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Is Going Into Ketosis Bad For You?

Is Ketosis Really Bad For You?

Is Ketosis Really Bad For You?

A patient recently asked me how bad being in nutritional ketosis was for her. I responded that the worse problem I’ve seen recently is the patient that broke his toe when he slipped on bacon grease. Are there risks with a ketogenic diet? Yes, but these usually only occur when you cheat or fall off the wagon. What problems can arise? Lets talk about them individually. First, as I stated above, make sure you don’t slip on bacon the grease. It really can be an issue if you’re not used to using increased amounts of fat in your kitchen. So, be prepared for how to cook and use fat. Grandma understood this well, we could learn a great deal from her if you ask her about using bacon grease. Second, let’s define the difference between ketosis and keto-acidosis and try to clarify the misinformation that is being spread around the blogosphere. A ketone is a molecule the body produces from the breakdown of fat (specifically triglycerides) and some proteins (amino acids). There are specifically three types of ketones: beta-hydroxybutyric acid, acetoacetic acid and acetone. If ketosis was “bad,” then why would our bodies produce these molecules? They are not bad, and in fact, multiple studies show that the body is often more efficient in weight loss, inflammatory reduction, bowel function, epigenetic influence and maintenance of lean body mass more effectivly when it functions on ketones rather than glucose as its primary fuel source. You can see these studies here, here, here and here. The body can only supply a limited amount of sugar or glucose for fuel. If you talk to runners, marathoners or triathletes, they will tell you that after about 45-90 minutes of continuous endurance exercise the glucose supply runs out and they will experience what is termed a “bonk” (ha Continue reading >>

Long-term Effects Of A Ketogenic Diet In Obese Patients

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 >>

Is A Ketogenic Diet Good Or Bad For You?

Is A Ketogenic Diet Good Or Bad For You?

A ketogenic diet is well known for being a low-carb diet, where the body produces ketones, which are byproducts or the result of using fat for fuel instead of carbs (or glucose/sugar). These ketones or byproducts are produced in the liver to be used as energy. How It Works Glucose (sugar) is the easiest molecule for your body to convert and use as energy so it will always be chosen over any other energy source. When we consume glucose, insulin is produced to process and circulate it. When glucose (carbs or sugar) is being used as a primary source energy, fats are not needed as much and therefore can be stored, when we might want to be burning those instead. When there isn't sufficient glucose, glycogen levels become depleted, blood sugar and insulin are lowered in the body, and now your body starts looking for an alternative fuel source, in this case, fat. The body, in its infinite wisdom and resourcefulness, now uses ketones as fuel for both the body and the brain. This puts you in a state of fat burning called ketosis. You can also achieve this state with fasting or prolonged exercise. If you were out in the wild starving, your body would go into ketosis pretty quickly – here we're doing it with food, but starving it of carbs. This diet has many different names – the ketogenic diet, low carb diet, low carb high fat (LCHF), etc. When you eat something high in carbs, your body will produce glucose and insulin. Most people who have experienced ketosis claim to have reached that state at about 20-50 grams of net carbs per day. The grams of carbs you should consume daily depend on your weight. Ultimately, if your goal is to achieve ketosis, then you'll want to keep your carb intake to 5% or less of total calories. When considering which carbs to consume, keep in mind t Continue reading >>

The Keto Diet Is Gaining Popularity, But Is It Safe?

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 >>

Is Going In And Out Of Ketosis Bad?

Is Going In And Out Of Ketosis Bad?

In the earlier stages of adaptation going into ketosis may feel bad and going out may stop your progress for a fair while, so is to be avoided if all possible IMHO. Eventually once properly adapted you should have a lot more metabolic flexibility and will more readily switch. At that point you should mostly not notice anything anymore. Apart from how it feels, it is IMHO obviously not bad for you to switch energy pathways as conditions demand, that’s just part of how your metabolism works to help ensure you’re properly fuelled. According to Dr. Colin Champ, oncologist and assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, for weight loss in someone who doesn’t have much to lose, periodic ketosis for a couple days seems to work. For others with a lot of weight to lose and/or those that do poorly with carbohydrates, the diet may need to be maintained for several months. He said: “I personally go in and out of ketosis frequently, getting very strict every month or two for about 5 days. I have been in ketosis for 6 months and even over a year, but function and feel better when I avoid long-term ketosis.” Anecdotally, when some individuals still have some fat to burn, they thrive in ketosis for longer periods of time more so than others. Some longer-term ketogenic diet followers do experience hormonal changes and probably should not be on the diet for an extended period of time. Continue reading >>

Diets Decoded: The Ketogenic Diet

Diets Decoded: The Ketogenic Diet

Is the ketogenic diet healthy? We’re going to let you in on a little secret. Most popular healthy diets that are touted for weight loss—from Paleo to Mediterranean and vegetarian—share many of the same basic principles. All involve eating whole foods (as opposed to packaged and processed) and filling your plate with quality sources of protein, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and vitamin-, mineral-, and fiber-rich vegetables. (Again, we’re talking about the ones that fall somewhere on the healthy spectrum, not unhealthy fad diets like, ahem, the Grapefruit Diet.) However, each proposes a slightly different path that leads to fulfilling those principles. In this column, we’ll be breaking them down for you one by one so you can figure out which (if any!) is right for you. We’ll quickly explain the facts and then provide quick, actionable tips on how to follow the diet as part of a Nutritious Life. The Ketogenic Diet: What It Is The ketogenic diet is like Atkins amplified. Instead of just low-carb, it’s “almost no carb” and lots of fat. It’s been around for a long time but has recently gotten a lot of attention. Originally developed to treat children with epilepsy, the ketogenic diet restricts carb intake to as low as two to four percent of calories, with a 4:1 ratio of fat to carbs and protein combined. (For comparison, standard diets contain about 45 to 65 percent of calories from carbs; we generally recommend sticking to the lower end of that spectrum and avoiding refined carbs.) The goal of eating this way is to move the body into a state called ketosis. During ketosis, instead of breaking down carbs (there are none!) into glucose for fuel, the liver converts fat into ketone bodies, which become the body’s primary source of energy. Advocates s Continue reading >>

Is Ketosis Dangerous?

Is Ketosis Dangerous?

You may have heard from your doctor that ketosis is a life-threatening condition. If so, your doctor is confusing diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) with nutritional ketosis, or keto-adaptation. First, some semantics. Our body can produce, from fat and some amino acids, three ketone bodies (a “ketone” refers to the chemical structure where oxygen is double-bonded to carbon sandwiched between at least 2 other carbons). These ketone bodies we produce are: acetone, acetoacetone, and beta-hydroxybutyrate (B-OHB). [For anyone who is interested, they are the 3 most right structures on the figure, below.] Why do we make ketones? For starters, it’s a vital evolutionary advantage. Our brain can only function with glucose and ketones. Since we can’t store more than about 24 hours’ worth of glucose, we would all die of hypoglycemia if ever forced to fast for more than a day. Fortunately, our liver can take fat and select amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) and turn them into ketones, first and foremost to feed our brains. Hence, our body’s ability to produce ketones is required for basic survival. What is diabetic ketoacidosis? When diabetics (usually Type I diabetics, but sometimes this occurs in very late-stage, insulin-dependent, Type II diabetics) fail to receive enough insulin, they go into an effective state of starvation. While they may have all the glucose in the world in their bloodstream, without insulin, they can’t get any into their cells. Hence, they are effectively going into starvation. The body does what it would do in anyone – it starts to make ketones out of fat and proteins. Here’s the problem: the diabetic patient in this case can’t produce any insulin, so there is no feedback loop and they continue to produce more and more ketones withou Continue reading >>

Is Keto Safe? [7 Myths About Keto Being Dangerous That Aren’t True]

Is Keto Safe? [7 Myths About Keto Being Dangerous That Aren’t True]

The Keto diet (aka Ketogenic diet) has been getting a ton of press as an amazing weight-loss diet. But is Keto safe to do? That’s why we’ve written this post. To clear up all the myths surrounding the Keto diet… Is keto safe in general? Don’t you need carbohydrates? Is keto unhealthy for you? Isn’t fat bad for you? Is being in ketosis for a long time good for you? First, we’re going to discuss the most common myths around keto being dangerous, plus explain why they’re not true. (Based on solid evidence, of course.) Then we’ll go over two important topics: How do you do Keto in a safe way? Should you do Keto long term? Note: we are not doctors or nutritionists and the information provided in this article is based on our research and designed to help you educate yourself on the Keto diet. And now for our medical disclaimer: Note that information contained in this article (and website) is not intended to and shall not convey or recommend any medical or nutritional advice or course of action. Any diet, health, or nutritional program you undertake should be discussed with your doctor or other licensed medical professionals. All opinions expressed in this article are based solely on personal experiences and research. We are NOT licensed doctors, dietitians, or nutritionists. 7 Myths About Keto Being Dangerous That Aren’t True You might have seen these myths mentioned in articles online – that doesn’t mean they’re true, though. MYTH 1: The Keto Diet Causes Nutritional Deficiencies TRUTH: If you do keto in a healthy way, then it becomes a highly nutritious diet. Technically, you could eat a variety of unnutritious foods in order to reach nutritional ketosis. Just like you can eat pizza and be a vegetarian. Technically, the main requirements for getting i Continue reading >>

Is The Keto Diet Bad For You?

Is The Keto Diet Bad For You?

By now, you've probably heard all about the ketogenic diet , the high-fat, low-carb eating style everyone's talking about. And while the benefits of keto are pretty well-known weight loss and a suppressed appetitethe downsides are usually minimized by keto advocates. "The positive aspects of a ketogenic diet are spoken about much more than the drawbacks," says Alix Turoff, R.D., C.D.N., C.P.T. , a dietitian and personal trainer. "The diet was introduced in the 1920s as a way to treat epilepsy and then sort of fell out of popularity with the introduction of anti-seizure drugs," Turoff says. What's more, ketosis (the goal of keto, a state where the body uses fat for energy instead of carbs) is something seen in people during periods of starvationincluding in people with anorexia nervosa. "The body is deprived of carbohydrates and thus has to turn to ketone bodies as a fuel source," Turoff explains. "People really need to understand that it's not just a low-carbohydrate, high-fat dietit actually changes the way your body uses fuel." Turoff doesn't think the keto diet should be a go-to solution for weight loss, and she's not alone in this opinion. Many of the dietitians Shape spoke to for this story had similar thoughts on the keto diet, which is why many of them strongly encourage anyone who is thinking about trying a ketogenic diet to chat with a registered dietitian first. In the meantime, here are some things to keep in mind before you go full-on keto: No one knows what the long-term effects are. "The first major drawback is the fact that we really don't have any long-term research about how keto followers fare 10, 20, 30 years down the line," Turoff says. "What will the results look like? Will they regain the weight? Will they suffer health consequences? We also thoug Continue reading >>

The 11 Most Common Keto Side Effects

The 11 Most Common Keto Side Effects

The 11 Most Common Keto Side Effects The ketogenic diet is a powerful new tool to hit the mainstream recently. This style of eating has substantial data behind it showing that it can boost fat-burning, reduce inflammation, boost cognitive performance, and more. What has not been covered quite enough are common keto side effects and how you can avoid them to make the best of this powerful eating style. Although there can be many different side effects that manifest while becoming keto-adapted, many of them stem from similar underlying issues. In this article, I outline what those underlying issues are, their related side effects, and simple strategies to overcome them so you can become keto-adapted as smoothly as possible. Three Primary Causes Although there are a variety of symptoms that can arise during keto adaptation, they mostly manifest from the same three underlying causes. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis dysfunction, and electrolyte/mineral deficiencies. While these three causes are seemingly different, they are actually all related. When becoming keto-adapted initially, your body has been running on sugar for years. When you suddenly switch to fats, your body has to essentially build the cellular machinery necessary to generate and utilize ketone bodies as a fuel source. This means that instead of generating tons of ketones from the very beginning, most people experience hypoglycemia for a period of time. With hypoglycemia comes a disruption in cortisol signaling which is what accounts for the HPA axis dysfunction. Finally, HPA axis dysfunction leads to an increase in secretion of minerals from the body in the urine. Together these three causes can create all kinds of side effects. Once you understand them, though, a lit Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diet: Is The Ultimate Low-carb Diet Good For You?

Ketogenic Diet: Is The Ultimate Low-carb Diet Good For You?

Recently, many of my patients have been asking about a ketogenic diet. Is it safe? Would you recommend it? Despite the recent hype, a ketogenic diet is not something new. In medicine, we have been using it for almost 100 years to treat drug-resistant epilepsy, especially in children. In the 1970s, Dr. Atkins popularized his very-low-carbohydrate diet for weight loss that began with a very strict two-week ketogenic phase. Over the years, other fad diets incorporated a similar approach for weight loss. What is a ketogenic diet? In essence, it is a diet that causes the body to release ketones into the bloodstream. Most cells prefer to use blood sugar, which comes from carbohydrates, as the body’s main source of energy. In the absence of circulating blood sugar from food, we start breaking down stored fat into molecules called ketone bodies (the process is called ketosis). Once you reach ketosis, most cells will use ketone bodies to generate energy until we start eating carbohydrates again. The shift, from using circulating glucose to breaking down stored fat as a source of energy, usually happens over two to four days of eating fewer than 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. Keep in mind that this is a highly individualized process, and some people need a more restricted diet to start producing enough ketones. Because it lacks carbohydrates, a ketogenic diet is rich in proteins and fats. It typically includes plenty of meats, eggs, processed meats, sausages, cheeses, fish, nuts, butter, oils, seeds, and fibrous vegetables. Because it is so restrictive, it is really hard to follow over the long run. Carbohydrates normally account for at least 50% of the typical American diet. One of the main criticisms of this diet is that many people tend to eat too much protein and Continue reading >>

7 Signs You Might Be In Ketosis When Doing The Ketogenic Diet

7 Signs You Might Be In Ketosis When Doing The Ketogenic Diet

One of the main goals of starting the ketogenic diet is to get your body into a metabolic state known as ketosis. Note: If you don’t know what the ketogenic is all about then check out the Ketogenic Diet: Beginner’s Guide to Keto and Weight Loss. This is when your body starts to produce a lot of ketones to supply energy for your body. Why is this good? Because it means your body has converted from a sugar-burner to a fat-burner. If your body is burning fat for energy then something amazing starts to happen. The fat on your body starts to disappear. But how do you know when you’re in ketosis? Besides using test strips or an instrument there are some signs that your body will give. 7 Signs You Might Be in Ketosis These don’t 100% guarantee that your body is in ketosis but if it is in ketosis then these signs will appear. 1. Weight Loss One of the obvious signs of ketosis is weight loss but this can also be pretty deceptive because many people don’t experience the kind of weight loss that they expect. This can happen for a variety of reasons but when you get close to entering ketosis or do enter ketosis you’ll find that you lose a healthy amount of weight quickly. For example, when you switch to low carbs you usually experience significant weight loss in the first week. In fact, my wife lost 12 lbs in the first 28 days of Keto and I lost 13. This isn’t your body burning fat but finally being able to release the water that was being held by the fat cells. If your fat cells don’t release this water then they can’t flow through the bloodstream to be used as fuel so losing water weight is a good thing. After the initial rapid drop in water weight, you should continue to lose body fat consistently if you are able to stick with the low-carb aspects of the diet Continue reading >>

Is The Ketogenic Diet Right For You? Nutritionists Weigh In

Is The Ketogenic Diet Right For You? Nutritionists Weigh In

You may be hearing a lot about the ketogenic diet as a way to slim down while noshing on butter and heavy cream. This way of eating is suddenly hot among venture capitalists in Silicon Valley, who believe it will help them live longer and healthier, CNBC reports. Some praise the high-fat/ultra low-carb plan for helping them to lose weight and have energy all day long. Other advocates say it finally helped them to get control of their body. How does it work and could it help you? We asked Bonnie Taub-Dix, a registered dietitian nutritionist and author of “Read It Before You Eat It”; and Keri Glassman, nutritionist, registered dietitian and TODAY Tastemaker. To start with, both said they would never advise the ketogenic diet for weight loss. “Cutting out carbs is usually an invitation to overeat them at another point,” Taub-Dix said. “For a diet where you’re looking to lose weight, look good and feel good… I would not recommend a diet like this.” “For safe and effective weight loss, the carb reduction is too extreme,” Glassman added. RELATED: Read inspiring stories of ordinary people slimming down in TODAY's My Weight-Loss Journey Here’s what you need to know: What is the ketogenic diet? It’s a diet fine-tuned in the 1920s to help treat epilepsy. It does help to control seizures in some children, but it’s not recommended for adults “mostly because the restricted food choices make it hard to follow,” the Epilepsy Foundation says. The diet has just recently begun to be touted as a weight loss plan, Glassman noted. She described it as eating “mostly fat with a teeny bit of protein and carbs.” How does it work? Your body normally relies on carbohydrates for energy. It breaks them down into glucose, which is your main source of fuel. If that Continue reading >>

Is The Keto Diet Safe? 10 Myth-busting Arguments For The Safety Of Ketosis

Is The Keto Diet Safe? 10 Myth-busting Arguments For The Safety Of Ketosis

Is ketosis safe? The truth is that we can’t say for certain that it is 100% safe. Humans don’t understand everything under the branch of nutritional science and probably won’t for a very long time. As an individual, the only thing you can do is take a look at the research yourself and form your own conclusion. Personally, through the reading I’ve done and the experience I’ve had with the Keto diet, I’ve formed my own conclusion that ketosis is safe. Could I be wrong? Absolutely. But I could also be right. I’m willing to take that risk in order to follow a diet which could maximize longevity, well being and function. My personal conclusion shouldn’t matter to you though. You need to do your own research and come to your own conclusion. I’ve put together this post to organize all of the issues surrounding the safety of ketosis so that you can make your own decision. In trying to prove something to be safe there are two ways to go about it. Disprove the claims of danger Show evidence which may be correlated with safety This article will dispel the top 10 claims people make in an argument to label ketosis as dangerous. Like I said, the science on ketosis is still quite immature. The following data is not meant to 100% prove or disprove the safety of ketosis. It’s merely the information we have available today which can help us form a nutritional strategy we feel is best for ourselves. I’m not a doctor or a researcher. The following information is material I’ve collected in my attempt to feel confident following a Keto diet indefinitely. Most of it is sourced from doctors or authors although I have also included anecdotal accounts from experiences posted on message boards and Reddit. I know, much of the information here isn’t sourced directly from s Continue reading >>

What Is Ketosis?

What Is Ketosis?

"Ketosis" is a word you'll probably see when you're looking for information on diabetes or weight loss. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? That depends. Ketosis is a normal metabolic process, something your body does to keep working. When it doesn't have enough carbohydrates from food for your cells to burn for energy, it burns fat instead. As part of this process, it makes ketones. If you're healthy and eating a balanced diet, your body controls how much fat it burns, and you don't normally make or use ketones. But when you cut way back on your calories or carbs, your body will switch to ketosis for energy. It can also happen after exercising for a long time and during pregnancy. For people with uncontrolled diabetes, ketosis is a sign of not using enough insulin. Ketosis can become dangerous when ketones build up. High levels lead to dehydration and change the chemical balance of your blood. Ketosis is a popular weight loss strategy. Low-carb eating plans include the first part of the Atkins diet and the Paleo diet, which stress proteins for fueling your body. In addition to helping you burn fat, ketosis can make you feel less hungry. It also helps you maintain muscle. For healthy people who don't have diabetes and aren't pregnant, ketosis usually kicks in after 3 or 4 days of eating less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. That's about 3 slices of bread, a cup of low-fat fruit yogurt, or two small bananas. You can start ketosis by fasting, too. Doctors may put children who have epilepsy on a ketogenic diet, a special high-fat, very low-carb and protein plan, because it might help prevent seizures. Adults with epilepsy sometimes eat modified Atkins diets. Some research suggests that ketogenic diets might help lower your risk of heart disease. Other studies show sp Continue reading >>

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