Ketogenic Dieting: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
Ketogenic diets are all the rage lately, but do they really work? Will it get you shredded, or will it leave you flat? We’ll look at the right way and the wrong way to diet and set the record straight! A nutritional trend that has persisted for several years, and has seen countless bodybuilders and hopeful dieters lose valuable muscle tissue and get weaker in the gym – all in an attempt to become leaner – is low, or zero, carbohydrate consumption. This is often referred to as a ketogenic diet, or just plain keto for short. The common thinking is that by lowering carbohydrates and increasing the fat to somewhere north of 70% that we are able more effectively control insulin to lower blood sugar levels and, by consequence, prevent body-fat storage. It has even been argued that by replacing carbohydrates with fats, and keeping protein consumption consistent (the so called ketogenic diet, during which the user is thought to become more efficient at mobilizing fats for energy while their insulin levels are down-regulated to further lessen fat storage), we can become leaner and more muscular. Though the “keto” diet may prove effective in the short term, sustaining this approach is likely not feasible over the long term. While low carb eating plans may work for some people, a meal plan which emphasizes higher complex carbohydrates and proteins, and moderate fats, has been proven by many an athlete to be very effective, and most importantly, sustainable. Low Carb & Bodybuilders From Arnold to Ronnie, to modern day giants such as Phil Heath and Ben Pakulski, the standard bodybuilding diet comprised of carbs, proteins and fats in a typical 45:35:20 ratio (though slight modifications can be made based on individual circumstances) has stood the test of time. The great six Continue reading >>
Low Carb And The Ketogenic Diet: What’s The Difference?
Often people who claim to follow a ketogenic diet are actually following a low carb diet. This article will help clear up confusion on the differences between low carb and ketogenic diets and discuss the benefits of a well-formulated ketogenic diet as compared to a traditional low carb diet. Low Carb Defined Although the definition varies across the literature, a low-carbohydrate (low carb) diet tends to be classified as a diet containing less than 30% of calories from carbohydrates (1,2). While most low carb diets contain 50-150 grams of carbs per day, some athletes adhering to this type of diet have over 200 grams of carbs due to their higher caloric requirements. The Difference in Ketogenic Diets Unlike the typical “low-carb” diet, a well-formulated ketogenic diet follows a high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carb approach, e.g. 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbohydrate. A ketogenic diet typically allows about 20-50 grams of carbohydrates per day (3). This macronutrient profile allows the body to start producing and to eventually utilize an alternative fuel source known as ketones (4). This process is analogous to changing your car’s fuel source to something longer lasting, more readily available, and more sustainable overall. The Main Problem with “Low-Carb” A common mistake with ketogenic dieting is going “low-carb” but still having a high protein and moderate fat intake. As discussed in previous articles, carbohydrate restriction is essential for a ketogenic diet. However, the high-fat, moderate-protein component is equally as important. If protein intake is too high on a low carb, low-calorie diet, your body could increase glucose production through a process known as gluconeogenesis. More research is needed in this area as it relates to ketogenic dieti Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet Faq: All You Need To Know
Below is an list of the most commonly asked questions about the ketogenic diet. Simply click on the question you're interested in and it will take you right to the answer. If you have any more questions, please let me know by leaving a comment and I'll add it to the list! KetoDiet Basic Facts Foods & Diet Plans Health Concerns Troubleshooting 3 free diet plans to help you kickstart your diet, lose weight and get healthy Recipes, giveaways and exclusive deals delivered directly to your inbox A chance to win the KetoDiet app every week KetoDiet Basic Facts Why is it that conventional diets don't work? Most of us would say we get fat simply because we get lazy and eat more. But what if it's the other way round? What if we just get fat and as a result we eat more and become lazy? For the last decades we have been given wrong advice about nutrition and effects of fatty foods on putting on weight. What if the main problem is that due to our modern diets we cannot satisfy our appetite? A study on this subject concluded with a surprising result: the fatter people get, the more inactive they become, not the other way round. And what if the interests of the authorities offering advice are influenced by economic reasons? To learn more about this, I recommend you watch The Food Revolution on Youtube Ketogenic diets are, in fact, closely related to the Paleolithic diet. Both exclude carbohydrates and aim at eating real food. Today carbohydrates make the majority of our diet and have significant implications for our health including hormone balance. For example, insulin, which is responsible for storing fat in our body, is greatly affected by excessive carbohydrate consumption. Carbohydrates are without doubt the most fattening element in our diets. Based on studies performed over th Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet Vs Paleo Diet
I often get asked, “What is the difference between the Ultra Lite Ketogenic diet, and the Paleo Diet? We at Ultra Lite specialize in helping people to make better food choices with a view to teaching them how to balance ones consumption of proteins and carbohydrates, to give one the tools for sustainable weight management. The Ultra Lite program provides a natural balance of vitamins, minerals and amino acids which not only achieves weight loss but promotes a total feeling of health and well being. The main concept is that we teach people that by eating 3 whole food meals a day (as opposed to meal replacements) they can get into ketosis (a fat burning state) safely. So What Is The Difference? What It Means To Be Ketogenic The goal is to force the body into a state of ketosis, the process of the body burning stored fat. On this plan, you achieve ketosis a modified protein sparing fast, the reduction of carbohydrates and the increase dietary fat. A 2004 study published in Experimental & Clinical Cardiology found that long-term adherence to a ketogenic diet may: Reduces body mass Lowers blood LCD and glucose Increase the level of HDL or “good” cholesterol What Is The Palaeolithic Diet? The Paleo plan focuses more on eating meat under the assumption that early cave dwellers had limited access to grain and greens, and thus were ‘made’ to eat a diet primarily composed of protein. Practitioners of this plan focus of getting energy from animal products that are high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Avoid processed foods like: Refined sugar • Table salt • Dairy Modern man faces many chronic diseases that didn’t plague them in prehistoric days, so hypothetically, eating the same way should improve your health. The ketogenic diet focuses on manipulating the thr Continue reading >>
Babies Thrive Under A Ketogenic Metabolism
Some people, even some scientists who study ketogenic metabolism, have the idea that ketogenesis is somehow abnormal, or exceptional; an adaptation for emergencies only. We disagree. One reason we think a ketogenic metabolism is normal and desirable, is that human newborns are in ketosis. Despite the moderate sugar content of human breast milk, breastfeeding is particularly ketogenic. This period of development is crucial, and there is extensive brain growth during it. Although the composition of breast milk can be affected by diet , it is reasonable to assume that breast milk has always been ketogenic, and this is not an effect of modernisation. When the brain is in its period of highest growth, and when the source of food is likely to be close to what it evolved to be for that period, ketones are used to fuel that growth. If nothing else, this suggests that learning is well supported by a ketogenic metabolism. It is also consistent with the ability of ketogenic diets to treat a variety of seemingly unrelated brain disorders and brain trauma. Newborn infants are in ketosis. This is their normal state. Breastfeeding is particularly ketogenic (compared to formula feeding). Breastfeeding longer (up to a point) is associated with better health outcomes. This suggests the hypothesis that weaning onto a ketogenic diet would be healthier than weaning onto a high-carb diet. (Mark-up ours) Human babies are in ketosis Soon after birth, human babies are in ketosis, and remain so while breastfeeding . They use ketones and fats for energy and for brain growth. When this has been studied, in the first couple of hours after birth, babies aren't immediately in ketosis. There is a short delay . During that brief period before ketogenesis starts, lactate (confusingly not to do Continue reading >>
How Much Protein Is Enough?
It seems, from clinical claims and numerous anecdotes, that protein intake has to be below some threshold for ketogenesis to continue, all else being equal. (Conditions are rarely equal: the effects of fat intake, calorie intake, the profile of amino acids in your diet, the type of fat in your diet, exercise, and frequency of eating also matter!) It is commonly assumed that excess protein gets immediately turned into glucose by gluconeogenesis. However, we've shown in a series of articles (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4) that such a mechanism is highly unlikely — excess protein does not just get immediately turned into glucose. The evidence points to gluconeogenesis being driven by demand for glucose, not supply of protein. However, it does appear that above a certain level of protein intake ketogenesis declines. So regardless of mechanism, as ketogenic dieters, we probably still need to limit protein. It's not clear how much is too much. But how much is enough? It is important not to turn a healthy, ketogenic diet into an unhealthy starvation diet! In this article we review some answers to this question, and some unanswered questions. In Brief It's important to get enough protein. The RDA for protein is too low: if you are like most people, your health will suffer if you eat as little protein as the RDA requires. Getting the minimum may not be optimal, but getting less than the minimum would be a mistake. There are several different conditions that are commonly believed to affect protein requirements. In particular, exercise and weight loss have both been said to increase protein needs. We couldn't find definitive support for either of those beliefs. We are most interested in studies that apply to keto dieters. Evidence from experiments on the Protein-Sparing Modifie Continue reading >>
The Truth About Ketosis & Low-carb Diets, Backed By Science
A lot of people are confused by the term “ketosis.” You may read that it is a “dangerous state” for the body, and it does sound abnormal to be “in ketosis.” But ketosis merely means that our bodies are using fat for energy. Ketones (also called ketone bodies) are molecules generated during fat metabolism, whether from the fat in the almonds you just ate or fat you were carrying around your middle. When our bodies are breaking down fat for energy, most of it gets converted to energy, but ketones are also produced as part of the process. When people eat less carbohydrates, their bodies turn to fat for energy, so it makes sense that more ketones are generated. Some of those ketones (acetoacetate and ß-hydroxybutyrate) are used for energy; the heart muscle and kidneys, for example, prefer ketones to glucose. Most cells, including the brain cells, are able to use ketones for at least part of their energy. Is ketosis a bad thing? There is an assumption that if a body is burning a lot of fat for energy, it must not be getting “enough” glucose. However, there is no indication, from studying people on reduced carbohydrate diets, that this is the case (though there is usually a short period of adjustment, less than a week, in most cases). It takes about 72 hours to burn up all of the reserve glycogen (sugar loads). Although it’s true that our bodies can’t break fat down directly into glucose (though, interestingly, they easily use glucose to make fat), our bodies can convert some of the protein we eat into glucose. Indeed, this works well for people who don’t tolerate a lot of sugar, because this conversion happens slowly so it doesn’t spike blood glucose. What is the danger of ketosis? It is important that if you are following a ketogenic nutritional pro Continue reading >>
Lose Weight And Build Muscle With The Ketogenic Diet
The main objective of low carb, Ketogenic diet plan is to improve health by switching the metabolism to burn fat rather than burning glucose or sugar. This is gained through a metabolic stage called ketosis. Ketosis is a normal process in which body cells burns ketones which are molecules used to make energy instead of depending on carbohydrates or sugar. When the body is in a Ketosis metabolic state, the lipid energy metabolism is complete or intact. The body will start breaking down your body fat to get the fuel required for everyday functions. Ketogenic diet helps to build muscle, and usually adopted by the athletes and wrestlers. Benefits of ketosis 1. Utilization of fat fuel Ketosis helps in increasing the body’s capability to utilize fat fuel. During high carb diet, the body usually supposes an outside source for energy provision. But in the state of ketosis, the body becomes efficient at activating the inside fats for energy. 2. No need for oxidization During the ketosis process, your body moves towards protein sparing effect assuming you are consuming a sufficient amount of protein (0.7 gram of per pound of body weight per day) and calories. Also in this process the body prefers ketones over glucose. Since the body has abundant quantity of fat, there is no need to oxidize the protein to produce glucose through gluconeogenesis. 3. Low level of insulin This process lowers the insulin in the body which is reason behind greater lipolysis and free glycerol discharge as compared to typical diet plans in which insulin level is around 80-120. Insulin has a lipolysis-blocking effect constraining the use of fatty acid as energy. Also, when insulin is low, useful hormones are released in the human body. These hormones include growth hormone and other powerful growth rela Continue reading >>
Introducing The Ketogentic Diet: Trusted By Us Navy Seals To Shed Fat, Enhance Strength, And Double Breathe Hold Time
When celebrities endorse weight loss meal plans, many people take notice. But now that an esteemed group like the Navy SEALs endorses a method that suppresses their appetite, helps them lose fat, build muscle, hold their breathe longer, and bolster their strength and performance, many people are doing more than a double-take. They're wisely taking the time to educate themselves so that they can achieve some of the same results. The Navy's Sea, Air and Land Forces—an elite maritime military force that engages in specialized warfare initiatives around the world—have turned to ketosis, which the American Diabetes Association defines as the state the body goes into as it breaks down body fat for energy. “The state is marked by raised levels of ketones in the blood, which can be used by the body as fuel.” That's right: fuel, which literally fuels weight loss. Before you embark on a ketogenic meal plan, take a lesson from the Navy SEALs playbook and study it first. This is one weight loss strategy with its own lexicon, including “ketones,” “ketone levels” and “ketosis.” It also has been studied extensively by no less an authority than the National Institutes of Health. If you agree that many weight loss plans falter not for lack of desire but because of a lack of knowledge and discipline, you'll train both your mind and body for ketogenic meal plans like a Navy SEAL to help ensure your success. What are ketones? Healthline defines ketones as “acids made when your body begins using fat instead of carbohydrates for energy. When there is not enough insulin to get sugar from the blood and into the cells, the body turns to fat for energy. When fat is broken down, ketone bodies are made and can accumulate in the body.” Ketones often “show up” when someon Continue reading >>
Protein-sparing Modified Fasts: The Benefits Of Long Fasts Without The Downsides?
Paleo is generally positive about intermittent fasting, but longer fasts are a little bit dicey. The metabolic effects of fasting make it a very effective rapid fat-loss tool, but it’s hard to avoid the laundry list of problems that seem to come along for the ride: muscle wasting, potential nutrient deficiencies, weakness and dizzy spells…sure, you lose fat during a fast, but you also lose some other things you’d probably rather keep. Enter the protein-sparing modified fast (PSMF). A PSMF is a temporary diet to kick-start rapid weight loss in people who are already severely obese. You use it for a few weeks for initial motivation and rapid losses, always with a plan to transition to a more sustainable long-term diet once the PSMF is done. It’s reasonably easy to make a PSMF Paleo-friendly, and it’s an interesting option to look into for severely overweight beginners, but it’s not required and it’s not right for everyone – be careful and do your research before you jump in! What’s a PSMF? The idea of a PSMF is to reduce calories to the lowest possible threshold while still eating enough protein to preserve lean tissue mass and enough micronutrients to avoid deficiency. This is basically a kind of starvation, so you get the same metabolic benefits that you do with a “real” fast (which is also basically a kind of starvation), but the additional protein and nutrients make the whole project a little less risky, and minimize muscle loss and potential nutrient deficiencies. Practically, a PSMF involves: Very few calories (typically under 1,000 per day – remember that the point is to induce a starvation response), with the vast majority coming from lean protein. Fat and carbs are minimized as much as possible. A few non-starchy vegetables. Supplemental v Continue reading >>
Why Dietary Fat Is Fattening, And When It’s Not.
Reducing stress in the hypothalamus – is this the best way to decrease body fat? In that article, I discussed how inflammation of the brain’s body-fat regulator – or ‘fat thermostat’ – is of critical importance for weight management. In this article, I discuss how certain dietary patterns affect inflammation in the fat thermostat, as well as short-and-longer term outcomes of different diet types. At the end of the article, I consider how to reflect this study against broad dietary choices we make, and I also link to a recent radio show where I answer audience questions about health and weight control with Robb Wolf and Stephan Guyenet, PhD. Remember from the first article that if the fat thermostat becomes insensitive to signals it relies on to keep the quantity of body fat stable, then the result is that fat mass gets ratcheted up to a new, higher stable point. So, what diet properties affect the sensitivity of the fat thermostat? A study by David McNay and John Speakman explored this. In the study, mice were fed a fattening diet until they became obese. At that point, the obese mice were divided into one of ten groups – five dietary styles, and two food-access conditions: Quick primer on dietary style number 5: a ketogenic diet is a very low carb diet that stimulates the liver to produce ketones, which are short chain fats the brain and body can use as fuel. Ketones may have unique effects on the fat thermostat, which I will discuss later. The diet intervention was maintained for four weeks, then all the animals were switched back to a normal diet and monitored for six weeks. The researchers were interested in: What effect did each diet have on body weight and adiposity (i.e., body fat level)? What happened to the weight after the mice went back on their Continue reading >>
Using Keto To Build Muscle
With the right nutrition ratio, low carbers enter a rapid fat-burning state called ketosis. The ideal protein-fat-carb ratio gives low carb dieters three huge advantages. These low carbers: Burn more fat. Lose more weight. Keep their hard-earned muscle. Most diets restrict daily calories, so you lose weight. The bad news: some of that weight loss is fat and some is lean muscle tissue. When we aren’t getting enough calories, we access other forms of stored energy, like muscle. The body tries to preserve fat stores and is perfectly willing to sacrifice muscle instead. Less muscle means a slower metabolism, which makes losing weight even more difficult and gaining it back all too simple. Low Carb Saves Muscle In most weight loss diets, at least some lean body mass is sacrificed to weight loss. Low carb diets are different. Low carbers retain the greatest amount of lean body mass compared to restricted-calorie and high carb diets. Low Carb and Keto Low carbers enter a special, metabolic state of ketosis where the body uses it’s consumed and stored fat for fuel. Once in ketosis, the body actually prefers to use fat over glucose for energy. Since the body has extra stored fat, there is no need to oxidize protein to generate glucose (a process called gluconeogenesis). In ketosis, your body is far less likely to utilize your lean body mass (muscle and organ tissue) as fuel. It doesn’t need to, it already has plenty of fat for energy. Ketosis Tests Special test strips called keto sticks (or ketostix, keto strips) are used to detect ketones in the urine, a sure sign of ketosis. I must admit: I love seeing dark purple on the end of my keto test strip. Keto sticks are a good detector of ketosis, but if the strip doesn’t register the presence of ketones, you can still be ket Continue reading >>
Finding Your Optimal Protein Intake For A Ketogenic Diet
When embarking on a ketogenic diet for health or fat loss, finding the optimum protein intake can be very confusing for many beginners. For smooth adaptation in the transition to a ketogenic metabolism I typically guide people using a caloric spread of around 70-80% fat, 15-25% protein, and 5% carbohydrate from green fibrous vegetables – but this ratio varies for every individual and using percentages is confusing and misleading in many cases. The best way to look at macronutrients is not in percentage ratios, but in grams. The slew of bloggers and gurus spouting so much conflicting information leads many into a mental stalemate about how much protein they should be eating. This article lays out the metrics I most commonly use to quantify how much protein an individual should intake – there is no magic ratio and the needs, preferences, and goals of the individual determine the amount of protein they will likely require on their ketogenic diet which usually lies within a relatively broad range of 1-2.2g/kg (and in some cases even higher *cringe say the protein-phobic) of bodyweight or .5-1g/lb of lean body mass (Lean Body Mass equals Body Weight minus Body Fat). Myth: “Too much” protein turns immediately into sugar I almost always recommend people increase their intake of fish and seafoods in order to get the vital nutrient DHA into their central nervous system and mitochondrial membranes. We see amazing results when people opt for more fish and less red meat, which I also love, but land mammals are not nearly as nutrient dense as seafoods with their incredible levels of DHA, EPA, selenium, and iodine. Sometimes this means they will be eating more protein than they believe will allow them to be “ketogenic”, this protein-phobia can be counterproductive, which Continue reading >>
- Diet Soda Intake and Risk of Incident Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)*
- The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus
- Pre-diabetes goes into remission on higher protein, lower carbohydrate diet (Zone diet balance)
Metabolic Effects Of The Very-low-carbohydrate Diets: Misunderstood "villains" Of Human Metabolism
Go to: The Ketone Bodies are an Important Fuel The hormonal changes associated with a low carbohydrate diet include a reduction in the circulating levels of insulin along with increased levels of glucagon. This activates phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase, fructose 1,6-biphosphatase, and glucose 6-phosphatase and also inhibits pyruvate kinase, 6-phosphofructo-1-kinase, and glucokinase. These changes indeed favor gluconeogenesis. However, the body limits glucose utilization to reduce the need for gluconeogenesis. In the liver in the well-fed state, acetyl CoA formed during the β-oxidation of fatty acids is oxidized to CO2 and H2O in the citric acid cycle. However, when the rate of mobilization of fatty acids from adipose tissue is accelerated, as, for example, during very low carbohydrate intake, the liver converts acetyl CoA into ketone bodies: Acetoacetate and 3-hydroxybutyrate. The liver cannot utilize ketone bodies because it lacks the mitochondrial enzyme succinyl CoA:3-ketoacid CoA transferase required for activation of acetoacetate to acetoacetyl CoA . Therefore, ketone bodies flow from the liver to extra-hepatic tissues (e.g., brain) for use as a fuel; this spares glucose metabolism via a mechanism similar to the sparing of glucose by oxidation of fatty acids as an alternative fuel. Indeed, the use of ketone bodies replaces most of the glucose required by the brain. Not all amino acid carbon will yield glucose; on average, 1.6 g of amino acids is required to synthesize 1 g of glucose . Thus, to keep the brain supplied with glucose at rate of 110 to 120 g/day, the breakdown of 160 to 200 g of protein (close to 1 kg of muscle tissue) would be required. This is clearly undesirable, and the body limits glucose utilization to reduce the need for gluconeogenesis Continue reading >>
A Protein-sparing Diet
A protein-sparing diet is a modified fast, intended for obese individuals to achieve rapid weight loss, the Cleveland Clinic says. It includes not only dietary components, but medical and behavioral aspects as well. The protein-sparing diet is very restrictive and should be a plan you follow while working with your physician and dietitian. Video of the Day In an ideal world you would only lose fat tissue rather than lean body mass while dieting. Nevertheless, some loss of lean body mass occurs with any weight-loss diet, particularly with very low-calorie diets. Although a protein-sparing diet typically provides fewer than 900 calories per day, it avoids most loss of lean body mass because it includes 70 to 90 grams per day of high-quality protein, according to a 2006 issue of "The Journal of Nutrition." Carbohydrates are usually the body's primary source of energy. When a person's diet severely limits carbohydrates, the body begins to burn fat as its primary fuel source, the Cleveland Clinic says. Eating large amounts of protein during this process prevents the body from using its own protein stores in muscles, tissues and cells for energy. The rapid breakdown of fat produces waste substances called ketones that are excreted through urine, a condition called ketosis. The protein-sparing diet thus is a ketogenic diet. Loss of appetite is common during ketosis, which adds to the weight loss. The protein-sparing diet allows only lean meat, poultry, seafood and a small number of low-carbohydrate vegetables, according to the Cleveland Clinic. The diet does not allow additional types of fat or other carbohydrates. Any missing required nutrients are provided through supplements. You follow the diet until reaching your target weight and then gradually reintroduce carbohydrates Continue reading >>