A Neurologist On Ketone Drinks & What The Ketogenic Diet Can (really) Do For Your Brain
Ilene Ruhoy, M.D., Ph.D. Deciding what to eat for optimal health can be confusing. There are so many different dietary approaches, and each is touted as the most beneficial to our health and waistlines, yet the actual nutrition advice often differs greatly or conflicts. It can be difficult to keep up with all the trends and fads, and sometimes it's hard to know who to trust. I'm often asked for nutritional guidance in my clinic, and recently I've been hearing a lot of questions about the ketogenic diet from my patients. Here's exactly what I tell them. Despite its current surge in popularity, the ketogenic diet has been around for a long time and is commonly used for refractory seizure disorders (epilepsy). In fact, evidence of its efficacy for epilepsy dates back as far as 1921. There are many different types of the ketogenic diet,including the classic version, the medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) diet, the modified Atkins diet, and the low-glycemic diet. Because fasting is a rapid method of achieving ketosis, intermittent fasting diets can also be ketogenic depending on how it's accomplished. But what is ketosis? Here are five simple scientific facts that I often give to my patients: 1. In ketosis, human metabolism switches its main energy source from carbohydrates to fatty acids and ketones once the storage form of glucose (glucagon) is used up. 2. In ketosis, the fat cells break down triglycerides into fatty acids, and those fatty acids are used as the energy source by the liver and muscles. 3. The liver cells take the fatty acids and oxidize them into ketones, which are used as the energy source by the brain, muscles, and other tissues. 4. Ketones are in the specific forms acetoacetate, acetone, and beta-hydroxybutyrate. Therefore, checking beta-hydroxybutyrate seru Continue reading >>
Ketosis Signs & Appetite
Ketosis is a metabolic condition in which the body begins breaking down fats, thus releasing carbon fragments known as ketones from the liver. The liver produces ketones as a byproduct of breaking down fatty acids. When your body is in a state of ketosis, your appetite is typically reduced. For this reason, some diets -- such as a low-carbohydrate diet -- aim to trigger a state of ketosis in your body. If too many ketones are released, however, this can have harmful consequences. Video of the Day Having diabetes, not eating or eating a low carbohydrate diet can induce ketosis. This is because ketosis occurs when your body does not have or is not able to use glycogen, which is the body’s stored form of carbohydrate. Because your body does not have glycogen, it switches to its next option: burning fat. This fat releases ketones in the body, inducing a state of ketosis. Because ketones are sweet by nature, one sign of ketosis is fruity-smelling breath. Nausea, fatigue and water and muscle loss are other symptoms. Another sign is an initial boost in appetite, followed by a loss of appetite. This is because when ketosis is induced, this signals the body that it is in a state of starvation. The liver and stomach send signals to the brain that it is starving, and keeps you from feeling satiated. However, over time the body becomes accustomed to its fat burning mode and adapts. Your hunger is then reduced after about a two- to four-week time period. If you are trying to lose weight, inducing a state of ketosis and reducing your appetite can be beneficial. This is because ketosis does not completely reduce your appetite, but instead helps to reduce your cravings for food that can sometimes lead you to overeat. The heart, brain and other muscle tissues “prefer” to burn keto Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Supplements Reviews Fast & Safe Keto Products For Weight Loss
Ketogenic supplements are taking the world by storm and the right product can steady the balance of fats that your body needs to get your body into that state of ketosis. Those of you who have tried this form of weight loss before are probably more than aware of how hard it can be to first get your body to adapt to such a dramatic change in your daily intake of food, let alone without the help of a single exogenous ketone supplement. And the situation isn’t made any easier if you use a poor quality ketosis supplement because the wrong product may actually do you more harm than good. Bad quality ketosis supplements, have proven to lead to side-effects such as constipation and increased levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in men and women may also experience amenorrhea or other disruptions to the menstrual cycle. This is why it is really important to know what combination of compounds you are consuming, particularly while you are on this very strict diet, because the wrong balance can really mess with you in the long term. DO YOUR RESEARCH. I can't stress this point enough. This lifestyle change isn't for the faint hearted and you can't just wing it. It's a calculated exercise, which can lead to so many benefits. Check out the rest of this article so you can get up to speed, on how everything works and what powder or pill are actually out there and when you're finished go deeper and read our articles on the science behind this fascinating and our reviews on the best mix of exogenous ketone supplements out there in the market. Because without the knowledge and the right information, you'll never reach your goals and you may as well just keep eating that mash potato for dinner and club sandwich for lunch. Believe me, I stumbled onto this trend before it even blew up a Continue reading >>
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Complete Guide To Sweeteners On A Low-carb Ketogenic Diet
Most people on low-carb find that once they get used to the diet, the cravings for sugar go away. Many even claim not to use any sweeteners at all. However, you may find it hard to give up sweets, especially at the beginning. I've been researching for natural low-carb sweeteners as well as other healthy alternatives to sugar. As always, there are many sweeteners you should avoid. I personally avoid using sweeteners regularly and only use them for occasional treats. In fact, most of my recipes in KetoDiet, KetoDiet Basic and my new cookbook don't include any sweeteners at all. If your target is weight loss, sweeteners may impair your progress, as even so-called "zero-carb" sweeteners may cause cravings. If your weight is stalling, avoiding sweeteners or joining my 30-Day Clean Eating Challenge is a good way to break the weight loss plateau. You can download a print-friendly version of this guide here! Best Natural Low-carb Sweeteners Following is an overview of healthy sweeteners you could use provided your net carbs limit allows for it. People with very low net carbs limit should avoid using anything other than "zero-carb" sweeteners, like Stevia, Monk fruit sweetener or Erythritol. 1. Stevia Stevia is an herb, which is commonly known as "sugar leaf". The extract from this herb is used as a sweetener and sugar substitute. Based on the USDA database, Stevia belongs to a group of non-nutritive sweeteners. This means there are no calories, vitamins or any other nutrients. The availability of Stevia can vary from country to country. Nowadays, it is commonly used in the US and was approved for use in the EU in 2011. The health effects of Stevia have been questioned for the past few decades. However, based on recent studies of the WHO (World Health Organization), Stevia extra Continue reading >>
Ketosis – Nature’s Great Gift For Life-long Health January 23, 2016 Detox, Energy, Healing Foods, Heath And Beauty, Inflammation, The Body, Weight Loss0 Comments
It’s important for you to learn about the power of ketones. They bring vitality, mental clarity, and top sports performance. Becoming keto-adapted may offer protection from early aging as well as treatments for many illnesses, from cancer and Alzheimers to heart conditions, insulin resistance and othere. There is even evidence from animal studies that ketones may lengthen lives. The high carbohydrate way of eating which more than 90% of people follow locks the body into a dependance on carbohydrates and sugars for energy and in the process can seriously undermine health. It is possible in a few weeks to retrain your body so you are living at a much higher level of strength, energy, and mental clarity by simply changing your diet. AMAZING KETONES What is ketosis? And why might you want it? Ketones are natural by-products of your body’s ability to burn fats for energy. Tiny ketone bodies derived from fatty acids provide fuel for all your body’s cells and tissues—including brain function. Although as yet little recognized by mainstream medicine, a low level of ketosis is likely to be the optimal state of metabolism for human beings. This is because our genome has evolved to express itself most effectively when we eat a very low carbohydrate diet just as our ancestors did going back many thousands of years. When a body produces ketones efficiently, these minute ketone bodies accumulate in the bloodstream producing a perfectly safe state known as nutritional ketosis. Mainstream medicine remains ignorant about the profound benefits which can come to a human body as it becomes keto-adapted because most doctors confuse nutritional ketosis with a potentially dangerous complication that occurs to some Type 1 Diabetics known as ketoacidosis. KETONES OR SUGAR There are two Continue reading >>
Ketosis In An Evolutionary Context
Humans are unique in their remarkable ability to enter ketosis. They’re also situated near the top of the food chain. Coincidence? During starvation, humans rapidly enter ketosis; they do this better than king penguins, and bears don’t do it at all. Starvation ketosis Humans maintain a high level of functionality during starvation. We can still hunt & plan; some would even argue it’s a more finely tuned state, cognitively. And that’s important, because if we became progressively weaker and slower, chances of acquiring food would rapidly decline. Perhaps this is why fasting bears just sleep most of the time: no ketones = no bueno..? Animals with a low brain/carcass weight ratio (ie, small brain) don’t need it. Babies and children have a higher brain/carcass weight ratio, so they develop ketosis more rapidly than adults. Is this a harmful process? No, more likely an evolutionary adaptation which supports the brain. The brain of newborn babies consumes a huge amount of total daily energy, and nearly half comes from ketones. A week or so later, even after the carbohydrate content of breast milk increases, they still don’t get “kicked out of ketosis” (Bourneres et al., 1986). If this were a harmful state, why would Nature have done this? …and all those anecdotes, like babies learn at incredibly rapid rates… coincidence? Maybe they’re myths. Maybe not. Ketosis in the animal kingdom Imagine a hibernating bear: huge adipose tissue but small brain fuel requirement relative to body size and total energy expenditure. No ketosis, because brain accounts for less than 5% of total metabolism. In adult humans, this is around 19-23%, and babies are much higher (eg, Cahill and Veech, 2003 & Hayes et al., 2012). For the rest of this article and more, head over to Pat Continue reading >>
7-day Ketogenic Meal Plan
This amazing article was written by Nicole, a holistic nutritionist with a strong belief that it is possible for everyone to discover how good their body is designed to feel. Nicole works in partnership with her clients to achieve a lifestyle that is both balanced, fulfilling and nourishing. Go check out her fantastic blog with healthy recipes, or follow her on Facebook! If you’ve been active in the realm of natural health and wellness for more than 5-minutes, you’ve probably heard of the ketogenic diet. This low-carb, high-fat diet is one where grass-fed butter and pasture-raised bacon have a potential in being health foods. Yes, that’s right. Now – I’ve always been on #TeamButter. But maybe you’re thinking this is too good to be true… A Brief History of The Ketogenic Diet While keto may appear like it’s the latest trend for weight loss, mental focus, blood sugar management, increased energy, improved athletic performance and longevity – this low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) way of eating has actually been practiced and studied since the 1920’s , and the benefits also exceed our own aesthetic pleasure. Initially studied for its effects on reducing the frequency of epileptic seizures , this style of eating has also been shown beneficial for other neurodegenerative disorders such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. In addition, for those with traumatic brain injury – when a bump, blow or jolt to the head causes damage to the brain . How Ketosis Works Ketosis is a natural state that the body activates to help us survive when food intake is low. The end goal of a proper keto diet is to encourage the body to enter this metabolic state – where circulating ketones can now be used as your main energy source. However, when following 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 >>
This article is about a dietary therapy for epilepsy. For information on ketogenic diets as a lifestyle choice or for weight loss, see Low-carbohydrate diet and No-carbohydrate diet. The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that in medicine is used primarily to treat difficult-to-control (refractory) epilepsy in children. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Normally, the carbohydrates contained in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported around the body and is particularly important in fueling brain-function. However, if there is very little carbohydrate in the diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The ketone bodies pass into the brain and replace glucose as an energy source. An elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood, a state known as ketosis, leads to a reduction in the frequency of epileptic seizures. Almost half of children, and young people, with epilepsy who have tried some form of this diet saw the number of seizures drop by at least half, and the effect persists even after discontinuing the diet. There is some evidence that adults with epilepsy may benefit from the diet, and that a less strict regimen, such as a modified Atkins diet, is similarly effective. The most common adverse effect is constipation, affecting about 30% of patients—this was due to fluid restriction, which was once a feature of the diet, but this led to increased risk of kidney stones, and is no longer considered beneficial. The original therapeutic diet for paediatric epilepsy provides just enough protein for body growth and repair, and sufficient calories[Note 1] to maintain the correct weight for age and height. The classic therapeutic ketogenic diet was develope Continue reading >>
The Natural Alternative? Part 1
The Ketogenic Diet Over the next couple of posts I am going to be tackling one of the most controversial and technically complex areas I have ever covered on this blog. Captain Science and I have been researching this for several months, keen to get our facts completely straight before it drops. It is something that we believe is extraordinarily important, as there seems to be a number of highly dangerous individuals out there, exploiting vulnerable people for commercial gain. Exposing this sort of thing is exactly what we do, and I am reliably informed that these posts will make a small number of these charlatans extremely unhappy. Whoop, whoop. That’s what we like to see. We have deliberately held it back because for various book related reasons, Angry Chef is going to be getting a fair bit of publicity and attention in the next couple of weeks, and this is one set of posts that we want to make sure that plenty of people read. It is an issue that desperately needs bright light shining upon it, and that is exactly what we are going to do. And to the few people we are going to be targeting, we say bring it on. Try picking a fight with an imaginary chef who talks to a voice in his head and an anonymous bullshit fighting superhero. We are ready for you, do not underestimate us. We have our team in place, and will tirelessly fight to defend the truth in our corner of the world. But for today, I am not going to tackle the vile bullshit mongers and snake oil sellers, because in order to fully understand the nature of the false hope they sell, we need to explain an area of nutritional science that not many people will be fully aware of. I have been thinking about this post for quite a while and there is no short way around it - we are going to have to talk science for a bit Continue reading >>
Ketosis – Key To Human Babies’ Big Brains?
Prof Noakes is on trial for ‘advising’ a mom to wean her baby onto low carb, high fat foods. Could babies’ innate ketosis – a state more often associated with low-carb, high-fat diets – be an arrow in Prof Noakes’ defence’s quiver? By Tamzyn Murphy Campbell BSc, BSc Med(Hons) Human Nutrition and Dietetics, RD Did you know that human newborns and exclusively breastfed babies are in ketosis? 1 I am a dietitian, with two years of intensive postgraduate training in nutrition, and I didn’t realise this until just over a month ago. The fact that human babies are naturally in ketosis is an inconvenient truth because it implies that ketosis (which also occurs when fasting or eating a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet) is not only a natural metabolic state for human infants, but that it’s probably beneficial too. Nature seldom does something without a reason, so it’s likely that ketosis may confer some kind of evolutionary advantage to human infants. Research suggests that it may be one of the main factors behind the development of the large human brain. 2 “Nature seldom does something without a reason, so it’s likely that ketosis may confer some kind of evolutionary advantage to human infants. Research suggests that it may be one of the main factors behind the development of the large human brain. ” A word on ketones and ketosis Ketosis is a metabolic state where your body uses fat as fuel in preference to carbohydrates – as occurs when fasting or eating a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet. The body makes ketones from fat, when dietary glucose (from carbohydrates and sugar) is low. Ketones can be used as fuel to produce the energy your body and brain needs to function. The human brain only has two options for fuel: glucose or ketones. The other body orga Continue reading >>
What Is A Ketogenic Diet?
So what is a ketogenic diet? Despite its popularity in today’s society, few truly understand what a ketogenic diet is. One of the best definitions I’ve come across is by a colleague of mine who stated that, “A ketogenic diet is one in which glucogenic substrates (non-fiber carbohydrates and glucogenic amino acids) are low enough to force the body to primarily rely on fat as substrate.” The ketogenic diet is traditionally a high-fat, moderate-protein, and very low-carbohydrate diet and through the appropriate balance of these three macronutrients (protein, fat, carbohydrates), we are able to alter our energy utilization and enter a unique metabolic state known as nutritional ketosis. Nutritional ketosis, not to be confused with diabetic ketoacidosis, is a state in which the body switches its preferred fuel source from carbohydrates to fat, which results in the production of an additional fuel source known as ketones or ketone bodies. These ketones can be rapidly broken down for energy production by various tissues throughout the body. As stated above, the ketogenic diet allows the body to use an alternative fuel source (i.e. ketones) to meet the demands of the body. The adaptations that allow us to enter ketosis take time, and this transition period is often referred to as keto-adaptation. Once keto-adaptation occurs, you are considered to be “fat-adapted”. There are several ways in which the body can enter a state of ketosis, with the most common being a ketogenic diet. When attempting to enter ketosis through dietary manipulation, it is essential to keep in mind the recommended fat, protein, and carbohydrate intakes. As with most diets, there is no “one-size-fits-all approach” for a ketogenic diet. The ratios and amounts of each macronutrient of the die Continue reading >>
Why You Should Stay Away From Natural Ketosis
I’m a little bit embarrassed to admit this. I almost didn’t post about this on Nose Graze because I didn’t really want anyone I know to know what my husband and I did. But I’m just going to suck it up and talk about it because I so badly wanted to post/blog about this SOMEWHERE. A “bespoke” weight loss programme My husband and I wanted to try a low carb diet for weight loss purposes, but for some reason we had ZERO confidence in our cooking abilities. Yes we had cooked before, but it was always stuff like: boil pasta and add sauce from a jar. Easy. But on a low carb diet, pasta was going to be out of the question. Suddenly, we were terrified. We didn’t have any confidence in our cooking skills and didn’t believe we could go on a low carb diet by ourselves. So we sought out a company that would deliver prepared meals to us, and that’s how we found Natural Ketosis. They brag about their personal consultations, their “all natural” and “high quality” food that’s “from local farms”. What if we don’t like the food? Our biggest concern with using a company like this was the quality of the food. What if we didn’t like it? There’s no way we’d be able to diet on food that we hated. So, the first thing we did was check their terms and conditions for some kind of refund policy. Their terms state: Right to Cancel Your Diet Plan Pursuant to the terms of the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling ) Regulations 2000 (” the Regulations”) once you have concluded a contract for a Programme or Plan with us your seven day cooling off period will commence. To effectively cancel your Programme or Plan pursuant to these provisions you must return within 30 days all goods delivered to our head office at your cost in adequate condition and unopened. .. Continue reading >>
Ketosis For Reduced Inflammation
Inflammation plays an important part in the body’s ability to heal itself and stay protected from illness, and other damage. But too much inflammation can have serious consequences — including chronic diseases that become debilitating for many people. One of the beneficial aspects of the ketogenic diet is how it can be anti-inflammatory, and many people are turning to ketosis as a way to help manage and reduce symptoms from inflammation. This article is all about how one can use ketosis for reduced inflammation — and the best anti-inflammatory ketogenic foods. How Ketosis Reduces Inflammation Being in ketosis means the body is utilizing fat instead of sugar for energy, and it’s likely that you’ve heard sugar is inflammatory. Excess sugar causes the body to: Produce high amounts of insulin Raise inflammation markers Make free radicals, which are molecules that can inflame blood vessel linings and stimulate the body’s immune response Trigger chronic disease Eating a ketogenic diet that is very low in sugar helps halt the surges of insulin from unregulated sugar levels that raise blood sugar and create inflammation in the body. To understand this better, let’s take a closer look the relationship between inflammation, disease, and pain that often comes from both. Inflammation, Pain, and Chronic Disease Behind most chronic diseases, such as nerve damage, arthritis, or diabetes, is a high amount of inflammation. This often comes with a lot of pain, too. There are many factors involved in chronic inflammation, including a sedentary lifestyle, high stress levels, exposure to toxins like tobacco smoke, or having a family history of inflammation. However, what we choose to eat every day plays a big part too. Opiate drugs, which are most commonly used to treat pain, Continue reading >>
Do Ketogenic Diets Have A Place In Human Evolution?
Part 1: How to think about ketogenic diets within human evolutionary history In the past decade ketogenic diets in humans have started to attract the attention of a few forward thinking researchers as well as a small number of online health enthusiasts. In any diet there are three main elements called macronutrients – fat, protein and carbohydrate. On a ketogenic diet most calories come from fat (65-90%), a moderate amount from protein (<10-25%) and a small amount from carbohydrate (0-15%). A ketogenic diet is often mistaken for a high-protein diet. This is not accurate. A ketogenic diet means eating food that produces ketones, a kind of molecule in the blood that provides energy, like glucose does. Producing a high enough level of ketones is called being in ketosis and it is a metabolic state in which the body relies much less on glucose. The who’s who of low-carbohydrate ketogenic research, headed by Accuros et al. in 2008 (1), defined ketogenic diets as containing <10% of calories from carbohydrates. There are two reasons that I prefer to give a range of 0-15%. First, scientists have not fed large populations in a controlled manner to see how much of each macronutrient is needed to shift more than half of them into nutritional ketosis (we lack empirical data on this). This is complicated by that fact that different people get into nutritional ketosis more or less easily because of various factors, like their level of insulin resistance for example. Second, scientists have not yet defined what the nutritional ketosis threshold is exactly, despite their being good approximations. Before exploring the appropriateness of ketogenic diets for humans, I’d like to justify why I approach questions of human health and nutrition the way I do by introducing 2 concepts; evo Continue reading >>