a scientific approach to going (very) low carb. “The idea of a ketogenic diet is that you restrict carbohydrates to such a low level that your body is mostly using its fat, or the fat that you eat, as its energy store,” explains research scientist and nutrition expert Dr Tim Crowe. This process is called ketosis. “When it's doing that, it produces these things called ketones in your bloodstream. Everybody has ketones in their blood, but on a ketogenic diet the levels are much higher.” The ketogenic diet is actually a medical treatment for children with hard-to-treat epilepsy; when the brain starts using ketones instead of glucose as an energy source, this can also reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures. But lately ketosis is starting to become popular outside its narrow medical application. “Over the last five or ten years there's b Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diet: Is The Ultimate Low-carb Diet Good For You?

Ketogenic Diet: Is The Ultimate Low-carb Diet Good For You?

Recently, many of my patients have been asking about a ketogenic diet. Is it safe? Would you recommend it? Despite the recent hype, a ketogenic diet is not something new. In medicine, we have been using it for almost 100 years to treat drug-resistant epilepsy, especially in children. In the 1970s, Dr. Atkins popularized his very-low-carbohydrate diet for weight loss that began with a very strict two-week ketogenic phase. Over the years, other fad diets incorporated a similar approach for weight loss. What is a ketogenic diet? In essence, it is a diet that causes the body to release ketones into the bloodstream. Most cells prefer to use blood sugar, which comes from carbohydrates, as the body’s main source of energy. In the absence of circulating blood sugar from food, we start breaking down stored fat into molecules called ketone bodies (the process is called ketosis). Once you reach ketosis, most cells will use ketone bodies to generate energy until we start eating carbohydrates again. The shift, from using circulating glucose to breaking down stored fat as a source of energy, usually happens over two to four days of eating fewer than 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. Keep in mind that this is a highly individualized process, and some people need a more restricted diet to start producing enough ketones. Because it lacks carbohydrates, a ketogenic diet is rich in proteins and fats. It typically includes plenty of meats, eggs, processed meats, sausages, cheeses, fish, nuts, butter, oils, seeds, and fibrous vegetables. Because it is so restrictive, it is really hard to follow over the long run. Carbohydrates normally account for at least 50% of the typical American diet. One of the main criticisms of this diet is that many people tend to eat too much protein and Continue reading >>

8 Low-carb Conundrums

8 Low-carb Conundrums

Thinking of making the switch to low carb? Here's the lowdown on eight low-carb diet side effects. The good news? They're temporary. Low-carb diets are known to burn serious blubber. Many followers of the low-carb life experience quick fat loss, lower hunger levels, and stable energy. Since low-carb lovers cut out most "cheat" foods, like donuts and candy, they also have a fairly easy time controlling total caloric intake. Sounds like fat-loss paradise, right? As those who have undergone the "low-carb switch" can attest, the early fat loss often comes at a price. The first few days or weeks of low-carb living can be a bear, physically and mentally. As your brain and body struggle to adapt to post-glycogen life, you might be downright miserable. Don't pound a Mountain Dew in despair—the misery is often temporary. Before you pay thousands to have that "ketogenic 4 life" tattoo removed, check out this list of common short-term side effects that accompany the switch to low-carb. You won't necessarily suffer from them all, but knowing the signs can help you prepare. The first major side effect that you'll likely experience—usually about 2-3 days into your low-carb "induction"—is a mental lethargy often called "brain fog." You may find yourself staring at the wall for extended periods of time, feeling half-drunk, and unproductive at work. What gives? The primary reason this occurs is because your brain, if given the opportunity, will run almost entirely on glucose. Once your body makes the switch from burning carbs to burning fat, your brain will begin to use ketones as fuel—but not until you've burned up your body's glycogen stores. This is why people often go super-low carb at first: To use up that dwindling glycogen as quickly as possible. In the meantime, you are Continue reading >>

Why Healthy Eating Causes That Uncomfortable Feeling

Why Healthy Eating Causes That Uncomfortable Feeling

Open this photo in gallery: You've sworn off alfredo sauce. You've cut out sugary vanilla lattes. You've swapped cupcakes for carrot sticks. So why do you feel so lousy? If the only greens you ate last year were the garnishes of parsley on your steak frites, chances are your body is going to protest when you suddenly start feeding it nothing but kale and broccoli. Although reducing your intake of salt, refined sugar, fat and caffeine will undoubtedly be good for you in the long run, a drastic change in diet can lead to short-term discomfort – think grinding headaches, leaden sluggishness, embarrassing bloating and a hangry temper. And no, this isn't because your body is ridding itself of impurities – whatever that means. Don't be fooled by diet fads and cleanses that claim these symptoms are the result of eliminating nebulous toxins. Dietary "detoxes" are bogus. Rather, if you're feeling unwell in your quest to eat better, dopamine, microbes and ketones may be the source of your discontent. Your brain is craving dopamine Foods that are loaded with salt, sugar and fat trigger the release of "feel-good" neurotransmitters, specifically dopamine, which activate the brain's reward centre, says Andrea D'Ambrosio, a registered dietitian and owner of Dietetic Directions in Waterloo, Ont. This explains why it's so enjoyable to eat highly processed fatty, salty and sugary foods, and why we tend to crave them. It's not unusual then to experience withdrawal-like symptoms, such as feeling moody, blue or antsy, when you go cold turkey after you've grown accustomed to eating highly processed foods, D'Ambrosio says. To adjust to a less processed diet, she suggests curbing cravings by eating a high-fibre breakfast with a source of protein, having strategic snacks, like an apple or b Continue reading >>

A Comprehensive Beginner's Guide

A Comprehensive Beginner's Guide

What is a Keto Diet? A keto diet is well known for being a low carb diet, where the body produces ketones in the liver to be used as energy. It’s referred to as many different names – ketogenic diet, low carb diet, low carb high fat (LCHF), etc. When you eat something high in carbs, your body will produce glucose and insulin. Glucose is the easiest molecule for your body to convert and use as energy so that it will be chosen over any other energy source. Insulin is produced to process the glucose in your bloodstream by taking it around the body. Since the glucose is being used as a primary energy, your fats are not needed and are therefore stored. Typically on a normal, higher carbohydrate diet, the body will use glucose as the main form of energy. By lowering the intake of carbs, the body is induced into a state known as ketosis. Ketosis is a natural process the body initiates to help us survive when food intake is low. During this state, we produce ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fats in the liver. The end goal of a properly maintained keto diet is to force your body into this metabolic state. We don’t do this through starvation of calories but starvation of carbohydrates. Our bodies are incredibly adaptive to what you put into it – when you overload it with fats and take away carbohydrates, it will begin to burn ketones as the primary energy source. Optimal ketone levels offer many health, weight loss, physical and mental performance benefits. Make keto simple and easy by checking out our 30 Day Meal Plan. Get meal plans, shopping lists, and much more with our Keto Academy Program. Looking for Something Specific? There are numerous benefits that come with being on keto: from weight loss and increased energy levels to therapeutic medical appl Continue reading >>

Why Ketogenic Diet Is The Healthiest Diet. Treats Depression, Migraines, And Autism

Why Ketogenic Diet Is The Healthiest Diet. Treats Depression, Migraines, And Autism

Growing evidence shows that nutritional ketosis helps treat many health problems, starting with obesity. A ketogenic diet causes metabolic changes in the body, causing the body to shift from burning carbohydrates to burning fats. This diet requires 50-70 percent of the food intake to come from beneficial fats, such as organic pastured eggs, avocado, raw nuts, grass-pastured butter, and coconut oil. The carb intake is limited, leading to burning of fat for energy. In other words, there is little sugar blocking the body from using fat in favor of burning sugar. As mentioned above, the nutritional intake should be around 70 percent fats, 25 percent protein, and 5 percent carbohydrate. Therefore, the carbohydrates intake should be limited, mostly coming from nuts, dairy, and veggies. Avoid refined carbohydrates like starch ( potatoes, legumes), wheat( cereals, bread) or fruit. “The end goal of a properly maintained keto diet is to force your body into this metabolic state. We don’t do this through starvation of calories, but through starvation of carbohydrates. Our bodies are extremely adaptive to what you put into it – when you overload it with fats and take away carbohydrates, it will begin to burn ketones as the main energy source,” according to Ruled.me. Health Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet Leads to Weight Loss Eliminating carbs from your diet is one of the simplest ways to lose weight. When on a ketogenic diet, the carbohydrate intake is very low, protein is moderate, and fat intake is increased, so that the body relies on fat as a primary fuel and produces ketones from stored body fat. Fights Cancer Cancer cells feed on sugar, meaning that sugar supports cancer growth. Therefore, any diet that eliminates sugar and other carbs can be effective in preventing and Continue reading >>

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