Dear Mark: Coffee And Insulin, Fat And Post-workout Meals
159 Comments In today’s edition of Dear Mark, I cover two topics near and dear to many of your hearts. First, I discuss the interaction between coffee intake and insulin. Does coffee stimulate its secretion? Does it impair insulin’s function, or our body’s reaction to it? Find out how you should approach coffee on a Primal Blueprint eating plan. Then, I explore the suitability of dietary fat in the post-workout meal. Does it belong? Should you be stocking skim milk, de-fatted chicken breast, non-fat yogurt, and cartons of egg whites for your post-workout meals? If you’ve just lifted something heavy, should you therefore shun the yolks and fear the fat for the rest of the day? Find out below. Let’s go. Does coffee raise insulin levels? A lot of contradictory stuff out there. Hoping you could get to the bottom of it. Also, how does it affect GABA? Thanks Odin What makes coffee research so confusing is that a lot of it is actually caffeine research. You see, researchers love isolating whole food constituents to avoid confounding variables. It’s easier to get a definitive result about caffeine than it is to get one about coffee, because coffee contains huge and diverse levels of antioxidant compounds. If you don’t, and coffee has a health effect, how do you know if it’s the caffeine or something else in coffee causing the effect? That’s helpful, but most of us are drinking coffee – not popping caffeine pills. So, while caffeine is definitely one of the main active compounds in coffee, it’s not the only one. Adjust your interpretation of “coffee” research accordingly. That said, both caffeine and coffee have been shown to exert negative effects on insulin sensitivity. Not on insulin itself, though. As standalone substances (without a meal to accompa Continue reading >>
22 Revitalizing Ketogenic Coffee And Tea Recipes
Having a routine can be very satisfying and one of my favorite routines is having a cup of coffee or tea in the mornings (after my Ketogenic green smoothie). But it can get boring just drinking black coffee or black tea all the time, so if you miss your lattes and cappuccinos, then this list of Ketogenic coffee and tea recipes is for you! I would give these drinks a try even if you’re not on a Ketogenic diet. These coffee and tea recipes are very low in sugar or carbohydrates (and they’re Paleo) and can be a great way to energize yourself in the morning without the mid-morning sugar crash! And if you’re not a coffee fan, don’t worry because we have a ton of refreshing tea recipes – some are made from black tea, some are herbal, and some are fruity. For something different, why not try the Vanilla Maca Latte or the Homemade Vanilla Chocolate Rooibos Tea recipe. You can use the table of contents to jump to the section you want, or click the green button below to download this entire list of Ketogenic coffee and tea recipes. Table Of Contents For Ketogenic Coffee and Tea Recipes Cold Brew and Iced Coffee Recipes – The Coconut Mama Ingredients: coffee, water. Photo Credit: Tiffany from The Coconut Mama Here is a basic recipe for cold brew coffee that can be altered to suit your own taste. It is simple to make and can be stored in the fridge. Many of us love our daily hit of coffee, but because this is cold brew, it is ideal for warmer days. If you are using a mason jar to make this, just remember to strain the grounds through a cheesecloth or sieve first! – My Heart Beets Ingredients: ground coffee, ground cacao nibs, water, nutmeg, cinnamon Photo Credit: Ashley from My Heart Beets Adding the cacao nibs to this cold brew gives a subtle chocolate note to Continue reading >>
Keto And Caffeine, Impact On Ketosis?
Many questions that I get from friends and family are related to keto and caffeine. Since I am a frequent coffee drinker and usually have 5 to 6 cups of black coffee every day I decided to check it out a little to see if there is any research or indications that caffeine will impact on ketosis. So far in my researching in this topic I have not found any real proof that shows that it has any impact. There is some indication of people who claim they have a slower keto progress when drinking coffee or tea compared to when not. But there is not a big enough sample to draw any real conclusion on this. It might be that caffeine could interrupt the glucose metabolism, which in turn could affect ketosis but there is no real evidence to support this. Then when considering the insulin resistance there is another thing to consider. Ketosis decreases the insulin resistance by improving the insulin sensitivity, which means the ability for the cells to absorb glucose. There is some indications that caffeine might increase the insulin resistance but this has also not been proven in any studies. There was a study made at Duke University Medical Center in August 2004 that looked at the effects of caffeine on the blood glucose levels and insulin resistance. The study result showed that 250mg of caffeine did not change the glucose levels. The interesting part of this study however was that there was actually an increase in the glucose levels if you had 75g of carbohydrates together with the caffeine. As the result from the study shows the glucose levels might increase if having caffeine together with a meal with a high amount of carbohydrates but there is no indication what the impact is for people who eat according to a low carb diet. This has also been mentioned by Lyle McDonald who is Continue reading >>
Low Carb Diet And Caffeine, Does It Impact Ketosis?
Low carb diet and caffeine, is there any danger to kick you out of ketosis? This is a question that many people have been asking lately so I decided to look into this subject a little deeper to find out if there is any relation between a low carb diet and caffeine. To start it off some background for me and how much caffeine I consume on a daily basis. I have been a coffee drinker for many years and drink 5-6 cups of coffee every day. This is a quite high amount of coffee if comparing with most people and I have also been consuming the same amount of coffee during my 5 months of being on a low carb diet. Personally I have not seen any negative effects of a low carb diet and caffeine consumption but in order to be more sure if there is a relationship between the two I have also looked into research done in this area. If we start out with what people on the Internet are saying there is both people who claim they are seeing negative effects of drinking coffee or tea while on a low carb diet but there is also people who claim they do not see any impact at all. It is hard to track how many on each side but it seems most people do not see any impact. There seems to be some people who suggest that caffeine could impact or even interrupt the glucose metabolism, which in turn could possibly affect ketosis. However even in this case it is hard to find any true evidence. Another point that is being made is that when in ketosis you decrease the insulin resistance by improving the insulin sensitivity. This means the ability for cells to absorb glucose. Since there is some indications that caffeine might increase the insulin resistance this could have any impact but I have not found any proof of this in research. There however was one study at Duke University Medical Center that look Continue reading >>
Does Caffeine Impact Ketosis On A Low-carb Diet?
In an ideal world, there would be clear-cut criteria laid out in black and white about how to do a low-carb diet. While there are certain basics that apply to virtually every low-carb plan, there are also what I would describe as “gray areas” where it will really depend on the individual to figure out for themselves. One such issue is caffeine. If you have read Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution, then you know the late great Dr. Robert C. Atkins addresses this subject a couple of times–but only in passing. Here are the two brief references I found in my mass paperback version of the book: Page 189–“Excessive caffeine has been shown to cause a hypoglycemic reaction, which will provoke cravings and cause you to overeat. Omitting caffeine may be a big sacrifice for you, but, in my experience, weight loss often starts up again as soon as people remove caffeine from their regimen.” Page 222–“Consume caffeine only in moderation.” Other than those two points, Dr. Atkins didn’t say much else about caffeine consumption. Obviously he felt there was enough of a negative metabolic response to caffeine intake for him to dissuade Atkins dieters to try to steer clear of it as much as possible. But what about the impact of caffeine on ketosis? Is there any and what guidelines can people following a low-carb diet use to gauge what amount of caffeine intake they can tolerate while still losing weight? These are some of the questions that were explored by one of my intelligent readers in the following e-mail: Hi Jimmy, I would like to clear something up with your help. I feel there needs to be a summary, possibly a FAQ, on caffeine. Here’s my question: What are the effects of caffeine, ESPECIALLY when one is in ketosis? When talking about caffeine, there are several h Continue reading >>
Does Green Coffee Bean Extract Help You Lose Weight?
Green coffee bean extract has been marketed and has become one of the top selling weight loss products in recent years and with good reason. The health benefits of green coffee bean extract are real and can improve both mental and physical performance. The question is, does green coffee bean extract help you lose weight? Coffee is a major commodity enjoyed worldwide and one of the greatest sources of antioxidants found in people’s diets today. This caffeinated beverage has unfortunately been labeled harmful food due to the negative health associations with caffeine. The impact of caffeine on every person is different and can pose a serious health hazard to some while others tolerate caffeine well. Not as unhealthy as once though, polyphenols are a class of antioxidants contained in coffee and coffee can be seen as a very healthy beverage when regularly consumed. Two Major Classifications of Coffee The two major categories of coffee plants are Robusta and Arabica. The Arabica coffee plant is highest in the polyphenols chlorogenic and caffeic acid. These antioxidant properties makes Arabica coffee one of the best coffee types. Unfortunately, the process of roasting coffee reduces the antioxidant content of the finished coffee product and most coffee drinkers are not receiving these health benefits (3). Green coffee beans however are coffee beans that have not been roasted and are packed with antioxidants. (1, 5) In fact, green coffee bean extract is highly bioavailable in humans. Clinical studies have shown that antioxidants with impressive anti-inflammatory effects on the body are present in green coffee extract and readily absorbed. The two major types of chlorgenic acids found in nature, caffeoylquinic acids (CQA) and dicaffeoylquinic acids (diCQA), are primarily res Continue reading >>
Does Cheese, Nuts Or Coffee Impact A Ketogenic Diet?
There is a lot of conflicting data on whether cheese, nuts or coffee are ideal or acceptable for a ketogenic diet. So let me clear the air a little with some of my experiences and bring in a pinch of clarity and sanity to the issue. SO are cheese, nuts and/or coffee harmful when taken while on keto? What are the impacts? Are there any specifications as to the quantities, if it ideal to take them? Are they diet friendly? Let’s review. Cheese A lot of people will argue that eating cheese on a ketogenic diet is harmful. The assumption that by eating cheese you are prone to taking in additional carbs, which is not 100% true. Yes, cheese does contains carbs so as long as you don’t go over the carb limit, you’ll be good. The thing to be concerned about is most individuals have a sensitivity to dairy products (and don’t know it), due to the casein in them. So if you have dietary sensitivity to it, avoid it (many people who suffer from a keto diet stall should cut out cheese). Cheese can be a great source of fat soluble vitamins. Eaten in moderation therefore, cheese is ok. Nuts Nuts should not be one of your major sources of fat in the diet. This is because they contain carbohydrates as well as phytic acid (are a pretty high in calories). Phytic acid absorbs essential dietary minerals such as magnesium which is essential for the utilization of vitamin D among many others. In moderation however, similar to cheese nuts are acceptable as part of your keto diet plan, taken as a snack, for instance. To avoid the phytic acid, you could soak or sprout your nuts but for most people on a ketogenic diet it’s not worth the effort due to the fact it a very small part of their daily intake. Coffee & Caffeine Biggest grey area in the world of keto. Coffee is engraved in our cultur Continue reading >>
The Basic Ketogenic Diet
Note: Please note that if you are interested in a Ketogenic Diet used to treat Epilepsy or Pediatric Epilepsy, please start at Johns Hopkins who are the pioneers in this field. The wikipedia page for the Ketogenic Diet diet also has information on the diet as it relates to treating epilepsy. The diet below is simply for rapid and effective weight loss and uses a 1 to 1 fat to protein ratio rather than the 4 to 1 fat to combined protein and carbs ratio of the Ketogenic Diet pioneered by Johns Hopkins used to treat epilepsy. [wp_ad_camp_3] Disclaimer: I am neither a doctor nor self proclaimed nutrition expert so please consult your doctor before starting any diet or taking any action that affects your health and wellbeing. After finishing Gary Taubes latest book, which seems to have rapidly become the cornerstone of a new approach to nutrition, I’ve become very interested in the Ketogenic diet. The speed of weight loss I’ve seen is incredible and my energy level has remained high. The science behind a ketogenic diet is solidly backed up by Taubes research published in “Good Calories, Bad Calories” and “Why we get fat“. According to Taubes’ research, it may also be the only way for people who have become severely insulin resistant, to effectively lose weight. The Ketogenic diet has always lived on the fringes of diet lore and has been seen as extreme. But the reality is that the low glycemic index diet (Low GI Diet) is effective because it is close to, but not quite, a ketogenic diet. Other diets like the South Beach Diet are also only effective because of the reduction in carbs and consequently insulin levels. The science behind this diet looks solid and it is part of the massive shift in nutrition research we’ve seen in the last few years. Prominent sport Continue reading >>
Caffeine & Ketosis: Friend Or Foe?
I have known Dr. David Perlmutter for many years. He has helped treat my wife, who has MS, and has been a resource for me as I refer many patients with neurological problems to him. His holistic and integrative approach is what I appreciate most. He understands the patient’s potential and helps them to achieve it rather than be limited by beliefs and statistics. Continue reading >>
How Ketosis Helps You Lose Weight Through Suppressed Appetite
One of the reasons The Bulletproof Diet with Bulletproof Coffee works so well for people looking to lose weight is that Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting helps your body to more easily enter a state called cyclical ketosis, which is great for a whole bunch of reasons. Ketosis is a cornerstone of becoming Bulletproof; listen to these recent Bulletproof Radio episodes with ketosis experts Jimmy Moore and Dominic D’Agostino to get the scoop on how and why it works. It’s what happens when your body switches to burning fat instead of sugar for energy, and it only happens when you eat almost no carbohydrates, or when you hack it using certain kinds of oils. Many people first stumble upon the idea of ketosis while looking for a weight loss strategy. That can be a major part of it for so many people out there who have tried just about every other diet out there but haven’t seen the results they’d hoped for. But when people experience the mental clarity and focus that ketosis brings, the game changes! This post walks you through one of the most important yet underrated mechanisms that makes ketosis so effective for people who have tried everything else to lose weight and failed to keep it off: appetite suppression. Ketosis works for weight loss in the short term, but that’s not why it’s so amazing. Short term weight loss is easy (I’ve lost at least 200 pounds of short term weight…because it always roared back on with a vengeance so I could lose it again!) When you look at keeping your weight off forever, ketosis provides a level of appetite suppression that is actually liberating. Ketosis helps you literally stop thinking about food all the time. Why Calorie Counting Is So Ineffective One of the reasons old-fashioned, calorie-restricted diets tend to fail is becau Continue reading >>
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Will This Kick Me Out Of Ketosis?
A common question people have when starting keto is “will this kick me out of ketosis?” I’m going to address as many items as I can think of and explain why it will or will not kick you out of keto. This is going to be as comprehensive as possible so either use ctrl + f to find what you’re looking for or buckle up and read on. How do humans enter ketosis in the first place? Things will become much more clear if we explain how humans enter ketosis. Mainly, liver glycogen is what determines if ketones will be produced. Specifically, glycogen in the liver signals malonyl-coa to be formed by carboxylating acetyl-coa. Acetyl-coa is used in many processes and it’s the main substrate used to be turned into ketones. The wiki on regulation of ketogenesis which applies to this scenario says “When the body has no free carbohydrates available, fat must be broken down into acetyl-CoA in order to get energy. Acetyl-CoA is not being recycled through the citric acid cycle because the citric acid cycle intermediates (mainly oxaloacetate) have been depleted to feed the gluconeogenesis pathway, and the resulting accumulation of acetyl-CoA activates ketogenesis.” Basically, when there is more acetyl-CoA than oxaloacetate, the acetyl-CoA becomes acetoacetate, a ketone body. In plain English, carbs provide oxaloacetate, so if it doesn’t have carbs, it likely isn’t going to kick you out of ketosis. I’ll state the exceptions later. Why do humans enter ketosis so readily? Humans enter ketosis faster than any animal on the planet. It usually takes 24-36 hours before we enter ketosis.This is because we have huge brains and tiny bodies. Our brains need ~400 calories/day, which for most people that equates to 20% of our total energy demands. To put this in perspective, most anim Continue reading >>
3 Reasons Why Bulletproof Coffee Is A Bad Idea
Coffee is awesome. Butter is awesome. Saturated fat is awesome. There is no doubt about it... they have been unfairly demonized. They've been blamed for health problems that they really didn't have anything to do with. Fortunately, the world is slowly but surely abandoning the old diet myths and embracing these foods once again. However... it's important to keep in mind that everything in nutrition depends on dosage and context. Just because a little bit of something is healthy, it doesn't mean that a whole ton of it is healthier, or even safe. This brings us to the topic at hand... a huge trend called Bulletproof coffee. If you don't know what this is, then it is a recipe for a coffee drink that replaces breakfast: 2 cups of coffee. 2 tablespoons (at least) of grass-fed, unsalted butter. 1-2 tablespoons of MCT oil. All mixed in a blender. This is promoted by Dave Asprey, the man behind the website Bulletproof Executive. Bulletproof coffee has become so popular that people all over the world have either heard about it or tried it. This includes several people I know in real life, people that are not in any way involved in the paleo or low-carb communities. For the record, I'm a big fan of grass-fed butter, saturated fat and coffee... separately... in "normal" amounts. I've written about all of them before and include them in my diet, every day. However... I do not think it is a good idea to consume unnaturally large doses of them. Some is good, even downright healthy, but too much could very well be a problem. Although I'm sure bulletproof coffee is tasty and can boost energy levels (especially for someone on a ketogenic diet), I do think there are some genuine concerns that should be noted. For the sake of clarity, what this article is about is the act of replacing you Continue reading >>
Common Ketosis Killers
“I’ve tried your low-carb diet, Dr. Nally, and it didn’t work.” “Hmm . . . really?” If your mumbling this to yourself, or you’ve said it to me in my office, then lets have a little talk. I’ve heard this statement before. It’s not a new statement, but it’s a statement that tells me we need to address a number of items. If you’ve failed a low carbohydrate diet, I’d suspect you are pretty severely insulin resistant or hyperinsulinemic. You probably never really reached true ketosis. I’d want to have you checked out by your doctor to rule out underlying disease like hypothyroidism, diabetes, other hormone imbalance, etc. Next, switching to a low-carbohydrate lifestyle is literally a “lifestyle change.” It requires that you understand a few basic ketosis principles. And, it takes the average person 3-6 months to really wrap their head around what this lifestyle means . . . and, some people, up to a year before they are really comfortable with how to eat and function in any situation. I assume, if you are reading this article, that you’ve already read about ketosis and understand the science behind it. If not, please start your reading with my article The Principle Based Ketogenic Lifestyle – Part I and Ketogenic Principles – Part II. If this is the case, then please proceed forward, “full steam ahead!” There are usually a few areas that are inadvertently inhibiting your body transformation, so let’s get a little personal. First, this is a low carbohydrate diet. For weight loss, I usually ask people to lower their carbohydrate intake to less than 2o grams per day. How do you do that? (A copy of my diet is accessible through my membership site HERE.) You’ve got to begin by restricting all carbohydrates to less than 20 grams per day. Continue reading >>
Will Decaffeinated Coffee Kick You Out Of Ketosis?
A Keto diet can be complex and confusing for some people. Determining what to eat, when to eat, and the role those foods impact the natural processes inside your body can be overwhelming. However, the benefit of a Ketogenic Diet can be significant healthy weight loss. When we take away foods that provide comfort, we can add a new level of stress. But, what about replacing them with alternatives? Being miserable on a diet just is not going to work long-term. There’s lots of coffee drinkers out there, and we know that caffeinated coffee can kick you out of ketosis. This is because once the caffeine enters your blood stream it can have a short-term effect on your blood sugar and insulin levels. But, what about decaf coffee? Switching to decaf may be a great way to experience the “comfort” of coffee, without all the caffeine that can be detrimental to your Ketogenic Diet. Of course, over the first few days you may feel some slight withdrawal symptoms. That’s just your body adjusting to the caffeine leaving your system. Decaf coffee should not kick you out of ketosis. Of course, this also means not adding sugar to the coffee, and keeping in mind that artificial sweeteners will have various effects on ketosis as well. My research has shown that Stevia is one of the best sweeteners out there for Ketogenic diets. It does not cause blood sugar or insulin levels to spike after consumption. However, it is important to know what you are putting into your body. Not all decaf coffee is created equal. Many decaf coffees actually are not “caffeine free”, as they still contain smaller amounts of caffeine in them. This is where investigation and monitoring are going to play huge roles in maintaining your “keto discipline”. Time of day is certainly going to play a factor a Continue reading >>
Another very common question asked by those new to a Zero Carb diet is: Can I Drink Alcohol on a Zero Carb Diet? There have been many posts about this subject in the Facebook group Zeroing in on Health. I have selected some of the best comments from these discussions and posted them here for easy reference. While occasional or even moderate consumption of dry, non-sweet alcohol might be okay for some people. Those who are new to a Zero Carb diet are strongly encouraged to abstain from it during their initial 30-Day trial. Once you have a clear baseline of how you feel on just meat and water, then you can easily test out other things like dairy or alcohol and get a much better idea of how your body is personally affected by them. … Dr. Paul Mabry: I’m a retired MD with years of low carb ketogenic blogging experience. I’m day 6 on this new and from all my research intuitively beautiful way of eating. There have been some questions about alcohol so I wanted to post this short answer on the basic science of alcohol in layman’s terms which apply equally to low carb and zero carb: Moderate alcohol can be accommodated on the diet. Alcohol is metabolized exclusively in the liver and does not stimulate the release of Insulin which is the big enemy of people like me who suffer from the metabolic syndrome. Things to know if you’re going to drink alcohol is that many forms contain carbs that can torpedo any weight loss. The worst offenders are beers, even lite ones, sweet wines though all wines contain carbs the dry ones contain the least and some drinks like hard cider and lemonade are as bad as drinking Coke. You will have to count carbs if you consume these. Drinks like Rum, Scotch, Whiskey and Vodka have zero carbs if you drink them with water. However, Scotch and Whi Continue reading >>