The Keto Diet Is Gaining Popularity, But Is It Safe?
A new twist on extreme weight loss is catching on in some parts of the United States. It’s called the "keto diet." People promoting the diet say it uses the body’s own fat burning system to help people lose significant weight in as little as 10 days. It has also been known to help moderate the symptoms of children with epilepsy, although experts are not quite sure why it works. Proponents say the diet can produce quick weight loss and provide a person with more energy. However, critics say the diet is an unhealthy way to lose weight and in some instances it can be downright dangerous. Read More: What is the “Caveman Diet?” » What Is Ketosis? The “keto” diet is any extremely low- or no-carbohydrate diet that forces the body into a state of ketosis. Ketosis occurs when people eat a low- or no-carb diet and molecules called ketones build up in their bloodstream. Low carbohydrate levels cause blood sugar levels to drop and the body begins breaking down fat to use as energy. Ketosis is actually a mild form of ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis mostly affects people with type 1 diabetes. In fact, it is the leading cause of death of people with diabetes who are under 24 years of age. However, many experts say ketosis itself is not necessarily harmful. Some studies, in fact, suggest that a ketogenic diet is safe for significantly overweight or obese people. However, other clinical reviews point out that patients on low-carbohydrate diets regain some of their lost weight within a year. Where It’s Helpful The keto diet was created by Dr. Gianfranco Cappello, an associate professor of surgery at the Sapienza University in Rome, Italy. He claims great success among thousands of users. In his study, more than 19,000 dieters experienced significant, rapid weight loss, few side Continue reading >>
How To Maintain Ketosis
The ketogenic diet is all the rage right now, and more people are learning about the benefits of ketosis on their health and weight loss goals. However, there’s still some confusion around the process itself and the correct ways to maintain ketosis. This information will help you maintain a steady state of ketosis safely and efficiently, no matter your needs. Getting into Ketosis First things first. Before we can maintain ketosis we have to get understand what is ketosis and get into this primal metabolic state. Ketosis occurs when the body has little to no access to carbohydrates, its normal source of fuel, and begins breaking down and burning fat for energy instead. The ketosis process can have many benefits including: Curbed hunger and faster weight loss Improved blood sugar regulation Enhanced cognitive performance Better mental focus Less chance of inflammation Reducing risk for conditions like type II diabetes When the body’s in ketosis, fats are broken down and ketone bodies, or “ketones,” are created for the body to use for energy. Three Main Ways of Maintaining Ketosis Long-term Short-term Cyclical The way you use the ketogenic diet depends on your specific needs, but what’s important is making sure you maintain a state of ketosis during the full time you’re on keto. This is not the same as simple going low-carb, and it requires some extra effort and tracking. However, the results are worth the extra work! Short-Term vs Long-Term Ketosis Just as it sounds, the only difference between short- and long-term ketosis is the amount of time you properly follow the ketogenic diet. The standard version of the ketogenic diet involves eating around 20-50 grams of net carbs per day to keep the body in ketosis, although the exact amount depends on each person. C Continue reading >>
Keep Yourself In Ketosis
When talking about a Grain Brain lifestyle, and the very similar ketogenic diet, it’s frequently mentioned that we are aiming to keep our bodies in ketosis. However, if you’re new to my work, it may be that you’re not exactly sure what ketosis is, or why we should be worrying about getting our body into this state. Allow me to explain. Ketones are a special type of fat that can stimulate the pathways that enhance the growth of new neural networks in the brain. A ketogenic diet is one that is high in fats, and this diet has been a tool of researchers for years, used notably in a 2005 study on Parkinson’s patients finding an improvement in symptoms after just 28 days. The improvements were on par with those made possible via medication and brain surgery. Other research has shown the ketogenic diet to be remarkably effective in treating some forms of epilepsy, and even brain tumors. Ketones do more than just that though. They increase glutathione, a powerful, brain-protective antioxidant. Ketones facilitate the production of mitochondria, one of the most important actors in the coordinated production that is the human body. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Our bodies are said to enter ketosis at the point when blood sugar levels are low and liver glycogen are no longer available to produce glucose as a fuel for cellular energy production. At this point, not only is the body doing the natural thing, and burning off fat, it’s also powering up the brain with a super efficient fuel. We can jump start ourselves into ketosis with a brief fast, allowing our body to quickly burn through the carbs that are in our system, and turn to fat for fuel. A ketogenic diet is one that derives around 80% or more of of its calories from fat, and the rest from carbs and prote Continue reading >>
Is The Ketogenic Diet Meant To Be A Long-term Plan?
It seems like everyone is talking about the low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet. It’s the eating style of choice for celebs like Vanessa Hudgens and superstar trainers like Kirsty Godso, and has been touted as the go-to food plan for treating diabetes, anxiety, and to lose weight. But a big question that keeps popping up is, how long are you supposed to keep it up, exactly? It is meant to be a lifelong plan or a short-term fix? Expert opinions are divided on the topic. Case in point are the two I asked for this article. Simply Keto author Suzanne Ryan has been eating low-carb for seven years (and all-out keto for almost four). Not only has she lost 120 pounds—chronicled on her website Keto Karma—she says sticking to it long-term is crucial for managing her diabetes. But registered dietician and Read It Before You Eat It author Bonnie Taub-Dix, RD, CDN, not only cautions against doing keto long-term, she doesn’t think it’s all that great to do for a short while, either. Here, both argue their cases, leaving you to be the judge. Is the ketogenic diet a sustainable long-term eating plan? Keep reading to find out. The case against following the keto diet indefinitely “This is just another fad diet,” Taub-Dix says of keto. While she does say it can be an effective way to lose weight relatively quickly, it’s not something she advises, let alone recommends, for a lifelong eating plan. “Carbs are not bad for you,” she says of the food group demonized by devout keto followers. “They’ve really gotten a bad rap over the years, but it’s more about choosing the right carbs.” Taub-Dix says whole grains, for example, are a great source of vitamin B and fiber, a nutrient that’s even more important than you might realize. She points out that there’s a diffe Continue reading >>
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How Long Does It Take For The Ketosis Diet To Work?
When it comes to weight loss, everyone wants rapid results. A ketosis diet, better known as a ketogenic diet or low-carb diet, helps you lose weight by forcing your body to burn fat for energy instead of carbs, causing you to go into a state of ketosis. The rate of weight loss on a ketosis diet varies, and how long it takes to work depends on how much weight you need to lose, but you may be able to lose more than 12 pounds in a month. Video of the Day Your body's preferred source of fuel is glucose, which is derived from carbohydrates. When fasting, your body undergoes hormonal changes that stimulate the release of fat from your fat cells, where it is transported to the liver and made into ketones, which are then used for energy. The ketogenic diet is high in fat and protein and low in carbohydrates, which mimics fasting to produce ketones and the state of ketosis. How quickly you get into ketosis varies, but can happen in one to two days. When followed as advised, people on a ketogenic diet for weight loss lose weight and lose it quickly, according to dietitian Juliette Kellow. According to a 2008 study published in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition," men who followed a ketogenic diet for four weeks lost an average of 12 pounds. The men in the study were able to eat fewer calories without feeling hungry or dissatisfied. It's important to note that this was a small, short-term study, and weight loss results may vary. The concern with losing weight too quickly is that you lose muscle and water rather than fat. Most health care professionals recommend a slow rate of weight loss of about 1 to 2 pounds a week. Losing water and muscle on a weight-loss diet may zap your energy levels and your motivation, and you may be more likely to regain the weight. While ketogen Continue reading >>
Why This Doctor Recommends Keto (with A Catch)
Would clinical nutritionist Dr. Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNC, recommend the keto diet? "Absolutely," he told POPSUGAR. But there is a catch. You can't do it forever. A brief refresher, if you don't already know: the keto diet is a high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carb diet in which you switch your body's primary energy source from carbohydrates to fat (i.e., from glucose to ketones). Up to 80 percent of your calories come from fat — we're not kidding when we say high-fat! That's what differentiates this diet from something like Paleo or Atkins — they're both low-carb, but with keto, the emphasis is on the fats. "I don't think somebody should be on a full ketogenic diet for more than three months," he said. "What I teach is not that everybody should be on a ketogenic diet — the basis of what I teach is traditional Chinese medicine, or TCM — but if somebody has the goal of overcoming epilepsy, fighting cancer, overcoming blood sugar issues like diabetes, losing weight, or even some hormonal issues, the ketogenic diet is a great temporary diet." "Everybody is different; depending on somebody's genetics, depending on somebody's health goals or struggles, certain people should be on certain diets," said Dr. Axe. For the patients he believes need the keto diet for what he calls "a breakthrough" in their health, he likes to limit it to three months. "When I put my patients on it, it has been for a maximum of three months. I know some people who have been on [the keto diet] and have done it for a year and done well with it. But I don't think people should be on a ketogenic diet fully for more than a year — absolutely not for more than a year." His reasoning for this is rooted in human history and the biology of our ancestors. As Dr. Axe is a clinical nutritionist with method Continue reading >>
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Staying In Ketosis - Should You Or Shouldn't You? - The Keto Pro - Real Food - Real Results
Staying in Ketosis should you or shouldnt you? Leading on from on our blog on the cyclical ketogenic diet , its left some of our community a little bit confused. If keto is so great for our healthspan, mind and waistline why would you want to stop? Are you best staying in ketosis?Is it OK to stop? What happens if you stop and then start again? If you do stop keto, how long should you stop for? These are all valid questions weve fielded since publishing that article- some of which were going to attempt to answer in this blog. For those that missed the memo, ketosis is about switching your body to run on fat rather than carbohydrates as its primary fuel source. This fat can come from the fats you eat, but what gets people most fired up is the potential of using other sources of fat. Like your body fat (cool) and also ketone bodies. Your body produces these naturally when youre in a fasted state. You can hack this process by heavily restricting carbohydrates, which puts the body into a fat burning state, but you still get to eat Bacon (double cool). Thats a brief 101. If you want more about ketosis and why its probably a very good thing, check this out . Ketosis is a natural process that we all have in our arsenal. Its desert island survival mechanism stuff nowadays, but once upon a time our ancestors would have called on it almost everyday. Between hunts, or during the winter season when food was scarce, we needed a mechanism to ensure that we could make it through to the next hunt not only breathing but with the energy and focus required to get the kill. This probably explains why people in a state of ketosis report excellent levels of focus, concentration and energy levels. Because time has seen the vast majority of western humans enjoy a surplus of food, our bodies ha Continue reading >>
How Long Can You Stay In Ketosis Safely?
Are you looking for a diet for weight-loss or fat-loss? If so then you might be interested in ketosis. The question is whether you can stay on it permanently. That’s because it’s critical for any ‘diet” to become part of your everyday life and eating habits. It’s important to first understand what it is all about. It’s a natural state of the human body when it’s fueled almost 100% by body fat. This state takes place during a low-carb or “keto” diet as well as during fasting. It’s important to understand how this process is related to fat loss. The term originates from the fact that the human produce produces tin fuel molecules known as “ketones.” When the body doesn’t have enough blood sugar/glucose it gets energy from this source. The body produces chemicals when it gets a very low supply of carbs and a moderate amount of protein. The liver’s fat produces ketones then the body and brain use it for fuel. The process is especially important for the brain since the organ can only run from glucose/ketones. Medical research shows that early humans probably experienced the state very often. The reason is that hunter-gatherer societies ate a high-meat diet and had less access to carbohydrates than modern humans. As a result human bodies evolved so they could get energy from fat even though it mimicked starvation mode. Today there are various reasons why people use the ketogenic meal plan. Some of the most common ones are to lose weight or control epilepsy. The firm supporters point out the health benefits of the diet but others note that it’s a dangerous “hack” of the body’s regular metabolic system. These are the benefits to this process: Less eating due to no appetite More fat loss from abdominal cavity Lower blood sugar/insulin levels Lo Continue reading >>
The Beginners Guide To Ketosis: Investigating Low-carb, High-fat Eating
The only hard and fast rule of health is that health is personal and what works well for one person may not work for someone else. Aside from that rule, there are “frameworks” that seem to benefit large groups of people. One more level down from that are alternative strategies that benefit smaller groups. Ketosis is likely one of those alternative strategies that works well for certain, smaller groups of people. So, right off the bat I want you to understand that Ketosis might not be for everyone. I’m going to lay out the case for potential benefits of Ketosis. If it sounds interesting and beneficial to you, then consider trying it. (see our free cheat sheet to help you). What is Ketosis Ketosis occurs when liver glycogen gets depleted and the body burns fatty acids for fuel. The primary driver of this state is a very low carbohydrate intake. Often, it also requires a low protein, higher fat intake. You can also achieve a state of ketosis by not eating altogether. The creation of ketones is a byproduct of this metabolic state. Ketones are a source of fuel, just as glucose is a source of fuel. Ketones tend to have some added benefits, though. What role does Ketosis play in human health? Ketosis allows our bodies to function in the absence of carbohydrates, both physically and mentally. Instead of burning carbohydrates, or converting protein to glucose, the body burns ketones. This is pretty much a survival mechanism. It allows your body to function in a state of caloric deprivation. This is why ketosis often gets bad press (as it’s linked to “starvation”). Being a survival mechanism doesn’t make it invalid as a strategy, though. There can still be potential benefits to be had. Let’s cover a few of them… Ketosis and Accelerated Fat Loss Being in ketosis Continue reading >>
How Long Can I Stay In Ketosis
Hey guys, I've done Keto in the past where I'd refeed on Saturdays, then back to Low Carb on Sundays until Friday, then refeed again Saturday. At the time I was doing strongman and I wanted to keep my strength/muscle mass. Right now I am doing Muay Thai and BJJ. I work out like 2-3 hrs a day. I just want to lose as much weight as possible and as quickly possible. I am not too worried about losing "too much weight" in a week because I know my conditioning will improve as I get skinnier. So, I am wondering how long can I go before I have to refeed? I know the brain needs glucose to function, so I am worried about going on for too long. So far I've been in Ketosis state since Tuesday morning when I woke up. The brain can do just fine on the glucose your body harvests from dietary protein, that's not what carb ups are for. Carbs ups are a reset switch for important metabolic hormones like leptin and T3. Some people do well for weeks on end in ketosis; I'm certainly not one of those people. Plus, the added physiological benefits of a weekly carb up are more than worth it. if my understanding is correct, the more bf your carrying the longer you can go before your body starts catabolizing lean mass for carbs. I think some people have done SKD(straight keto diet) for months on end without much lm loss as long as they watch their activity and such. now you being a combative athlete does change the figure(I do the MT/BJJ route as well). I seem to preserve lm better when taking my BCAA supps, plenty of sleep, and getting about 2 tbs coconut oil a day. The brain can do just fine on the glucose your body harvests from dietary protein, that's not what carb ups are for. Carbs ups are a reset switch for important metabolic hormones like leptin and T3. Some people do well for weeks on Continue reading >>
Is It Safe To Stay In Ketosis Indefinitely?
There seems to be a lot of focus on the state of Ketosis these days, with many people asking the same questions: Am I in ketosis? How many carbs does it take to get thrown out of ketosis? What should I do if the Ketostix aren't showing that I'm in ketosis anymore? I'm only eating 20 carbs, why am I not in ketosis? Is it safe to stay in ketosis indefinitely? And while some of these questions are certainly important, like just how safe of a diet is the Atkins Diet long-term, overall it seems that the low-carb community is putting too much emphasis on the process of ketosis and not enough focus on nutrition. With so many different versions of Atkins out there, and people still doing all of them, I don't see the questions going away anytime soon. With that in mind, I thought I'd take a moment and do a post on my own personal views about ketosis and its long-term safety. Thoughts on Ketone Testing Strips In the 70s, the whole Atkins' diet was built up around the idea of ketosis being the revolutionary miracle to save you from obesity. Like everyone else, I rushed out to the drug store and bought myself a bottle of ketone testing strips -- Ketostix they called them back then. These ketone testing strips were actually created for diabetics who needed to test for the presence of Ketoacidosis. Acetoacetate are the type of ketone you are actually looking for when you test your urine: the ketones that prove a diabetic is in trouble. The sticks don't test for the state of ketosis because that is actually measured by ketones in the blood, but at the time, Dr. Atkins felt that ketone testing strips were an accurate enough test. Plus they gave dieters the motivation they needed to put his Revolution to the test. Since then, we've discovered they aren't very accurate, even for urinary Continue reading >>
What Everybody Ought To Know About Ketosis
Recently I wanted to explore the world of Ketosis. I thought I knew a little bit about ketosis, but after doing some research I soon realised how wrong I was. 3 months later, after reading numerous books, listening to countless podcasts and experimenting with various diets I know have a sound understanding of ketosis. This resource is built as a reference guide for those looking to explore the fascinating world of ketosis. It is a resource that I wish I had 3 months ago. As you will soon see, a lot of the content below is not mine, instead I have linked to referenced to experts who have a greater understanding of this topic than I ever will. I hope this helps and if there is something that I have missed please leave a comment below so that I can update this. Also, as this is a rather long document, I have split it into various sections. You can click the headline below to be sent straight to the section that interests you. For those that are really time poor I have created a useful ketosis cheat sheet guide. This guide covers all the essential information you should know about ketosis. It can be downloaded HERE. Alternatively, if you're looking for a natural and sustainable way to improve health and lose weight head to this page - What is Ketosis? What Are The Benefits from being in Ketosis? Isn’t Ketosis Dangerous? Ketoacidosis vs Ketosis What Is The Difference Between a Low Carb Diet and a Ketogenic Diet? Types of Ketosis: The Difference Between Nutritional, Therapeutic & MCT Ketogenic Diets Is The Ketogenic Diet Safe? Long Term Effects Thyroid and Ketosis - What You May Want To Know What is a Typical Diet/Macro Breakdown for a Ketogenic Diet? Do I Need to Eat Carbs? What do I Eat On a Ketogenic Diet? What Do I Avoid Eating on a Ketogenic Diet? Protein Consumption a Continue reading >>
Is There A Time Limit For Ketosis?
There are some examples of humans being in ketosis for extended periods without ill effects. As Rose mentioned, the Inuit probably lived more or less their whole lives in ketosis, or at least most of them were in ketosis most of the time. They weren't the only such culture, either???maybe the Masai and maybe the Bison people of the American Great Plains did likewise, at least sometimes. There there was the one-year-long experiment in which Vilhjalmur Stefannson and another subject ate nothing but meat while under medical observation. Then there are the thousands of children who have gone on a ketogenic diet to treat their epilepsy. Many of them stayed on the diet continuously for years. In Caraballo 2011 they reported on more than 200 patients who had been on the diet for between 1 and 12 years, with a mean of 3.5 years. In that and in other studies, it seems like there weren't any common, bad side-effects. (There were some side-effects, but they weren't too bad or too common. The worst was stunted growth, but I think that was not due to ketosis but due to the fact that those diets were usually calorie-restricted and water-restricted, and children need calories and water to grow!) Also, you have been in ketosis for a year or two straight. Before you started eating solid food. Also there are the modern group of zero-carb eaters, of which apparently Rose and my wife Ambimorph are the representatives on Paleohacks. They hang out on a forum named "Dirty Carnivore" and some of them (used to?) hang out on a forum called "Zeroing In On Health". There are apparently dozens of them, at least, who've stayed continuously in ketosis for at least a year. In short, I've looked for evidence that being in prolonged, continuous ketosis is harmful and I haven't found any. I don't see any Continue reading >>
10 Critical Ketogenic Diet Tips
10 Critical Ketogenic Diet Tips A ketogenic diet is a very low carbohydrate, moderate protein and high fat based nutrition plan. A ketogenic diet trains the individual’s metabolism to run off of fatty acids or ketone bodies. This is called fat adapted, when the body has adapted to run off of fatty acids/ketones at rest. This nutrition plan has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation. This leads to reduced risk of chronic disease as well as improved muscle development and fat metabolism (1, 2). I personally recommend a cyclic ketogenic diet for most of my clients where you go low-carb for 3 days and then have a slightly higher carbohydrate day, followed by 3 lower carb days. This cycles the body in and out of a state of ketosis and is beneficial for hormone balance while keeping inflammatory levels very low. The biggest challenge with this nutrition plan is to get into and maintain the state of fat adaption. Here are several advanced tips to get into and maintain ketosis. 1. Stay Hydrated: This is considered a no-brainer, but is not easy to follow. We often get so busy in our day-day lives that we forget to hydrate effectively. I recommend super hydrating your system by drinking 32 oz of filtered water within the first hour of waking and another 32-48 oz of water before noon. I have most of my clients do a water fast or eat light in the morning doing smoothies or keto coffee or tea. So hydration around these dishes should be well tolerated by the digestive system. In general, aiming to drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water and closer to your full body weight in ounces of water daily will help you immensely. I weigh 160 lbs and easily drink 140-180 ounces of water each day. Sometimes more in the summer time. As you begin super Continue reading >>
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Is Constant Ketosis Necessary – Or Even Desirable?
162 Comments Good morning, folks. With next week’s The Keto Reset Diet release, I’ve got keto on the mind today—unsurprisingly. I’ve had a lot of questions lately on duration. As I’ve mentioned before, a good six weeks of ketosis puts in place all the metabolic machinery for lasting adaptation (those extra mitochondria don’t evaporate if/when you return to traditional Primal eating). But what about the other end of the issue? How long is too long? I don’t do this often, but today I’m reposting an article from a couple of years ago on this very topic. I’ve added a few thoughts based on my recent experience. See what you think, and be sure to share any lingering questions on the question of keto timing and process. I’ll be happy to answer them in upcoming posts and Dear Mark columns. Every day I get links to interesting papers. It’s hard not to when thousands of new studies are published every day and thousands of readers deliver the best ones to my inbox. And while I enjoy thumbing through the links simply for curiosity’s sake, they can also seed new ideas that lead to research rabbit holes and full-fledged posts. It’s probably the favorite part of my day: research and synthesis and the gestation of future blogs. The hard part is collecting, collating, and then transcribing the ideas swirling around inside my brain into readable prose and hopefully getting an article out of it that I can share with you. A while back I briefly mentioned a paper concerning a ketone metabolite known as beta-hydroxybutyrate, or BHB, and its ability to block the activity of a set of inflammatory genes. This particular set of genes, known as the NLRP3 inflammasome, has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis, metabolic syndrome, and age-related macular d Continue reading >>