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Nutritional Ketosis Blood Glucose Levels

Jimmy Moore’s N=1 Experiments: Nutritional Ketosis Day 1-30

Jimmy Moore’s N=1 Experiments: Nutritional Ketosis Day 1-30

Before I went on the 2012 Low-Carb Cruise last month, I started reading a book that my low-carb research friends Dr. Jeff Volek and Dr. Steve Phinney had written as a follow-up to their fantastic 2011 release The Art And Science of Low Carbohydrate Living (listen to my interview with Dr. Phinney about this book in Episode 479 of “The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show”). The sequel is called The Art And Science Of Low Carbohydrate Performance and was written specifically to share the latest science behind ketogenic diets for athletes who are keenly interested in optimizing their exercise performance with fat and ketones serving as their body’s primary fuel source once they reach what Dr. Phinney refers to as “keto-adaptation.” But the information these low-carb stalwarts provide in this handy dandy little book goes much deeper than that as you will read about in this blog post. Most low-carbers have traditionally been using urine ketone sticks under the brand name Ketostix to measure their level of ketones being produced by color (from pink to dark purple) as a result of their low-carb diet. But as I previously shared in this YouTube video, this can be a frustratingly inaccurate way of measuring whether you are producing enough ketones in your blood to see the kind of results you are hoping for on your low-carb lifestyle change. But thanks to the cutting-edge information provided by Volek and Phinney in The Art And Science Of Low Carbohydrate Performance, we now have a new and better way to measure the actual ketones that are in your blood which determines whether you have become keto-adapted and burning fat and ketones for fuel. They refer to getting into this state as “nutritional ketosis” to obviously distinguish it from ketoacidosis which is only an issue Continue reading >>

Blood Sugar Levels In Ketosis: Part Ii

Blood Sugar Levels In Ketosis: Part Ii

Welcome to Keto Sister. Last week’s post explained what happens to blood glucose levels as a result of eating a ketogenic diet. In sum, blood glucose (also known as blood sugar) decreases and is replaced in large part by a new fuel source, ketone bodies. Humans are always being fueled by two energy substrates: glucose and fatty acids. A person who eats a high carbohydrate diet burns more glucose as fuel, and a person who eats a high fat diet burns more fat as fuel. However, there is never a time at which a person stops burning one or the other. The implication for someone eating a low carb diet is that the body never replaces all glucose utilization with ketone bodies. Instead, the body reduces its glucose needs to the bare minimum and then it makes any needed glucose not taken in through the diet through gluconeogenesis. This is the normal, healthy process of fueling the body in the absence of dietary glucose. Elevated Blood Glucose There are many benefits of ketogenic nutrition when a ketogenic diet is implemented correctly. One of the benefits of eating low carb is blood glucose control, and this can be a big benefit to those who struggle with type 2 diabetes and obesity. As I mentioned last week, ideal blood glucose levels are between 81 and 109 milligrams per deciliter (see this post for details). However, it is a common occurrence for those following a very low carb diet to have elevated blood glucose levels. I mentioned the first two causes last week, but there is a third that is rarely discussed by those in the low carb arena. Admittedly, these concepts are not well understood by most people. Nevertheless, here is what we know about elevated blood sugar levels in ketosis: Physiological Insulin Resistance (PhIR). Eating a low carb diet in and of itself can indu Continue reading >>

What Is “nutritional Ketosis”?

What Is “nutritional Ketosis”?

IN A NUTSHELL: Nutritional ketosis is a state of health in which your body is efficiently burning fat as its primary fuel source instead of glucose. When undergoing a ketogenic diet you are essentially converting yourself from a “sugar burner” to a “fat burner”. This is accomplished by reducing your consumption of carbohydrates, increasing your intake of fat, and consuming only an adequate amount of protein to meet your body’s needs. The term nutritional ketosis is claimed to have been coined by Dr. Stephen Phinney & Jeff Volek, two of the leading experts and researchers in the field of low carbohydrate dieting (Check out this informative video to hear a talk from Dr. Phinney). Ketosis is achieved by following a “ketogenic diet” which is high in fat, very low in carbohydrates, and adequate in protein (Please Note: It is “adequate” in protein, NOT “high” in protein. More on this later). By consuming more lipids you are enhancing your body’s fat burning function by up-regulating the enzymes and other “metabolic machinery” needed to burn fat more efficiently, therefore making it easier for your body to tap into stored adipose tissue as an energy source (i.e. you turn yourself into a fat-burning machine!). But don’t we NEED carbohydrates? While it’s true that our red blood cells and a small percentage of brain cells and kidney cells are exclusively glucose dependent, the body can actually GENERATE carbohydrates in a process called gluconeogenesis in which certain non-carbohydrate substrates like proteins (amino acids) and certain constituents of fatty acids (glycerol) can be converted into glucose. The quantities of glucose produced by the body are sufficient to meet the needs of these particular cells and also help to balance the body’s bl Continue reading >>

What Is A Glucose Ketone Index And Why You Should Care

What Is A Glucose Ketone Index And Why You Should Care

Having high levels of ketones doesn’t mean you’re automatically getting all of the benefits. Luckily, research shows us that there’s an easy way to know if you’re in prime therapeutic mode so you can be confident you’re getting the best results. Ketosis can already be complicated if you don’t test and figure out what kicks you out. Once you start getting serious about ketosis and tracking ketone levels, you can usually step things up a notch with a simple calculation. You can become more specific with what works for you as an individual. How you do that is by calculating your glucose ketone index. The Glucose Ketone Index, or the GKI, is a ratio that researcher Dr. Thomas Seyfried has been using in his studies relating to both fasting and the ketogenic diet. There’s nothing fancy to this index, it is just a ratio of blood glucose levels to blood ketone levels. Having high level of ketones are great and all, but if you also have a super high level of blood glucose, you’re really just spinning your wheels and not getting any benefits of ketosis. And the real key here is to make sure that the ratio between glucose and ketone levels is as low as possible. If you’ve been following along, you’ll note I was pretty big on this glucose ketone index on my recent my four day fast and it actually dictated the time spent in the fast. But why did I care about this ratio, and why should you care? Why Should You Care? Dr. Seyfried does a lot of his research in the realm of cancer treatment and has noticed increasingly impressive therapeutic outcomes with the lower the glucose ketone index ratio gets. Dr. Seyfried claims that a GKI of lower than 1.0 is prime therapy for patients with cancer, and he has plenty of data to back this up. The graph above shows how tumor g Continue reading >>

Nutritional Ketosis, Part I – The State Of Being A Superman

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 >>

Lose Weight By Achieving Optimal Ketosis

Lose Weight By Achieving Optimal Ketosis

Do you want to lose weight? Here’s number 16 of my 18 best tips. All of the published tips can be found on the How to Lose Weight page. Before we get started, here’s a short recap of the tips so far: The first and most crucial piece of advice was to choose a low-carb diet. The next were eating when hungry, eating real food, eating only when hungry, measuring progress wisely, being persistent, avoiding fruit, beer and artificial sweeteners, review your medications, stressing less and sleeping more, eating less dairy and nut products, stocking up on vitamins and minerals, using intermittent fasting and finally, exercising smart. This is number sixteen: 16. Get into optimal ketosis Warning: Not recommended for type 1 diabetics, see below. We’ve now arrived at tip number 16. If you’re still having trouble losing weight, despite following the 15 pieces of advice listed above, it might be a good idea to bring out the heavy artillery: optimal ketosis. Many people stalling at weight plateaus while on a low carb diet have found optimal ketosis helpful. It’s what can melt the fat off once again. So how does this work? A quick run-through: The first tip was to eat low carb. This is because a low-carb diet lowers your levels of the fat-storing hormone insulin, allowing your fat deposits to shrink and release their stored energy. This tends to cause you to want to consume less calories than you expend – without hunger – and lose weight. Several of the tips mentioned above are about fine-tuning your diet to better this effect. Video course Do you know exactly how to eat a low-carb and high fat diet (LCHF)? This is required for ketosis. If not the easiest way is watching this high quality 11-minute video course on how to eat LCHF, and the most important things to think a Continue reading >>

It Really Is In Your Blood: Glucose To Ketone Ratios

It Really Is In Your Blood: Glucose To Ketone Ratios

I wrote awhile back about how I felt that I might be going a little mad obsessing over my blood numbers and measuring my blood glucose and ketone levels. This is one of the greatest differences, in my opinion, between people that follow a ketogenic or low carb lifestyle for overall health reasons or weight loss, and those of us who are experimenting with using a ketogenic approach as a specific disease therapy. I’m using the term “therapeutic ketosis” now for this, as you’ll know if you’re a Constant Reader here at Greymadder. I think people in the first category, with weight loss or general health goals, can definitely be helped by measuring ketones, and that this is vital to the success of the approach. However, in my personal experience using this approach to “starve” my brain tumour, I find I can become quite the data junkie, measuring blood levels of both glucose and ketones up to four times a day, because in my mind, the optimal levels of both are perhaps what’s required to have a therapeutic effect. I base this on the book Cancer as a Metabolic Disease by Dr. Thomas Seyfried, in which he advises that there is a window of effectiveness of therapeutic ketosis for cancer that uses a glucose to ketone ratio of 1.0. This essentially means that when measured in mmol/L (“millimolar”), blood glucose and ketones should be equal, or even achieving ketone levels that are higher than the glucose levels may be preferable. There is general agreement between my favourite go-to references (Ellen Davis, Dominic D’Agostino, Miriam Kalamian, all found in my Resources section) that this glucose to ketone ratio of 1.0 is best. Miriam Kalamian, in her ebook Get Started with the Ketogenic Diet for Cancer further notes that it should not be disregarded that a thera Continue reading >>

Ketosis

Ketosis

Not to be confused with Ketoacidosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state in which some of the body's energy supply comes from ketone bodies in the blood, in contrast to a state of glycolysis in which blood glucose provides energy. Ketosis is a result of metabolizing fat to provide energy. Ketosis is a nutritional process characterised by serum concentrations of ketone bodies over 0.5 mM, with low and stable levels of insulin and blood glucose.[1][2] It is almost always generalized with hyperketonemia, that is, an elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood throughout the body. Ketone bodies are formed by ketogenesis when liver glycogen stores are depleted (or from metabolising medium-chain triglycerides[3]). The main ketone bodies used for energy are acetoacetate and β-hydroxybutyrate,[4] and the levels of ketone bodies are regulated mainly by insulin and glucagon.[5] Most cells in the body can use both glucose and ketone bodies for fuel, and during ketosis, free fatty acids and glucose synthesis (gluconeogenesis) fuel the remainder. Longer-term ketosis may result from fasting or staying on a low-carbohydrate diet (ketogenic diet), and deliberately induced ketosis serves as a medical intervention for various conditions, such as intractable epilepsy, and the various types of diabetes.[6] In glycolysis, higher levels of insulin promote storage of body fat and block release of fat from adipose tissues, while in ketosis, fat reserves are readily released and consumed.[5][7] For this reason, ketosis is sometimes referred to as the body's "fat burning" mode.[8] Ketosis and ketoacidosis are similar, but ketoacidosis is an acute life-threatening state requiring prompt medical intervention while ketosis can be physiological. However, there are situations (such as treatment-resistant Continue reading >>

Ketosis & Measuring Ketones

Ketosis & Measuring Ketones

Generally, ketone concentrations are lower in the morning and higher in the evening. Whatever time you pick to measure ketone levels, make sure to keep it consistent. Also, do not measure your ketone levels right after exercise. Ketone levels tend to be lower while your glucose levels higher so you won't get representative numbers. Keep in mind there are daily fluctuations caused by changes in hormone levels. Don't get discouraged! Another aspect that affects the level of ketones is the amount of fat in your diet. Some of you may show higher concentration of ketones after a high-fat meal. Coconut oil contains MCTs that will help you boost ketones. To easily increase your fat intake on a ketogenic diet, try fat bombs - snacks with at least 80% fat content. Ketone levels tend to be higher after extensive aerobic exercise as your body depletes glycogen stores. Exercise may help you get into ketosis faster. ketogenic "fruity" breath is not pleasant for most people. To avoid this, drink a lot of water, mint tea and make sure you eat foods rich in electrolytes. Avoid too many chewing gums and mints, as it may put you out of ketosis; there may be hidden carbs affecting your blood sugar. Increase your electrolyte intake, especially potassium. You are likely going to lose some sodium and potassium when switching to the keto diet. Finally, if you find it hard to lose weight on a ketogenic diet, there may be plenty other reasons than the level of ketone bodies: Not Losing Weight on Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet? Don’t Give Up and Read Further. Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diet Improves Insulin Sensitivity And Numerous Aging Markers

Ketogenic Diet Improves Insulin Sensitivity And Numerous Aging Markers

A physician conducted a decade-long experiment on the health effects of a ketogenic diet, using himself as the laboratory rat; he experienced improvement in insulin sensitivity, body fat, lipids, blood sugar, and other markers A ketogenic diet requires carbohydrate and protein restriction, with 50 to 80 percent of calories coming from fats; this forces your body to shift toward using ketones as its primary fuel source, instead of glucose Although your brain is more dependent on glucose than your heart, your liver can produce a ketone-like compound that your brain can efficiently use for energy Scientists extended the lifespan of mice by 20 percent by suppressing the activity of just one gene that helps control metabolism and energy balance; this is further evidence that longevity is tied to insulin signaling The best way to jumpstart your fat-burning/ketone-producing engine is by drastically reducing your consumption of sugar and grains, fasting intermittently, and maintaining a consistent exercise routine By Dr. Mercola We are just beginning to understand the biological intricacies of aging. A growing body of research is challenging the belief that aging is beyond your control, prompting scientists to begin thinking about ways we can slow our aging clocks to a slow crawl. Although this is a relatively new branch of science, there are some factors that appear to be key in controlling how quickly you age. One major factor seems to be insulin signaling and the metabolic "engines" you have running day to day, which are largely controlled by the foods you eat. In the first featured video, Dr. Peter Attia discusses how a ketogenic diet can optimize your metabolism. But before I discuss the specifics of this, I want to tell you about a remarkable mouse study, presented in the Continue reading >>

What Everybody Ought To Know About Ketosis

What Everybody Ought To Know About Ketosis

Recently I wanted to explore the world of Ketosis. I thought I knew a little bit about ketosis, but after doing some research I soon realised how wrong I was. 3 months later, after reading numerous books, listening to countless podcasts and experimenting with various diets I know have a sound understanding of ketosis. This resource is built as a reference guide for those looking to explore the fascinating world of ketosis. It is a resource that I wish I had 3 months ago. As you will soon see, a lot of the content below is not mine, instead I have linked to referenced to experts who have a greater understanding of this topic than I ever will. I hope this helps and if there is something that I have missed please leave a comment below so that I can update this. Also, as this is a rather long document, I have split it into various sections. You can click the headline below to be sent straight to the section that interests you. For those that are really time poor I have created a useful ketosis cheat sheet guide. This guide covers all the essential information you should know about ketosis. It can be downloaded HERE. Alternatively, if you're looking for a natural and sustainable way to improve health and lose weight head to this page - What is Ketosis? What Are The Benefits from being in Ketosis? Isn’t Ketosis Dangerous? Ketoacidosis vs Ketosis What Is The Difference Between a Low Carb Diet and a Ketogenic Diet? Types of Ketosis: The Difference Between Nutritional, Therapeutic & MCT Ketogenic Diets Is The Ketogenic Diet Safe? Long Term Effects Thyroid and Ketosis - What You May Want To Know What is a Typical Diet/Macro Breakdown for a Ketogenic Diet? Do I Need to Eat Carbs? What do I Eat On a Ketogenic Diet? What Do I Avoid Eating on a Ketogenic Diet? Protein Consumption a Continue reading >>

Video: What Eating “high-fat” Or “keto” Does To Your Blood Sugar

Video: What Eating “high-fat” Or “keto” Does To Your Blood Sugar

What happens to your blood sugar when you eat fat? The steps you need to stabilize your blood sugar and increase your fat-burning hormones (by following a Fat Fueled, keto eating style). Up until I found keto (high-fat, low-carb living) I was in the “eat every 2-3 hours in order to control blood sugar” camp. What I didn’t know, was that the constant eating; generally of carbohydrates, was exactly what was causing my blood sugar irregularities – constant “hangry” feelings, hypoglycemia, insulin resistance, and more. After a couple of weeks of eating Fat Fueled, keto, I no longer struggled with hypoglycemia. It was as if my sugar lows just… disappeared. And I’m not the only one that’s experienced massive changes to blood sugar shortly after shifting to a Fat Fueled, keto life. I invited Dietitian Cassie on the show today to help explain exactly what happens to our blood sugar when we eat fat – the ins and outs of insulin resistance, actions that affect blood sugar, how to use carb-ups to heal insulin resistance and much more. Today’s keto video encourages us to use dietary fat as our ally, to rely on it to support balanced blood sugar, thriving hormones and a healthy body. For video transcription, scroll down. Highlights… What foods affect blood sugar How dietary fat affects your blood sugar If combining carbohydrates and fat is a good thing How fat cells are created How to get into fat-burning mode Signs and symptoms of insulin resistance and insulin sensitivity How cortisol (and a poor sleep) affects your blood sugar How carb cycling and carb refeeding can help bust through insulin resistance How to heal yourself from insulin resistance Resources… Watch the video: When to know it’s time to carb-up (and how to do it) Step-by-step guide on goin Continue reading >>

How To Measure Ketones And Optimize Ketogenic Diets

How To Measure Ketones And Optimize Ketogenic Diets

The problem with diets is that we think that one diet should be good for everyone. But research and N=1 experiments show that’s not the case. Learn about measuring ketones and ketosis to understand how your low carb or high fat diet is really affecting you. If there is one area of our bodies that is debated to extremes, with literally hundreds of differing strong opinions on it, it’s nutrition. For many, beliefs about nutrition and diet are tribal. We put ourselves in different camps and we war agains the other camps. Whether it be paleo, low fat, low carb, Atkins, high fat, low protein, vegan, raw vegan and so on. It’s exactly this sort of area where I see data as essential. Without data we have no hope of cutting through the maze of opinions to get to what really works. Part of the problem with nutrition and diets is that we tend to think that one diet should be good for everyone. But increasingly, research and N=1 experiments, are showing that that isn’t the case. And this is exactly why you should pay attention to today’s show. Today, we’re looking at what has relatively recently become the fastest growing nutrition or diet trend. The high fat diet. Also known in different guises as the ketogenic diet, or the low carb diet. And specifically how this can affect our different individual biochemistries, how we can measure “Ketosis” and other biomarkers to understand how our specific biology is reacting to it… and allowing us to troubleshoot and course correct when it isn’t getting the desired results we’re looking for from it. Today’s guest is Jimmy Moore. In 2004, Jimmy, at 32 years, weighed 410 pounds. Since then he has transformed his own biology, shedding all that additional weight with low carb and ketogenic diets. He has also interviewed n Continue reading >>

Estimating Blood Ketone Levels From Blood Glucose Readings

Estimating Blood Ketone Levels From Blood Glucose Readings

Ok so the doctor suspects my aunt has a lymphoma, which is a type of cancer. I would like her to get into a state of nutritional ketosis so she can get rid of it through autophagy and by starving the cancerous cells of sugar. I had planned to make her measure her blood ketone levels so I can monitor her progress and modify her diet when necessary, especially because I won't be seeing her everyday and I need a way to make sure she's doing the diet right. Unfortunately I'm on a low budget, and I can't afford too many ketone test strips (she will be using Precision Xtra). The BG strips, on the other hand, are a lot cheaper. So I had this idea of only measuring her blood glucose levels. If the blood glucose level gets below normal range, that means ketone bodies are doing the job of supplying the rest of her energy, right? Then the fasting ketone level must be somehow inversely proportional to the fasting sugar level. For example if the glucose meter reads 50mg I can be sure she's in ketosis(if she doesn't show symptoms of hypoglycemia that is). At the same time, I would like to get the actual numbers for ketones. Our plan is to get her to around at least 2.0 mmol consistently. So this was a lengthy post, here's my question: Is there a formula to estimate ketone levels from just knowing the blood glucose level? What were your own BK and BG levels both at one given time while on keto? edit/ Thank you for those who answered so far :) Yes, I am aware that ketosis is not the solution for all diseases and all types of cancer. But I have seen observational studies suggesting that fasting for 140 hours before and after a chemotherapy diminishes its side effects such a nausea and fatigue, and can also raise the chance of survival. Keto is kind of a "fake starvation" so I thought it Continue reading >>

The Ketogenic Diet And Insulin Resistance

The Ketogenic Diet And Insulin Resistance

We recently touched on how you can use the ketogenic diet to control symptoms of diabetes such as elevated glucose and triglycerides. In this article, we examine research showing the impact that the ketogenic diet has on levels of the hormone insulin, a key regulator of blood sugar in the body. What is Insulin’s Role in the Body? Before we look at the research, we need to know our main players. Insulin is a protein-based hormone produced by beta-cells located in the pancreas. The pancreas, which is located under the stomach, also produces enzymes that aid with digestion. Insulin’s primary purpose is to regulate the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates. The digestive system breaks down carbohydrates, such as sugars and starches, into a molecule called glucose. This compound can be used by cells to produce energy through a process called cellular respiration. Insulin allows cells in the body absorb glucose, ultimately lowering levels of glucose in the blood stream. After a meal is consumed, blood glucose levels increase and the pancreas responds by releasing insulin into the blood. Insulin assists fat, liver, and muscle cells absorb glucose from the blood, resulting in lower levels of blood glucose. Insulin stimulates liver and muscle tissues to store excess glucose as a molecule called glycogen and also reduces glucose production by the liver. When blood sugar is low, the hormone glucagon (produced by alpha-cells in the pancreas) stimulate cells to break down glycogen into glucose that is subsequently released into the blood stream. In healthy people who do not have type II diabetes, these functions allow levels of blood glucose and insulin to stay in a normal range. What Is Insulin Resistance and Why Is It a Problem? Unfortunately, for many Americans and other peopl Continue reading >>

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