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?
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 >>
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Is It Bad For The Body To Jump Between Ketosis And Glucose?
I would not use that particular cycle, but think it would be hard to make a scientific argument that the occasional indulgence is “bad” - at least after the initial adaptation period. I’d do 4 weeks on, then maybe a meal/day or two off. That’s what we initially committed to. However, we wound up not wanting to do that indulgence we had scheduled for a few months. Then when we did, felt pretty terrible. We often will “relax” the diet when we travel, but it’s not really great-feeling. It gets a lot easier to transition back and forth as you get some practice at it, and some would say that doing it cyclically (seasonally) is more similar to what would have happened in primitive man (carbs were only available to most cultures for part of the year). But YMMV. Continue reading >>
Why Can Salt Be Bad For You?
Salt is essential for human life. We all contain about a quarter pound of it (~50 teaspoons of table salt). And there are some functions in our bodies that are particularly dependent on stable salt concentrations, such as our nerves and muscles (including the heart muscle). Our bodies expend considerable effort keeping our salt concentrations in the blood (and related fluids) at a specific fraction of that in seawater. It's a hold-over from our most ancient ancestors, microscopic creatures whose environment was indeed seawater. So in a sense, we cary seawater around with us wherever we go. 1. dietary salt: Suddenly eating a lot of salt, as an experiment, leads the body to hold on to a lot of water, because it's trying to maintain the ideal salt concentration. This may cause some increase in blood pressure for a short time (along with swollen fingers and other tissues - it may even precipitate heart failure in people with weak hearts). Now ... as for chronic (long-term) high salt intake, there have been population studies which link it to things like hypertension, cardiovascular disease, stroke (especially hemorrhagic stroke) and stomach cancer. Though you have to keep in mind the difference between "risk factors" and "causes" (90% of bank robbers also ate bread less than 24 hours before they robbed a bank ...), evidence is mounting that lowering salt intake in a population leads to somewhat lower risk of at least some of these entities. One thing to keep in mind: 75% of Americans' salt intake is embedded in the prepared foods we eat, and not because we put too much salt on our French fries. If we made the same foods at home, our salt intake would be far lower (even if we did like salt on our fries). As for low salt intake ... it depends on how much salt you are losing a Continue reading >>
Is Going In And Out Of Ketosis Bad For Cholesterol Levels Or Organs?
I would be a bit cautious about “going in and out” - not because it’s bad or because it’s hard to do. Rather, because if you go “in and out continuously” - I’m hoping that you say that as supported by actual measurements and not just the mere fact that you don’t eat carbs for a day and then binge the next day - and then the cycle repeats. Although your body utilizes ketones on a continuous basis, the onset of “ketosis” per se, requires some adaptation period and a relatively substantial depletion of glycogen. You need to allow some time for this to happen - if you change your eating pattern too quickly (and if you didn’t specifically do anything to deplete your glycogen reserves, such as heavy-weight exercise, etc.) - you might not even get into ketosis before, allegedly, getting out of it. Of course, those could be just my assumptions - but, generally, I would say you have to follow ketogenic diet for at least 2–3 days to actually slip into ketosis, while you may only need a couple of hours to get out of it, if you overindulge in carbs. Other than the frequency of those changes - getting in and out by itself is not an issue and, actually, may be preferred (unless you have specific medical conditions that require you to be in ketosis for a long time). Now, to address cholesterol - cholesterol is generally not an issue by itself (read: Dietary Cholesterol Redeemed). It’s only in combination with other pro-inflammatory compounds and other detrimental effects of an unhealthy lifestyle that it may become an issue and contribute to heart disease. In reality, cholesterol is an “indicator” of a problem, not the cause for it. Conversely, none of your cells would be able to function properly - but that’s a topic of a different discussion. Your org Continue reading >>
When On A Very Low Carb Diet Or In Ketosis, Is It Bad To Fast A Lot, Like, Eating Only One Or Two Meals A Day? Or Should I Only Do This Every Other Day?
There are no doubt advantages to intermittent fasting, but I wouldn't recommend it while you're on a low carb diet. When your body can't use carbohydrates to obtain energy it will switch to use other components in your body. You'll be happy to see any fat go, but unfortunately the proteins that make up your muscles aren't safe from being used. Not to mention by fasting while you're already on a high-demand diet, your body will be entirely out of balance. Getting a dangerously low blood sugar level would be a very likely to happen. Take it slow and listen to your body. I follow a strict intermittent fasting requisite and during my 'eating window' I eat mostly paleo/primal - which is very low carb. It's been over 6 months of daily intermittent fasting now. This has had HUGE benefits on my mind and body - my whole way of life, really. It can be kind of tough to stick with it during the first two weeks, but give it a shot and see how you feel. How To Start Your Intermittent Fasting Requisite And Avoid Hangovers | Avoiding Hangovers Continue reading >>
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 >>
Is Nutritional Ketosis Bad For A 16 Year Old?
I love what nutritional ketosis does for me, but I would not recommend my 16 year old self to undertake it. There are a few reasons. The biggest one is that at that age, I really didn't understand my body well at all. I had little awareness of hunger vs thirst, good pain vs bad pain from working out, and determining what my personal physical and mental limits were. Please don't misunderstand, I'm not saying "you're a silly teenager who knows nothing". Not at all! However, it is really important to be aware of yourself when undertaking any dramatic eating regimen, and having the benefit of living with yourself and making decisions for yourself for 20+ years vs 6+ years makes a huge difference in your success. It's easy to fall into bad habits on ketosis, like relying too heavily on dairy to get your fat macros (I'll just add more butter) instead of eating a balanced diet with adequate nutrients for your growing body. Will power, do you have it? Most teenagers are eating and enjoying all kinds of foods that simply aren't permissible on ketosis. Chips, pop, pizza, burritos, pasta, ice cream, and even some "healthy" snacks like carrot sticks, Gatorade, and watermelon are no-nos. You might develop an (eating) disorder because these are formative years and what you put in your mouth impacts your body and mind. It's easy to think of ketosis as a quick fix with minimal effort, and far better to develop a healthy relationship with food AND exercise to achieve your body goals. Continue reading >>