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 >>
Ketogenic Diet And Blood Pressure – The Effects
Hyper tension or high blood pressure has become a problematic health issue that many people around the world have been experiencing lately. There must be certain factors in our environment which are causing an increase in this ailment. A systolic pressure between 140 to 180 and a diastolic measure between 100 to 110 is considered high, albeit on different ranges. Foods affecting blood pressure Those suffering from high blood pressure would be greatly relieved to hear that with some adjustments to your diet you can actually bring about a great change while you focus on normalizing your blood pressure. Do you realize the food we eat can cause metabolic reactions which are either very beneficial or very harmful for us? Studies show that a high carbohydrate diet can actually result in high blood pressure. The Curse of The Western Diet Also known as “western disease”, high blood pressure is the result of the high sugar, high carb diet we are putting into our mouths on a daily basis. Leading a state of ketosis in your lives can actually bring about many health benefits. Normalizing your blood pressure is just one of them. Numerous studies show the relationship between ketogenic diet and blood pressure. Lowering the insulin level in your body can actually decrease the uric acid production, which is the main culprit of high blood pressure. What’s the science behind this? Dr. Robert Lustig’s journal paper in Elsevier clears the whole concept of exactly how a ketogenic diet reduces hypertension or high blood pressure. It seems that the fructose in our normal diet is the main culprit. When we consume a high carb or high sugar diet we are forgetting that our food contains both glucose and fructose. Although a percentage of glucose is good for our body, since it produces the Continue reading >>
Long-term Effects Of A Ketogenic Diet In Obese Patients
Go to: Abstract Although various studies have examined the short-term effects of a ketogenic diet in reducing weight in obese patients, its long-term effects on various physical and biochemical parameters are not known. To determine the effects of a 24-week ketogenic diet (consisting of 30 g carbohydrate, 1 g/kg body weight protein, 20% saturated fat, and 80% polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat) in obese patients. In the present study, 83 obese patients (39 men and 44 women) with a body mass index greater than 35 kg/m2, and high glucose and cholesterol levels were selected. The body weight, body mass index, total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting blood sugar, urea and creatinine levels were determined before and after the administration of the ketogenic diet. Changes in these parameters were monitored after eight, 16 and 24 weeks of treatment. The weight and body mass index of the patients decreased significantly (P<0.0001). The level of total cholesterol decreased from week 1 to week 24. HDL cholesterol levels significantly increased, whereas LDL cholesterol levels significantly decreased after treatment. The level of triglycerides decreased significantly following 24 weeks of treatment. The level of blood glucose significantly decreased. The changes in the level of urea and creatinine were not statistically significant. The present study shows the beneficial effects of a long-term ketogenic diet. It significantly reduced the body weight and body mass index of the patients. Furthermore, it decreased the level of triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and blood glucose, and increased the level of HDL cholesterol. Administering a ketogenic diet for a relatively longer period of time did Continue reading >>
- Statins Related to Diabetes Progression for Obese Patients
- The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus
- Insulin, glucagon and somatostatin stores in the pancreas of subjects with type-2 diabetes and their lean and obese non-diabetic controls
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 >>
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 >>
High Blood Pressure And The Low Carbohydrate Diet
Hello, fellow low carbers. It’s nice to be back. I am now married, so you will notice a name change. I will now be able to add new articles to “The Nurse Is In” on a regular basis. There will be a new one every two weeks, so please keep those questions coming. I will be answering them individually, as well as taking a few of them and expanding them into articles. I decided to pick out a question on high blood pressure and the low carbohydrate diet for this article. The question has been asked several times by different people, and I think that it’s an important one. Can A Low Carbohydrate Diet Cause High Blood Pressure? There are many things that happen to your body to cause your blood pressure to increase. I have been asking this question of physicians that I know, and the consensus is that they feel that obesity is a much greater risk factor than any diet. They would prefer that their patients lost the weight on a low carbohydrate diet and just monitored their blood pressure to make sure that it did not get dangerously high. There was also a general consensus that they actually saw their patients’ blood pressures decrease when they followed a low carbohydrate regime. What About Salt? Standard medical advice has always been for people with high blood pressure to reduce their sodium intake. Why would blood pressure decrease when so many low carbers crave salty foods and increase their sodium intake? There is a fairly simple answer to this question. Excess salt consumption can cause excess fluid retention, which can lead to an increase in blood pressure. However, a low carbohydrate diet puts one into ketosis and is naturally diuretic. This helps to reduce the excess fluids in the body, thereby reducing the blood pressure. When your body does not have to pump th Continue reading >>
- The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus
- The interpretation and effect of a low-carbohydrate diet in the management of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials
- Pre-diabetes goes into remission on higher protein, lower carbohydrate diet (Zone diet balance)
10 Health Benefits Of Low-carb And Ketogenic Diets
Low-carb diets have been controversial for decades. They were originally demonized by fat-phobic health professionals and the media. People believed that these diets would raise cholesterol and cause heart disease because of the high fat content. However... times are changing. Since the year 2002, over 20 human studies have been conducted on low-carb diets. In almost every one of those studies, low-carb diets come out ahead of the diets they are compared to. Not only does low-carb cause more weight loss, it also leads to major improvements in most risk factors... including cholesterol. Here are the 10 proven health benefits of low-carb and ketogenic diets. Hunger is the single worst side effect of dieting. It is one of the main reasons why many people feel miserable and eventually give up on their diets. One of the best things about eating low-carb is that it leads to an automatic reduction in appetite (1). The studies consistently show that when people cut carbs and eat more protein and fat, they end up eating much fewer calories. In fact... when researchers are comparing low-carb and low-fat diets in studies, they need to actively restrict calories in the low-fat groups to make the results comparable (2). When people cut carbs, their appetite tends to go down and they often end up eating much fewer calories without trying. Cutting carbs is one of the simplest and most effective ways to lose weight. Studies show that people on low-carb diets lose more weight, faster, than people on low-fat diets... even when the low-fat dieters are actively restricting calories. One of the reasons for this is that low-carb diets tend to get rid of excess water from the body. Because they lower insulin levels, the kidneys start shedding excess sodium, leading to rapid weight loss in the 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 >>
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 >>
- Ketogenic Diet Aids Weight loss, Diabetes, Epilepsy and Multiple Sclerosis: Keto Starves Cancer
- 7-Day Ketogenic Diet Meal Plan to Fight Cancer, Heart Diseases, Diabetes, Obesity and More!
- The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus
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 >>
Journey Into Ketosis Part Ii
TL;DR This is a journal of my first month of ketosis. A quick recap of Part I: Ketosis is when your body metabolizes fat instead of sugar as its primary fuel source. To enter ketosis you must eat fewer than 50 grams of carbs per day for a minimum of two weeks, and ideally 60-80% of your diet is fat. You can measure blood ketones with over-the counter-tests. Ketones are the preferred fuel for organs like your brain, heart, and muscles. Ketosis is safe and all humans show improved blood lipid profiles, profound anti-inflammation, and weight loss with lean muscle mass preservation in ketosis, better than any other diet. May 2014: The Descent Of Insulin I had just returned from a two week long trip to Israel and Jordan. On the flight back I finished reading The Art And Science Of Low Carbohydrate Living, which answered all my questions about ketosis. (The Art and Science...Performance is a wonderful, short follow up, and Keto Clarity is on the to-read list.) I had been "paleo" for about five years, which for me meant avoiding grains and most sugars. I was not striving for high fat, and I still occasionally craved sugar. One way to know you've achieved ketosis is measuring blood levels of beta-hydroxybutyrate, or BOHB. It's the fuel your liver produces when it metabolizes fat. Your organs, especially your brain, consume it copiously. You can measure BOHB by pricking your finger with a Precision Xtra lance, bleeding on to a ketone test strip, inserting the strip into the Precision Xtra, and waiting. It will spit out your blood ketone density in milligrams of ketones per millimoler of blood. The (semi-arbitrarily) decided on level for a human to be in "nutritional ketosis" is a minimum of 0.5 mg/mmL. I was eating "low carb" for five years, so I figured this was easy, and I was Continue reading >>
Tweet Ketogenic diets are very effective at achieving two common aims of diabetes control, lowering blood glucose levels and reducing weight What is the ketogenic diet? A ketogenic diet is a very low-carb diet, considered to be when you eat a level of carbohydrate of around 30g of carbohydrates per day or below. This encourages the body to get its energy from burning body fat which produces an energy source known as ketones. The diet helps to lower the body's demand for insulin which has benefits for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Note that it is important that you speak to your doctor if you are considering following the diet as precautions may need to be taken before starting. How a ketogenic diet works On a ketogenic diet, blood glucose levels are kept at a low but healthy level which encourages the body to break down fat into a fuel source known as ketones. The process of breaking down or ‘burning’ body fat is known as ketosis. People on insulin will typically require smaller doses of insulin which leads to less risk of large dosing errors. The diet helps burn body fat and therefore has particular advantages for those looking to lose weight, including people with prediabetes or those otherwise at risk of type 2 diabetes. How to follow a ketogenic diet Based on the understanding that carbohydrate is the macronutrient that raises blood glucose the most, the primary goal of a ketogenic diet is to keep consumption lower than that of a traditional low carbohydrate diet with moderate protein and a very high fat content. This will determine the nutrient density of the ketogenic diet as well as how to follow it, as different foods will have different effects on insulin and blood sugar levels. Which foods to eat on a ketogenic diet There are a number of differen 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 >>
High Cholesterol Meets Ketosis: An Update
A couple of years ago I started using the ketogenic diet to manage my blood sugar as a type 1 diabetic and to enhance my athletic performance. I wrote a series of blogs and an ebook to share that experiment because adopting a low carb high fat (ketogenic) diet has become the single most beneficial thing that I’ve done for my diabetes management and my ability to be active in the 20 years I’ve been living at this difficult metabolic crossroads. Eating ketogenic has improved my life and my ability to make photography, climbing and moving around in the outdoors the center of my life rather than fleeing the complications of diabetes. I didn’t expect those posts to take off because I’m not a dietary blogger. I just wanted to share the ups and downs of what I was trying in hopes that it would help other people. One of the major issues I encountered was the sharp increase in my LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and initially I considered abandoning the ketogenic diet because I feared that I was just trading one risk factor for another. If you want to read that post and the comment thread check it out here! I am writing this post to update you since two years have passed and I have found some information that I believe is useful. I also want to clarify my current position on the cholesterol issue and why my LDL is still high and why I’m not letting that fact deter me from eating ketogenic. In fact, I am going to share a couple more blog posts in the future detailing some new experiments I’ve been doing using intermittent fasting and exogenous ketones which has been nothing short of mind-blowing! Exhibit A: Biohacker’s Lab podcast (non-iTunes) or Biohacker’s Lab (iTunes) : Ep8: High Cholesterol Levels on a Keto Diet Experiments by Dave Feldman If you have concerns abou Continue reading >>
Can A Low Carb Diet Lower Blood Pressure?
We previously looked at research suggesting that a well-planned, low-carb diet coupled with exercise can help you lower blood sugar, triglycerides, and body weight and also improve HDL cholesterol and insulin sensitivity. But what impact does ketogenic diet have on blood pressure? Recent research suggests that maintaining an optimal blood pressure is even more critical for your heart and overall health than previously thought. Read below to learn how cutting carbs and keto may be a good tool in maintaining a healthy blood pressure. What is Blood Pressure? Before looking at the research, we need to straighten out the sometimes intimidating terminology behind blood pressure. Blood pressure, often shortened as BP, is the pressure exerted by blood upon the walls of blood vessels. Typically, it refers to the pressure exerted upon arteries which are the vessels that carry blood away from the heart. As you might know, BP is usually expressed as one number over another. The top number, called systolic pressure, refers to the amount of pressure in your arteries when your heart contracts. This is the maximum pressure exerted upon the walls of the blood vessels. The bottom number, called diastolic pressure, indicates the pressure in your arteries between heart beats. This value is lower than the systolic pressure because the heart is exerting less force on the fluids against the artery walls. Both pressures are measured by the units “millimeters of mercury”, which is abbreviated as mm Hg. What is a Healthy Blood Pressure? According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the “standard” human blood pressure is 120/80 mm Hg. Healthy blood pressure is typically below these numbers. People with a systolic blood pressure between 120-139 mm Hg and a diastolic blood pressure bet Continue reading >>