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Ketogenic Diet

Ketogenic Diet

Why ketogenic diet? What is it? Dr. Mercola emphasizes a version of this diet for those with Protein nutritional type (P-type); especially for those who have gone astray with too many carbs so that they have insulin resistance (metabolic syndrome). People like me. The ketogenic diet is a low-carb diet that relies on fat and protein for energy, instead of carbs. If you have been a carb-eater for a long time, you need to retrain your body to burn fat for energy - fat in the form of ketones. This diet is NOT a high-protein diet, but rather moderate in protein and high in fat. I suspect that the type of fat is very important. Fats from pasture-raised livestock and dairy, wild fish, olives and coconuts are the best and together include a good mix of saturated, mono-unsaturated and omega-3 polyunsaturate. The Atkins diet is a type of ketogenic diet, but is designed for weight loss, rather than changing your metabolism. Not all people on a ketogenic diet will lose weight, but their health will improve. If you want to lose weight on a ketogenic diet, you must reduce your fat consumption enough that your body will burn stored fat. But remember that if you reduce dietary fat, you must also reduce dietary carbs and proteins to maintain the same dietary percentage: 5% carbs, 20% protein, 75% fat calories. Do not be tempted to eat Atkins-endorsed processed foods as this will likely make matters worse. Another important aspect of the Ketogenic diet has to do with when you eat what you eat. (from Dr. Loscalzo (4)). •There should be a 12-hour break (or ‘fast’) between dinner and breakfast; then your breakfast is truly a ‘breaking of the fast;” •Stop eating 3 or more hours before bed; e.g., if you go to bed at 11 PM, don’t eat/snack after 8 PM. •Avoid high-carb foods (su Continue reading >>

My 5 Low-carb Mistakes And How Nutritional Ketosis Rescued Me From Them

My 5 Low-carb Mistakes And How Nutritional Ketosis Rescued Me From Them

In my previous CarbSmart column, I explained the distinction between the traditional low carb Atkins diet millions of people have used to lose weight and regain health and the revolutionary concept of nutritional ketosis. You may be hearing a lot about nutritional ketosis this year due to the influence of a fantastic new book by low-carbohydrate diet researchers Dr. Jeff Volek and Dr. Stephen Phinney called The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance. I’ve been doing my own n=1 experiment of nutritional ketosis since May 2012 updating my blog regarding this every 30 days (read my four 30-day update posts: Day 1-30, Day 31-60, Day 61-90 and Day 91-120). Today I want to share 5 mistakes I was making in my own low-carb plan that prevented me from reaching the needed level of nutritional ketosis. Correcting these mistakes has helped me effortlessly shed 50 pounds (and counting!) in less than five months. This is not a comprehensive list of the common low carb mistakes. However, these are worth a closer look if you are struggling with your weight and health goals. You might just be surprised! 1. Consuming too much protein. What?! But I thought a low carb diet was supposed to be “high-protein!” We hear this a lot, don’t we? The reality is that a well-formulated low-carb diet is actually high in FAT, not protein. I bet you never thought that protein could hinder your weight loss – but it can. Why? Here’s the word: GLUCONEOGENESIS! When you consume excess protein, your liver transforms it into glucose (sugar). If you are eating a bunch of lean meats like chicken breasts, turkey and lower-fat cuts of beef or pork, you might be defeating the purpose of your low carb lifestyle. Try choosing fattier cuts of meat and controlling the absolute amount of protein you Continue reading >>

Diet Diary Week 5: Measuring Blood Glucose And Ketones

Diet Diary Week 5: Measuring Blood Glucose And Ketones

Welcome to my weekly Diet Diary. At the beginning of the new year, I started a Low Carb, High Protien (LCHP) diet. It's the Atkins version but there are many others to choose from. I'm chronicling my journey here. I both want to share my experience and hear from you as well as have an enduring record for future reference. This is not an advocacy journal: there are many other ways to manage weight and many different experiences out there. Tonight's topic is blood measurements. This was the first full week of using my dual purpose blood glucose and ketone monitoring device. Let me say I LOVE having this data. I feel like I'm getting a peek behind the scenes that I never had in all my years trying to manage my weight. But getting this data is not free. First I have to add about ten minutes to my morning routine (I'm a guy who gets to work on time but does struggle at it.) Next is a pin prick with a lancet device (doesn't hurt really.) Finally the cost of the test strips. The blood glucose test strips are used commonly by diabetics or others who need to monitor their sugar. The large market for test strips has brought the price down to about 40 cents per strip. That works out to $12 per month assuming a once daily measurement. This is not a big cost and the data can be vitally important. The blood ketone test strips are another matter. There is not a huge market for these. The typical use case is for a Type 1 diabetic to alert themselves to the possibility of going into ketoacidosis. This condition is when the unavailability of insulin in their system is causing the blood sugar to spike at the same time as the body is using lypolysis as a secondary source of energy. Very high blood sugar combined with very high blood ketones causes acidosis which can be fatal if it goes unt Continue reading >>

5 Ways To Measure Your Ketones

5 Ways To Measure Your Ketones

5 Ways to Measure Your Ketones A ketogenic diet is a very low carbohydrate, moderate protein and high fat based nutrition plan. A ketogenic diet trains the individual’s metabolism to run off of fatty acids or ketone bodies. This is called fat adapted, when the body has adapted to run off of fatty acids/ketones at rest. Research has demonstrated that this nutrition plan improves insulin sensitivity and reduces inflammation throughout the body. This leads to greater fat metabolism and muscle development as well as a reduced risk of chronic disease. (1, 2). I get asked all the time how to measure the state of ketosis. There are several major ways and we will discuss those in this article. Measuring Your Ketones There are three types of ketone bodies: Acetone, Acetoacetate and Beta-Hydroxybutryate (BHB). Each of these three can be tested as acetone is a ketone released through the breath, acetoacetate is a ketone released through urine and BHB is (although not technically a ketone it acts like a ketone) in the blood stream and used by the cells for energy. 1. Blood Ketone Meter This measures BHB and is considered to be the most accurate way to measure ketone bodies. These have the ability to determine the ketone level in your blood precisely but they are also pricey and invasive. Personally, I freak out every time I have to prick my finger!! The Precision Xtra blood glucose and ketone meter is a good buy at $28-$30. The expensive part is the ketone test strips here which can cost $4 each. If you are looking at testing yourself every day it is going to cost you $120 a month and the $30 meter. Here is a starter kit you can get on Amazon Most people will enter into a light nutritional ketosis (between 0.5-1.0 mmol/L on the meter) within two or three days. It typically takes 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 >>

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 >>

Ketosis

Ketosis

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 >>

50 Days To Nutritional Ketosis

50 Days To Nutritional Ketosis

blog for the honour of featuring thisas a guest post.] I began practicing Nutritional Ketosis (NK) 50 days ago. It has been an enlightening experience. My goal was to get my blood ketones up to between 1.5 and 3 mmol/L. I wanted to be fueled by fat as opposed to just eating low carb. In these 50 days, there were mistakes and challenges but by the last day, my health and body composition had improved immensely. When I saw last summer that Dr.Eenfeldt had a toy for measuring blood ketones I knew I had to have one. I was also watching how Jimmy Moore was having great success from “testing blood ketones as a means for attaining the proper level of nutritional ketosis”. After a year and a half of eating low carb, and getting my weight down from 184lbs to 154lbs, I loved the idea of having a tangible measurement of how “fat adapted” I was. I also saw this as a way to address my frustration with long stalls in my weight loss. The first time I measured my blood ketones it was heart breaking to see it was only 0.1. I could not believe that I, a person who read all the books, listened to all the podcasts and who was eating very low carb and high fat, was not producing ketones. I started tracking my food on My Fitness Pal (MFP). This was the first time I had measured the macronutrient composition of my diet. Lowering carbs and protein while increasing dietary fat would be key to achieving NK. First I tracked what I ate after it was eaten, only to regret the 1/3 of a cup of tomato sauce or the one single bite of sweet potato (each having about 11 carbs). Before starting this experiment I believed I have been eating less than 100g or less of carbs a day – boy I must have been way off. Then I began tracking the food before I ate it, to plan my intake more precisely. MPF is Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diet For Optimal Health

Ketogenic Diet For Optimal Health

Nutritional ketosis, which involves eating a high-quality, high-fat diet that is low in net carbs, may be one of the most useful interventions for many chronic diseases, including obesity and type 2 diabetes The key to success on a high-fat diet is to eat high-quality healthy fats, not the fats most commonly found in the American diet (the processed fats and vegetable oils used in processed foods and fried restaurant meals) A way to ease into a ketogenic diet is to begin with a 1-to-1 ratio of healthy fats to net carbs plus protein. This means your grams of healthy fats will be about equal to your combined grams of non-fiber carbs and protein put together By Dr. Mercola There's emerging scientific evidence that a high-fat, low-net carb and moderate protein diet is an ideal diet for most people. However, compliance tends to be low for a number of reasons. Discussing this is Randy Evans, who has a master's degree in nutrition and works with Dr. Jeanne Drisko at the University of Kansas Integrative Medical Center. I recently interviewed Drisko on her clinical use of nutritional ketosis. Evans grew up on a dairy farm in Southern Iowa at a time when agriculture was largely still organic. "I actually grew up eating mostly real whole foods," he says, noting his interest in nutrition was an outgrowth of his upbringing. His interest in the ketogenic diet emerged when he began working with Drisko five years ago. "Our goal with most patients is to push back on those low-fat guidelines we got in the '80s … and to encourage people to incorporate healthy fats in every meal … We're really just getting carbs from Mother Nature here," he says. Getting Started on a Ketogenic Diet The nutrient ratio Drisko and Evans typically recommend for their new patients is a 1-to-1 ratio of healt Continue reading >>

Going Keto Pt. 2: Preparing For Ketosis

Going Keto Pt. 2: Preparing For Ketosis

Sponsored Content Last month we covered the wide range of fascinating benefits one can expect to see while on a ketogenic diet. The same dietary regimen that can fight all sorts of diseases and metabolic ailments can increase satiety while keeping you so unbelievably cut that people will be offering you band-aids all day. These enticing benefits could have you chomping at the bit to start right here and now, but before taking one bite be sure you're fully prepared if you hope to reap peak results from going keto. #1: IDENTIFY YOUR GOALS It's critical that you've written down clear, measurable goals before embarking on this new lifestyle (trust us, it’s more than just a diet). Depending on whether you're looking to build muscle, stay shredded, improve blood markers, or starve (and potentially prevent) cancer, the type of keto diet you follow will reflect that significantly. A ketogenic diet is technically any diet that causes the body to produce ketone bodies, so watch your macros closely, but get creative when you can. Keto diets will vary from one person’s goals to another… not unlike the wide range of meal plans you'll find in the IIFYM crowd. If you didn’t read Going Keto Pt. 1, go back and read that HERE. A few key things to remember before going forward: for those of you doing keto, it's best to err on the side of higher protein. Excess protein increases the likelihood of ‘gluconeogenesis’ though, which is when the body converts protein into glucose. If this happens, your body won't produce as many ketone bodies (if at all). On the flip side, a 4:1 ketogenic diet is not one you want to remain on indefinitely, either, due to such low protein intake. Commit to a higher fat ratio for a relatively short period of time (one month is great) to maximize endoge Continue reading >>

Keto-adapted, But No Ketones?

Keto-adapted, But No Ketones?

One of the cheapest and easiest ways to measure ketones is to use ketone test strips, e.g. Ketostix. Ketone test strips use a chemical reaction to measure acetoacetate (see below), usually in urine, though the same method can be used for blood. (Not to be confused with the blood strips used at home for beta-hydroxybutyrate.) However, acetoacetate test strips are of limited usefulness. For one thing, urine concentrations are affected by dilution, which means that they are affected by how much you drink. But the problem is deeper than that. Acetoacetate is only one of the three ketone bodies (see below). Initially, when you start a ketogenic diet, acetoacetate will make up about half of the circulating ketones [1], but when you are keto-adapted, it makes up only about 20% of the ketone bodies in circulation (see below). Morover, the sensitivity of the strips is a little lower than optimal for our purposes. They register negative unless the concentration is quite high. So, it is not uncommon for a keto-adapted person to measure negative for acetoacetate. Different ketone bodies occur in different amounts There are three compounds grouped together as ketone bodies: acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate, and acetone. In keto-adapted people, acetoacetate levels are relatively low even though beta-hydroxybutyrate is high. Typically, beta-hydroxybutyrate levels are 4–5 times as high as acetoacetate. (Acetone makes up only about 2% of total ketone bodies [2].) The graph above shows that in the ketosis of fasting, the proportion of acetoacetate (the top, white part of the bar) is much smaller than that of beta-hydroxybutyrate (the black part). In the study here, after 21 days of fasting, the average level of blood acetoacetate was 1.04 mmol/L, while the beta-hydroxybutyrate level Continue reading >>

The Glucose Ketone Index Calculator: A Simple Tool To Monitor Therapeutic Efficacy For Metabolic Management Of Brain Cancer

The Glucose Ketone Index Calculator: A Simple Tool To Monitor Therapeutic Efficacy For Metabolic Management Of Brain Cancer

Go to: Abstract Background Metabolic therapy using ketogenic diets (KD) is emerging as an alternative or complementary approach to the current standard of care for brain cancer management. This therapeutic strategy targets the aerobic fermentation of glucose (Warburg effect), which is the common metabolic malady of most cancers including brain tumors. The KD targets tumor energy metabolism by lowering blood glucose and elevating blood ketones (β-hydroxybutyrate). Brain tumor cells, unlike normal brain cells, cannot use ketone bodies effectively for energy when glucose becomes limiting. Although plasma levels of glucose and ketone bodies have been used separately to predict the therapeutic success of metabolic therapy, daily glucose levels can fluctuate widely in brain cancer patients. This can create difficulty in linking changes in blood glucose and ketones to efficacy of metabolic therapy. A program was developed (Glucose Ketone Index Calculator, GKIC) that tracks the ratio of blood glucose to ketones as a single value. We have termed this ratio the Glucose Ketone Index (GKI). The GKIC was used to compute the GKI for data published on blood glucose and ketone levels in humans and mice with brain tumors. The results showed a clear relationship between the GKI and therapeutic efficacy using ketogenic diets and calorie restriction. The GKIC is a simple tool that can help monitor the efficacy of metabolic therapy in preclinical animal models and in clinical trials for malignant brain cancer and possibly other cancers that express aerobic fermentation. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12986-015-0009-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. Keywords: Glucose, Beta-hydroxybutyrate, Calorie Continue reading >>

Ketones For Optimal Cognitive Performance And Deep Ketosis

Ketones For Optimal Cognitive Performance And Deep Ketosis

I’ve previously written about some experiments I’ve conducted involving ketosis, from intermittent fasting to longer five-day fasts and caloric restriction, to help my body kick-start production of ketones. However, in these cases getting into ketosis involved a lot of work so I was looking for ways to shortcut/“hack” the process. In recent years, exogenous ketone supplements have become very popular. They elevate blood-ketone levels without having to eat large amounts of fats, follow (excessively carbohydrate-restrictive) ketogenic diets, or fast constantly. These ketones (beta-hydroxybutyrate) come in two forms, ketone salts and ketone esters: Ketone Salts: While the body uses and makes BHB ketones salts naturally, in supplement form ketone salts are synthetically (lab) made compounds that combine sodium (and/or potassium, calcium, or magnesium) with BHB. The salt is used to raise the pH and make things less acidic. Currently, all ketone supplements on the market are made from ketone salts. While they raise ketone levels, most people will only experience mild nutritional ketosis (~0.6-1.0 mmol/L). Ketone Esters: These are not normally found in the body, but exogenous ketone esters convert into BHB once it is in the body. They are also synthetically (lab) made compounds that link an alcohol to a ketone body, which can then be metabolized by the liver into a ketone. They are like ketone salts on steroids as they have 5-10 time more BHB per serving/maximum daily intake than ketone salts. To date, pure ketone esters have been very expensive to produce and have only been available to researchers, elite athletes (Tour de France cyclists), and the US Department of Defense (people have spent more than $20,000 to have an independent lab produce a single serving!). A re Continue reading >>

Optimal Ketone And Blood Sugar Levels For Ketosis

Optimal Ketone And Blood Sugar Levels For Ketosis

A low carb helps reduce blood sugars and insulin levels and helps with the management of many of the diseases of modern civilisation (e.g. diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s). We become insulin resistant when our body fat can’t store any more energy. Excess energy is then stored in the liver, pancreas, heart, brain and other organs that are more insulin sensitive. We also see increased levels of energy in our blood in the form of glucose, fat and elevated ketone. Endogenous ketosis occurs when we eat less food than we need. Our insulin and blood sugar levels decrease and ketones rise to supply the energy we need. Exogenous ketosis occurs when we eat lots fat and/or take exogenous ketones. Blood ketones rise, but our insulin levels will also rise because we have an excess of energy coming from our diet. Most of the good things associated with ketosis occur due to endogenous ketosis. Most people following a ketogenic diet over the long term have ketone values lower than what some people consider to be “optimal ketosis”. If your goal is blood sugar control, longevity or weight loss then endogenous ketosis with lower blood sugars and lower ketones is likely a better place to be than chasing higher blood ketones. I have seen a lot of interest and confusion recently from people following a ketogenic about ideal ketone and blood sugar levels. In an effort to try to clear this up, this article reviews blood ketone (BHB), breath ketone (acetone) and blood sugar data from a large number of people who are following a low carb or ketogenic diet to understand what “normal” and “optimal” look like. Many people initiate a low carb diet to manage their blood glucose levels, insulin resistance or diabetes. As shown in the chart below, Continue reading >>

Glucose Ketone Index (gki) – What Ratio Do I Need For Nutritional Ketosis Benefits?

Glucose Ketone Index (gki) – What Ratio Do I Need For Nutritional Ketosis Benefits?

Generally these blog posts are a result of scratching my own itch (answering my own question), and this post is no different. At the time of writing this, I’m doing a 5-day fast, and wanted to understand the readings I’m getting for my blood glucose and blood ketone levels. Initially I thought that blood ketones were all that mattered, and certainly a lot of people only talk about that reading. But looking at Dr Thomas Seyfried’s paper on treating brain cancer (glioblastomas). It suggests that its important to take into account blood glucose also. In their study, they acheieved optimal results when their patients maintained what they called ‘nutritional ketosis’. And as part of the paper, they included a formula for what this means. The chart below describes visually what they mean by nutritional ketosis, and how it affected the tumour growth. The red is an increase in ketones as a fictional patient goes deeper into ketosis. The black line represents blood glucose, that decreases to a plateau, as carbohydrate sources are removed from the diet, and glycogen stores decrease. So that sweet spot they reach at the end is an optimum level of nutritional ketosis. Now… obviously in our case we are (hopefully) not trying to slow the growth of a glioblastoma. But by getting into ketosis we’re hoping to achieve a number of benefits including: Reduced IGF-1 Immune system rejuvenation (perhaps mainly lymphocytes) Increased cellular autophagy Reduced inflammation (often measured by improved C-reactive protein levels) The extent of these benefits will depend if you’re eating a keto diet, or doing a water fast/fast mimicking diet. But all 3 should improve the biomarkers such that you have a reduced risk of major diseases such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disea Continue reading >>

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