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How a Ketogenic diet can save your life

Most of you have probably never heard of a ketogenic diet, why would you? It is most known for being highly affective in cases of hard to treat Epilepsy. The ketogenic diet was introduced by Dr. Russell Wilder at the Mayo clinic in the 1920’s. It fell out of favor in the 1940’s due to the introduction o

f anti-seizure medications. A

s w

e all know, mainstream medicine has become a pharmaceutical driven industry that has no interest in a natural approach. After all, where’s the money in a natural approach. It’s time to take our health & nutrition into our own hands instead of relying on mainstream medicine to do it for us.

Now I’m no expert on this, I’m only speaking from experience. So instead of giving you a bunch of background on ketogenic diets, I’m going to focus on the most intriguing aspects of this strategy. For me, this has been a integral part of my success.

A ketogenic diet, simply put, is a high fat, moderate protein, very low carb diet. In order for this to work we are talking 60% to 70% of calories coming from high quality healthy fats & less than 50 grams of carbs daily.

What is ketosis anyway? Ketosis is what it is called when the body switches over from burning glucose (the kind of sugar our body uses as fuel) to burning an alternate fuel source called ketones, which are made from the breakdown of fatty acids in the liver when glycogen (how the body stores glucose) levels are depleted.

You might be asking yourself, “what does this have to do with health & wellness?” Well I’ll tell you, but first ask yourself a few simple questions…

Do you find yourself having to eat every couple of hours? Do you deal with constant mood swings & varying levels of energy? If you are eating the standard american diet then most likely you are suffering from the symptoms above as well as some form of depression, anxiety, irritability & potentially many other ailments that you may or may not be aware of yet.

Well friends if any of this sounds like you then a ketogenic diet could be the tool for you. As with everything on this blog, I encourage you, be an experiment of one. Try it out, wether it’s the paleo/primal or a ketogenic diet, if you can commit yourself to this I guarantee you will see exactly what I’m talking about. The transformation you will undergo is undeniable & what you stand to gain in terms of how you look, feel & perform is priceless.

Probably one of the coolest aspects of this diet is how excess fat just melts away once you become fat adapted. Once glycogen stores are depleted in the liver our bodies flip the switch on our metabolic machinery to mobilize fat stores for energy. So when we exercise you can tap into & mobilize your fat reserves as a fuel source more efficiently & thereby preserving glycogen stores. The ultimate determining factor in how long you can go is the preservation of glycogen stores. Not only is this great for weight loss but energy levels are high & consistent.

Ketones, contrary to popular belief are a much needed and essential healing energy source in our cells that come from the normal metabolism of fat. Ketones are the ideal fuel for our bodies, unlike glucose which is damaging, less stable, more excitatory and in fact shortens your life span. Ketones are non-glycating, which is to say, they don’t have a caramelizing, aging effect on your body.

You see our body organs and tissues work much better when they use ketones as a source of fuel, including the brain, heart and the core of our kidneys. Just to reiderate, a ketone is the type of fat you can burn in your mitochondria to make energy. Mitochondria are our power plants in our cells. You can either burn glucose or ketones. Studies have shown that in the presence of both, our brains prefer ketones as a fuel source while sparing glucose. So what we have is a alternate fuel that can enhance metabolic efficiency & ATP production while sparing glucose. ATP is the high-energy molecule that stores the energy we need to do just about everything we do.

Ketosis is an often misunderstood subject so before I go any further it’s important to address why ketogenic diets have gotten a bad rap over the years. Anytime I talk with people about this lifestyle & how it differs from others, immediately it’s compared to things like “Atkins”. The criticism of these low carb diets comes from the fact that they are based on 20 grams of carbs or less a day. While I believe we are not meant to be fueled primarily by carbohydrates, 20 grams a day is not even enough to incorporate low carb vegetables & low glycemic fruits. The general rule of thumb is to not exceed 50 grams of carbs a day to achieve ketosis but with the inclusion of MCT oil we can increase ketone production & actually boost our metabolic rate. Using MCT in your Bulletproof Coffee increases the speed at which you go into ketosis, so it fuels your brain, and it helps you stay in ketosis even in the presence of some carbs in your diet.

There are a lot of studies & experiments going on currently with ketogenic diets. Like I said earlier I’m no expert but the results of such experiments are pretty amazing & most definitely worth a look. It is not only used as a healthy lifestyle, it is also used for conditions such as infantile spasms, epilepsy, autism, brain tumors, Alzheimer’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, depression, stroke, head trauma, Parkinson’s disease, migraine, sleep disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety, ADHD, irritability, polycystic ovarian disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroesophageal reflux, obesity, cardiovascular disease, acne, type 2 diabetes, tremors, respiratory failure and virtually every neurological problem but also cancer, and conditions where tissues need to recover after a loss of oxygen. Many of us in the health & wellness community use ketogenic diets along with intermittent fasting to take advantage of things like chaperone-mediated autophagy. CMA is a cellular process that allows cells to remove proteins, organelles, and foreign bodies from the cytosol (the watery interior of the cell) and deliver them to the lysosomes for degradation. In other words, ketosis cleans our cells from proteins that act like “debris” which contribute to aging by disrupting the proper functioning of the cell. This prevents degenerative diseases, aging, cancer, and protects you against microbial infections. A ketogenic diet not only rejuvenates you, it also makes a person much less susceptible to viruses and bacterial infections.

The benefits of a ketogenic diet can be seen as fast as one week, developing gradually over a period of 3 weeks. There are several changes in gene expression involving metabolism, growth, development, and homeostasis among others.

Sounds pretty good huh? These days I’m all about finding tools to help optimize health, longevity & anti-aging.

There are so many intriguing aspects of this diet, the potential it has to help so many people could be game changing. Unfortunately what we are up against is pretty powerful. There is so much money involved in pharmaceuticals that for a natural approach like this to take hold is going to be very challenging. The good news is all you have to do is give it a try. There aren’t any prescriptions or referrals required, just some good resources to act as a guideline to follow. These days our access to information is endless, a simple Google search will provide more then enough information to get anyone started.

Another area of confusion is the difference between ketosis & ketoacidosis. In layman’s English, ketoacidosis is the potentially life-threatening situation that occurs when diabetics (usually type 1) cannot metabolize the sugars in their bloodstream because their pancreas isn’t producing insulin. This might typically happen when the person is unaware that they are diabetic, or when they don’t properly control their insulin for one reason or another. Too many ketones are not a good thing, but you can mitigate and monitor that on a healthy ketogenic diet.

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Knowing This Will Save Your Life

It’s pretty well accepted science that we are supposed to be enjoying a diet high in healthy fats, low in carbohydrates & low in sugars. Researchers have looked at the remains of our earliest ancestors clear on up to the upper paleolithic, 12,000 years ago. It turns out that early humans were extremely high level carnivores. Not only were we high level carnivores throughout all of the data samples, but we were higher level meat eaters than foxes, wolfs & other known meat eaters. In other words, the earliest humans got most of their protein & calories from animals sources. Now does this mean that we’re designed to get our protein from animal source food? You better believe it! We have a much larger small intestine & a much reduced large intestine that helps accommodate what anthropologists & those that study these things refer to as a higher quality diet. When they talk about a high quality diet, they are referring to protein & fat from animal sources.

People have this perverse idea that eating a high fat diet is going to lead to heart disease. Since the 1970’s we’ve been brainwashed to think saturated fat was bad for us. This just isn’t true, the science doesn’t support that. I know a lot of you are having a hard time with these high fat recommendations but we need to look at the peer reviewed science that tells us what is best for human physiology. This is just one of the many studies that are continuing to come out showing that there is no evidence to support the notion that that saturated fat increases heart disease. In fact, the evidence suggests that a lack of saturated fat may be damaging.

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In 2008 a study was published in the New England Journal Of Medicine called, “Weight Loss with a Low Carb Diet, Mediterranean Diet, or a Low Fat Diet. They took 322 moderately obese adults, average age 52 years & put them on one of these three diets.

After 2 years time when you compared the people on the low fat diet vs the low carb diet, those on the low carb diet had a dramatic & significant increased weight loss & their HDL or so called “good cholesterol” went up dramatically. Their triglycerides went down 24 points & LDL went down 3 points. Fasting insulin was far better in the group eating lots of fat, which is to be expected when you cut way back on carbs.

The people on the low fat diet (that doctors will tell you to go on for high triglycerides) went down only 2.8 points & there was no significant change in their LDL.

Having high triglycerides is a sign you are consuming too many carbs. Which if your on a low fat diet you have to fill in those calories somewhere.

I say, “so called good or bad cholesterol” because there is a lot more to it than just HDL, LDL & total cholesterol. I’m still trying to figure it all out, but this is the way cholesterol is treated today. If your total cholesterol is over 200, doctors want to put you on a “statin” drug. We shouldn’t blame doctors, after all, they’re trained in pharmacology not nutrition. Just ask your doctor how much education in nutrition they received. In my opinion doctors should NOT be giving out diet advice.

LDL & total cholesterol are not accurate markers anymore, maybe 10 years ago. For doctors to tell you that you need to cut back on saturated fats & prescribe these cholesterol medications when they don’t even know inflammation levels is kinda ridiculous.

Let me explain, CRP or C-reactive protein is a marker that rises in response to inflammation. Homocycsteine is an amino acid found in our blood & if elevated can contribute to vascular inflammation. This is how you can have a cardiac event like a stroke or heart attack & not even have clogged arteries. Do you see the common theme here? INFLAMMATION!

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If statin drugs didn’t make 29 billion dollars a year annually, we would not be talking about total cholesterol & LDL. We’d be talking about HDL to triglyceride ratio, CT heart scans & carotid artery scans & last but not least inflammation markers like CRP (C-reactive protien), Homocysteine.

Even if you have good or elevated levels of HDL….which was a good marker 10 years ago. It’s not enough, now we need to know if the HDL is functional. Dysfunctional HDL is very complicated but it’s basically the response of white blood cells to bacteria, micronutrient deficiency or other invaders.

We’ve been conditioned to think the lower our cholesterol the better. Cholesterol is the reason for heart disease in most doctors minds. Well the overwhelming & exponentially growing evidence says otherwise…

Some of you might be asking, “so what’s wrong with statin drugs anyway”. Well, the side effects of these drugs are joint pain, muscle aches, memory loss, lethargy, etc. (All things that mimic old age). People think they are just getting older when in reality the drug they are taking to prevent heart disease is the very thing that’s making them age. Statin’s turn off Mitochondrial function. Our Mitochondria are the power plants in our cells, they are the engine in our cells. Statin drugs should be a last resort not the first line of defense!

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Cholesterol is not such a bad thing, it actually works like a healing agent in the body. When you get injured your cholesterol goes up. You need cholesterol for cells to divide, replicate & repair themselves.

Cholesterol does not cause heart disease. It’s an essential component of our cell membraines. Cholesterol is very important to our brain. The brain is 2% of our body weight but it contains 25% of our total cholesterol. When we sleep at night our brain makes more cholesterol, thats part of why sleep is good for us. It’s the limiting factor for the formation of connections between nuerons so we can learn things & remember things. Cholesterol is necessary for the production of all our steroid hormones & those that regulate our blood sugar, mineral metabolism, & all our sex hormones. It’s also necessary for the production of bile acids for digestion.

If you think about it, it really does make sense. 60% of the solid weight of our brains is made from fat. Fat is fundamental as a energy source in human physiology. It’s a fundamental structural component of really every part of our bodies. Healthy cells requires healthy fats, they are constructed with the fats we choose to eat. This is why highly modified, long shelf life types of fats in grocery stores are damaging fats that will destroy the brain.

Don’t worry I’m going to try & bring this all back around. It’s important to do your best to read this again & do a few google searches if you need to. Knowing this information can mean the difference in preventing & even reversing sickness in yourself family & friends.

Everyone of us has something to gain here, the standard American diet that most of us have become accustomed to is a inflammatory one.

One of the main sources of inflammation in our diets is caused by cheap oils/fats that boost omega 6 fatty acids in our bodies. These oils include corn, canola, soy, & vegetable. Omega 6 oils have lots of polyunsaturated bonds. Every unsaturated bond in the oil is easily oxidized. Heat, light & oxygen are what cause the oxidation. So most of these oils are oxidized before you even eat them. When you consume these unhealthy fats your body has no choice but to try & make cell walls out of them. When they are oxidized inside the body they promote free radicals & cause general systemic INFLAMMATION.

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What’s making us all sick is the combination of these inflammatory oils & SUGARS in our diets.

You may think, “I don’t have any issues with this stuff” but I can assure you we are not designed to be eating these chemicals on a daily basis.

There are no biological free rides my friends.

If you ignore this information you will most definitely be put on some kind of cholesterol lowering medication & or some kind of insulin to manage blood sugars that have been out of control for years because of good old,” heart healthy grains”. Macronutrients are proteins, fats, & carbohydrates. The primary macronutrient that seems to trigger insulin in the greatest way are dietary carbohydrates in the form of sugars & starches.

Did anyone notice with this whole low fat thing how diabetes rates have skyrocketed? When you go low fat you have to fill in those calories somewhere. Inevitably you’ll fill them in with more carbohydrates.

Wheat products increase blood sugars more than any other food. Why is this important? It turns out the less insulin we actually need in the course of our lives, the longer we live & the healthier we are. Did you know that 2 slices of whole wheat bread have more of a affect on blood sugar then 2 tablespoons of table sugar. The glycemic index of whole wheat bread is 72. Table sugar is 59-65, there aren’t many foods above 70. Glycemic index refers to how high your blood sugar goes 90 minutes after you consume something. Think about it, if your having cereal or a bagel for breakfast. Then a sandwich for lunch, maybe pasta or more bread for dinner. Your basically spiking blood sugars all day long.

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If you have high blood sugars, you cannot control cardiovascular risk. It might not happen in your 20’s or 30’s but eventually if you do not have control over blood sugar you will have a HEART ATTACK, BYPASS, or need STENTS.

If that wasn’t enough reason to make you stop & think.

Glycation is the process by which mild elevations in blood sugar bind to proteins. When this happens it dramatically increases the production of free radicals which damage everything in site. Glycated proteins or proteins bound to sugar dramatically increase inflammation. For example if you glycate the proteins in the lenses of your eyes, you’ll develop cataracts. If you glycate the tissues of your arteries, you’ll develop hypertension or rigid arteries. If you glycate the proteins & cartilage of knees & maybe hips, over time you’ll develop arthritis.

Another consequence of high blood sugar is low blood sugar. This is where the cycle of hunger kicks in, having to eat every couple of hours. That used to drive me crazy!

The important thing here is to know why your doing what your doing. I hope it starts to click for all of you like it clicked for me. It’s been life changing to say the least. Making the changes that I suggest comes with a great learning curve. I’m confident in all I say because I’ve been through all of this.

Incredible weight loss, relief from acid reflux. Relief from irritable bowel syndrome. Increased energy & deeper sleep. Relief from arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis. Dramatically improve cholesterol values. Reduced blood pressures & inflammatory markers. I’m know I left out a lot, but these are all things that you can expect to improve dramatically.

A high fat diet is a way more sustainable energy source. Food cravings will be a thing of the past. No more mood spikes or eating & snacking every couple hours.

All it takes is 1 week to start feeling the changes. Bulletproof coffee is a great way to get these healthy fats into your diet.

My next blog will consist of what I do on a daily basis & should give some clarity on the changes necessary for health & wellness. Feel free to leave questions in the comments.