Is The Ketogenic Diet Safe For Everyone?
Is a ketogenic diet safe for you? Is a ketogenic diet safe? Before you try this at home… First and foremost, if you pick up a copy of Jimmy Moore and Dr. Eric Westman’s excellent new book, Keto Clarity (which I highly recommend–see my review here) and feel (understandably) inspired to immediately embark on a ketogenic diet, I would caution anyone with a serious chronic health problem, especially anyone who is taking prescription medications, not to attempt a ketogenic diet on his/her own without medical supervision. Medications and Early Ketosis Even though I personally believe in the power of ketogenic diets to improve and even reverse many chronic illnesses, from diabetes to chronic fatigue to mood disorders, the diet does this by causing very real shifts in body chemistry that can have a major impact on medication dosages and side effects, especially during the first few weeks. Examples of problematic situations include sudden drops in blood pressure for those on blood pressure medications (such as Lasix, Lisinopril, and Atenolol), and sudden drops in blood sugar for those on diabetes medications (especially insulin). These changes in blood pressure and blood sugar are very positive and healthy, but the presence of medications can artificially intensify these effects and cause extreme and sometimes dangerous reactions unless your dosage is carefully monitored by you and your clinician in the first month or so. Another important example of a medicine that would require careful monitoring is Lithium, an antidepressant and mood stabilizing medicine. The ketogenic diet causes the body to let go of excess water during the first few days, which can cause Lithium to become more concentrated in the blood, potentially rising to uncomfortable or even toxic levels. These Continue reading >>
Low Blood Pressure - Can It Get Too Low Eating Paleo/low Carb?
I'm probably lucky to report that I have naturally low blood pressure (91/63), but the downside is that I get lightheaded nearly every time I stand up and often when doing simple tasks. I have recently begun doing Paleo in earnest and am enjoying all of the foods and the healthier lifestyle that comes from eating so healthily, especially in light of the serious issues I had on SAD. I understand Paleo nutrition lowers blood pressure, and I'm wondering whether I should be concerned about my blood pressure going too low the longer I eat this way. Have any of you lowered your blood pressure too much as a direct result of Paleo nutrition? I would hate to exacerbate my proneness to faintness. It's not fun. Continue reading >>
Common Ketosis Side Effects And Treatments
There are many awesome benefits with come with adopting a low-carb ketogenic diet, such as weight loss, decreased cravings, and even possibly reduce diseases risks. That being said, it’s also good to talk about possible ketosis side effects so you know fully what to expect as you start this new health journey. Not everyone experiences side effects when starting a ketogenic diet, and thankfully, those who do don’t usually experience them for very long. It varies with the individual, but just to make sure all your bases are covered, we’re going to breaking down each possible side effect and go over ways to manage and alleviate them if needed. KETOSIS SIDE EFFECT 1 – Frequent Urination As your body burns through the stored glucose in your liver and muscles within the first day or two of starting a ketogenic diet, you’ll be releasing a lot of water in the process. Plus, your kidneys will start excreting excess sodium as the levels of your circulating insulin drop. Basically, you might notice yourself needing to pee more often throughout the day. But no worries; this side effect of ketosis takes care of itself once your body adjusts and is no longer burning through the extra glycogen. KETOSIS SIDE EFFECT 2 – Dizziness and Drowsiness As the body is getting rid of this excess water, it will also be eliminating minerals like potassium, magnesium, and sodium too. This can make you feel dizzy, lightheaded, and fatigued. Thankfully, this is also very avoidable; all it takes is a little preparation beforehand. Focus on eating foods that are rich in potassium, such as: Leafy greens (aim for at least two cups each day!) Broccoli Dairy Meat, poultry, and fish Avocados Add salt to your foods or use salty broth when cooking too. You can also dissolve about a teaspoon of regu Continue reading >>
How Fat Lowers Your Blood Pressure
Hypertension (elevated blood pressure) is one of the triad symptoms of metabolic syndrome. Most of the hypertension that I see clinically is driven by insulin resistance as the underlying cause. I see this problem in a very large majority of the people in my office and I am seeing people younger and younger show up with continually increasing blood pressure. In medical school, we were taught to treat “borderline” or “slightly elevated blood pressure,” through “lifestyle changes” which was another way of saying exercise, caloric restriction & hold the salt. But most physicians today will tell you that exercise, salt & caloric restriction doesn’t work. When asked why the 34 year old male in my office suddenly has elevated blood pressure, the only explanation we had was it is a “genetic problem,” or “blood pressure naturally goes up as we get older,” or “you’ve been eating too much salt,” and they are started on blood pressure medication and sent on their way. But, as time went on, I found that I had to keep adding more and more blood pressure medication to control the continually rising blood pressure of the patients in my practice. Most of these people will have a progressive elevation in blood pressure over time, and these blood pressure (anti-hypertensive) medications are/were continually raised until the person is on four or five different blood pressure pills at maximal doses. Again, when questioned why, their genetics are blamed and that is the end of it. Or is it?! What shocked me was that when I took patients off of salt & caloric restriction, and placed them on low carbohydrate high fat diets (and yes, I gave them back their salt), their blood pressure normalized. I noticed that as their fasting insulin levels began to fall, their bloo Continue reading >>
Keto Tip: Eat More Salt On A Ketogenic Diet!
I said last week that most issues with the Ketogenic Diet can be fixed by doing one of three things; drink more water, eat more salt, or eat more fat. Last week we talked about water, now let’s talk about salt. Of all the things that were difficult for me to start to do once I started eating on a Ketogenic diet, it was probably upping my salt intake that really messed with me the most. All my life I have had high blood pressure and of course, the first thing the Docs tell you to do is cut your salt intake. You may have heard of the DASH diet that consists primarily of veggies, lean protein, low fat dairy, fruits and whole grains and no added sodium. Well guess what that diet also happens to be low in? That’s right, our old friend sugar. And according to a 2010 University of Louisiana study, reducing your dietary sugar has a much bigger impact on your BP than added salt. Why is that? Here are 3 reasons. Hydrophilic Effects of Sugar One reason is that sugar is hydrophilic, in other words it tends to absorb water. So if you have high levels of blood sugar it will tend to absorb water creating a larger volume of fluid in your veins and arteries. This increased volume raises blood pressure. Insulin Resistance Blocks Magnesium Insulin helps your body store magnesium but if you are insulin resistant (and if you are obese, you are by definition insulin resistant) your cells wont take up the insulin or the magnesium that come along with it. Magnesium stored in cells relaxes your muscles and without it, the blood vessels become more rigid which increases blood pressure. On a personal note, once I started taking these Magnesium supplements I saw a huge drop in my overall BP as well as an easier time sleeping through the night. Fructose Elevates Uric Acid The metabolization of Continue reading >>
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Ask Allison: What Is A Ketogenic Diet?
Q: What is a Ketogenic/Keto diet? A: A ketogenic (keto) diet is a very high fat, low carb, and moderate protein diet. It has many medical benefits for children with epilepsy, and some people follow a keto diet for its potential weight loss benefits. A keto diet results in ketosis—a state in which ketones, formed from fatty acids, are burned as the main energy source by the body and brain rather than glucose (glucose, or blood sugar, is the broken down, usable from of carbohydrates). Q: What is ketosis? A: Ketosis is the result of a ketogenic diet in which the body produces ketones for fuel instead of using glucose. While in ketosis the body switches to fat for almost all energy needs. Q: What are ketones? A: Ketones are an alternative fuel to blood sugar (glucose) for the body. There are three different ketones (or “ketone bodies”) used by the body for fuel (acetone, acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate). Ketones are produced in the liver from fat as a byproduct formed during the conversion of fatty acids to fuel. Q: What do you eat on a ketogenic diet? A: Someone following a ketogenic diet will consume moderate amounts of protein, high amounts of fat, and very low amounts carbohydrates (less than 50g/day); a rough macronutrient ratio would be 15-25% protein, 70%+ fat, and 10% carbs. This usually includes natural fats (butter, olive oil), meat, seafood, eggs, cheese, and primarily green vegetables. People on a keto diet will avoid sweet, sugary, and starchy foods such as potatoes, pasta, rice, and bread. Q: What’s the difference between keto and low carb? A: They are very similar; in most low carb diets, however protein is not restricted whereas for a keto diet protein is restricted to moderate amounts. Additionally, many low carb diets don’t require the majorit Continue reading >>
Conditions Shown To Benefit From A Ketogenic Diet
Obesity and heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer have something significant in common — they’re all rooted in insulin and leptin resistance By eating a high-quality fat, low-carbohydrate diet, you achieve nutritional ketosis; a metabolic state in which your body burns fat rather than glucose as its primary fuel. Maintaining nutritional ketosis may have health benefits in diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cancer, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS, MS, autism, migraines, traumatic brain injuries, polycystic ovary syndrome and much more By Dr. Mercola Obesity and top killers such as diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer's and cancer have something significant in common — they're all rooted in insulin and leptin resistance. In other words, the underlying problem is metabolic dysfunction that develops as a result of consuming too many net carbohydrates (total carbs minus fiber) and/or protein. Sugars found in processed foods and grains are the primary culprits, and the standard American diet is chockfull of both. Once you develop insulin and leptin resistance, it triggers biochemical cascades that not only make your body hold on to fat, but produce inflammation and cellular damage as well. Hence, whether you're struggling with weight and/or chronic health issues, the treatment protocols are the same. This is good news, as it significantly simplifies your approach to improving your health. You won't need a different set of strategies to address each condition. In short, by optimizing your metabolic and mitochondrial function, you set yourself squarely on the path to better health. So how do you correct these metabolic imbalances? Your diet is key. The timing of your meals can also play an important role. Nutritional Ketosis May Be Key for Optimal Health By e Continue reading >>
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High Blood Pressure & Your Diet
One in four Americans have hypertension, according to the 2012 National Health Interview Survey (Blackwell et al., 2014). Hypertension is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease. It can be modified by the foods you eat, making it important for those with the condition to follow a high blood pressure diet. How Blood Pressure Is Measured A blood pressure measurement is just what it sounds like: it is the amount of physical force the blood exerts upon vessel walls. The circulatory system is responsible for ensuring that blood travels down to the tips of the toes and still has enough force to return to the heart. Thus, the heart must be able to exert enough pressure to keep blood flowing the correct direction. A blood pressure measurement consists of two parts: systolic and diastolic pressure (American Heart Association 2015). Systolic blood pressure, the upper number in your blood pressure reading, is the amount of force your heart exerts when it beats. Diastolic blood pressure, the bottom number, is the pressure in the arteries as the heart refills with blood as it prepares to beat again. Systolic pressure is always higher than diastolic pressure. What Is High Blood Pressure? It is healthiest to keep blood pressure below 120/80 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury, the unit of measurement for blood pressure). People with systolic pressure between 120-139 or diastolic pressure between 80-89 are considered to be in the “prehypertension” range. Stage 1 hypertension, the lowest level of high blood pressure, is a systolic pressure of 140-159 or a diastolic pressure of 90-99. People with Stage 2 hypertension have a systolic pressure higher than 160 and a diastolic measurement higher than 100. When the blood pressure tops 180/110, a person is considered to be in hypert Continue reading >>
Does Keto//os Effect Blood Pressure, Heart Rate Or Tachycardia?
Supplementing with KETO//OS or following a ketogenic diet can cause a slightly diuretic effect, and can deplete magnesium, potassium and sodium stores. This can be rectified by supplementing with a good electrolyte or increasing the sodium in your diet. However KETO//OS adds additional sodium to the formulation to counter-act this sodium depletion. The first signs of dehydration or too much caffeine are fatigue, headache, dizziness, dry mouth, swollen tongue, possible elevation of blood pressure, palpitations or muscle cramping. If this occurs, decrease your serving size of uncharged Keto//OS/Max, drink plenty of water throughout the day. If you experience any of these symptoms of dehydration, please discontinue the use of Keto//OS for 24-28hours and hydrate. Then, it is recommended that you use the uncharged version of Keto//OS 3.0/Max, start with a reduced servings the first few day, stay well hydrated and continue to monitor your blood pressure daily or as recommended by your health care physician. In addition, continue to monitor your potassium, magnesium, calcium and sodium level at your routine check ups with your physician. Continue reading >>
Why The Ketogenic Diet May Help Fight Diabetes, Cancer
A diet extremely high in fat may not seem like the best way to lose fat. But there’s a growing body of research showing that the high-fat, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet is not only good for weight loss, but also may help in preventing disease. The ketogenic diet, or keto, relies on using your fat as fuel, instead of glucose from carbohydrates or protein. Simply put, the daily ketogenic diet consists of 75 percent fat, 20 percent of protein, and a teeny allotment of carbohydrates, about 5 percent. This balance of macronutrients is intended to put your body in a state of ketosis, which suppresses the release of insulin and blood glucose levels. The benefits of ketosis to your health are improvements in biomarkers like blood glucose, reduction of blood pressure and decreased appetite due to fullness linked to consumption of fats. You might think this sounds a lot like the Atkins diet — it’s not. The main difference lies in the protein content of the diet. Atkins tends to be very high in protein, while ketogenic is moderate. Getty Images stock It's not the easiest plan to follow, but the theory of ketosis as a possible prevention against disease is gaining attention from cancer specialists. Tumor immunologist Dr. Patrick Hwu, one of the leading cancer specialists in the U.S., has followed the keto diet for four years, although he prefers to call it the fat-burning metabolism diet, or fat-burning diet. More research is needed to prove its benefits, but Hwu, the head of cancer medicine at MD Anderson in Houston, believes in it after seeing improvements in his own health. Why keto works The body’s first and preferred fuel of choice is glucose — stored as glycogen. Anytime you eat a carbohydrate, be it lentils or licorice, the body turns it into glucose, or sugar. B Continue reading >>
What To Do If A Low-carb Diet Raises Your Cholesterol
Low-carb and ketogenic diets are incredibly healthy. They have clear, potentially life-saving benefits for some of the world's most serious diseases. This includes obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, epilepsy and numerous others. The most common heart disease risk factors tend to improve greatly, for most people (1, 2, 3). According to these improvements, low-carb diets should reduce the risk of heart disease. But even if these risk factors improve on average, there can be individuals within those averages that experience improvements, and others who see negative effects. There appears to be a small subset of people who experience increased cholesterol levels on a low-carb diet, especially a ketogenic diet or a very high fat version of paleo. This includes increases in Total and LDL cholesterol... as well as increases in advanced (and much more important) markers like LDL particle number. Of course, most of these "risk factors" were established in the context of a high-carb, high-calorie Western diet and we don't know if they have the same effects on a healthy low-carb diet that reduces inflammation and oxidative stress. However... it is better to be safe than sorry and I think that these individuals should take some measures to get their levels down, especially those who have a family history of heart disease. Fortunately, you don't need to go on a low-fat diet, eat veggie oils or take statins to get your levels down. Some simple adjustments will do just fine and you will still be able to reap all the metabolic benefits of eating low-carb. Interpreting cholesterol numbers can be fairly complicated. Most people are familiar with Total, HDL and LDL cholesterol. People with high HDL (the "good") have a low risk of heart disease, while people with high LDL (the " Continue reading >>
Low-carb Diet Lowers Blood Pressure
Jan. 25, 2010 -- A low-carbohydrate diet may have health benefits that go beyond weight loss. A new study shows that a low-carbohydrate diet was equally good as the weight loss drug orlistat (the active ingredient in Alli and Xenical) at helping overweight and obese people lose weight, but people who followed the low-carb diet also experienced a healthy drop in their blood pressure levels. "I expected the weight loss to be considerable with both therapies but we were surprised to see blood pressure improve so much more with the low-carbohydrate diet than with orlistat," researcher William S. Yancy, Jr., MD, an associate professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Center, says in a news release. "If people have high blood pressure and a weight problem, a low-carbohydrate diet might be a better option than a weight loss medication." Researchers say studies have already shown that the two weight loss methods are effective at promoting weight loss, but it's the first time the health effects of each have been compared head to head. "It's important to know you can try a diet instead of medication and get the same weight loss results with fewer costs and potentially fewer side effects," Yancy says. In the study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, 146 obese or overweight adults were randomly divided into two groups. Many of the participants also had chronic health problems, such as high blood pressure or diabetes. The first group was advised to follow a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet consisting of less than 20 grams of carbohydrates per day, and the second group received the weight loss drug orlistat three times a day, plus counseling in following a low-fat diet (less than 30% of daily calories from fat) at group meetings over 48 weeks. The results showed we Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet Lowers Blood Pressure: Fat For Fuel!!
Low Carb – High Fat Diets It wasn’t that long ago that low-carb diets were being targeted by medical professionals as unhealthy and detrimental to people’s health. The high fat intake in these diets was thought to be at the root of increased cholesterol and subsequent heart disease. However, in the last 15 years or so, due to a significant number of studies, the medical field has started to change its tune. Now it seems that low carb diets are seen to be amongst the most effective in dealing with a number of health conditions, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, weight loss and circulatory and other metabolic diseases. The Ketogenic Diet – what exactly is it? According to Dr Joseph Mercola, a highly respected Osteo-pathic physician and Alternative Health Advocate, the Ketogenic Diet is “An eating plan that’s low in sugar and net carbs (carbs without fiber), moderate in protein and high in healthy fats. A ketogenic diet helps you reach nutritional ketosis where your body burns fat for its primary fuel instead of cell-damaging carbs.” The body is designed to use fats more efficiently than carbohydrates with the result that by eating more healthy fats, less protein and carbs you will kick start the body’s metabolism to burn more fat and ketones. Ketones are substances which naturally occur in the body and are created in the liver. These are then the substances which are purposed to be turned into and used as energy. Additionally, this ketogenic process will also stimulate the mitochondria (the fuel producing elements of each cell) to produce optimal amounts of energy. This is certainly very beneficial to the body as a whole, and especially to the high energy-driven organs like the brain, heart and muscles. for more info click here How does this Continue reading >>
6 Ways To Lower Blood Pressure By Changing Your Diet
This is a guest post by Laura Schoenfeld, a Registered Dietitian with a Master’s degree in Public Health, and staff nutritionist and content manager for ChrisKresser.com. You can learn more about Laura by checking out her blog or visiting her on Facebook. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a serious and common condition that can lead to life-threatening diseases such as heart attack, stroke, heart or kidney failure, and more. While 1 in 3 American adults have high blood pressure, this condition only affects 3% or less of hunter-gatherer populations that are following a traditional diet and lifestyle. (1, 2) This would suggest that hypertension is a disease of poor lifestyle choices, and one that can be effectively treated using simple diet and behavior changes, as well as strategic use of herbal remedies. Blood pressure is measured by two numbers: the top number is the systolic pressure (when the heart is pumping blood) and the bottom number is the diastolic pressure (when the heart is at rest). A normal blood pressure number is below 120/80, prehypertension is diagnosed between 120/80 – 139/89, Stage 1 hypertension is between 140/90 – 159/99, and Stage 2 hypertension is blood pressure above 160/100. While most doctors prescribe drug treatment when a patient has reached the prehypertension stage, there is no evidence to support pharmaceutical treatment in these patients. (3) But this doesn’t mean hypertension shouldn’t be addressed. Much like high cholesterol, elevated blood pressure (even in the prehypertension stage) is a sure sign of other problems going on in the body. By addressing underlying issues with diet and lifestyle changes, you may be able to reduce your blood pressure without resorting to drug treatment. This article will address Continue reading >>
Can A Low-carb Diet Cause Low Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is the measurement of the force of blood against artery walls when the heart is beating and at rest. The systolic, or top number, measures the pressure during the heartbeat, while the diastolic, or bottom number, measures the pressure when the heart is at rest. High blood pressure affects about 80 million people in the United States, according to the American Heart Association. It doesn't cause any symptoms, but excess pressure against the artery walls causes them to stretch and weaken, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. While there are a number of causes of high blood pressure, including genetics and age, factors such as poor food choices, inactivity and carrying excess weight may also increase your risk. Losing weight and making healthier food choices are part of the treatment plan for high blood pressure. Although the typical diet to manage blood pressure is high in fruits, veggies, whole grains and dairy foods, a low-carb diet might work to improve your numbers, too. Low-Carb Diet Basics The premise behind a low-carb diet is that it helps your body burn fat instead of storing it. While there are no set rules, many low-carb diets kick-start your weight loss by severely restricting your intake of carbs -- 20 to 50 grams a day -- during the early stages. This causes your body to go into a state of ketosis, burning fat instead of glucose to fuel your brain. Then, carbs are slowly added back in phases, depending on the low-carb plan you're following, to slow weight loss and help you find the right amount of carbs to maintain weight loss, which can be as high as 150 grams a day. In addition to helping you burn fat, low-carb diets suppress appetite, which helps cut calories, too. While low-carb diets offer a number of benefits for weight loss, they Continue reading >>