So What Is The Deal With This Ketogenic Diet?
So what is the deal with this ketogenic diet?
Simply put, the keto diet is a high-fat, moderate-to-low protein, very low carbohydrate diet. More specifically, a ketogenic diet has a 4 to 1 ratio, by weight, of fat to protein, plus carbohydrates. For example, a 2000 calorie diet would consist of 200g of fat, 50g of protein and a small amount of calories from fibrous carbs. These fats, proteins, and carbohydrates make up your macronutrients. The main purpose of the ketogenic diet is to enter the metabolic state of ketosis, which is defined by a rise in blood ketones. Basically, this diet mimics fasting. Limited glucose intake leads to lower insulin release. Insulin is a powerful anabolic hormone that acts as a metabolic switch. Sustained suppression of insulin can “flip the switch” from glucose metabolism to fatty-acid metabolism, causing ketosis. This state of ketosis leads to effortless weight loss.
It is important to note that ketosis and ketoacidosis are two totally different things. Ketosis occurs when your body uses ketone bodies for energy. Ketoacidosis is a dangerous medical complication mostly associated with type I diabetes.
While this may seem like a new diet fad, the keto diet has actually been used in medical settings for over 100 years. And, it is very likely that most of our prehistoric ancestors were in a constant state of ketosis due to periods of fasting and because carbs weren’t readily available. Robb Wolf says that back as early as 500 BC we see indications of fasting used to treat epilepsy. Thankfully, knowledge of this effect was not lost to time. Researchers in the early 1900s found that epileptics responded well to a fasted state, but they quickly realized that continued fasting was not a viable treatment option. What they did find is the ketogenic diet, which is sustainable, mimicked the properties of prolonged fasting. These researchers were able to duplicate the effects of continued fasting with the ketogenic diet among their pediatric epilepsy patients with remarkable results. Unfortunately, this treatment for epilepsy and other seizure-related disorders became obsolete with the advent of seizure medications. All medications have side effects, so it is my opinion that a fast-mimicking diet, such as the ketogenic diet or a low-carbohydrate diet, is a much better option for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases than any medication. This isn’t to say that this diet will work the same way in every situation, but in my opinion it should be number one in our toolbox.
Interesting fact: your brain only accounts for 2% of your total body weight yet it accounts for 20% of the energy-store usage in your body. The reduction of available glucose or glycogen, used to fuel your brain, will force your brain to quickly turn to the use of ketone bodies for energy. Furthermore, what your brain cannot get from ketones it can get from your body’s own production of glucose by a process called gluconeogenesis.
Now we’ve all heard of metabolic syndrome and the negative impact it has on our health. It is widely thought that metabolic syndrome is the result of the SAD diet (Standard American Diet). Metabolic syndrome is defined by the Mayo Clinic as a cluster of conditions that occur together increasing risk of heart disease, stroke and type II diabetes. These conditions include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels. Dr. Mercola believes that nearly 40% of American adults, over 18% of teens, and nearly 14% of young children are obese, not just overweight. Nearly 8% of adults are severely obese. Half of all Americans have pre-diabetes, diabetes or other chronic illness and 1 in 5 deaths are obesity related.
Why not give keto a try?
Because the keto diet can eliminate almost every hallmark of metabolic syndrome, why not give it a try? Dr. Peter Attia claims that we can dramatically minimize our risk of these diseases, and achieve 80% of our potential, just by going after the “low-hanging fruit” of dietary optimization. Whether it is keto, or just low-carb eating, what this means is eating wholesome, nutrient-dense foods, ditching the refined carbohydrates and oils (that are most assuredly killing us), and coupling this with a sensible exercise program plus healthy sleep habits. All of these behaviors are essential for attaining this 80% goal.
While the ketogenic diet may not be right for everyone, I can guarantee you this: by eating wholesome natural foods, which are the cornerstone of the ketogenic diet even if you are never in ketosis, you will move away from the lifestyle that is killing Americans.
In my webinar scheduled for next Thursday, April 16th, at 6:30 P.M., I will cover this and more. I will give you the tools you need to get started, and talk about the benefits of joining our FREE 30-Day Keto Challenge. Sign-up HERE
I hope we can all agree that whether we get Covid-19 or not, our best defense is a good offense. For me that means making sure that I am not the kind of host this virus is looking for. As Dr. Ryan says, we need to make sure we are “Harder To Kill.” Among other things, this means supporting our bodies with an immune-boosting, inflammation-fighting diet, like the Ketogenic Diet