what Is The Ketogenic Diet And Is It Safe?
The ketogenic diet is all the rage in the low-carbohydrate dieting world. It’s so low-carb in fact that many people wonder if it’s a safe long-term diet. How is the keto diet (short for “ketogenic”) diet different than the Atkins diet plan? Is it an effective and healthy means of weight loss? Is it safe??? These are just some of the many questions that we hear surrounding the keto diet in the health and fitness community. While any diet that requires sacrifice and adjustments to your daily routine (and this diet requires more of that than most, with the exception of veganism) will take some effort to maintain, the overall benefits may be worth the commitment. A variety of celebrities, fitness personalities, and doctors endorse the ketogenic eating plan and its philosophies for overall health improvement and quick weight loss. According to advocates of the ketogenic diet, forcing your body into ketosis could be the answer to long-term fat loss and better health. For years, we’ve heard about the benefits of low-carb eating and consuming healthy fats. We absolutely agree with the low-carb approach for weight loss, because it is the main principle in our 21-Day Fat Loss Challenge. Below, we will explore what the ketogenic diet entails, including the change in lifestyle, and discuss its safety. The Ketogenic Diet What is the keto diet? You might already know that the keto diet is a low-carb diet plan. You might not know that it was originally designed for patients with epilepsy, as Dr. Axe discusses in his post on the subject. Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medical center initially found that fasting helped treat seizures in patients with epilepsy. How did this turn into what we know as the keto diet today? Since fasting wasn’t a healthy long-term option for elimin Continue reading >>
Is Keto Safe For Pregnant Women?
Ketosis during pregnancy is a controversial topic. Health authorities and bloggers often praise low-carb diets for their ability to reverse infertility. But when it comes to low-carb during pregnancy, many of these same “experts” warn against the “dangers” of burning fat for fuel while pregnant. Most conventional medicine doctors would likely condemn this dietary choice as well. But is there any evidence to back up all of the fear mongering? The Evidence There are a few studies which on the surface seem to suggest possible complications with ketosis during pregnancy. Upon further investigation, however, they fall short of rational scrutiny. There aren’t many studies on pregnant women in ketosis. This likely due to the ethics and liability concerns involved with experimenting on vulnerable populations. It is important to note though that mountains of anecdotal evidence suggest that an intelligently formulated ketogenic is not only safe but may actually be beneficial to both mom and baby. Despite this, however, most mainstream doctors and media outlets have conflated ketosis with a dangerous condition called ketoacidosis and thus trumpet the dangers of keto during pregnancy. Ketosis vs. Ketoacidosis Much of the worry surrounding ketosis and pregnancy stems from a conflation of dietary ketosis with a dangerous metabolic state called ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis happens to diabetics and involves extremely high levels of glucose and ketones in the blood. Ketoacidosis is very different from ketosis and should not be a concern for non-diabetic pregnant women. So is ketosis safe during pregnancy? The Keto Pregnancy Connection Far from being harmful, ketosis is actually a natural part of every pregnancy. In fact, pregnant women are able to enter ketosis 3 times more quic Continue reading >>
The Beginners Guide To Ketosis: Investigating Low-carb, High-fat Eating
The only hard and fast rule of health is that health is personal and what works well for one person may not work for someone else. Aside from that rule, there are “frameworks” that seem to benefit large groups of people. One more level down from that are alternative strategies that benefit smaller groups. Ketosis is likely one of those alternative strategies that works well for certain, smaller groups of people. So, right off the bat I want you to understand that Ketosis might not be for everyone. I’m going to lay out the case for potential benefits of Ketosis. If it sounds interesting and beneficial to you, then consider trying it. (see our free cheat sheet to help you). What is Ketosis Ketosis occurs when liver glycogen gets depleted and the body burns fatty acids for fuel. The primary driver of this state is a very low carbohydrate intake. Often, it also requires a low protein, higher fat intake. You can also achieve a state of ketosis by not eating altogether. The creation of ketones is a byproduct of this metabolic state. Ketones are a source of fuel, just as glucose is a source of fuel. Ketones tend to have some added benefits, though. What role does Ketosis play in human health? Ketosis allows our bodies to function in the absence of carbohydrates, both physically and mentally. Instead of burning carbohydrates, or converting protein to glucose, the body burns ketones. This is pretty much a survival mechanism. It allows your body to function in a state of caloric deprivation. This is why ketosis often gets bad press (as it’s linked to “starvation”). Being a survival mechanism doesn’t make it invalid as a strategy, though. There can still be potential benefits to be had. Let’s cover a few of them… Ketosis and Accelerated Fat Loss Being in ketosis Continue reading >>
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 >>
What Is Ketosis And Is It Safe?!
The Question- Is Ketosis safe for you? If you've come to this article you've heard both good and bad things about Ketosis. Ketosis is one of 2 natural metabolic processes that provides energy to your cells. The other process is called Glycolysis and is the utilization of glucose (derived from carbs, sugars, and excess protein) for energy. Ketosis is the utilization of ketones for cellular energy, ketones are normally derived from fat when there is extended lack of glucose. It's undeniable that this state has many benefits which are outlined here but is it safe for everyone and what are the disadvantages?! Dr. D’Agostino and fellow USF researcher Andrew Koutnik stress that “individuals with liver cancer or elevated liver enzymes, pancreatitis, fat malabsorption issues, lipid metabolism disorders, gall bladder removal or obstruction, or those taking a drug such as a steroid which may elevate blood glucose levels and inhibit the ability to achieve ketosis, should refrain from following a ketogenic diet.” They have reviewed countless studies and I find them trustworthy. Diabetes is the thing that many people misunderstand. Please don't get Ketosis confused with Ketoacidosis! It's not the same thing. A Ketogenic Lifestyle doesn't create ketoacidosis which is a dangerous diabetic condition cause by the inability to produce adequate insulin. On the other hand, Ketosis improves insulin sensitivity because of the lack of sugar and has been shown to improve cholesterol. The Answer- Reader, fat loss isn't the only major benefit! I do it for the hormone balance, energy, focus, and reduction of the incredible inflammation I used to live with from sports. If you don't have one of the above mentioned conditions then the only potential drawback is if you don't know how to prepare 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 >>
Is Keto Safe? [7 Myths About Keto Being Dangerous That Aren’t True]
The Keto diet (aka Ketogenic diet) has been getting a ton of press as an amazing weight-loss diet. But is Keto safe to do? That’s why we’ve written this post. To clear up all the myths surrounding the Keto diet… Is keto safe in general? Don’t you need carbohydrates? Is keto unhealthy for you? Isn’t fat bad for you? Is being in ketosis for a long time good for you? First, we’re going to discuss the most common myths around keto being dangerous, plus explain why they’re not true. (Based on solid evidence, of course.) Then we’ll go over two important topics: How do you do Keto in a safe way? Should you do Keto long term? Note: we are not doctors or nutritionists and the information provided in this article is based on our research and designed to help you educate yourself on the Keto diet. And now for our medical disclaimer: Note that information contained in this article (and website) is not intended to and shall not convey or recommend any medical or nutritional advice or course of action. Any diet, health, or nutritional program you undertake should be discussed with your doctor or other licensed medical professionals. All opinions expressed in this article are based solely on personal experiences and research. We are NOT licensed doctors, dietitians, or nutritionists. 7 Myths About Keto Being Dangerous That Aren’t True You might have seen these myths mentioned in articles online – that doesn’t mean they’re true, though. MYTH 1: The Keto Diet Causes Nutritional Deficiencies TRUTH: If you do keto in a healthy way, then it becomes a highly nutritious diet. Technically, you could eat a variety of unnutritious foods in order to reach nutritional ketosis. Just like you can eat pizza and be a vegetarian. Technically, the main requirements for getting i Continue reading >>
Is Ketosis Safe? The Million Dollar Question Answered
There’s a common misconception that being in a state of ketosis may be harmful to the body. This misconception arises because nutritional ketosis is being confused with ketoacidosis and the two things couldn’t be more different. Is ketosis safe? You bet! What is Ketosis? Nutritional ketosis is when the body burns its own fat as its primary fuel source. For a person to enter a state of nutritional ketosis, they will need to be eating a low carbohydrate diet. This is because in order for the body to switch from sugar burning mode (which is its default setting whilst carbohydrates are being consumed) to fat burning mode, the body needs to deplete its stores of stored sugar (glycogen). I was shocked to learn that in a fully grown adult, there’s only about 5g of glucose (sugar) in their entire blood stream, which is about one level teaspoon! When excess sugar is consumed, the body converts excess sugar to to fat, and stores it as a backup fuel supply. The fat is stored and deposited as body fat – enabling the body to access it as a fuel source if glycogen levels were to drop in the future. When carbohydrates are consumed, the pancreas is stimulated to excrete insulin. Excess glucose in the blood stream is toxic and the body does everything that it can to get rid of it. Insulin’s job is to send a signal to the brain to tell the body to be in sugar burning mode in order for the body to get rid of the excess sugar circulating in the blood stream. Whilst there is excess sugar present, the body will never switch to fat burning mode. Whilst a person consumes high amounts of carbohydrates and excessive protein, their glycogen levels will never deplete enough to send the signal from the brain to switch fuel burning modes, preventing the kickstart of nutritional ketosis. Th Continue reading >>
Is Ketosis Dangerous?
It really is a sad fact that some experts add more to the confusion surrounding health and nutrition then they do to clear things up. One such area is that of ketosis vs ketoacidosis. While you may be unfamiliar with these terms, you will most certainly know about low carb and very low carb diets, and it is likely you’ve heard health professionals warning against the dangerous side-efffects of low-carbing. Well, ketosis and ketoacidosis are often quoted as two of those dangerous side-effects. This advice, however, is partly misinformed, partly overcautious. I read about Jimmy’s (Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb) experience recently when he went to give blood. He struck up a conversation with the type 2 diabetic nurse, and talk turned to eating a low carb diet. Her immediate response was that ketosis is a dangerous condition to be avoided. This is a pretty common opinion echoed by many health professionals. Here is what WebMD say on the subject of ketosis; Unhealthy metabolic state (ketosis). Low-carb diets can cause your body to go into a dangerous metabolic state called ketosis since your body burns fat instead of glucose for energy. During ketosis, the body forms substances known as ketones, which can cause organs to fail and result in gout, kidney stones, or kidney failure. Ketones can also dull a person’s appetite, cause nausea and bad breath. Ketosis can be prevented by eating at least 100 grams of carbohydrates a day. It is hardly surprising that the general public are confused, when health professionals and mainstream websites like WebMD make statements like this. And that’s only two examples. If this is all starting to sound a bit worrying, let me clarify things for you by firstly defining the difference between ketosis and ketoacidosis. Ketosis vs Ketoacidosis Continue reading >>
How Long Can You Stay In Ketosis Safely?
Are you looking for a diet for weight-loss or fat-loss? If so then you might be interested in ketosis. The question is whether you can stay on it permanently. That’s because it’s critical for any ‘diet” to become part of your everyday life and eating habits. It’s important to first understand what it is all about. It’s a natural state of the human body when it’s fueled almost 100% by body fat. This state takes place during a low-carb or “keto” diet as well as during fasting. It’s important to understand how this process is related to fat loss. The term originates from the fact that the human produce produces tin fuel molecules known as “ketones.” When the body doesn’t have enough blood sugar/glucose it gets energy from this source. The body produces chemicals when it gets a very low supply of carbs and a moderate amount of protein. The liver’s fat produces ketones then the body and brain use it for fuel. The process is especially important for the brain since the organ can only run from glucose/ketones. Medical research shows that early humans probably experienced the state very often. The reason is that hunter-gatherer societies ate a high-meat diet and had less access to carbohydrates than modern humans. As a result human bodies evolved so they could get energy from fat even though it mimicked starvation mode. Today there are various reasons why people use the ketogenic meal plan. Some of the most common ones are to lose weight or control epilepsy. The firm supporters point out the health benefits of the diet but others note that it’s a dangerous “hack” of the body’s regular metabolic system. These are the benefits to this process: Less eating due to no appetite More fat loss from abdominal cavity Lower blood sugar/insulin levels Lo Continue reading >>
Following A Ketogenic Diet Without A Gallbladder
Since the 1920s, ketogenic diets have been used as a therapeutic method to treat obesity, epilepsy, diabetes, neurological disorders, cancer and many other pathological diseases (1). This very low carbohydrate diet that combines moderate protein consumption with high amounts of quality fats puts the body into a state of fat or ketone adaptation. Following a ketogenic diet without a gallbladder can pose complications because of the body’s inability to adequately secrete bile to break down fatty meals. Fortunately, these 7 strategies will answer your concerns for maintaining ketosis without a gallbladder. What Is Ketosis? When net carbohydrate consumption remains less than 50 g/day (in some cases under 30g/day), insulin concentration reduces and the body begins using stored fat for energy via lipogenesis (1). Following 3 to 4 days of this dietary carbohydrate restriction, the central nervous system (CNS) has an inadequate supply of glucose and must seek other fuel. The alternate energy source the CNS seeks along with tissues and organs is ketone bodies. These ketone bodies are produced at high concentrations in the liver during the metabolic state of ketogenesis which is also attainable during periods of prolonged fasting. The 3 major ketone bodies include acetate, acetoacetate and beta-hydroxybutyrate. Ketosis results in numerous health promoting benefits including: (1) Decreased fatty acid production Increased metabolism of fats and lipids Higher metabolic rate to use ketone bodies Improved mitochondrial function Modified satiety hormones including ghrelin and leptin Regulates blood lipid levels including triglycerides and cholesterol Reduced insulin signaling Improved glycemic control Reduced whole body inflammatory levels Is a Ketogenic Diet Right for You? When nutr Continue reading >>
Is The Ketogenic Diet Safe?
Is The Ketogenic Diet Effective? Author: Dr. Stephen Chaney The ketogenic diet has been around for a while. It has been used to control epilepsy in children since the 1920s. Nobody is quite sure why it helps control epilepsy, but it does. Once a mainstay of therapy, it is now primarily used as an adjunct to anti-epileptic drugs. However, recently the ketogenic diet has gone mainstream. It’s no longer just for epilepsy. It has become the latest diet fad. If you believe the claims: Hunger and food cravings will disappear. The pounds will melt away effortlessly and rapidly. You will feel great. You’ll have greater mental focus and increased energy. Physical endurance will increase. You’ll become superhuman. Type 2 diabetes will disappear. Your blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels will improve, reducing your risk of developing diabetes and heart disease. What’s not to like? This sounds like the perfect diet. But, are these claims true? More importantly, is this diet safe? What Is Ketosis? Ketosis is a natural metabolic adaptation to starvation. To better understand that statement let me start with a little of what I’ll call metabolism 101. Metabolism 101: The Fed State: Here’s what happens to the carbohydrate, protein & fat we eat in a meal. Most carbohydrates are converted to blood sugar (glucose), which is utilized in three ways: Most tissues use glucose as their primary energy source in the fed state. Excess glucose is stored as glycogen in muscle and liver. Glycogen stores are limited, so much of the excess glucose is stored as fat. A few tissues such as heart muscle use fat as an energy source. Excess fat is stored. Protein is also used in three ways: Some of it is used to replace and repair the protein components in muscle and other tissues. I Continue reading >>
Is The Ketogenic Diet Safe For Children? An Evaluation Of Biochemical And Growth Parameters. † 473
The ketogenic diet has been used since the 1920's as an alternative therapy to antiepileptic drugs (AED) in children with intractable seizures. The diet is high in fat (up to 90% of calories) and low in carbohydrate and protein. To date, there have been no studies evaluating growth and laboratory parameters in children on the diet. In this retrospective study, biochemical and growth data were collected from 12 children (age: 4.0 ± 3.6 yrs) pre- and 6 months on the ketogenic diet. The diet contained 90% of calories from fat (P/S ratio 4.4), 10% of calories from protein/carbohydrate supplemented with additional vitamins and minerals. Biochemical data included hemoglobin (Hb), hematocrit (Hct), white blood cell count (WBC), red blood cell count (RBC), platlets, total cholesterol (TC), total protein (TP), albumin (Alb), serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (AST), serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase(ALT), calcium, phosphorus, blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine. All children demonstrated decreased seizure number. There was no significant change in Hb, Hct, WBC, RBC, platlets, TC, TP, Alb, calcium, phosphorus, or creatinine 6 months after starting the diet; all parameters remained within the normal range. There were significant decreases in AST (pre- vs. 6 months; 49.2 ± 28.7 units/L vs. 32.5 ± 19.3 units/L, P ≤ 0.05), and BUN (11.2 ± 5.8 mg/dl vs. 7.5 ± 2.4 mg/dl, P ≤ 0.01). ALT levels normalized (34.0 ± 29.0 units/L vs. 17.2 ± 8.9 units/L) although the decrease was not statistically significant (P = 0.06). There was a significant increase in height (93.0 ± 20.7cm vs. 99.7 ± 20.5 cm, P ≤ 0.001) and weight (16.9 ± 9.5 kg vs. 18.2 ± 8.8 kg, P≤ 0.05). Weight for height was similar pre-diet and at 6 months (106± 15% vs. 104 ± 18%). These findings sug Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet: Safe To Try At Home?
Yesterday, we looked at how the ketogenic diet can be used to treat certain medical conditions such as epilepsy. Even for those without these conditions, this low-carb, high-fat diet has been growing in popularity in recent years. When you search online, you’ll find lots of information touting the health benefits and weight-loss potential of the diet. You’ll also see articles that say that the diet isn’t right for everyone and can have serious risks. So, is the ketogenic diet safe to try? We followed up with registered dietitian Diana Gulotta to get her recommendation. Go On a Ketogenic Diet? Not Without Medical Supervision Research has shown that the diet can help heart health and weight loss. However, Gulotta says she does not endorse the diet for the general public unless someone is very passionate about trying it out and is willing to seek medical advice. “At UVA, we use the ketogenic diet as a medical therapy for epilepsy and some other diseases such as multiple sclerosis. We currently do not accept weight-loss patients and do not advise that people go on this diet without medical supervision.” Dietitians closely monitor people on a prescription diet, looking at: Liver function Serum lipids Vitamin and mineral levels Blood counts “This allows us to see the effects that the diet is having on the body and correct them before there is a serious negative side effect,” Gulotta says. Harsh Side Effects of Ketosis When you’re on it, your body switches from carbohydrates as its main energy source to fat and proteins. This causes your body to enter a state called ketosis, producing ketones. Ketones are an alternative form of fuel that are created when the liver breaks down fats. Ketone production can be dangerous for those with diabetes. This process can be Continue reading >>
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 >>