A ketogenic diet differs dramatically from the carbohydrate-heavy Standard American Diet. When you eat a carbohydrate-rich meal, the ingested carbs are broken down into glucose. Glucose is then shuttled into cells by insulin, where it is used for energy production. The constant consumption of a high-carbohydrate diet causes the body to rely on glucose (sugar) for fuel, while rarely tapping into fat stores for energy. A ketogenic diet does just the opposite. It forces the body to turn to fats for fuel. A keto diet encourages the production of ketones, small water-soluble compounds, and the “burning” of fatty acids in adipose tissue (fat cells) for energy. Ketones are unique in that they are rapidly taken up by tissues and broken down to yield ATP, the primary energy currency of the human body. The process by which the body switches to using ketones for energy is referred to as “nutritional ketosis,” while the process of tapping into your body’s fat stores is termed “fat adaptation.”
Can your body handle higher amounts of dietary fat? (To make this process easier, I recommend my patients gradually increase their fat intake. Your digestive enzymes need time to ramp up to be able to handle the higher fat content in your digestive tract, or it can cause unpleasant gas, bloating, and diarrhea.) Remember: If the thought of eating higher-fat foods like steak or avocado doesn’t appeal to you, keto probably isn't for you.
Wondering how many carb foods you can eat and still be “in ketosis”? The traditional ketogenic diet, created for those with epilepsy consisted of getting about 75 percent of calories from sources of fat (such as oils or fattier cuts of meat), 5 percent from carbohydrates and 20 percent from protein. For most people a less strict version (what I call a “modified keto diet”) can still help promote weight loss in a safe, and often very fast, way.
Increasing numbers of people around the world are suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes and obesity, and the main culprit is usually the food they eat. The standard American diet, for example, consists of excessive amounts of protein, processed grains and carbohydrates — particularly in the form of refined, added sugars — none of which is good for your health.
Your glycogen stores can still be refilled while on a ketogenic diet. A keto diet is an excellent way to build muscle, but protein intake is crucial here. It’s suggested that if you are looking to gain mass, you should be taking in about 1.0 – 1.2g protein per lean pound of body mass. Putting muscle on may be slower on a ketogenic diet, but that’s because your total body fat is not increasing as much.5Note that in the beginning of a ketogenic diet, both endurance athletes and obese individuals see a physical performance for the first week of transition.
I’m not going to shell out 20k to know my LDL-P. I’d rather assume that I’m part of the 30% who reacts to saturated fat with elevated LDL-P. Should I be worried, considering all my other markers point to the right direction? Expert after expert say that we don’t know what these mixed signals mean until there is a study of people doing low-carb high-fat diets, correlating their lipid profiles with incidence of cardiovascular disease.
Chapter 6 continues with advice on customizing the diet, foods that are allowed or disallowed, meal preparation, and how to follow the diet when away from home, such as restaurant or travel dining. Chapter 7 presents a number of diverse topics of great practical importance especially to a cancer patient but seldom mentioned in popular diet books: alcohol consumption: how to handle incidental illnesses; sick days and menstrual cycles; stress; exercise; acidity and alkalinity; and vegetarianism. Finally there are 12 appendices that provide convenient worksheets and a wealth of advice and information that will save many telephone calls, and trips to the library or internet.
How ketosis helps with epilepsy isn't known, but it does. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University studied 150 children with epilepsy in one important study. After a year on the ketogenic diet, half of children had 50% fewer seizures. One fourth of the children reduced their seizures by 90%. After a few years on the diet, many of these children no longer needed medications at all.
The ketogenic diet has been shown to produce beneficial metabolic changes in the short-term. Along with weight loss, health parameters associated with carrying excess weight have improved, such as insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol and triglycerides. [2,7] There is also growing interest in the use of low-carbohydrate diets, including the ketogenic diet, for type 2 diabetes. Several theories exist as to why the ketogenic diet promotes weight loss, though they have not been consistently shown in research: [2,8,9]
One downside to a ketogenic diet for weight loss is the difficulty maintaining it. “Studies show that weight loss results from being on a low-carb diet for more than 12 months tend to be the same as being on a normal, healthy diet,” says Mattinson. While you may be eating more satiating fats (like peanut butter, regular butter, or avocado), you’re also way more limited in what’s allowed on the diet, which can make everyday situations, like eating dinner with family or going out with friends, far more difficult. Because people often find it tough to sustain, it’s easy to rely on it as a short-term diet rather than a long-term lifestyle.
Jimmy Moore: The thing here is I also always had high cholesterol. Cholesterol goes to … think of cholesterol like a fire fighter and inflammation is the fire. If a fire fighter goes to the scene of a fire, blows the water onto … you burning the house and it puts it out. Let’s say the neighbors house is on fire, and there’s no fire fighter that comes, what happens? Destruction, right?
When ketones are present in the body fluids at elevated concentrations, a person is said to be in ketosis. Dietary ketosis is a normal physiological response to sustained low carbohydrate intake that results in lowered blood glucose and insulin levels and stimulates the production of something known as ketone bodies. During ketosis, fats, either from the diet or from body stores, become the obligatory source of cellular energy for most body tissues while ketone bodies are produced in the liver to supply the rest of the body’s energy needs.4 Dietary ketosis should not be confused with diabetic ketoacidosis, a pathological condition that occurs mainly in type I diabetics due to an acute severe insulin deficiency (usually due to missing insulin injections) and a resulting inability to use glucose, though it is abundant. During diabetic ketoacidosis, blood ketone levels can be as high as 10-15 mM/l (significantly higher than what can be achieved in dietary ketosis). As ketone production exceeds the tissues’ ability to use them, the ketones build up and the blood pH is lowered.5 Immediate medical attention is required to prevent serious complications. This document deals with dietary ketosis only.
Jimmy Moore: Let’s look at all of those things. Let’s look at the triglycerides, let’s look at the HDL, let’s look at the HSCRP, let’s see how your blood sugar is doing, your fasting insulin levels are doing. All of it matters and I think anybody that tries to do treatment of their high cholesterol, which is not a disease by the way, they might even call it hypercholesterolemia, to make it sound like it’s just this dastardly thing. It’s just a medical term that says you have high cholesterol.
Any recommendations on cookbooks? I just purchased Simply Keto and the author uses what seems an abundance of processed meats which have highly toxic cancer causing sodium. Also, the sweeteners suggested rather then sugar are also highly toxic cancer causing…and so on. I am trying to cancel my order so I can research more on recipes, using foods that truly are healthy and not causing cancer in itself, losing weight is not my priority and seems these cookbooks are more focused on losing weight not fighting cancer. The list of foods provided could not be complete, so if you are going to guide people to Keto lifestyle (I hate using the word “diet”) please provide more information such as those in the know and can trust recipes and guidance with complete list of foods and so on. Thank you in advance.
Here are a few of the most common side effects that I come across when people first start keto. Frequently the issues relate to dehydration or lack of micronutrients (vitamins) in the body. Make sure that you’re drinking enough water (close to a gallon a day) and eating foods with good sources of micronutrients. To read more on micronutrients, click here >