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Can Ketosis Make You Depressed?

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 >>

Does The Ketogenic Diet Cure Candida? The Ketosis-candida-mercury Link

Does The Ketogenic Diet Cure Candida? The Ketosis-candida-mercury Link

You’ve been on the Ketogenic Diet for a while now and you’ve been promised weight loss, more energy, clearer head, better sleep or possibly even ascension? But instead you got some or all of the following? weight gain stiff neck fatigue brain fog heart palpitations head pressure burning sensation in the mouth insatiable thirst impaired breathing / coughing / shortness of breath headaches nausea stiff joints muscle stiffness depression insomnia rash bloated, painful intestines constipation or diarrhea white coated tongue phlegm or mucus or the feeling of having a “frog” in your throat just overall feeling more miserable But you aren’t willing to give up on the diet just yet because you were told all those negative symptoms you’ve started to experience were due to your body adjusting from a sugar to a fat burning metabolism? Or that your mtDNA was being repaired? That you just need to stick through it, or drink more water or take a few supplements? That in order to get well you have to get sick first? That the insomnia really is you having more energy and hence needing less sleep? And yet it’s been weeks, months, or more than a year but you still experience those symptoms and you’re not really feeling well and – surprisingly – you have actually GAINED some weight?! If so, then it might be time to consider that the Ketogenic Diet is actually making you sick. WHAAAAAT??!! How could that be? You ask. And: Who am I to suggest such blasphemy? I’m a former Keto Fanatic, someone who had been on the Ketogenic Diet for over 1 year until I realized that ketosis was wrecking havoc with my body, and now I’m here to tell you all about it. How did I get into the Ketogenic Diet? Did I go from eating pizza and drinking Cola straight to eating 4 eggs for breakfast 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 >>

I Went On The Silicon Valley Diet Craze That Encourages Butter And Bacon For 2 Months — And It Vastly Improved My Life

I Went On The Silicon Valley Diet Craze That Encourages Butter And Bacon For 2 Months — And It Vastly Improved My Life

Bacon became my new best friend on the ketogenic diet.Business Insider A diet that goes against conventional wisdom on healthy eating is gaining momentum among Silicon Valley tech workers. And it involves eating a lot of fat. The ketogenic, or "keto," diet — which first became popular in the 1920s as a treatment for epilepsy and diabetes — limits carbohydrates to no more than 50 grams a day, which is the rough equivalent of a plain bagel or a cup of white rice. By comparison, dietary guidelines laid out by the US Department of Agriculture recommend consuming between 225 and 325 grams of carbs a day. On the keto diet, the body goes into starvation mode and taps its fat stores for fuel. Studies suggest the low-carb, high-fat diet may promote weight loss, dull hunger, and stave off age-related diseases. More research is needed on its long-term effects, especially in healthy people. An increasing number of health nuts — from the internet entrepreneur Kevin Rose to the podcaster Tim Ferriss — swear by the keto diet. I spent the past two months eating bacon, butter, and avocados to see why the keto movement is so popular. I am no stranger to diets. I've cut sugar, counted points on Weight Watchers, and swapped solid food for Soylent, a venture-capital-backed meal-replacement shake. Here's me eating a doughnut.Melia Robinson/Business Insider I gave up breakfast for a week and drank this caffeinated meal-replacement shake instead » But those usually don't last long. I love food. I'm a chronic snacker. Melia Robinson/Business Insider When I first learned about the keto diet, it caught my interest because dieters could eat seemingly unlimited amounts of healthy fats, like cheese, nuts, avocado, eggs, butter — foods that have high "point values" on Weight Watchers and a Continue reading >>

Ketosis: What Is Ketosis?

Ketosis: What Is Ketosis?

Ketosis is a normal metabolic process. When the body does not have enough glucose for energy, it burns stored fats instead; this results in a build-up of acids called ketones within the body. Some people encourage ketosis by following a diet called the ketogenic or low-carb diet. The aim of the diet is to try and burn unwanted fat by forcing the body to rely on fat for energy, rather than carbohydrates. Ketosis is also commonly observed in patients with diabetes, as the process can occur if the body does not have enough insulin or is not using insulin correctly. Problems associated with extreme levels of ketosis are more likely to develop in patients with type 1 diabetes compared with type 2 diabetes patients. Ketosis occurs when the body does not have sufficient access to its primary fuel source, glucose. Ketosis describes a condition where fat stores are broken down to produce energy, which also produces ketones, a type of acid. As ketone levels rise, the acidity of the blood also increases, leading to ketoacidosis, a serious condition that can prove fatal. People with type 1 diabetes are more likely to develop ketoacidosis, for which emergency medical treatment is required to avoid or treat diabetic coma. Some people follow a ketogenic (low-carb) diet to try to lose weight by forcing the body to burn fat stores. What is ketosis? In normal circumstances, the body's cells use glucose as their primary form of energy. Glucose is typically derived from dietary carbohydrates, including: sugar - such as fruits and milk or yogurt starchy foods - such as bread and pasta The body breaks these down into simple sugars. Glucose can either be used to fuel the body or be stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen. If there is not enough glucose available to meet energy demands, th Continue reading >>

Yes, You Can Get Into Ketosis Even If You're Vegan. Here's How

Yes, You Can Get Into Ketosis Even If You're Vegan. Here's How

One of the most interesting panels at this year's revitalize, mbg's exclusive event in the Arizona desert (think TED but with a lot more yoga and probiotics), was a discussion on intermittent fasting and ketosis, two buzzwords just beginning to become familiar in the health world. Mention a ketogenic diet, and those who are familiar typically picture something similar to a high-fat paleo diet, heavy in animal protein and plant and animal fat. Because of this, panelist Carrie Diulus, M.D., made waves when she detailed using intermittent fasting and ketosis to maintain an almost 100-pound weight loss and manage her type 1 diabetes. Oh—and she does it all while being plant-based. Fascinated (and filled with questions!), we caught up with her after the panel to learn more. CD: I stopped eating meat because I thought it was healthier when I was 12, and I was vegan/vegetarian for about two decades. During my 20s, this resulted in me eating mostly processed junk, which resulted in me weighing 100 pounds more than I do now. I started medical school and lost the weight eating a calorie-restricted, low-fat, mostly vegan diet. During my orthopedic residency, I started eating meat again. I gained 60 pounds with each of my pregnancies and lost the weight (again!) eating low-fat vegan and exercising. My diet at the time wasn't healthy for me; it was super carb heavy even though I wasn't eating many processed foods. My health declined and I was gaining substantial weight. Eventually, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and started eating a low-carb diet with meat to keep my insulin steady and blood sugar balanced. This worked nominally well for a while, but I never felt really, really great. Finally, I went back to being vegan but stayed keto. I've never felt better in my life, and Continue reading >>

There’s A Mental Health Reason To Avoid Added Sugar

There’s A Mental Health Reason To Avoid Added Sugar

Image Source When we think about the link between food and feelings, it usually goes something like this: We feel sad, and then we eat something — usually a comforting gut bomb of sugar, salt and fat — to feel better. But what if this relationship were actually reversed? What if the things we ate were actually causing us to become more depressed over time, creating a destructive loop of sadness, bingeing, and sadness again? That’s the premise of a recent study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, that suggests sugary and starchy foods could contributing to depression. Previous long-term studies have shown that people who eat pastries, sugary drinks and other refined carbohydrates have a higher risk of depression, but didn’t determine what is it, exactly, about those foods that ties them to depression risk. The Setup Columbia University psychiatry professor James Gangwisch wanted to find out, and to parse out the different effects that varying amounts of carbohydrates and added sugar have on mood. To do so, he looked back at data from nearly 70,000 postmenopausal women who participated in a research project in 1994 and then again in 1998. Gangswisch and his team looked at both the quality and quantity of the carbs in the women’s diets, applying glycemic index scores — a scale from zero to 100 that measures how a food raises a person’s blood sugar level — to what each woman was eating. (A food like steel-cut oatmeal, with a GI score of 55 or less, raises blood sugar levels less than instant oatmeal, which has a GI score of 70 or more.) They also calculated each woman’s glycemic load, or the amount of carbs she was eating, to understand whether or not that had any link to her level of depression. The Findings Gangwisch found that wome Continue reading >>

Can What You Eat Affect Your Mental Health? New Research Links Diet And The Mind.

Can What You Eat Affect Your Mental Health? New Research Links Diet And The Mind.

Jodi Corbitt had been battling depression for decades and by 2010 had resigned herself to taking antidepressant medication for the rest of her life. Then she decided to start a dietary experiment. To lose weight, the 47-year-old Catonsville, Md., mother stopped eating gluten, a protein found in wheat and related grains. Within a month she had shed several pounds — and her lifelong depression. “It was like a veil lifted and I could see life more clearly,” she recalled. “It changed everything.” Corbitt had stumbled into an area that scientists have recently begun to investigate: whether food can have as powerful an impact on the mind as it does on the body. Research exploring the link between diet and mental health “is a very new field; the first papers only came out a few years ago,” said Michael Berk, a professor of psychiatry at the Deakin University School of Medicine in Australia. “But the results are unusually consistent, and they show a link between diet quality and mental health.” “Diet quality” refers to the kinds of foods that people eat, how often they eat them and how much of them they eat. In several studies, including a 2011 analysis of more than 5,000 Norwegians, Berk and his collaborators have found lower rates of depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder among those who consumed a traditional diet of meat and vegetables than among people who followed a modern Western diet heavy with processed and fast foods or even a health-food diet of tofu and salads. “Traditional diets — the kinds of foods your grandmother would have recognized — have been associated with a lower risk of mental health issues,” Berk said. Interestingly, that traditional diet may vary widely across cultures, including wheat for some people but not for others; Continue reading >>

Low-carb State Of Mind

Low-carb State Of Mind

Do the chips that don't pass the lips of low-carb dieters weigh heavily on their shoulders instead? People who avoid certain foods or are reducing their food intake are famous for irritability, but many who are testing low-carbohydrate approaches like Atkins and the South Beach Diet are reporting unusually high feelings of anger, tension and depression. "It's called the 'Atkins attitude,' " says Judith Wurtman, director of the Women's Health Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Adara Weight Loss Center, both in Boston. "It's very well-documented." Wurtman, who advocates a diet high in complex carbohydrates for weight loss and stress relief, says her studies on rats have shown a connection between a diet low in carbohydrates and low levels of serotonin—a neurotransmitter that promotes feelings of happiness and satisfaction. In her research, rats placed on a ketotic, or low-carbohydrate, diet for three weeks were found to have lower levels of serotonin in their brains. The same rats binged once starch was reintroduced into their diets. Wurtman believes that same effect occurs in humans on low-carb diets and leads to pronounced feelings of depression and sadness, even rage. "People feel very angry, and their antidepressants don't work well, either," she says. Granted, dieting isn't easy no matter how one does it, but many think low-carbohydrate approaches are particularly hard on your happiness. Wurtman goes so far as to call them dangerous for those who already struggle with depression or bipolar disorder. Other researchers disagree. In fact, Wurtman's assertions are in direct contrast to what advocates of low-carbohydrate diets promise—an end to mood swings and fatigue. Indeed, many who have success on these diets say their moods have never be 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 >>

A Ketogenic Diet, The Short Version

A Ketogenic Diet, The Short Version

A ketogenic diet (link is external) is one that encourages your body to rely less on sugar-based fuels and rather to turn to fat and ketones (produced in the liver by metabolizing fat) for fuel. The benefits of a consistently ketogenic diet are primarily recognized in the sphere of neurological problems, where there has been evidence of benefit in treating obesity, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease A ketogenic diet is one that encourages your body to rely less on sugar-based fuels and rather to turn to fat and ketones (produced in the liver by metabolizing fat) for fuel. Some folks notice improved mood, sleep, mental focus, blood sugar regulation and reduction of general inflammation. Once you are adapted to a ketogenic diet, going in and out of ketosis intermittently is thought to yield some of the longevity, anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting benefits previously attributed to calorie restricted diets. Staying in ketosis makes it easier for many people to maintain weight loss. For a good discussion of that process, as well as the research behind that observation, you can read this blog post from the "low carb dietitian" here (link is external). A ketogenic diet is one that encourages the body to burn fat for fuel and in that process fat burned in the liver produces ketones and a state of ketosis. We naturally burned fat and produced ketones for fuel when we were breast-feeding infants, if we were so lucky to have wise mothers! Since then, most bodies have lost the knack for burning ketones, which is too bad because our sugar-craving brains would be content with a lot less sugar if our bodies remembered how to supply our brains with ketones. (Ketosis is not to be confused with diabetic keto-acidosis which is life-thr Continue reading >>

5 Keto Supplements That Make Ketosis Easier

5 Keto Supplements That Make Ketosis Easier

Scientists agree the Ketogenic diet is an excellent way to lower blood sugar levels, control insulin resistance, and even manage cholesterol levels; yet, as the saying goes, nothing easy is worth having. The Keto diet can pose some resistance, especially if you’re new to the lifestyle, and staying in Ketosis is not always an easy thing to do. Thankfully, supplements are the natural and easy way to improve your experience. Keto supplements are like any other supplements and seek to meet the demands of your body. As you’ll be eating low carb and running on fat, starting with a good supply of quality fats is the best place to start – and while diet plays a central role, it can be necessary to add Keto supplements to your toolkit to give your body the correct ratio of nutrients and fats. Keep reading to learn the 5 Keto supplements you can use to improve your mood, energy levels, fat loss goals and live a more healthy, productive life. Keto Supplement 1: Fish Oil Did you know fish oils can optimize triglyceride levels when paired with the Keto diet? This is one Keto hack you don’t want to miss. Researchers discovered test subjects who took three fish-oil supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids per day for two weeks recorded a much greater decrease in triglycerides than in test subjects who only followed the Keto diet. People who consume omega-3 fatty acids on a regular basis are known to have a lower BMI, and lower body fat percentile when compared to individuals who do not supplement with fatty acids. The trick is to get your fish oils from a reputable and tested brand. Many fish oils on the market don’t contain the daily recommendation of 500 mg of omega-3 fatty acids. Keto Supplement 2: Sodium & Potassium Supplements Sodium and Potassium play a significant r Continue reading >>

"keto-flu" And Sufficient Intake Of Electrolytes

People often ask me about potassium deficiency (or any other mineral deficiency) on a low-carb, ketogenic diet. I decided to summarise which minerals you should be aware of and what the adequate intake is... To pin or bookmark an easy to follow guide to keto-flu remedies, have a look at this post! What is "Keto-Flu"? Electrolytes (sodium, magnesium and potassium) are often underestimated on low-carb diets. As low-carb expert and scientific researcher Dr. Volek suggests, mineral and electrolyte management is the key to avoiding side effects typically associated with low carb dieting. When entering the induction phase of a Ketogenic Diet (50 grams or less of total carbs - about 20-30 grams of net carbs), most people experience "keto-flu”. This often scares them off and they start to think that low-carb is not right for their body. The "flu" is nothing else than a result of starving your body of carbohydrates. Stay strong! You can easily counteract these effects by replenishing electrolytes. Make sure you include foods rich in electrolytes in your everyday diet and take food supplements (if needed). Firstly, I would like to share my own experience with electrolyte deficiency. I have been really tired recently. It was actually so bad that I couldn't open my eyes and could barely get up even after 7-9 hours of sleep. Also, my energy levels at gym were very low. I woke up in the middle of the night and experienced heart palpitations (weird feeling that could be described as "heart beating too fast"). I knew what was going on: I was magnesium / potassium deficient. I have been on a low-carb diet for more than a year and always made sure I include food rich in these minerals in my diet. The truth is, I have been so busy recently that I didn't pay enough attention to my diet. Continue reading >>

6 Things That Happen To Your Body When You Go On A Ketogenic Diet

6 Things That Happen To Your Body When You Go On A Ketogenic Diet

By now, you've probably heard of the ketogenic diet, or a low-carb, high-fat diet. It’s a popular diet trend among athletes and average folk alike. (Who doesn't love the idea of eating more steak and bacon?) But what actually happens to your body when you go on the ketogenic diet? To understand how the ketogenic diet works, you have to understand ketosis, the process by which your body is starved of glucose for fuel and must look to fat sources instead. Typically, you fuel your body by giving it glucose in the form of carbs, which can be found in flour, grains, vegetables, legumes, dairy products, and fruits. We usually introduce a steady stream of this type of fuel into our bodies with each meal or snack, explains Pamela Nisevich Bede MS, RD, CSSD, LD. These carbohydrates are usually the body’s first choice when looking for an instant fix. “When a carb is available, the body will naturally turn to this to make energy instead of dietary fat or stored body fat. However, when we remove carbohydrates from our diet, our bodies begin to break down fat and turn to a fuel source in the form of ketones, which is more efficient but generally underutilized,” explains Bede. Rob Gronkowski's Diet: This is a modal window. Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window. End of dialog window. Ketones are a substance produced by the liver when the body breaks down fat for energy, which are then released into the blood. Your body's cells use ketones to power everyday activities. When there’s a buildup of ketones in the blood and you’re switching gears into an ketogenic state, your body changes in some incredible ways. 1) Your insulin levels drop. On a normal diet, after eating glucose-containing foods, your insulin levels will be higher. But when you’r 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 >>

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