The Eat Better podcast returns with a look at ketogenic diets (YouTube video at the bottom). Do read the notes below, because I forgot to mention a couple of things!
Find this episode on iTunes HERE, or listen below:
If you are struggling with long-term health and chronic disease, consider looking at the work of:
These guys both have a huge amount of disease-specific information on their websites. The key here seems to be healing any chronic inflammatory problems (gut permeability, autoimmune disease etc), before attempting something like a ketogenic diet.
Disclaimer: Podcasts do not replace advice from your own qualified medical practitioner who will be familiar with your own individual health concerns.
The Ketogenic diet was developed at the Mayo clinic in the 1920’s, not 20 years ago. Sorry, slip of the tongue.
When we’re talking about eating lots of vegetables during a ketogenic diet, we really mean it. You can eat almost 1kg of low-carb veggies (like salad, greens, cabbage, aubergine, onions, and cauliflower etc) per day without eating more than 50g of carbs in a day, as they did in this trial:
Low carbohydrate and ketogenic diets have also been shown to improve metabolic health and fat loss in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which is also hallmarked by insulin resistance (as in type 2 diabetes).
There is a possibility that fat loss might stall on a ketogenic diet, because beta-hydroxybutyrate can inhibit hormone sensitive lipase (HSL) in fat tissue. Hormone sensitive lipase is responsible for the release of fat from fat stores, to be used as energy. As ketosis is normally generated during starvation, having high ketones in the blood will feedback to HSL and stop it releasing all your stored fats, in order to save some fat for later. This is potentially why some people (both in the public eye, and trying ketosis at home), may not be getting the long-term fat loss they expected from a ketogenic diet.
When I talk about "blue blockers" to maintain a healthy circadian rhythm (reduce stress, boost melatonin production, and improve sleep), I mean minimising your exposure to blue light from your TV, phone, and computer, once the sun has gone down. Do that by installing f.lux on your computer, and/or donning a sexy pair of blue-blocking glasses. I have these, but there are loads of styles available.
For athletes, or people trying to build muscle on a ketogenic diet, 1g/kg of protein might not be quite enough, but 1.5g/kg is probably plenty. It is probably worth staying at the lower end as you enter ketosis, and then increasing it as your body stabilises.
Sodium and amino acids are absorbed together in the gut, so you should try to get your salt intake around the same time as your protein sources to ensure good uptake of both.
If you want to try a cyclical low carbohydrate diet, like Carb Nite, you should at least start by reading the book: http://carbnite.com/
If you want some more technical information on low carbohydrate and ketogenic diets, check out:
The opinions I mention at the start regarding various prominent people in the low carb/paleo world do not reflect my own, I just tried to summarise the language (and often insults) that I've been seeing online recently.