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Low Carb But Not In Ketosis

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 >>

5 Most Common Low-carb Mistakes (and How To Avoid Them)

5 Most Common Low-carb Mistakes (and How To Avoid Them)

A few months ago, I read a book called The Art and Science of Low-Carbohydrate Living. The authors are two of the world's leading researchers on low-carb diets. Dr. Jeff S. Volek is a Registered Dietitian and Dr. Stephen D. Phinney is a medical doctor. These guys have performed many studies and have treated thousands of patients with a low-carb diet. According to them, there are many stumbling blocks that people tend to run into, which can lead to adverse effects and suboptimal results. To get into full-blown ketosis and reap all the metabolic benefits of low-carb, merely cutting back on the carbs isn't enough. If you haven't gotten the results you expected on a low-carb diet, then perhaps you were doing one of these 5 common mistakes. There is no clear definition of exactly what constitutes a "low carb diet." Some would call anything under 100-150 grams per day low-carb, which is definitely a lot less than the standard Western diet. A lot of people could get awesome results within this carbohydrate range, as long as they ate real, unprocessed foods. But if you want to get into ketosis, with plenty of ketoness flooding your bloodstream to supply your brain with an efficient source of energy, then this level of intake may be excessive. It could take some self experimentation to figure out your optimal range as this depends on a lot of things, but most people will need to go under 50 grams per day to get into full-blown ketosis. This doesn't leave you with many carb options except vegetables and small amounts of berries. If you want to get into ketosis and reap the full metabolic benefits of low-carb, going under 50 grams of carbs per day may be required. Protein is a very important macronutrient, which most people aren't getting enough of. It can improve satiety and incr Continue reading >>

From Dr. Josh Axe, Dnm, Dc, Cns

From Dr. Josh Axe, Dnm, Dc, Cns

The ketogenic diet (or “keto,” for short) is a very low-carb diet that has been used by doctors since the 1920s to help their patients heal from diseases including epilepsy, high cholesterol, and, of course, obesity. In fact, research shows that the keto diet is one of the most effective dietary approaches for encouraging weight loss, in addition to preventing neurological disorders and normalizing blood sugar levels, thus offering protection against conditions like diabetes. Unlike most diets that focus on calorie restriction as a means of weight loss, the goal of the ketogenic diet is to cut off the body’s supply of glucose from carbohydrates. While low-carb diets like the Atkins Diet have been popular for many years, not everyone is able to achieve the results they’re looking for. As a result, some who have tried a moderate low-carb diet may find that transitioning to a the stricter keto diet can finally help them to reverse symptoms they’ve been dealing with for years, including stubborn weight loss or fatigue. But there is certainly no “one size fits all” dietary strategy that will work well for every person. To help you decide which type of low carb diet might be the best fit for you, here are five key differences between the keto diet and most other low-carb diets: 1. Only Keto Puts You into Ketosis Low carb diets and the ketogenic diet have similar positive affects on the body’s ability to burn stored body fat. However, only the keto diet will put you into a true state of “ketosis.” Ketosis is the metabolic state in which ketone bodies are used for fuel, rather than glucose—which is typically provided by high-sugar and high-carb foods, and is the body’s preferred source of energy. When the body relies on fat for energy, this fat comes fro Continue reading >>

Is Ketosis Necessary On A Low-carb Diet? Let’s Ask The Experts!

Is Ketosis Necessary On A Low-carb Diet? Let’s Ask The Experts!

One of the most asked about aspects of livin’ la vida low-carb has got to the issue of ketosis. There is so much misinformation about there about this very natural state that the body goes through when you are on a low-carb diet (primarily confusing it with a serious condition that diabetics must be careful of called ketoacidosis–NOT the same as ketosis). As such, there may be confusion that lingers out there among my readers who are just learning about this way of eating. In this recent blog post where I provided some “quickie one-liner” responses to some e-mails, I made the following statement: Being in ketosis is like being pregnant–you either are or you’re not; regardless of what the Ketosticks show you, if you are eating less than 30g carbohydrates a day, then you ARE in ketosis.? One of my readers named Charles Fred decided to respond to my statement which he disagreed with and it gets to the very heart of this issue about ketosis. Here’s what he wrote: Your statement reflects today?’s informed opinion, but my article in work, ?Unified Physiology of the Metabolic Syndrome,? has given me an unusual perspective which for the sake of brevity I?’ll state dogmatically. Ketosis need not and should not be part of low-carb eating. Low-carb diets should never be labeled as ?ketogenic? diets. Ketosis appears to be an ?Induction? phase of low-carb eating, but in fact it is a last ditch response to inadequate glucose. As such it is either temporary or avoidable. Low-carb eating is the evolution-derived diet of humans (unlike other primates). Humans are carnivores, hunters, because human evolution happened pre-fire and pre-agriculture when very few carbs were edible. For carnivores, gluconeogenesis in the liver supplies all necessary glucose. But if someone a Continue reading >>

Why Dka & Nutritional Ketosis Are Not The Same

Why Dka & Nutritional Ketosis Are Not The Same

There’s a very common misconception and general misunderstanding around ketones. Specifically, the misunderstandings lie in the areas of: ketones that are produced in low-carb diets of generally less than 50 grams of carbs per day, which is low enough to put a person in a state of “nutritional ketosis” ketones that are produced when a diabetic is in a state of “diabetic ketoacidosis” (DKA) and lastly, there are “starvation ketones” and “illness-induced ketones” The fact is they are very different. DKA is a dangerous state of ketosis that can easily land a diabetic in the hospital and is life-threatening. Meanwhile, “nutritional ketosis” is the result of a nutritional approach that both non-diabetics and diabetics can safely achieve through low-carb nutrition. Diabetic Ketoacidosis vs. Nutritional Ketosis Ryan Attar (soon to be Ryan Attar, ND) helps explain the science and actual human physiology behind these different types of ketone production. Ryan is currently studying to become a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine in Connecticut and also pursuing a Masters Degree in Human Nutrition. He has interned under the supervision of the very well-known diabetes doc, Dr. Bernstein. Ryan explains: Diabetic Ketoacidosis: “Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA), is a very dangerous state where an individual with uncontrolled diabetes is effectively starving due to lack of insulin. Insulin brings glucose into our cells and without it the body switches to ketones. Our brain can function off either glucose or fat and ketones. Ketones are a breakdown of fat and amino acids that can travel through the blood to various tissues to be utilized for fuel.” “In normal individuals, or those with well controlled diabetes, insulin acts to cancel the feedback loop and slow and sto Continue reading >>

Why A Low Carb Diet May Not Be Best For You

Why A Low Carb Diet May Not Be Best For You

Does Low Carb = Low Energy? I have yet to meet a woman on a long-term, low carb diet who is loving life. I’m here to explain why I think this may be the case. While we have, collectively, reacted to the low-fat brainwashing of the past half-century, with a defiant, “Fat rules!” attitude, this zeal may be taking us too far astray. I am passionate about the ancestral diet and everything implied by “going back to our roots”, but I also raise a brow at more rigid interpretations, assumptions, and academic flourishes about true replication of a Paleolithic diet. We’ve relinquished Darwin and redeemed Lamarck, so the truth is that we can evolve (or devolve) within one generation. Adaptations to stress and environmental exposures can change our biology and impact our grandchildren. Thanks to the work of Weston Price, we may not have to go back as far as the Paleolithic to send the body a signal of safety. As recently as the early 1900s, he found traditional cultures flourishing, many with incorporation of agricultural foods like grains and legumes. That said, we also know that the microbiome plays a powerful role in adaptation to these foods, and that some of our guts may not be up for the challenge. Back in my self-experimentation days, I spent two months on a carb-restricted diet, kicking starchy veggies, fruit, and grains to the curb. I felt great for two weeks, and not a day after. I felt cloudy, tired, and started obsessing about moisturizer and conditioner. Perhaps this is most relevant for those with a history of compromised thyroid function, as the Jaminets have discussed, but I believe it’s relevant to many women. Many Body Types = Many Right Diets I look to the Hadza whose women foster gender-distinct microbial profiles, ostensibly related to their cons Continue reading >>

Ketones And Ketosis

Ketones And Ketosis

According to Owsley “The Bear” Stanley This is not a dedicated nor complete article, this page is an extract from Owsley’s correspondence with others. See this page for more info. A zero carb diet does NOT cause ketosis. The body rapidly adapts within a few weeks and begins consuming the ketones from fat metabolism. A fully keto-adapted body excretes no ketones in the urine. A metabolic by product, ‘ketone bodies’ are actually a special kind of carb, and they substitute for glucose at the structures which use it. They have the added advantage of making you feel good- and well fed. Ketone metabolism is not a ‘rapid response mechanism’. Full keto-adaptation takes several weeks, and until that has been done, a slowly reducing level of ketones will spill into the urine. Once adapted, the ketones are barely present in the urine, having been used by the body (in place of glucose). You will not show ketones in your urine if there are carbs in your diet, the ketones are reprocessed- into bodyfat. Your body ONLY burns FAT for muscular work, and it burns fat all the time, 24/7. Ketones do not appear in the urine until all carbs are stopped and then the ketones will disappear again in a few weeks as your body begins using them as glucose-replacement rather than converting them, as it does all carbohydrates, into bodyfat (from which they came). BOTH a keto-adapted and carb-eating person will show no ketones in the urine. SOME people have a problem with fat metabolism while insulin is present, and glucose being converted into bodyfat, but not everyone, which is why some (a few) people do not become fat or obese no matter what they eat. Those who have a problem find any effort very hard and may fall asleep until the fat storing process is over. Ketones are a valuable nu Continue reading >>

10 Tips For Getting Into Nutritional Ketosis For Weight Loss

10 Tips For Getting Into Nutritional Ketosis For Weight Loss

10 Tips For Getting Into Nutritional Ketosis For Weight Loss What is Nutritional Ketosis? Ketosis is an eating plan where the body uses ketones to fuel the brain and body instead of glucose like most people use when on the SAD (standard American diet). It can be very helpful for blood sugar and consistent energy because fat is a very stable source of fuel. We all have a few million calories of fat we would gladly burn off, right? It takes a while to get into ketosis and it can be elusive if you are not paying close attention. It can be very safe for a period of time (even forever) but each person has to decide what feels compatible with their own lifestyle. Some experts do not think it is an optimal state for athletes but others experts disagree. I think we all have bio hack ourselves to see what feels right. Of course, I believe that the paleo template is good starting place for optimal health but ketosis can be an add-on or tweak for people who get stuck or feel hopeless. It can be a powerful and effective way to lose weight without hunger and many of my friends have had success with it. Always ask your doctor before beginning any new nutrition or weight loss plan. Here are some ways to make it work for you: 1. Eat Less Protein I have a made a handy dandy chart here for figuring out the right amounts for you. Most average ladies need about 50-100 grams, no more, fyi. You have to self experiment a little to find what is right for you. The idea is that protein can turn to sugar if someone eats more than they need, then the sugar spikes blood glucose encouraging fat storage. 2. Eat More Fat I used to see this all the time in clients, I say add more fat and people add a tsp of evoo to their salad, NO!!! I am talking about seeing fat as a food group not a side item. Avocad Continue reading >>

Bulletproof Vs. Paleo Vs. Low-carb And Ketogenic Diets: What’s The Difference?

Bulletproof Vs. Paleo Vs. Low-carb And Ketogenic Diets: What’s The Difference?

I was in my 20s when I started suffering from severe fatigue and cognitive dysfunction. I was 300 pounds, sick constantly, and almost had to drop out of grad school because I couldn’t concentrate. Back then, I thought my inability to think clearly and perform at high levels was some sort of moral failing. I would beat myself up. I would work harder and stay up later, trying to catch up with my peers. I tried every diet imaginable, including raw vegan and years of falling off the low-fat bandwagon. I hit the treadmill for hours every day. Nothing worked. So I took matters into my own hands. The Bulletproof Diet was born after a decade of working with some of the world’s top health and nutrition researchers. Over a span of about 15 years, I devoured thousands of research papers and books on human nutrition. I used my body as a testing ground to determine what worked best for my biology. The result is a diet that has helped thousands of people lose fat and gain the energy and clarity they thought they’d lost forever. So, what differentiates the Bulletproof Diet from other low-carb diets? Read on to find out. For an in-depth plan on how to boost energy and increase brain function in just two weeks, get your copy of Head Strong. Bulletproof vs. Paleo: The Big Picture If you were to map out the most popular diets, you’d see a vast spectrum of practices and plans ranging from low-fat vegan to high-fat, low-carb (HFLC). This deliciously fatty end of the spectrum is where the Bulletproof Diet and the Primal, Paleo, and Atkins diets would lie. The Paleo diet eliminates processed foods and focuses on what our paleolithic ancestors ate – mostly meat, plants, nuts, and seeds. The Bulletproof Diet is similar but designed to maximize your willpower by reducing cravings and m Continue reading >>

Ketosis: What Is Ketosis?

Ketosis: What Is Ketosis?

Ketosis is a normal metabolic process. When the body does not have enough glucose for energy, it burns stored fats instead; this results in a build-up of acids called ketones within the body. Some people encourage ketosis by following a diet called the ketogenic or low-carb diet. The aim of the diet is to try and burn unwanted fat by forcing the body to rely on fat for energy, rather than carbohydrates. Ketosis is also commonly observed in patients with diabetes, as the process can occur if the body does not have enough insulin or is not using insulin correctly. Problems associated with extreme levels of ketosis are more likely to develop in patients with type 1 diabetes compared with type 2 diabetes patients. Ketosis occurs when the body does not have sufficient access to its primary fuel source, glucose. Ketosis describes a condition where fat stores are broken down to produce energy, which also produces ketones, a type of acid. As ketone levels rise, the acidity of the blood also increases, leading to ketoacidosis, a serious condition that can prove fatal. People with type 1 diabetes are more likely to develop ketoacidosis, for which emergency medical treatment is required to avoid or treat diabetic coma. Some people follow a ketogenic (low-carb) diet to try to lose weight by forcing the body to burn fat stores. What is ketosis? In normal circumstances, the body's cells use glucose as their primary form of energy. Glucose is typically derived from dietary carbohydrates, including: sugar - such as fruits and milk or yogurt starchy foods - such as bread and pasta The body breaks these down into simple sugars. Glucose can either be used to fuel the body or be stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen. If there is not enough glucose available to meet energy demands, th Continue reading >>

Here's Exactly How I Lost 50 Pounds Doing The Keto Diet

Here's Exactly How I Lost 50 Pounds Doing The Keto Diet

Of all the places to seek life-changing nutrition advice, I never thought the barber shop would be where I found it. But one day last January, after a couple years of saying to myself, "today's the day I make a change," my barber schooled me on something called keto. Normally, I take things he says with a grain of salt unless they're about hair or owning a business, but this guy could literally be on the cover of Men's Health. He's 6 feet tall, conventionally attractive, and his arms are about five pull-ups away from tearing through his t-shirt. If anyone else had implied that I was looking rough, I would've walked out in a fit of rage, but I decided to hear him out. I should clarify that I was out of shape, but my case wasn't that severe. I hadn't exercised in a few years and basically ate whatever I wanted and however much of it, but I was only about 30 to 40 pounds overweight. My barber went on to explain that this diet, paired with an appropriate exercise routine, allowed him to completely transform his body in less than a year, and all he ate was fatty foods. Once he showed me his "before" picture, I was sold. It was time to actually make a change. Short for ketogenic, keto is a high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb diet that forces your metabolism into what's called a state of ketosis. There's a much more scientific explanation to that, but it basically means that instead of burning carbohydrates (mainly glucose, or sugars), your body switches to burning fat as a primary source for energy. Keto isn't necessarily about counting calories, though the basic idea of eating less in order to lose weight still applies. This is more of a calculated way to rewire your metabolism so that it burns fat more efficiently over time, using very specific levels of each macronutrient Continue reading >>

Why Am I Getting Low Ketone Readings On A Ketogenic Diet?

Why Am I Getting Low Ketone Readings On A Ketogenic Diet?

75 Comments Even having finished and printed The Keto Reset, the quest for deeper understanding continues. I keep researching, thinking, revisiting, and discussing the science and practice of ketosis. My writing partner, Brad Kearns, and I maintain a running dialogue on all things keto. The latest conversation revolved around two very common questions or “problems” that keep coming up in the ketogenic community. Why do some people on a keto diet blow high numbers of ketones while others eating the same way blow low numbers? and this one… Is ketosis glycogen-sparing or glycogen-inhibiting? I won’t offer definitive answers fit to etch into stone. I will offer my exploration of the research, some educated speculation, and actionable advice you can ruminate on. And by all means get back to me with your take on the questions and my explorations, please. Dialogue is essential to understanding. Why do some people on ketogenic diets produce low ketone readings when they test? One theory is that some keto-adapted people are so adapted to producing and burning ketones that they don’t leave any extra to spill into the urine and breath. They make only as many as they can use and their cells gobble up almost every ketone they produce. Under this argument, low ketone numbers on a ketogenic diet are a reliable sign of full ketone adaptation. This sounds plausible, but I haven’t seen any empirical evidence that it’s the case. Another theory is that the keto-adapted have built so much fat-burning metabolic machinery in their muscles that they can burn free fatty acids directly and don’t require much additional fuel from ketones. They make enough ketones to fuel the brain, since our brain can’t run on fatty acids directly, but your muscles no longer require as many. Man Continue reading >>

The Reason You’re Not Losing Weight

The Reason You’re Not Losing Weight

Are you one of those people who feel you’ve tried everything to lose weight? Low fat? Extreme calorie cutting? Counting points, juicing, fasting, cabbage soup… you’ve probably tried everything. And despite all your best efforts, those extra pounds stubbornly refuse to budge? Meanwhile, everyone around you, maybe even your doctor, says the reason you’re overweight is because you eat too much? It sounds so simple! But it is a well-documented fact that people who are significantly overweight may also have metabolic disorders, which not only cause weight gain, but also make it very difficult to lose the weight. The United States is facing an obesity epidemic, and but there’s a misconception that overweight people just simply eat too much and are lazy couch potatoes, when they may in fact have a metabolic resistance to weight loss. Add in the use of prescription drugs or hormones that inhibit weight loss, excessive insulin and insulin resistance, plus high triglycerides, and it’s a recipe for disaster. Fortunately, numerous studies show that a low-carb diet can help overweight people with excessive insulin output (hyperinsulinism) or insulin resistance lose weight and decrease or even eliminate metabolic resistance to weight loss and the associated health risks. Even if you’ve never lost weight on a 1,000-calorie-a-day low-fat diet, it’s quite possible you can lose weight with a 1,800- to 2,000-calorie-a-day plan—if you cut your carbs to 20 to 40 grams of Net Carbs a day. Now, not everyone will lose weight this way, but there are still more options. Dr. Atkins and his practitioners discovered that certain vitanutrients could help break past the remaining barriers to weight loss. The leading nutrient in the final weight loss battle is L-carnitine, which is a Continue reading >>

Why Keto And Not Low Carb – Pitfalls Of Low-carb Nutrition

Why Keto And Not Low Carb – Pitfalls Of Low-carb Nutrition

Intro Update 2017: This post has been deprecated (not in line with my current thoughts. Read more on the ‘about’ page) While reading Jimmy Moore and Dr. Westman’s Keto Clarity, I started pondering on this. Most of us know that reducing carbohydrate intake (especially simple sugars) is very beneficial to one’s health, but if you are following a low-carb diet and you are not in ketosis, there may be some issues. If you consume, say, 100-150g of carbs a day, much of it will be used by the brain [1], while the remainder will be insufficient to supply for the energy demands of the rest of the cells throughout your body. In this situation, you’re not producing ketones (because of the higher carbohydrate intake) to supply for the energy demands of the brain and most of the cells. No wonder the fatigue and light-headedness you’d experience. Low-Carb vs. Keto When you eat low-carbohydrate but you do not go low enough to become ketotic, you’re still a sugar burner (and a very inefficient one) and you’re likely to fall of the wagon because you do not experience the benefits of ketosis. When you’re doing low-carb and you are not ketotic, some of your body’s cells will use fatty acids for energy indeed, but your brain cannot use them directly as they cannot cross the blood-brain barrier. Cravings and hunger are most likely to occur under this protocol as your cells will scream at you to give them sugar. The foggy mind may be persistent. Note that this type of scenario can happen when you are very-low-carb and eat high-protein. You’ll not be able to enter ketosis due to gluconeogenesis (GNG) – synthesis of glucose mostly from protein substrates. This will also occur when you’re just starting out a ketogenic diet because your body needs time to accommodate to Continue reading >>

Low Carb Vs Keto: Why Ketosis Is Different From A Low Carb Diet

Low Carb Vs Keto: Why Ketosis Is Different From A Low Carb Diet

Are you making a critical mistake when it comes to ketosis? I’ve been extremely guilty of it in the past. One of the biggest mistakes for people trying to improve their health is the misconception that a low carbohydrate diet equals a ketogenic diet. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case and could be killing your efforts to get all of the health benefits you are looking for. There are some critical differences in what people think a “low-carb high-fat” (LCHF) diet is and what a ketogenic diet is. High carb doesn’t mean diabetic. Just like low carb doesn’t mean ketogenic. If you’re not super down with what ketosis is, it is simply a metabolic state of using fats for energy. This provides a lot of benefits that we can get into later, but long story short, there are numerous benefits that you’re going to be missing out on if you are simply “low-carb” and not definitively in ketosis. Your low carb diet can actually be pretty brutal if it is not a ketogenic diet. As evidence, this is a maddening conversation that bubbles up more and more as I won’t shut up about ketogenic diets: Person: “Yeah, I tried ketosis and it sucked, I felt awful. Doesn’t work for me.” Me: “Hmm, that’s weird, did you check your ketone levels?” Person: “No. But, I was low carb. Ketosis isn’t for me. It sucks.” Me: “Well… low carb doesn’t mean you’re burning fats and utilizing ketones, so your body was still probably trying to use carbs as fuel, but you didn’t have enough around eating low carb, which is why it sucked.” Person: “I’m not tracking. Ketosis sucks. And so do you.” This person was low-carb, not keto. There is a huge difference. By why? Time for some definitions: Low-carb: Eating an arbitrarily “low” number of carbohydrates, or just a Continue reading >>

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