Diabetes & Ketogenic Diet: Can You Manage Your Diabetes On A Ketogenic Diet?
In this article we will cover what a Ketogenic diet is and if you can manage your diabetes while on this diet. Ketogenic diet for diabetics is a highly controversial topic, but we will break down everything here for you! As a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE), I have to tell you from the start I will have a biased view here. Sorry, but I feel that I need to be completely honest right up front! I will however, present all the evidence that is available currently on the subject. As a CDE, I have been taught to follow the American Diabetes Association Dietary Guidelines for Americans which is low in carbohydrates, high in fiber, with fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains. The Ketogenic Diet this article will be discussing is much lower in carbohydrates, in order to promote the state of nutritional ketosis, or the fat burning state for weight loss. What is a Ketogenic Diet? The Ketogenic Diet is a low carbohydrate diet, consisting initially of less than 20 carbohydrates per day. Not per meal, yes, you heard me correctly, per day. It is not for the faint of heart and yes I am writing from experience. Of course I have tried it! Hasn’t everybody in America at some point who has wanted to lose weight? Does it work you ask? Of course it does! The problem is how long can you keep it up? Your body uses the carbohydrates you eat for energy, so if we restrict how many carbohydrates we eat, the body has to get its fuel source from fat. A byproduct of this fat burning state are ketones which are produced; this is called nutritional ketosis. You can determine if you are in this fat burning state by purchasing urine ketone testing strips from your local pharmacy. The Ketogenic Diet with Diabetes Some precautions must be made clear; this diet is not appropriate for people with any Continue reading >>
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 >>
The Ketogenic Diet
The Ketogenic Diet Over the past few decades practitioners and researchers have been searching for the holy grail of macros for fat loss. During that search, the Ketogenic Diet has been extensively studied because it is an interesting tool as it “hacks” an aspect of our physiology. Is that hack something that conveys additional weight loss benefits? We dive into the research and talk about the practical applications of ketogenic diets. Now before we dive in I want to be honest about personal stance and plant a flag in the middle of the open. I am going to be upfront about my stance before you dive into this article so you can gauge my level of bias and take the writing below with whatever level of salt you feel necessary. I don’t hate the Ketogenic Diet. I find it to be a tool that can be used successfully in some context and unsuccessfully in others. Now with that out of the way lets dive into the science What is the Ketogenic Diet? A full, deep, nuanced discussion of what exactly the ketogenic diet is beyond the scope of this article. However a basic understanding of if is necessary and for those of you who are new to the concept let me break it down quick and dirty (a lot of this is borrowed from our previous article on the same topic) Ketosis is a metabolic state that occurs when dietary carbohydrates are in such low quantities that your body must rely almost exclusively on fatty acid oxidation and ketone metabolism to produce ATP. You have tissues in your body that can utilize either carbohydrates or fat and function fairly well (e.g. muscle tissue)*. You also have tissues in your body that use glucose really well but can’t really function on fatty acid metabolism (e.g. your brain). This is part of the reason why regulating blood glucose is pretty important Continue reading >>
What Is Ketosis?
Nutritional ketosis is a metabolic state achieved when your body burns fat as its primary source of fuel rather than carbohydrates. In order to reach ketosis, you must reduce your intake of carbohydrates to around 5 percent of your total calorie intake, or roughly 20 grams of carbohydrates per day. For most of us, our bodies are accustomed to using glucose, or sugar, for energy. When you reduce your carbohydrate intake, your body has to search for other sources of energy. It first turns to glycogen, which is excess glucose that has been stored in the liver and muscles. Each gram of glycogen is bound to 3 to 4 grams of water, so as the glycogen is released, the water goes with it. This is why it's common to lose water weight at the beginning of a low-carb or ketogenic diet. Once stores of glycogen are depleted, your body will begin burning fat. When this happens, the liver produces molecules called ketones, which are then used as fuel. Dr. Richard Veech, one of the world's experts on ketosis, has shown that the heart and brain work 25 percent more efficiently when fueled by ketones rather than blood sugar, which may account for the increased mental clarity that is a hallmark of the ketogenic diet. Some parts of the brain do require glucose, but the body can produce glucose from protein through a process known as gluconeogenesis. Ketosis should not be confused with ketoacidosis, which is a life-threatening condition marked by a high concentration of ketone bodies that can occur in people with diabetes. Ketoacidosis is very rare in people who do not have diabetes. During the the first few days of a ketogenic diet, as the body adapts to burning fat instead of glucose, it's common to experience unpleasant side effects, which may include headaches, nausea, fatigue, irritabili 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 >>
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 >>
6 Things That Happen To Your Body When You Go On A Ketogenic Diet
By now, you've probably heard of the ketogenic diet, or a low-carb, high-fat diet. It’s a popular diet trend among athletes and average folk alike. (Who doesn't love the idea of eating more steak and bacon?) But what actually happens to your body when you go on the ketogenic diet? To understand how the ketogenic diet works, you have to understand ketosis, the process by which your body is starved of glucose for fuel and must look to fat sources instead. Typically, you fuel your body by giving it glucose in the form of carbs, which can be found in flour, grains, vegetables, legumes, dairy products, and fruits. We usually introduce a steady stream of this type of fuel into our bodies with each meal or snack, explains Pamela Nisevich Bede MS, RD, CSSD, LD. These carbohydrates are usually the body’s first choice when looking for an instant fix. “When a carb is available, the body will naturally turn to this to make energy instead of dietary fat or stored body fat. However, when we remove carbohydrates from our diet, our bodies begin to break down fat and turn to a fuel source in the form of ketones, which is more efficient but generally underutilized,” explains Bede. Rob Gronkowski's Diet: This is a modal window. Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window. End of dialog window. Ketones are a substance produced by the liver when the body breaks down fat for energy, which are then released into the blood. Your body's cells use ketones to power everyday activities. When there’s a buildup of ketones in the blood and you’re switching gears into an ketogenic state, your body changes in some incredible ways. 1) Your insulin levels drop. On a normal diet, after eating glucose-containing foods, your insulin levels will be higher. But when you’r Continue reading >>
Nutritional Ketosis – Quantitative
New Rapid Breath Test for Ketosis – Results on your Mobile Device in < 3 minutes! The KetoChek™ Breath Ketone Test is a rapid and convenient way to accurately measure ketones to determine if you are in a state of nutritional ketosis, or “fat-burning”. KetoChek™ does not require blood draws or inconvenient urine samples, just your breath! Accurate results correlate directly with blood ketone levels and are a more reliable indicator of ketosis than urine ketone tests. Health & Wellness Professionals: Support ketogenic diet programs within your practice, while enhancing your practice revenue by testing with KetoChek™ as part of every ketogenic diet program! Quantitative results read, interpreted, and delivered via the innovative BreathScan Lync™ reader*, and sent directly to your mobile device via the free BreathScan™ mobile app! Takes less than 3 minutes! Highly accurate: results closely correlated to the benchmark blood-based ketone testing Facilitates frequent testing and data tracking to monitor if you are currently in a fat-burning ketogenic state Uses patented MPC™ Biosensor technology Small, hand-held disposable cartridge design – test anywhere! (only 5 1/4" long) * KetoChek™ cartridges require the use of the BreathScan Lync™ reader. Click for more information on the BreathScan Lync™ Note: KetoChek™ is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. KetoChek™ is a general wellness product intended to measure (quantitatively) indicators of nutritional ketosis in the exhaled breath of humans. It can be used to promote, track, and/or encourage choice, such as the use of nutritional supplements, diet and exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle. General wellness products do not require FDA clearance. The intended use statements Continue reading >>
There is a lot of confusion about the term ketosis among medical professionals as well as laypeople. It is important to understand when and why nutritional ketosis occurs, and why it should not be confused with the metabolic disorder we call ketoacidosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state where the liver produces small organic molecules called ketone bodies. Most cells in the body can use ketone bodies as a source of energy. When there is a limited supply of external energy sources, such as during prolonged fasting or carbohydrate restriction, ketone bodies can provide energy for most organs. In this situation, ketosis can be regarded as a reasonable, adaptive physiologic response that is essential for life, enabling us to survive periods of famine. Nutritional ketosis should not be confused with ketoacidosis, a metabolic condition where the blood becomes acidic as a result of the accumulation of ketone bodies. Ketoacidosis can have serious consequences and may need urgent medical treatment. The most common forms are diabetic ketoacidosis and alcoholic ketoacidosis. What Is Ketosis? The human body can be regarded as a biologic machine. Machines need energy to operate. Some use gasoline, others use electricity, and some use other power resources. Glucose is the primary fuel for most cells and organs in the body. To obtain energy, cells must take up glucose from the blood. Once glucose enters the cells, a series of metabolic reactions break it down into carbon dioxide and water, releasing energy in the process. The body has an ability to store excess glucose in the form of glycogen. In this way, energy can be stored for later use. Glycogen consists of long chains of glucose molecules and is primarily found in the liver and skeletal muscle. Liver glycogen stores are used to mai Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet: Your Complete Meal Plan And Supplement Guide
So you've heard the arguments, weighed out the challenges and benefits, and decided you're all in. You're going keto. First off, you're in good company. More people—and more athletes—than ever are embracing a very low-carb, high-fat diet and sticking with it for months, or even years, on end. Once they successfully make the switch from using carbohydrates to using fat and ketones for fuel, they find they're leaner, healthier, and more mentally focused than ever. But for every lifter who ends up loving this approach, you'll find another who had a miserable experience and bailed after just a few days. This is a shame, because they probably could have felt great if they had simply had a better plan—or a plan at all. I'm not here to sell you on nutritional ketosis or explain what it is or the big-picture benefits it can provide. That's the domain of other articles. With the help of Myoplex athlete and longtime keto-adapted athlete Jason Wittrock, I'm here to provide you with your best induction experience. Here's what you need to know to ace your nutrition and supplementation during the crucial first month of ketogenic dieting, along with a complete sample meal plan! Your Must-Have (And Must-Not-Have) Keto Food List Feeling ready to start buying groceries? Slow down there, chief. Go through the pantry, fridge, freezer, and secret stashes under the bed, and get rid of foods with any significant carb content. In the first few days, you could end up craving them—badly. Sorry, no fruit for now. Even carrots and onions are too high-glycemic to work with keto, Wittrock says. Got that done? Cool. Now, here are some of the staples you should build your ketogenic diet around: Fatty nuts and seeds: cashews, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds Avocado Whole eggs Full-fat cheese Beef Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet Plan
A ketogenic diet plan improves your health through a metabolic switch in the primary cellular fuel source to which your body and brain are adapted. When your metabolism switches from relying on carbohydrate-based fuels (glucose from starch and sugar) to fat-based fuels and fat metabolism products called ketones, positive changes in the health of your cells occur, and this translates into better overall health. A metabolic process called ketogenesis and a body state called ketosis are responsible. Ketosis is simply a normal metabolic pathway in which body and brain cells utilize ketones to make energy, instead of relying on only sugar (i.e., carbohydrate). In fact, humans developed an evolutionary ability to burn ketones as an adaptation to periods of time when food was unavailable, and being in nutritional ketosis is a beneficial body state. A great deal of research is being done on ketosis as it relates to disease. Ketone bodies have some very beneficial effects on the human body, and elevating one's blood levels of ketone bodies is an effective treatment for many disease conditions because it improves the function of cellular energy pathways and mitochondrial health. Ketogenic diets are now being used to treat medical conditions such as diabetes, epilepsy, autism, Alzheimer's, cancer and others and much of the success of these treatments is rooted in these cellular effects. This page will answer some questions you may have about a ketogenic diet plan including: Who should NOT follow a ketogenic diet: list of medical contraindications. How do I start a ketogenic diet plan? Do I need to worry about the "dangers of low carb diets"? What are the side effects of a ketogenic diet? What are the benefits of a ketogenic diet? But first a little legal and medical coverage: Alth Continue reading >>
Is The Keto Diet Safe? 10 Myth-busting Arguments For The Safety Of Ketosis
Is ketosis safe? The truth is that we can’t say for certain that it is 100% safe. Humans don’t understand everything under the branch of nutritional science and probably won’t for a very long time. As an individual, the only thing you can do is take a look at the research yourself and form your own conclusion. Personally, through the reading I’ve done and the experience I’ve had with the Keto diet, I’ve formed my own conclusion that ketosis is safe. Could I be wrong? Absolutely. But I could also be right. I’m willing to take that risk in order to follow a diet which could maximize longevity, well being and function. My personal conclusion shouldn’t matter to you though. You need to do your own research and come to your own conclusion. I’ve put together this post to organize all of the issues surrounding the safety of ketosis so that you can make your own decision. In trying to prove something to be safe there are two ways to go about it. Disprove the claims of danger Show evidence which may be correlated with safety This article will dispel the top 10 claims people make in an argument to label ketosis as dangerous. Like I said, the science on ketosis is still quite immature. The following data is not meant to 100% prove or disprove the safety of ketosis. It’s merely the information we have available today which can help us form a nutritional strategy we feel is best for ourselves. I’m not a doctor or a researcher. The following information is material I’ve collected in my attempt to feel confident following a Keto diet indefinitely. Most of it is sourced from doctors or authors although I have also included anecdotal accounts from experiences posted on message boards and Reddit. I know, much of the information here isn’t sourced directly from s Continue reading >>
Nutritional Ketosis, Part I – The State Of Being A Superman
If you regularly follow articles on health and nutrition, you have undoubtedly heard about ketosis. In the last several years, the interest around ketogenic diets has been rising constantly, with more and more studies done and data available to critically assess their effectiveness. When people hear the word “diet”, the first objective they associate it with is losing weight. But ketogenic diets are more than just methods of weight-control. They have profound therapeutic effects on certain medical conditions and, generally, represent an evolutionary advantage that has allowed our species to survive and thrive. Unfortunately, with typical dietary choices of today – driven largely by clever marketing messages and hidden agendas of large food corporations trying to convince you that eating their stuff is the best thing you can do and you should really ignore any potential health implications – ketosis has become a forgotten skill. Which, in the era of overwhelming proliferation of metabolic disorders and other debilitating diseases, puts those who do not consider following at least some form of a ketogenic diet at higher risk. This article is an attempt to change the current state of affairs. Ketosis is a vitally important metabolic state – and knowing when and how to use it is something that you definitely want to do if you care about your physical and cognitive performance. So, let’s take a closer look at what ketosis is and why you might be interested in it. Your body constantly requires energy. Every single little process in every cell needs fuel– even when you seem to be doing absolutely nothing. You need energy not only to move your body by contracting your muscles, but also for cell division, maintaining heartbeat, digestion and, most importantly – b Continue reading >>
Basics Of Nutritional Ketosis
If carbohydrates are available, your body will burn that first. If carbs are not available, your body will burn fat & your fat stores! “Keto” (scientifically known as “Nutritional Ketosis” but usually referred to as just “keto” or a “ketogenic diet”) involves restricting your diet to moderate protein, very low carbohydrates and high fat. It’s similar to the the Atkins diet, but with more solid science. When you are consuming enough protein to keep muscles happy, restricting carbohydrates as low as possible and making up the rest of your calories in fat, your body switches into a fat burning mode. Your liver will begin converting fats into energy molecules known technically as “ketone bodies” – which is where the name of the diet comes from. People end up with MORE energy and vitality on a ketogenic diet. Muscle cells are finally gaining energy instead of all the fuel getting stored away in fat cells because of insulin, specifically insulin resistance. The details of Keto can get difficult but the basics are easy: Get most of your calories from fat & moderate protein, things like: sausage, bacon, fatty steak, ground beef/pork, cheese, eggs, salmon, avocado, chicken (with the skin), olive oil, butter, coconut oil, more sausage, and bacon. You get vitamins and minerals from low glycemic vegetables (no carrots or potatoes, look for green veggies). Avoid carbohydrates as much as possible. You’ll need to stay below 20 or 30g a day. Get used to looking at food labels! Get enough electrolytes. Keto depletes your sodium, potassium, and other electrolytes. If you do not have enough electrolytes in your system, you’ll experience “keto flu” and feel miserable. It’s an easy fix: drink some 0 carb broth or eat salty foods. After 2-3 days, you’ll be Continue reading >>
What Are The Optimal Ketone Levels For A Ketogenic Diet?
If you’ve just started a ketogenic diet, then you’ll know that it can be really tough to figure out if you’re doing keto right. Am I eating too many carbs? Too much protein? Should I still be feeling tired? When is the fat burning supposed to start? It’s confusing, and one of the most confusing aspects is what your optimal ketone levels are supposed to be. Unlike most other diets, the ketogenic diet is designed to put your body into a state of ketosis in order to get your body to start burning ketones instead of the glucose that it usually burns when you eat a high carb standard American diet (SAD). But to know whether you’re in ketosis and whether your body has enough ketones circulating for you to use as energy instead of glucose, you have to measure your actual ketone levels and then determine whether they’re high enough for you to be reaping the benefits of the ketogenic diet. If you’ve tried searching for this information already, then you’ll know that there’s some controversy depending on which expert you follow. So in this article, we’ll tell you exactly what the different experts are suggesting are the optimal ketone levels as well as give you recommendations for what ketone levels you should be aiming for depending on your goals with a ketogenic diet. A Few Quick Notes Before We Start… If you’re looking for signs other than testing your actual body ketone levels as to whether you’re in ketosis or not, then please check out this article instead that provides you with signs you’re in ketosis. If you’re a type 1 diabetic, then this article is not for you and the optimal ketone levels suggested below are not applicable to you. Please check out the tons of other ketone level articles on the web to ensure your ketone levels do not reach Continue reading >>