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What Is The Keto Diet And How Does It Work?

What Is The Keto Diet And How Does It Work?

Forget, for a moment, talk of the New Kale, whatever that is, and consider the new Paleo. In fact, Vogue Australia made the call a few weeks ago, declaring, "Keto is the new paleo." That's keto as in a ketogenic diet, what basketball superstar LeBron James followed for 67 days in 2014 to stellar results, namely a seriously ripped midsection and, you know, his third NBA Championship ring. How does it work, what can and can't you eat, and will it do for you what it's done for James and other celebrities who've reportedly tried it? All your (fat-)burning questions, answered. What is the Keto Diet? In a nutshell, it's a high-fat, extremely low-carb diet with an "adequate" amount of protein thrown in, says Heather Mangieri, a Pittsburgh-based registered dietitian, sports nutrition specialist, and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The keto diet isn't new. Developed in the 1920s to treat drug-resistant epilepsy in children, it's still used in that capacity today and is being investigated as a potential breakthrough treatment for a range of neurological disorders and diseases. In other words, it's not just a celebrity weight-loss trend! What does "ketogenic" mean and how does the diet work? The aim of the keto diet is to put, and keep, your body in a metabolic state called ketosis. Our bodies normally burn carbohydrates for energy. When you restrict the amount of carbs, the body will break down stored fat, creating molecules called ketones to use as fuel. (The Paleo diet is similar, but higher in protein and not as strict about certain foods and proportions.) Ketosis is a normal physiological process. There's nothing dangerous about it. "It's just that this particular eating style is keeping your body in that state all the time," says Mangieri. How low-car Continue reading >>

Nigeria: Furore Over Ketogenic Diet

Nigeria: Furore Over Ketogenic Diet

It is the latest weight loss fad in town. Some Nigerians have successfully used ketogenic or keto diet to achieve weight loss, but leaving them with sagging skin. Recent studies have shown that ketogenic diet, which is high in fat, could also help beat epilepsy and seizures, increase lifespan, and boost memory. However, there are fears that these benefits may come at a cost- constipation and kidney stones. CHUKWUMA MUANYA (Assistant Editor) and STANLEY AKPUNONU write. Can a low-carb, high fat diet help you lose weight, improve health, and beat diseases such as diabetes, cancer, epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease? Assistant Director, Dietetics, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTH), Ile Ife, Dr. Obinna Ogbonna, said that naturally, the ketogenic diet has its own advantages especially for children having common seizures like epileptic seizures, as it has been proven to help in frequent seizure. Ogbonna lamented that recently, so many adults are now going in to it because they want to use it as a weight reduction measure. The dietician, however, said one of the problems it might create is that the immediate effect would not be known because it is more fatty oriented. Ogbonna explained: "You must balance your diet because various nutrients have its functions in the body and fats are not supposed to be used as a form of energy really. "We discovered that in the keto, it is more of the fat, the fatty level is high and the carbohydrate is lesser than what it should be. The carbohydrate should be used as energy, so during the process the body might be tasked to use other forms of energy, we call it gluco-neogenesis. It produces more of its energy through that fats and that is not the best. "The long term effect is what people have not known and it is hazardous. The Continue reading >>

Extreme Diets: Life On 800 Calories A Day

Extreme Diets: Life On 800 Calories A Day

(CNN) -- Her death made headlines around the world: Samantha Clowe, a 34-year-old British woman, died suddenly this fall from a previously undiagnosed heart condition. At the time of her death, Clowe was following a plan called LighterLife, a very low-calorie diet designed to help obese and severely obese patients lose weight. She was consuming 530 calories a day. "Samantha came to LighterLife with a BMI of 37, weighing more than 17 stone [238 pounds]," says a spokesperson for the company. "Although she managed to lose 3 stone [42 pounds], her health may have already been compromised." An inquest determined that Clowe most likely died from cardiac arrhythmia but could not determine what role, if any, Clowe's diet played in the development of her condition, only that her death "may be related to her low calorie diet and weight loss." Very low-calorie diets have been used to help obese and severely obese patients lose weight for more than two decades. "Next to bariatric surgery, nothing is more effective for weight loss than a VLCD, including pills and other diets," says Dr. John Hernried, medical director for OTC Medical Weight Loss Group, a weight-loss clinic in California. But the diet "is not indicated for someone who wants to lose 10 pounds." Most programs screen potential participants to ensure they are psychologically and medically stable enough to begin the process. Gordon Heitman, 46, a California man, lost 233 pounds in just over a year on a VLCD that allowed him to eat an average of 800 calories a day. "This is a very specialized diet. We are taking on full responsibility for [the patient's] nutrition." "For the most part I wasn't hungry," says Heitman. "I was fine with what I was eating." The diets use a process called ketosis to prompt the body to burn stored Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet

Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet

I’ve put together a very-low-carbohydrate Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet for loss of excess weight. Why ketogenic? Your body gets its energy from either fats, or carbohydrates like glucose and glycogen. In people eating normally, at rest, 50–60% of the energy comes from fats. In a ketogenic diet, the carbohydrate content of the diet is so low that the body has to break down even more of its fat to supply energy needed by most tissues. Fat breakdown produces ketone bodies in the bloodstream. Hence, “ketogenic diet.” Also called “very low-carb diets,” ketogenic diets have been around for over a hundred years. There are several practical advantages over other diets (disputed by some authorities): simplicity unlimited access to many high-protein and fatty foods less trouble with hunger better short-term weight loss than many other diets lower blood sugar levels, which is important to people with diabetes, pre-diabetes, and metabolic syndrome reduced insulin levels in people who often have elevated levels (hyperinsulinemia), which may help reduce chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, some cancers, and coronary heart disease improved levels of HDL cholesterol and triglycerides, which may reduce risk of heart disease it obviously works well for a significant portion of the overweight population, but not for everybody better adherence to the program compared with other diets, at least for the short-term Why Mediterranean? The Mediterranean diet is widely recognized as the healthiest diet. Despite an emphasis on bread, pasta, fruits, legumes, and certain vegetables, the Mediterranean diet has several healthy components compatible with a very low-carb eating style: Although cheese is a component of the traditional Mediterranean diet, I can’t argu Continue reading >>

Vegan Keto Experiment : Week One – Food, Info, Ratios

Vegan Keto Experiment : Week One – Food, Info, Ratios

First of all, a disclaimer: I am not a physician. I am not a nutritionist. I’ll admit to having an academic understanding of biochemistry, and the human body, but I wont delve into it too much for brevity. This is anecdotal single trial human experimentation. For me, this is a temporary experiment, and not something I’d consider as a permanent lifestyle change. I’m also not encouraging this or discouraging it. This is my experience so far. Your millage may vary. I’ve spent the last 7 days doing a Vegan Keto style diet with JC’s brother. He has been doing a non-veg keto for around a year now, and I’ve been curious about how it would work veganized. Like most low carb, high fat, high protein diets, at first glance, it doesn’t really look very vegan friendly. I enjoy the occasional challenge, and I’ve been feeling stuck in a rut with my food choices lately. I felt like I could use some dramatic food changes in my life, so this week, I’ve done that pretty successfully. I’m not really one for “going on a diet”, but I am and have been very curious to see how this one would feel and what changes I would experience. I think one of the major benefits of doing it vegan style is the complete elimination of cholesterol, one of the cited issues people mention with low-carb diets. The con of doing it vegan style is that a suddenly a not-so-limited diet (plant based), becomes a lot more limited, and it becomes really essential to make your own food (something that is admittedly easier with a standard keto diet.) What is the premise of a ketogenic diet/benefits? As far as I can tell, a ketogenic diet is used by two main groups of people. Those looking to lose weight or people with refractory epilepsy. The latter is the one I found most fascinating when researchi Continue reading >>

What Is The Ketogenic Diet? A Crash Course To Eating Keto

What Is The Ketogenic Diet? A Crash Course To Eating Keto

The ketogenic diet is a low carbohydrate, high fat diet that provides substantial amounts of protein. Although it has recently gained a great deal of popularity, the keto diet has been used for treating various illnesses for thousands of years. Ketogenic diets and similar versions have been traced back as far as 500 BC. In 1910, the first studies were performed on fasting as a treatment for epilepsy in France. It was concluded that seizures ceased completely during fasting. Later studies revealed that starvation enhanced mental activity significantly. However, fasting cannot go on indefinitely.In 1924, Dr. Russell Wilder at the Mayo Clinic developed a treatment plan for patients with epilepsy using a ketogenic diet. He had previously used it to prolong ketosis in diabetic patients. Around the same time, physicians at Johns Hopkins Department of Pediatrics, Howland and Gamble, noted that “prayer, a water diet and three to four weeks of fasting” reduced seizures in one pediatric patient. The diet became commonly prescribed treatment for epilepsy by the 1930s. A study performed by Dr. Livingston at Johns Hopkins found that 1000 patients following a ketogenic diet confirmed that their seizures were under control. Treatment using ketogenic diets began to decline with the development of anti-seizure medications. What is Keto? Keto is derived from and commonly used to refer to the word ketone. A ketone is an organic compound composed of a carbonyl group bonded to two hydrocarbon groups. There are many different types of ketones including sugars. In the body, ketones are produced when fat is broken down to supply energy. They are essentially small fragments of carbon. Typically, the body gets energy from carbohydrates in the diet. If there is a deficiency in carbohydrates, Continue reading >>

Lemon Water And Ketosis? You Better Believe It

Lemon Water And Ketosis? You Better Believe It

Just so we are all on the same pager here… Yes, you need to be drinking lemon water daily if you are on this high fat diet. When you are going keto, your PH balance actually decrease meaning your body is becoming more acidic. This is due to a couple of reasons Ketones are actually an acid Some of the food you eat, lead to higher levels of uric acid in the body Both of which effect your body’s PH levels This build up of uric acid can come from a handful of different foods we eat. Uric acid is the byproduct of certain proteins called purines. Some common sources of purines are: Game Meats Turkey Beer Seafood Caffeine These sources coupled with getting into Ketosis, which also boost uric acid can be a driving force behind elevated uric acid levels.. When uric acid levels get too high in the body, they can crystalize or even turn into gout (sever joint pain)… which is not good for anybody The other reason why lemon water is so important is because it counter acts kidney stones. Eating certain healthy foods… like the ones we generally eat on keto.. Kale Spinach Nuts Lentils/legumes (not so keto) ..are actually high in oxalates and when combined with calcium in the kidney you can develop kidney stones.. Thankfully the citric acid in lemon (and lime) juice is the remedy for both of these issues. When consumed, lemon juice actually turns into an alkaline substance in the body… …Which not only alkalizes your PH but also neutralizes uric acid crystals as well as dissolves/prevents kidney stones. The reason this is important is because consuming lemon water actually let’s you continue to eat all the foods listed above with no issues down the road. Not to mention, lemons are also a fantastic source of vitamin C which play a huge role in the body.. Most importantly str Continue reading >>

Epilepsy Miracle Diet Cuts Seizures Drugs Can't

Epilepsy Miracle Diet Cuts Seizures Drugs Can't

(CBS) What do you call a father who makes his grade-schooler eat heavy cream, butter, bacon, eggs, and whole-fat yogurt mixed with coconut oil? If the child has epilepsy, you might call him a good dad. Sounds implausible, but research has shown that a super-high fat, low-carbohydrate diet can cut the frequency of seizures in kids with epilepsy. One dad familiar with the diet, Fred Vogelstein, wrote about it recently in the New York Times. His nine-year-old son Sam has epilepsy, and before going on the diet he had as many as 30 seizures a day - and they couldn't be controlled with antiseizure medication. Sam's diet - which is almost 90 percent fat - "tricks" the body into starvation mode, which causes it to burn fat, and not carbohydrates, according to Vogelstein. "Remarkably, and for reasons that are still unclear, this process - called ketosis - has an antiepileptic effect," he writes. The ketogenic diet - "keto" for short - is not some fringe treatment. It was developed almost 80 years ago, according to the Epilepsy Foundation website. And it helps two out of three children who try it, preventing seizures completely in one out of three. But the diet has its downsides. Sam has to drink lots of water to avoid kidney stones, and he has to use stool softeners to cope with chronic constipation, according to his dad. Plus, he has to take a daily multivitamin and calcium-magnesium supplement. Otherwise, "his growth would be stunted, his hair and teeth would fall out, and his bones would become as brittle as an 80 year-old's." But for Sam and his dad, those problems are a small price to pay. Three million Americans have epilepsy, including more than 325,000 children under the age of 15, according to the Epilepsy Foundation. Continue reading >>

The Paleo Diet And Kidney Stones

The Paleo Diet And Kidney Stones

A long time ago…well, it was actually only about 3 years ago, but it certainly feels like a long time ago…when I first began my Nutritional Odyssey, one of the first stops on my quest, was the Ketogenic diet. I read Lyle McDonald’s book “The Ketogenic Diet”, and promptly lost 24lbs of pure body-fat over the next two months. I wasn’t interested in the Ketogenic Diet as it pertains to the form of the diet that some progressive doctors are prescribing to children with Epilepsy, I was more concerned about the weight-loss and body-building applications as they pertained to me. It was obvious to me at the time, that the general consensus was that there is a high risk of Kidney stones while on a Ketogenic diet, and that Potassium supplementation was highly recommended to combat this heightened risk. Why is there a higher risk of Kidney Stones while on a Ketogenic Diet? Kidney stones are a frequent occurrence on the ketogenic diet for epilepsy. [1, 2, 3] About 1 in 20 children on the ketogenic diet develop kidney stones per year, compared with one in several thousand among the general population. [] On children who follow the ketogenic diet for six years, the incidence of kidney stones is about 25% []. A 100-fold odds ratio is hardly ever seen in medicine. There must be some fundamental cause of kidney stones that is dramatically promoted by clinical ketogenic diets. Just over half of ketogenic diet kidney stones are composed of uric acid and just under half of calcium oxalate mixed with calcium phosphate or uric acid. Among the general public, about 85% of stones are calcium oxalate mixes and about 10% are uric acid. So, roughly speaking, uric acid kidney stones are 500-fold more frequent on the ketogenic diet and calcium oxalate stones are 50-fold more frequent.� Continue reading >>

The Truth About The Ketogenic Diet

The Truth About The Ketogenic Diet

“Keto- what?!” You probably have either said this yourself or have heard someone else say this. The ketogenic diet, originally used to treat epilepsy in children and help reduce seizure frequency, has recently gotten more attention as a mainstream diet touted for weight loss. But what exactly is it all about and is it healthy? The ketogenic diet is a high fat, low carbohydrate diet with moderate amounts of protein. The ratio commonly used is 90% fat to 10% protein+carbohydrate. By reducing the amount of carbohydrate intake, the body is forced to use fat stores as its energy source instead of its preferred source of glucose. The fat from those stores is converted into ketones, which the body can utilize as energy. This process is referred to as ketosis. Precautions While the use of ketones produced from fat stores may sounds appealing for weight loss, it can actually be life-threatening. Ketones are highly acidic and when large amounts are produced in the body they begin to build up and “spill over” into the blood and urine resulting in ketoacidosis. At this point the chemical composition of your blood becomes completely out of balance and can cause potential negative effects on the heart, kidneys, bones, and central nervous system, possibly leading to a coma or even death. The brain prefers glucose as its primary energy source to fuel the central nervous system and the shift to ketones can cause brain fog. Potential Cons: Increased cholesterol levels, possibly leading to bigger risk of heart disease Increased risk for kidney stones due to acidic ketones Excessive excretion of calcium, raising risk for osteoporosis Constipation due to decreased consumption of fiber-containing foods Deficiencies in several vitamins and minerals due to extreme food restriction “K Continue reading >>

My Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet: Day 54 + Potassium Deficiency

My Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet: Day 54 + Potassium Deficiency

Weight: 154 lb Transgressions: TNTC (too numerous to count) Exercise: none Comments The Potassium Problem My current food intake on the Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet appears to be low in potassium, which might have long-term health consequences if followed for many months or years. According to the Linus Pauling Institute’s Micronutrient Information Center, adequate potassium intake apparently decreases blood pressure, reduces salt sensitivity, decreases risk of kidney stones, and protects against osteoporosis and stroke. These associations between higher potassium intake and lower condition rates are based mostly on observational studies of populations in which some people eat little potassium and others eat a lot. It’s assumed that people with higher potassium intake are eating more fruits and vegetables, not taking supplements. The Linus Pauling Institute agrees with the U.S. Institute of Medicine’s “Adequate Intake” value for potassium of 4,700 mg daily for average adults. The current U.S. Food and Drug Administration Daily Value is about 3,500 mg. I’m only getting 2,000 mg/day now. Multivitamin/multimineral supplements in the U.S. provide a maximum of 99 mg potassium (by law?). I bought a potassium gluconate supplement at CVS Pharmacy last night: 90 mg potassium, a drop in the bucket. I dropped into a Hi Health vitamin store (health food store?) today and would swear I saw a combined magnesium and potassium supplement that contained 150 mg potassium. Excess potassium intake can be life-threatening in certain situations such as kidney impairment and use of medications like potassium-sparing diuretics and ACE inhibitors. Relatively high meat intake tends to create an acidic environment in the body, which our bones help to buffer or counteract. In the proce Continue reading >>

Brain, Livin’ On Ketones – A Molecular Neuroscience Look At The Ketogenic Diet

Brain, Livin’ On Ketones – A Molecular Neuroscience Look At The Ketogenic Diet

Edited October 3, 2013: A 2.0 version of this post can be found at Scientific American MIND Guest blogs, here. And here’s me talking about it. Feel free to check it out! WARNING: Wall of text on the yummy neuroprotective effect of ketosis from a molecular neuroscience point of view. Proceed with caution. Remember when your high school biology teacher said that the brain absolutely NEEDS glucose to function? Well, that’s not entirely true. Under severe carbohydrate restriction, the brain can adapt and start burning ketones as fuel. Originally devised as a therapy for drug-resistant epilepsy in children, the ketogenic diet (keto) has been gaining popularity lately. It’s a high fat, moderate protein and low carbohydrate diet (LCHF) designed to force the body to go into a state called metabolic ketosis. With the advent of books like “Good Calories, Bad Calories” and “Why we get fat”, LCHF diets are increasingly touted as the magic bullet to weight loss. While there is considerable interest in the medical community in using the ketogenic diet to manage metabolic syndrome or prevent cardiovascular disease, more attention has focused on its role in drug-resistant seizure management and (potentially) neuroprotective effects in brain damage. In the last decade, keto has been shown to improve memory in patients at risk for Alzheimer’s disease, stabilize mood in type II bipolar disorder, reduce symptoms in Parkinson’s disease and even ameliorate some behavioral and social deficits in autism. Keto also seems to decrease brain cancer progression. ALL without observable side effects. Although most of these studies were unblinded (hence placebo can’t be ruled out), the effect is still amazing. What is going on in the brain? And why aren’t pharmaceutical companies Continue reading >>

How To Maintain Ketosis

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 >>

Hypercalciuria And Urolithiasis In Patients On The Ketogenic Diet 1652

Hypercalciuria And Urolithiasis In Patients On The Ketogenic Diet 1652

The high fat, low carbohydrate ketogenic diet is increasingly used for management of difficult to control seizures. In recent years 4 patients with stones on the ketogenic diet have been reported (3 uric acid and 1 mixed calcium phosphate, calcium oxalate stone). We have recently seen 11 additional patients of approximately 100 on the ketogenic diet, who developed microscopic or gross hematuria. Five patients, all with gross hematuria, had renal stones. Two of the stones were mixed calcium phosphate, calcium oxalate stones. Three stones were uric acid stones. Ten of the 11 patients who developed hematuria on the ketogenic diet had evidence of hypercalciuria (urine calcium:creatinine>0.2) on a fasting spot urinalysis. To further evaluate this phenomenon, we are now prospectively screening all patients embarking on the ketogenic diet for the development of hematuria and hypercalciuria. In this prospective study, half of the patients (n=2) had hypercalciuria prior to embarking on the diet. After 3 months on the diet, an additional patient developed hypercalciuria, and another maintained normal calcium excretion on the diet. Low urinary flow rates, low urine pH, and hypercalciuria probably contribute to kidney stone formation in children on the ketogenic diet. Physicians placing children on the ketogenic diet should be aware of this potential complication and screen for it. Continue reading >>

Obesity And Fitness Are Revolutionized By Reddit, Not Doctors

Obesity And Fitness Are Revolutionized By Reddit, Not Doctors

From reading the article I get the impression that the author isn't that familiar with the scientific literature at all. The evidence he presents against the usefulness of cardio for weight loss compares a group of weightlifters against a group of runners who ran only 20km per week and they still lost marginally more weight than the weightlifters! Cardio really should be a minimum of an hour per day, at least 5 days a week if weight control is the goal. Health benefits accrue much sooner, though. Science certainly hasn't weighed in on favor of high protein diets or abandoning cardio unless you cherry pick specific smaller studies to get what you're looking for. On the other hand there are HUGE studies supporting cardio, both for weight loss and for health. I've written about this many times before on HN: According to the 32,000 person study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (1999), "fit persons with any combination of smoking, elevated blood pressure, or elevated cholesterol level had lower adjusted death rates than low-fit persons with none of these characteristics". The same study found that aerobic fitness had a far more important impact on longevity than obesity did. Fantastic Voyage, Kurzweil and Grossman, Chapter 22. Here's a report on a study that monitored over 100,000 people: Paul Williams, Ph.D., author of the study, found that men who ran two or more marathons per year were 41 percent less likely to suffer from high blood pressure, 32 percent less likely to have high cholesterol, and 87 percent less likely to be diabetic than non-marathoners. Those who ran only one marathon every two to five years also had significantly lower risk for these conditions than non-marathoners. The benefits of running marathons were largely independent of total number Continue reading >>

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