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Why Ketosis Works

Ketogenic Diet: Is The Ultimate Low-carb Diet Good For You?

Ketogenic Diet: Is The Ultimate Low-carb Diet Good For You?

Recently, many of my patients have been asking about a ketogenic diet. Is it safe? Would you recommend it? Despite the recent hype, a ketogenic diet is not something new. In medicine, we have been using it for almost 100 years to treat drug-resistant epilepsy, especially in children. In the 1970s, Dr. Atkins popularized his very-low-carbohydrate diet for weight loss that began with a very strict two-week ketogenic phase. Over the years, other fad diets incorporated a similar approach for weight loss. What is a ketogenic diet? In essence, it is a diet that causes the body to release ketones into the bloodstream. Most cells prefer to use blood sugar, which comes from carbohydrates, as the body’s main source of energy. In the absence of circulating blood sugar from food, we start breaking down stored fat into molecules called ketone bodies (the process is called ketosis). Once you reach ketosis, most cells will use ketone bodies to generate energy until we start eating carbohydrates again. The shift, from using circulating glucose to breaking down stored fat as a source of energy, usually happens over two to four days of eating fewer than 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. Keep in mind that this is a highly individualized process, and some people need a more restricted diet to start producing enough ketones. Because it lacks carbohydrates, a ketogenic diet is rich in proteins and fats. It typically includes plenty of meats, eggs, processed meats, sausages, cheeses, fish, nuts, butter, oils, seeds, and fibrous vegetables. Because it is so restrictive, it is really hard to follow over the long run. Carbohydrates normally account for at least 50% of the typical American diet. One of the main criticisms of this diet is that many people tend to eat too much protein and Continue reading >>

What Is A Ketogenic Diet?

What Is A Ketogenic Diet?

Alright, here’s what the ketogenic diet (often referred to as “keto”) is and the basics of how to follow it. What is the ketogenic diet? For those who don’t know the ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high fat diet (LCHF) with many health benefits. It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake, and replacing it with fat. The reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. When this happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain. Benefits: Ketogenic diets generally cause massive reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels. This, along with the increased level of ketones provide the numerous cited health benefits. Ketogenic benefits include: Fighting diabetes Epilepsy control Alzheimer’s disease Certain cancers Cognitive performance High blood pressure control Satiety Weight/fat loss Reduced cholesterol levels The most obvious and commonly cited benefits is the decreased insulin levels. This is why fasting becomes a great solution to people’s type 2 diabetes, cushing’s disease and many other metabolic diseases. Fasting as well as the ketogenic diet increases insulin sensitivity, improves insulin resistance and allows your body to use the hormone insulin more effectively (which is important for fat loss). There are also four different classifications of the ketogenic diet. The standard ketogenic diet is accepted as reducing your carbohydrates intake to 5% carbs, with just enough protein (20%, let’s say) and the rest coming from fats. Inflammation is the root cause of so many of our ailments, which lower insulin levels decrease. Energy use: The basic principle around ketogenic diets is that our bodies first port of call f Continue reading >>

The Ketogenic Diet: Does It Live Up To The Hype? The Pros, The Cons, And The Facts About This Not-so-new Diet Craze.

The Ketogenic Diet: Does It Live Up To The Hype? The Pros, The Cons, And The Facts About This Not-so-new Diet Craze.

If you believe the buzz, ketosis — whether via the almost-zero-carb ketogenic diet or via ketone supplements— can curb appetite, enhance performance, and cure nearly any health problem that ails you. Sound too good to be true? It probably is. Want to listen instead of read? Download the audio recording here… ++++ Wouldn’t it be awesome if butter and bacon were “health foods”? Maybe with a side of guacamole and some shredded cheese on top? “I’m doing this for my health,” you could purr virtuously, as you topped your delectably marbled, medium-rare steak with a fried egg. Well, many advocates of the ketogenic diet argue exactly that: By eating a lot of fat and close to zero carbohydrates you too can enjoy enhanced health, quality of life, performance, brain function, and abs you can grate that cheese on. So, in this article, we’ll explore: What are ketones, and what is ketosis? What, exactly, is a ketogenic diet? What evidence and scientific research supports the ketogenic diet? Do ketone supplements work? Is the ketogenic diet or ketone supplementation right for me? How to read this article If you’re just curious about ketogenic diets: Feel free to skim and learn whatever you like. If you want to change your body and/or health: You don’t need to know every detail. Just get the general idea. Check out our advice at the end. If you’re an athlete interested in performance: Pay special attention to the section on athletic performance. Check out our advice for athletes at the end. If you’re a fitness pro, or interested in geeking out with nutritional science: We’ve given you some “extra credit” material in sidebars throughout. Check out our advice for fitness pros at the end. It all started with the brain. If you’ve called Client Care at Pr Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diet For Obesity: Friend Or Foe?

Ketogenic Diet For Obesity: Friend Or Foe?

Go to: 3. The Physiology of Ketosis After a few days of fasting or a drastically reduced carbohydrate diet (below 20 g per day), the body’s glucose reserves become insufficient for the production of oxaloacetate for normal fat oxidation in the Krebs cycle and for the supply of glucose to the central nervous system (CNS) [19,20,21,22]. Regarding the first issue, oxaloacetate is relatively unstable at body temperature, thus it is necessary (a minimal amount of oxaloacetate is required for an optimal functioning of the Krebs cycle) to supply the tricarboxylic acid cycle with oxaloacetate derived from glucose through ATP dependent carboxylation of pyruvic acid by pyruvate carboxylase [23]. Regarding the second issue, the CNS cannot use fatty acids as an energy source (because they do not cross the blood-brain barrier), thus glucose is ordinarily the sole fuel for the human brain [24]. After 3–4 days of fasting or a very low carbohydrate diet the CNS needs an alternative energy source [19,20,21,22] and this is derived from the overproduction of acetyl-CoA which leads to the production of so-called ketone bodies (KB): acetoacetate (AcAc), β-hydroxybutyric acid (BHB) and acetone (Figure 1 and Figure 2). This process is called ketogenesis and occurs principally in the mitochondrial matrix in the liver [25]. It is important to underline that the liver produces ketone bodies, but is unable to utilize them because the absence of the enzyme 3-ketoacyl CoA transferase required to convert acetoacetate into acetoacetyl-CoA. Even though the main ketone body produced in the liver is acetoacetate, the primary circulating ketone is β-hydroxybutyrate that is not, strictly speaking, a ketone body because the ketone moiety has been reduced to a hydroxyl group. Under normal conditions t Continue reading >>

The Ketogenic Diet

The Ketogenic Diet

The Ketogenic Diet Over the past few decades practitioners and researchers have been searching for the holy grail of macros for fat loss. During that search, the Ketogenic Diet has been extensively studied because it is an interesting tool as it “hacks” an aspect of our physiology. Is that hack something that conveys additional weight loss benefits? We dive into the research and talk about the practical applications of ketogenic diets. Now before we dive in I want to be honest about personal stance and plant a flag in the middle of the open. I am going to be upfront about my stance before you dive into this article so you can gauge my level of bias and take the writing below with whatever level of salt you feel necessary. I don’t hate the Ketogenic Diet. I find it to be a tool that can be used successfully in some context and unsuccessfully in others. Now with that out of the way lets dive into the science What is the Ketogenic Diet? A full, deep, nuanced discussion of what exactly the ketogenic diet is beyond the scope of this article. However a basic understanding of if is necessary and for those of you who are new to the concept let me break it down quick and dirty (a lot of this is borrowed from our previous article on the same topic) Ketosis is a metabolic state that occurs when dietary carbohydrates are in such low quantities that your body must rely almost exclusively on fatty acid oxidation and ketone metabolism to produce ATP. You have tissues in your body that can utilize either carbohydrates or fat and function fairly well (e.g. muscle tissue)*. You also have tissues in your body that use glucose really well but can’t really function on fatty acid metabolism (e.g. your brain). This is part of the reason why regulating blood glucose is pretty important Continue reading >>

Which Foods Or Supplements Work To Promote Ketosis?

Which Foods Or Supplements Work To Promote Ketosis?

You’re starting to see exogenous ketone supplements hit the market, but it’s important to note that these supplements do not enhance the production of ketones in your body. It is simply a way of increasing the amount of ketones so to speak. The only two things that I am aware of that promote the production of ketones are coconut oil and MCT oil. Coconut oil contains MCT’s (medium chain triglycerides), but isn’t as potent as MCT oil. Some people, like myself, can’t handle MCT oil but are okay with coconut oil. Continue reading >>

The Keto Diet Is Gaining Popularity, But Is It Safe?

The Keto Diet Is Gaining Popularity, But Is It Safe?

A new twist on extreme weight loss is catching on in some parts of the United States. It’s called the "keto diet." People promoting the diet say it uses the body’s own fat burning system to help people lose significant weight in as little as 10 days. It has also been known to help moderate the symptoms of children with epilepsy, although experts are not quite sure why it works. Proponents say the diet can produce quick weight loss and provide a person with more energy. However, critics say the diet is an unhealthy way to lose weight and in some instances it can be downright dangerous. Read More: What is the “Caveman Diet?” » What Is Ketosis? The “keto” diet is any extremely low- or no-carbohydrate diet that forces the body into a state of ketosis. Ketosis occurs when people eat a low- or no-carb diet and molecules called ketones build up in their bloodstream. Low carbohydrate levels cause blood sugar levels to drop and the body begins breaking down fat to use as energy. Ketosis is actually a mild form of ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis mostly affects people with type 1 diabetes. In fact, it is the leading cause of death of people with diabetes who are under 24 years of age. However, many experts say ketosis itself is not necessarily harmful. Some studies, in fact, suggest that a ketogenic diet is safe for significantly overweight or obese people. However, other clinical reviews point out that patients on low-carbohydrate diets regain some of their lost weight within a year. Where It’s Helpful The keto diet was created by Dr. Gianfranco Cappello, an associate professor of surgery at the Sapienza University in Rome, Italy. He claims great success among thousands of users. In his study, more than 19,000 dieters experienced significant, rapid weight loss, few side Continue reading >>

How Ketosis Diet Works

How Ketosis Diet Works

When it comes to weight loss, it’s not the amount of calories you consume that’s most important, but how your body uses them. Over the long run, this difference in what your body “decides” to do with the calories you eat makes all the difference. What is ketosis? Ketosis is a metabolic process that happens when the body does not have enough glucose for energy. How ketosis occurs Your body enters a state called “ketosis” when you eat a low- or no-carb diet. Because your body doesn’t have carbs to burn for energy, you burn fat instead. Molecules called ketones then build up in your bloodstream. This is a good thing. Difference between ketosis and diabetic ketoacidosis It shouldn’t be confused with diabetic ketoacidosis, a dangerous condition that affects people with type 1 diabetes. In order to reach a state of ketoacidosis, insulin levels must be so low that the regulation of blood sugar and fatty acid flow is impaired. Take a look at this chart: Body Condition Quantity of Ketones Being Produced After a meal 0.1 mmol/L Overnight fast 0.3 mmol/L Ketogenic diet 1-8 mmol/L >20 days fasting 10 mmol/L Ketoacidosis >20 mmol/L As you can see, the amount of ketones you produce when you’re in a state of ketosis is much lower than what’s produced when someone is in a state of ketoacidosis. The latter is uncontrolled diabetes. Ketosis to lose weight In fact, ketosis has proven to be safe and effective in numerous studies. In one, participants lost an average of 22 pounds after 2.5 cycles of a ketogenic diet. Also, most kept the weight off after a year.1 What is the ketogenic diet? The keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that causes weight loss and provides health benefits. Effects of ketogenic diet Another study focused on the long-term effects of a ketogenic Continue reading >>

Metabolic Pathways: How The Body Uses Energy

Metabolic Pathways: How The Body Uses Energy

Metabolic pathways in the body determine how we utilize the macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) we eat, and ultimately what happens to the fuels that come from each macronutrient. It all depends on when the last meal was finished. If the body is in a "fasting or starvation" mode, energy pathways will behave differently than when food is available. Food is available! The macronutrients (carbohydrate, fats and protein) on your plate are broken down in separate metabolic pathways: Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose by various enzymes. Some are burned for immediate energy, but overall the level of glucose in the blood stream rises, which triggers an insulin release by the pancreas. The insulin acts to push glucose into the cells to be made into ATP, stored as glycogen or when in excess amounts, stored as fat droplets called triglycerides in the fat cells (adipose tissue). Fats are digested in the small intestine, and then packaged into lipoproteins for various functions (ever heard of LDL and HDL? ) Excess fat calories often end up as fat droplets in fat cells. When fats are used as an energy source, they are broken down in cellular mitochondria through a process called beta-oxidation. Proteins are broken down into individual amino acids and used in body cells to form new proteins or to join the amino acid pool, a sort of "cache" for these molecules. Amino acids that are in excess of the body's needs are converted by liver enzymes into keto acids and urea. Keto acids may be used as sources of energy, converted into glucose, or stored as fat. Urea is excreted from everyone’s body in sweat and urine. Body is "Fasting" Carbohydrate, fats and protein are metabolized in separate processes into a common product called acetyl-CoA. Acetyl-CoA is a major meta Continue reading >>

Why Doesn't Ketosis Work?

Why Doesn't Ketosis Work?

There is a reason why people who use ketosis to lose weight usually end up gaining the weight back. If the goal is to lose weight quickly, then yes, ketogenic diet will work for you! If the aim is to lose weight and keep it off without damaging hormones, then the ketogenic diet will fail you. I know, on paper it makes sense right? Cut out the carbohydrates, and the body is forced to burn fat as fuel. But, what’s going on behind the scenes when people deprive their bodies of carbohydrates for too long? Leptin Ghrelin Testosterone The big three hormones when it comes to weight loss and muscle building sink dramatically. Being sunken for a long time, the harder it becomes to regulate our hormones. Low carbohydrate combined with low calorie leads to drastically lower leptin levels when comparing to just a normal caloric deficit. As levels of leptin begin to decline more and more, the hunger levels humans experience will raise in parallel. Leptin also affects our muscles and thyroid hormones, and decreased quantities of it will stall our metabolism. All of the attribute to lower leptin levels causing weight gain. It also affects Adiponectin, which sends out glucose levels out of whack as well as fatty acid breakdown. Another hormone affected is Ghrelin by decreasing HGH output and increasing appetite artificially. I wrote an article “the holy grail of weight loss” that talks all about the ill effects of low carb diets. To summarize it: Once the body realizes fat is its primary/only source of energy, the body drives energy usage way down. The body cuts energy for all things, like creativity, concentration, metabolism to name the top sectors that get hit first. The body doesn't give a shit about your work or personal life; the body solely cares about having enough energy Continue reading >>

You Can Eat Fat And Lose Weight! Expert Says Controversial Ketogenic Diet Does Work - So What's The Secret To Doing It Safely?

You Can Eat Fat And Lose Weight! Expert Says Controversial Ketogenic Diet Does Work - So What's The Secret To Doing It Safely?

Lose weight by eating more fat – it almost sounds too good to be true. But followers of the ketogenic food plan claim it not only works, it can revolutionise the way you eat. Although the keto diet – as it's known – has been hailed as being extremely effective for weight loss, it's not without its share of controversy. Those who subscribe to a keto-based food programme eat a diet that's significantly higher in fat – this is offset by a major reduction in carbohydrates which is understood to put the body into a metabolic state called ketosis. In essence, nutritional medical expert Fiona Tuck explained to Today Tonight Adelaide, the body burns fat to use as fuel. Right now the diet being touted as the hot new way to strip unwanted kilos with celebrities - including Guy Sebastian - crediting their success to following the high-fat food regime. But is the diet a safe way to sustainable weight loss? Fiona Tuck breaks it down. 'An extreme keto diet is made up of 75 per cent healthy fat, 20 per cent protein and just five per cent carbs, which means limited fruit and vegetables,' she said. While she said the food plan would work for quick weight loss, it's not one she thinks is beneficial long term. 'We have to be very careful not to take the body into an extreme case of acidosis (caused by an overproduction of acid in the blood) because that can actually be life threatening or fatal.' However Ms Tuck does believe the diet can be followed safely, if carb levels are increased to 50 or 100 grams. She also advocates for following a dietary plan that includes a wide range of fresh foods. 'You could not be getting enough of those brightly coloured fruits and vegetables which could put us at risk of nutritional deficiency,' she warned. For some the health benefits of followin Continue reading >>

Should Endurance Athletes Go Keto? Ketosis And Ketogenic Diets For Endurance Athletes

Should Endurance Athletes Go Keto? Ketosis And Ketogenic Diets For Endurance Athletes

When it comes to weight loss and endurance performance, dietary ketosis is the strategy everyone is asking about this year. On the surface, ketosis or a ketogenic diet offers everything an endurance athlete could dream of: endless energy, freedom from bonking, and an efficient pathway to weight loss. The diet has been all over mainstream magazines, it’s the subject of several new books, and the supplement companies have already jumped in with new products and a ton of marketing dollars. So, is it time for cyclists, triathletes, and runners to go Keto? First, a refresher course on what a ketogenic diet is. To achieve dietary or nutritional ketosis you need to severely restrict carbohydrate intake (fewer than 50 grams of CHO/day) so the body transitions to using ketones for fueling muscles and the brain. Ketones are produced from fat, which is why nutritional ketosis is so appealing to sedentary people as a weight loss solution. It’s appealing to athletes because we have a virtually unlimited reserve of fat calories to pull from but can only store 1600-2000 calories worth of carbohydrate in muscles, blood, and the liver. An athlete fueled by ketones would be theoretically “bonk-proof”, since bonking is the result of running low on blood glucose. [blog_promo promo_categories=”coaching” ids=”” /] Dietary ketosis for athletes is one of the most hotly contested subjects right now. Proponents point to the metabolic advantage of relying on fat instead of carbohydrate, and critics point out the physiological limitations of eliminating carbohydrate as a fuel for performance. You’ll find bias in both groups, either because scientists and coaches (including me) have been in the high-carbohydrate camp for many years, or because there’s a lot of money to be made b Continue reading >>

When On A Keto Diet, Is It Ok To Drink Diet Pepsi?

When On A Keto Diet, Is It Ok To Drink Diet Pepsi?

Here’s the TRUTH Weather Diet Soda Make You Fat, or Does it Help Weight Loss? We all know by now that soda (aka "pop" in some areas) is one of the most evil things you can put in your body... the nasty chemicals, the gut-fattening high fructose corn syrup, and a myriad of health problems caused by this carbonated cocktail worshiped by those that don't care about their health or body. This answer was taken form an article written by “Mike Geary” and you can find the original article at: Does Diet Soda Make You Fat, or Does it Help Weight Loss? Since you're one of my readers, I know that you actually do care about your health and the appearance of your body. Surprisingly, many people falsely believe that "diet" soda is in some way a good thing for losing body fat. In fact, I hear people all the time proudly state that they "eat so healthy and only drink diet soda". So let's set the record straight... There is NOTHING even remotely healthy about drinking diet soda. In fact, I've even seen several studies that showed dedicated diet soda drinkers got even FATTER than their regular soda drinking counterparts. Here's some findings from an 8-year University of Texas study that I had read... An excerpt from the study author: "What didn't surprise us was that total soft drink use was linked to overweight and obesity," Fowler tells WebMD. "What was surprising was when we looked at people only drinking diet soft drinks, their risk of obesity was even higher." "There was a 41 percent increase in risk of being overweight for every can or bottle of diet soft drink a person consumes each day," Fowler says. Ok, as if we didn't already know how bad regular soda was for us, and now they're showing us studies that diet soda makes us even fatter than the already bad stuff! There's a l Continue reading >>

Does The Controversial Ketogenic Diet Really Work? Dietitians Give Their Verdict On The Low Carb High Fat Program Beloved By Celebrities

Does The Controversial Ketogenic Diet Really Work? Dietitians Give Their Verdict On The Low Carb High Fat Program Beloved By Celebrities

Favoured by the likes of Kim Kardashian and Gwyneth Paltrow for its rapid results, the Ketogenic Diet has been making headlines non-stop over the past 12 months. The low carbohydrate, high fat program sees participants eat moderate protein and receive the majority of their energy intake from fat. But does it really work? The Dietitians Association of Australia recently weighed in on the controversial diet and revealed the three things people need to consider before jumping on board the Keto bandwagon. The Dietitians Association of Australia recently weighed in on the controversial diet and revealed the three things people need to consider before jumping on board the Keto bandwagon In a recent media alert, the DAA first explained the thinking behind the program and how it works. 'As fat is the main source of energy being consumed, the body must then use this (that is, break it down) as its main energy source or "fuel",' they explained. 'When dietary fat is metabolised for energy, by-products called "ketone bodies" (molecules that are made by the liver from fatty acids) are produced which are used up by the body’s tissues, muscles and the brain. This process is known as "ketosis". 'The body can enter ketosis during times of severe energy restriction (such as during fasting or starvation) or prolonged intense exercise, or when carbohydrate intake is reduced to around 50g per day, or less – the equivalent of around two slices of bread, and a banana.' While there are many low carb, high fat diets available, the Keto Diet remains 'proportionately lower in carbohydrates' at around 20 to 50 grams per day to keep the body 'in a state of ketosis'. When it comes to weight loss, the DAA says those who follow a Keto Diet will 'undoubtedly result in short-term weight loss'. This, Continue reading >>

How Ketogenic Diet Works (simplified)

How Ketogenic Diet Works (simplified)

Heard of the Keto Diet? For those of you that haven’t or want a refresher, here’s a little explanation! But first a bit of background! You see, energy we get from our foods are from 3 macro groups: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. When non fibre carbohydrates (carbs) are digested, it becomes glycogen in our liver. Glycogen can be easily converted to glucose (blood sugar), which the human body uses as fuel to sustain our usual activities. Insulin helps regulate the glucose level in our bloodstream; when the glucose level is high, the pancreas releases insulin which tells the liver to change the excess glucose into glycogen and fats. Quite a process just to keep the human body going! The Ketogenic (keto) diet, is a diet where the consumption of carbohydrates are kept to a minimum. After a few days on a keto diet, the glucose and glycogen in the body are depleted, which results in a low insulin level. When the insulin level is low, the fat cells release fatty acids which is transformed to ketones by the liver. These ketones are used as an alternative source of energy by the body (this process is known as ketosis). In essence, a regular diet will metabolize carbohydrates into glycogen and glucose for energy; with the keto diet (low in carb), we metabolize fats into ketones for energy. These fats can be either from the food we currently eat or from the fat stored in our body. While the keto diet is more efficient at burning fat, one must intake less energy than he/she uses before any stored body fat is used. As a result, a keto diet must be complimented by a deficit of calories in order to achieve weight loss. If one has a big appetite, a fibre rich food can be consumed to reduce the calories in a meal; fibre does not significantly contribute to the calorie count but it Continue reading >>

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